Tuesday, November 17, 2009


OK, that's hyperbole -- but, much as it pains me to say it, Beck's response to Beck parodies on South Park and Jon Stewart's show is good-humored and self-effacing -- or seems so, even if (as is probably the case) he's faking it. Watch:

Now, when Bobby Jindal gave the response to an Obama presidential address and he was deemed the second coming of 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page, he had the chance to show (or pretend) that he could take a joke, the way Bill Clinton and even Nancy Reagan did at similar moments. Instead, he bristled, refused to address the subject with even fake good humor, and now he's The Guy Who Used To Be A Rising GOP Star.

Palin, obviously, is in a much stronger position -- but nobody outside her base likes her, and even a majority of Republicans (according to a new CBS poll) don't think she should run for president. Needless to say, she doesn't dodge attacks like Jindal -- instead, she lashes out in response. (Is it any surprise that Politico's lead story right now is titled "Going Rogue: Guide to Who Gets Whacked"?) But these are two sides of the same coin -- neither Palin nor Jindal can seem to take a joke, or a criticism.

America always thinks it wants Jimmy Stewart as president. Sure, it wants someone who can bestrides the earth like a colossus, but it also wants that person to be jes' folks. Part of being jes' folks is rolling with the punches and coming up smiling. It turns out whack-job Glenn Beck is better at that, or better at faking it, than two of the GOP's supposed great hopes for the future.

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