Republicans have no sense of humor and no ability to understand satire.
If published today, Jonathan Swifts’s A Modest Proposal would send them scurrying to prayer meetings and put Fox News into overdrive. Ted Cruz, however, would only see it as unreasonable if it were written by Barack Obama. If he thought Newt Gingrich wrote it, he’d be willing to amend it to include his mother.
Republicans have it floored in neutral.
You know that rumor that Chuck Hagel was getting money from Friends of Hamas? It was a joke started by a reporter who operated under the mistaken belief that Republicans would know that he was joking.
Friedman wrote that he was interested in knowing if Hagel’s Republican critics knew the names of specific groups from which Hagel received speaker fees. He contacted a Republican aide and “hypothetically and hyperbolically” asked if Hagel addressed groups such as “Friends of Hamas” or the “Junior League of Hezbollah, in France.”
The Daily News’ Dan Friedman was jacking with them. Nobody in their right mind would think such organizations even existed.
I think the key here is “right mind.”
Friedman also put the question into email form, presumably thinking his joke would not be taken seriously. He was in for a surprise.
The following day, an article appeared on the conservative website Breitbart.com with the headline, “SECRET HAGEL DONOR?: WHITE HOUSE SPOX DUCKS QUESTION ON ‘FRIENDS OF HAMAS.’” Conservative pundits, including Mike Huckabee, and other websites also addressed the rumor. It even came up during a Fox Business segment with host Lou Dobbs.
And then it ended up in Ted Cruz’s mouth in the damn United States Senate.
So a joke ends up in the mouth of a joke.
I would like to make a modest proposal: Ted Cruz has to call David Letterman to run his statements through the joke machine before he’s allowed to say anything else.