Humor and Sanity

As Republicans continue to lose their ever-lovin’ minds, it’s important to remember that humor can be a great tool for maintaining one’s sanity when all about you are abandoning theirs. Leonard Pitt’s expressed it well in response to the news that John Stewart was retiring from The Daily Show.

We tend to underestimate humor, but it has this way of clarifying that which is difficult and opaque. You can often make a more trenchant point with a joke than with a 10,000-word treatise, something Stewart proved night in and night out.

Nowhere was that done more powerfully and adeptly than when Stephen Colbert challenged both the Bush/Cheney administration and the media at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Much has been written about how President Obama can be professorial. Not so much about his use of humor. Beyond appearances between two ferns, late night shows and Comedy Central, he has used it quite effectively on the campaign trail. Anyone remember Romnesia in 2012? When he delivered those lines for the first time I knew – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that he would be re-elected.

Here’s another example that is not as well known. It was 2010 and the President was in Nevada stumping with Harry Reid – whose opponent was Sharon Angle. To talk about Angle seriously is to give her more credit than she deserves. Hence…

Last night at the Gridiron Dinner, President Obama provided us with some humor to combat the current crazy.

…getting older changes you. For example, coffee really disagrees with me these days — which is why John Boehner just invited coffee to address the joint House…

Despite a great performance tonight, Scott has had a few recent stumbles. The other week he said he didn’t know whether or not I was a Christian. And I was taken aback, but fortunately my faith teaches us forgiveness. So, Governor Walker, as-salamu alaykum…

And, finally, Governor Walker got some heat for staying silent when Rudy Giuliani said I don’t love America — which I also think is a problem. Think about it, Scott — if I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya…

And we can’t just focus on 2016, people. We just had an election. This new Congress is just getting started, which is why I want to acknowledge the leader of the House Republicans — as soon as I figure out who that is.

The fact is, I really genuinely like John Boehner. But from your press reports, I gather he may be in real trouble. Over the past several weeks, many of you have been writing about a possible conservative coup — or as Bill O’Reilly calls it, “reporting from the war zone.”…

And then I got flak for appearing on a video for BuzzFeed, trying to reach younger voters. What nonsense. You know, you don’t diminish your office by taking a selfie. You do it by sending a poorly written letter to Iran. Really, that wasn’t a joke.

Ahhhh…I can feel my sanity quotient rising even as we speak.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.