Please, No Zingers at a Roast

If you’re weary of all the whining on the right about the “mean-spiritedness” and “lack of class” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night, read Jon Perr’s take on the evening.

Here is a sampling:

That the right-wing blogosphere panned Barack Obama’s attempts last night at presidential humor as “lame” and “mean-spirited” comes as no surprise. That conservatives were apoplectic when Wanda Sykes crossed the line in lampooning the Palin family’s method failures and likened Rush Limbaugh to a terrorist was even less so.

But to conclude that Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner proved “class made an exit with the Bush Administration” is to blissfully ignore President Bush’s eight-years of joking at the expense of the American people. After all, when he wasn’t mocking workers, giggling at the disabled and stereotyping African-Americans, George W. Bush made wisecracks about the prison sentence Scooter Libby never served and the WMD in Iraq he never found.


The President’s ribbing of Cheney, the supposed man behind the throne, extended to Bush’s own disastrous mishandling of the Dubai ports deal and his calamitous response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush claimed that it is in fact Lynne Cheney who is the woman behind the man behind the man. Bush went on to the punchline:

“Lynne, I think you’re doing a heck of a job. Although I have to say you dropped the ball big time on that Dubai deal.”

Bush’s presentation at the 2004 Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner also showed his contempt for the truth and the suffering of the American people. His tasteless White House slideshow made light of the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Coming one year and hundreds of American dead and wounded after the invasion of Iraq, President Bush the cut-up hoped to regale the audience with his White House hijinx. …


But as his dismal history shows, President Bush isn’t content to try to laugh off his greatest failures and endless wrongdoing. After all, as his past teasing of the blind, the disabled, U.S. soldiers and blacks confirms, President Bush is laughing at us, not with us.

In Cleveland in 2007, President Bush offered Americans yet another example of the heartwarming leadership style that has so endeared him to about a quarter of all Americans. At his latest invitation-only event, Bush made a 13-year old girl cry. Of course, making fun of children is all in day’s work for George W. Bush.


That, as they say, was just Bush being Bush. In May 2006, President Bush made a bizarre remark which charmed disability advocates everywhere. Pitching his troubled Medicare prescription plan in Florida, President Bush said to a man in a wheelchair, “You look mighty comfortable.” Six weeks later, Bush chided Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten, who is afflicted with Stargardt’s disease and legally blind, for wearing sunglasses during the President’s press conference[.]


George W. Bush’s schadenfreude streak allows him to pleasure in the plight of the guilty and innocent alike. In 1999, Governor Bush laughed off his looming execution of Karla Faye Tucker, mimicking with condemned death row inmate with his trademark smirk, “Please don’t kill me!” And while pitching his Social Security privatization scheme in February 2005, President Bush told a 57 year-old woman who described working three jobs that her story was “uniquely American” and “fantastic.”


Even months after he left office, the American people still hold George W. Bush in contempt. Alas, the feeling was mutual. As his mean-spirited sense of humor on display from the beginning of his presidency shows, Bush didn’t care much for the American people he served. And as always, the joke was on us.

To slightly modify John Mellencamp’s line about another Republican president, “Thank God he went back to Texas.”

One Response to “Please, No Zingers at a Roast”

  1. Booogie-Mann says:

    Can’t admit that this dinner was a strikeout, can you?? Liberals lack class especially when they are in power. Going back to the perceived mean spirited Bushisms isn’t an excuse for the pure lack of tact on display last night.

    Clean up your side, you guys lack class and tact.

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