Jeesh. Jon Stewart tears up the Tightie Righties of this year’s CPAC. In spite of the courageous attempts, the only funny thing about the conservative convention was Donald Trump’s hair. But then Sarah couldn’t make it and se’s always good for a few laughs.
Once upon a time conservatives could be funny. They could turn a phrase in a Mark Twainish sort of way that caused one to think, even as they smiled. Reagan was good at it, as was William F. Buckley and George Will (who’s still around but doesn’t get much media attention these days). Even Pat Buchanan could get Michael Kinsley to laugh now and then (and vice versa)
But in order to get their kind of humor you had to think about what they were saying. You had to understand political nuance. You needed to be up on the issues, go beyond page one, listen to more than just one talking head and get your news from more than just one ‘trusted’ source.
Utra-Conservatives today aren’t funny because their audience (if not they themselves) can only think on one plane and in one dimension. They are scared of their own shadows, which can be good for a chuckle, but they have such big blinders on that irony is lost on them. Everything and everyone pisses them off and you have to be a real comic to turn anger into humor. It’s no wonder that the celebrity roast format is their favorite since there is nothing self-deprecating about their sense of humor. And hence, it’s not funny.
The funny conservatives of the past were, for the most part, good natured. I don’ think they ever took themselves too seriously. Self-inflation will always kill a comic. Why Joe Piscopo faded away when he discovered the gym and Arnold got funnier when he stopped going. And why Dennis Miller broke his funny bone when he decided to team up with O’Reilly and rant for the right. Both Miller and O’Reilly are entertainment professionals, though. They can, on occasion, pull it off. But someone’s gotta tell those amateur tight-asses at CPAC to zip it. It’s gonna have to be a Republican, though. The rest of us, we don’t want it to stop. Too damn funny.