How Barack Knocked the Satire Out of Me
A satirist (temporarily) loses his bite over Obama.
Well, who’d have thought one would live to see the day, when America elected its first Muslim president? Allahu akbar, indeed.
Okay, okay. Forgive me for being a bit giddy. It's just that after re-reading Obama’s stunning victory speech, and McCain’s superb concession speech, I’m a bit overcome with a sensation alien to the practicing (indeed, licensed) political satirist: pride in our leaders and country. So a quick joke in arguable taste seemed the only corrective measure at hand. We shall return to normal programming, as we used to say in the early days of TV.
Meanwhile, let us take a moment and pat ourselves on the collective back. Or, to quote our President-elect: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”
But now, my friends (as Senator McCain would say), I must soon revert to my quondam role as abuser and ridiculer of those in power.
Man, that son-of-a-gun can give a speech. I can hardly wait for the inaugural. BTW, or perhaps not btw, it was a speech that got him here in the first place: at the Democratic convention in 2004. I remember watching him, riveted (I was a speechwriter myself, in the Coolidge administration), thinking, “Wow. Where did this guy come from?” I wrote in the New York Times (I know, I know: the height of vanity, quoting yourself): “Barack Obama is the Tiger Woods of American politics.” Ahem. You read it there first.
But now, my friends (as Senator McCain would say), I must soon revert to my quondam role as abuser and ridiculer of those in power.No more Mr. Nice Guy. I shall immediately begin fault-finding.Within a week of Bill Clinton’s win in 1992, the excellent Dave Barry began referring to “the failed Clinton administration.” So it shall be with me.
Meanwhile, Mr. President-elect, my warmest congratulations. You make me—this is absurd, my eyes are watering—proud to be an American.
And Senator McCain, you are a great American and you went out in style. Congratulations to you, sir. Well done. Well done, America.
Pass the Kleenex…