Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Epidemic of Sick Jokes

Mike Huckabee managed to embarrass himself yet again with a spontaneous (and tasteless) joke he delivered at the National Rifle Association's national convention yesterday. Responding to a noise back stage, Huck quipped:

That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he’s getting ready to speak, somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.

I won't defend the man; the only good that can come out of this is that it reminds John McCain, yet again, why he should not share the Republican ticket with Huckabee. To his credit, Huckabee apologized almost immediately.

But Huckabee was by no means alone in his crass attempt at humor. Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth yesterday made his own spontaneous and tasteless joke. And while it was not on all fours with Huckabee's, it was similarly awful. Yarmuth heard a balloon pop and made a crack that it must be the NRA.

And unless you have been climbing Everest you know that Governor Steve Beshear and former governor Paul Patton, both Democrats, made their own assassination jokes recently.

The Courier-Journal on Beshear's:

At a Democratic fundraiser, Gov. Beshear said, "I can think of only one Republican who can be a problem-solver, and that would be Vice President Cheney, if he will just take George on a hunting trip."

And on Patton's:

Meanwhile, former Gov. Patton, when asked what Mr. Beshear could have done to improve his success rate during the legislative session, suggested, "He could have shot (Senate President) David Williams."

Kentucky has no monopoly on this nonsense. Earlier this week, the head of the New Hampshire Republican Party, Fergus Cullen, apologized for making a joke about Hillary and Bill Clinton being assassinated (he said it was too bad the marine 21 gun salute missed when Clinton departed office).

Both Democrats and Republicans crossed the lines of not only decency but mature judgment. If a teenager had said this garbage about a teacher or another student, the school would be on lock-down and the kid would be in hand-cuffs. But for our supposed role models, there are no consequences.

The two Republicans, Huckabee and Cullen, apologized. The Democrats, to the best of my knowledge, have not -- and I would be happy to be wrong about that lack of contrition.

A pox on all of them.

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