I’ve been spending some time catching up on reader comments --- you know, I do read them --- and wanted to respond to a few of the overall impressions I’ve been getting.
These stood out particularly well on the day my satirical “Black Hole at the DOJ” piece ran, along with the one about Trump’s pardoning of Alice Johnson. It’s always especially interesting to see responses to pieces like “Black Hole” that use humor to make a point.
Thanks to all who express gratitude for my sense of humor. Many of you wrote to say you appreciate my wit in times such as these; perhaps the note that made my head swell up the most was from Suzanne: “I am in awe of your intelligence and your amazing sense of humor.” (Keep those letters coming, folks!) But the ones that bring me back down to earth are the many that say, essentially, “You know, this would be really hilarious if it weren’t so sad.”
Still, if that’s the feeling you came away with, then I count it as successful satire. Good comedy is based on truth (something the late-night “comics” need to learn), and I don’t have to distort facts to make the point that the DOJ really DOES seem like a Black Hole. The problem is so serious, my tongue-in-cheek hypothesis of an irresistible gravitational pull might as well be real. And something has to be done.
One letter did warn me to be careful when using satire, referencing the joke Sean Hannity made about destroying emails and phones that the media willfully didn’t “get” and actually took seriously. Getting the point of that joke would have implied an awareness that Hillary destroyed evidence, so they had to point a finger at Hannity himself. You know, I’ve wondered if they really are so dumb they didn’t recognize that as a joke, or if they did know it was but thought their AUDIENCE was so dumb, IT wouldn’t know. Hard to say; there’s so much dumbness on parade.
As for the Alice Johnson pardon, there were numerous comments agreeing with me --- people who understood that this lady has done her time and that the length of her incarceration was wildly inconsistent with that of many hardened criminals. But then I got to one particular letter, and the tone abruptly changed.
The writer prefaced his remarks by expressing doubt that I actually read my letters (again, I do), and then he said, “I would be fascinated to know what you would have written had President Obama commuted Mrs. Johnson’s sentence. Think you would have been so supportive? Or would he have been just another liberal (of course) who is ‘soft on crime’? I think I know the answer, just pointing out that some of us who read your ramblings see the utter hypocrisy of your words.” He goes on to accuse my audience of the same hypocrisy and adds, “I have been making these points about hypocrisy and the conservatives for years.”
Well, I imagine he has. And here, he accuses me of hypocrisy by assuming I have a viewpoint that I have not expressed. On the contrary, my view on Alice Johnson’s pardon is absolutely consistent with my overall opinion of the criminal justice system. If Obama had pardoned this woman, I would have commended him (though likely using one of my favorite sayings: “Even a broken clock is right twice a day”).
But Obama didn’t pardon Alice Johnson. I’ve linked below to a list of people he DID pardon or grant commutations to on his way out the White House door. Yikes.
We could make a list of President Obama’s actions during eight years in office and President Trump’s after just one year, and I would tell you item-by-item, with very few exceptions, just where Obama damaged this country with his politics and where Trump is trying to fix it. That’s looking just at the actions themselves, not the individuals or political parties who took them.
In an age where partisan double standards have reached an almost incomprehensible level, the person who wrote this comment needs to look closely at those within his own party (is it too presumptive to think he votes Democrat?). He’ll see the kind of hypocrisy that makes liberals excuse Hillary Clinton for flagrantly destroying evidence –- and much more illegality –- while applauding a special counsel for looking as deep as necessary for as long as it takes to turn up something, anything, on President Trump.