Cheap Seats 2018
The Weirdness Continues - 06/13
By Rich Trzupek
Anybody recall 1992? In that fateful year the Clinton clan oozed its way onto the national scene, with William Jefferson Clinton beating George H.W. Bush in the presidential election, thanks – in no small part – to the a good deal of would-be Bush voters tossing their ballots away on egomaniac Ross Perot.
Anybody remember Clinton’s signature slogan that helped propel him into the White House (where he would of course propel himself into Monica Lewinsky’s pants)? It was messaging as clever and effective as Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra – simple and short, yet subtle: “It’s the economy stupid.”
America was going through a mild recession, Bush had broken his promise not to raise taxes, the combination of which annoyed some people on the right and many in the center. “It’s the economy stupid” reduced the issue down to the essentials. To wit: Americans have always voted with their pocketbook in mind above all other considerations, Bush had screwed up the economy, ergo Bush had to go.
We now flash forward 26 years where Nancy Pelosi, or a very convincing Disney animatronic designed to look like the minority leader, was asked about the economy. It’s an uncomfortable subject for Democrats, with unemployment at historic lows, black youth unemployment reduced to levels never before seen and a booming GDP. Ms. Pelosi’s take was nothing but snark: “the economy, blah, blah, blah…” To modify Clinton’s famous slogan, “it’s stupid talking about the economy.” But at least Pelosi managed to avoid foul-language and pointless ad hominem attacks. This stands in stark contrast to…
Samantha Bee, who I am credibly informed is supposed to be a witty, insightful comic and political commentator, put all of her talent on display by calling Ivanka Trump a rather crude word used to describe a portion of the anatomy unique to females (actual females that is, not people with the dangly parts that want to wear bitchin makeup, hang out in the ladies john, etc.).
As insightful political commentary, foul-mouthed name-calling rates at about a -2 on a scale of 1 to 10. I’m certain that talented political commentators/humorists like H.L. Mencken, Dorothy Parker and P.J. O’Rourke are spinning in their graves.
I have just been informed that O’Rourke is still kicking. Ergo, we’ll have to put his spinning on hold. It was also remarkable to see how many liberals and especially liberal women, fell all over themselves to jump to Bee’s defense. Even more so because, although I am a foul-mouth SOB in my personal life, I learned very early on in life that the “C-word” is one you just don’t use around women. Most women I have known are okay with practically all of the crude lexicon, but the “C-word” one is over the line. Apparently standards have changed – at least as they apply to anyone related to or supportive of President Trump. If we needed more evidence of the trend, which we really don’t, we need look no farther than…
Robert DeNiro, who used his platform as a Tony Award presenter to offer sober, insightful analysis of Trump’s policies and actions, calmly highlighted their points of disagreement and offered meaningful suggestions for alternatives that would, in his view, result in better outcomes.
I kid. DeNiro stood in front of a crowd of adoring entertainment types and uttered the immortal challenge designed to sink the Trump administration: “f*** Trump”. As political commentary, this ranks somewhat behind Thomas Jefferson carefully outlining the grievances that the colonists attributed to the policies of King George III and his ministers. Actually, it ranks somewhat behind Cathy McCafferty calling me a “pooh-pooh head” in first grade. (Cathy, by the by, was the first and only girl who was not my sister to beat me up, but that was a few years later. I had such a crush on her!)
Anyway, if the best messaging you can come up with is to call your political opponents names, you may wish to rethink your PR strategy.
Which of course leads us to the summit between Hermit Kingdom leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump that will have happened, or is about to happen, by the time you read this. A successful summit – which I define as arriving at a clear and verifiable path to denuclearize the Korean peninsula – will present liberals with another quandary. They must denounce that result, for anything The Donald does, is, by definition, reprehensible. Given the current state of intellectual insight on the left, here’s my suggestion for their response to a successful summit: “denuclearization: blah, blah, blah. F*** Trump and that c*** Kim Jong Un!”