September 21, 2008

Obama squirted with seltzer water...

Peter Robinson has a good article on what could be Mr Obama's big lack as a presidential candidate. A sense of humor....

...True, you could have argued that so far he hadn't needed much of a sense of humor. Hillary Clinton hadn't had them rolling in the aisles herself. That changed the following week, when the Republicans held their own convention. In an acceptance speech of just 3,000 words, Sarah Palin provided no fewer than six laughs--real belly laughs, each followed by thunderous applause--five of which came at Obama's expense.

Gov. Palin's performance undermined Sen. Obama in two ways. It made him appear prim and self-serious by comparison. And it thoroughly unnerved the man. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,'" Palin told the GOP convention, contrasting her work when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, with Obama's efforts on the south side of Chicago, "except that you have actual responsibilities." For several days afterward, Obama appeared dazed. "Community organizer," he kept insisting at campaign appearances, was so a real job. Even now, more than two weeks later, he has yet to employ humor effectively. Instead he has "sharpened his speeches," to quote the Associated Press, adding "bite." Obama can take a blow. What he can't take is a joke.

Sen. Obama's self-seriousness is understandable. At Columbia and Harvard, the faculty would have seen him, an exceptionally gifted African-American, as destined for great things. In Chicago, he would have been seen as destined for great things because he had attended Columbia and Harvard. What no one anywhere appears to have pointed out to him, however, is that humor itself is great thing....

Obama's problem is that humor is always conservative. Leftish thinking is based on the possibility of fixing this world. Making things OK, making the trains run on time. Making people happy.

We conservatives are sure those aren't possibilities. Not only will Utopia never be achieved, but if we even think we are within telescope-distance of the most minor sort of utopia (or just a veto-proof majority in the Senate) we are probably about to crash spectacularly and look like fools. And humans will never be happy or contented.

Sara Palin with ski planeThe old name for this is Original Sin. And even those who are not religious at all can understand it. (An atheist can be a conservative, but he really ought, out of simple justice, to admit to himself every half-hour or so that Irenaeus got this one right.) And it's funny as long as you don't expect perfection. We conservatives slip on a banana peel, and laugh at ourselves. Or at least admit that other people have a right to laugh.

But the liberal is the Grand Dame whose very body-language radiates, "That's NOT funny!" Whose elegant party is reduced to chaos by the Marx Brothers squirting bottles of seltzer.

And we saw it happen! Think of sober Mr Obama with his Greek temple and stadium full of fans and his not-quite-thrilling climactic moment. And then the next day John McCain grins and waves his cape, and poof! Presto! The anti-Obama! The most stupendous political reversal of our lifetimes. It was wacky! It was FUNNY. It's still funny.

Has ever a joke produced such a quantity of sputtering outrage from the fat ladies? From the straight men? We keep trying to analyze the Leftist responses to Palin, but really they all add up to, "How DARE they!"

Posted by John Weidner at September 21, 2008 11:12 PM
Weblog by John Weidner