Friday, March 14, 2008

President George W. Bush: Comedian Extraordinaire

A couple of times a year, the President and the Washington press corps get together for dinner and a circle jerk. Most people are probably only aware of this ritual because of the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner which Stephen Colbert had to go and ruin with his mean, topical satire. These dinners represent everything wrong with Washington, in particular its spineless journalists.

President Bush got himself into a bit of trouble at the 2004 Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner when he aired some photos of himself searching around the White House for non-existent WMDs. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere," joked the President as he searched behind curtains and under chairs. Oh I get, because the President used those weapons as his rationale to start a war of choice which went on to desolve into chaos and kill tens of thousands of people! Good stuff!

Everyone soon forgot this because, hey, John Kerry was a flip-flopper who looked French.

And this past weekend was the 2008 Gridiron Club dinner in DC. The President donned a cowboy hat and sang an early goodbye to Washington to the tune of the country song "Green Green Grass of Home". In the song, Bush sang about the good ol' times of "Brownie" and the post-Katrina disaster, the prosecution of Scooter Libby, and Dick Cheney talking to him about some oil-rich Saudi and withholding documents from Congress.

I'm obviously not a humorless man, and I am all for self-deprecation and making massively inappropriate jokes. But there is something very disturbing-- and very wrong-- about seeing the President of the United States cracking jokes about the worst sins of his presidency... and the press corps sitting there laughing their asses off and giving him a standing ovation (funny, it sounded like you could hear a pin drop in '06 when Colbert roasted The Decider). It suggests a detachment from reality that is not healthy.

Something tells me you won't find footage of JFK rapping about the Bay of Pigs or Reagan doing an Iran-contra jig.


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