Monday, May 11, 2009

Just An Entertainer

The latest right-wing outrage is Wanda Sykes and her comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night where she skewered Rush Limbaugh.

“Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails,” Sykes said. “So you’re saying, ‘I hope America fails’, you’re, like, ‘I don’t care about people losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq’. He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason He’s not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight.”

Sykes then said, “Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a good waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”

His obedient servants are already demanding some sort of apology from the president for being in the same room with her, and they are all waiting on pins and needles to see how Mr. Limbaugh himself will respond to the same kind of talk that he indulges in as a matter of course on his own radio show. I’m guessing he will go on about how unfunny Ms. Sykes was, how unimportant she is, and he will probably make some kind of crack about the fact that she’s a lesbian.

But I’m not sure why everyone is all worked up about this. After all, Mr. Limbaugh is not an elected official; he’s not, as all the GOP stalwarts affirm, the leader of the Republican Party. He’s just a self-described entertainer, so why shouldn’t he be held up to the same scorn and ridicule as anyone out there in the business like David Letterman or Jon Stewart? And it’s not as if this is the first time that an attempt at political humor in a dinner like this didn’t go over well. As DougJ at Balloon Juice reminds us, President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew did a minstrel show routine at a Gridiron dinner, and there are still folks in the Bush administration who are still chonked off at Stephen Colbert for his mockery of President Bush.

Leaving aside whether or not Ms. Sykes was funny or not — I watched her and found it to be your average stand-up monologue — the right-wingers have once again demonstrated that their ability to comprehend one of the basic concepts of humor — attacking the strong works; attacking the weak does not — still eludes them.