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Why liberals are such a bore

By Scott Shore
web posted May 12, 2003

ESR's house comedian Dennis Miller
ESR's house comedian Dennis Miller

Have you ever tried to "lighten up" around liberals? It's about as easy as getting loud guffaws from a group of 17th century Calvinists. They are the living embodiments of Dana Carvey's famous character, "the Church lady." I seriously wonder if any group of people have ever taken themselves so seriously as American liberals since the Inquisition. I recently did a Internet search for Dennis Miller's latest comments on Iraq, the Europeans, President Bush, North Korea and the babbling Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia. One of the better list of quotations was on a site that had a picture of Dennis Miller with a Swastika behind him and the question: "Comedian or Fascist -- You Decide."

The problem with these people is that they are so certain that they are always right and that the rest of us poor bumpkins have either deep character flaws, mental retardation or are closet "Brown Shirts" who secretly celebrate Adolf's birthday every year. The list of "unfunny", "politically incorrect" subjects has grown to include just about everything the weather -- and even then they are likely to segue into a discussion of global warming. The reason why there will never be a popular "liberal talk radio" station is that there's nothing funny or entertaining or satirical that liberals can say. In an era in which big government and monopolized social services are well entrenched, liberals are defending the establishment. By definition, conservatives are going to be the people who pop the bubbles of pretension and self-righteousness of the establishment.

Liberals are like the plump matron who is always outraged and eventually gets a pie in the face from Groucho Marx. I personally would like to see some kind of gag order on Jimmy Carter so I don't have to hear his self-righteous bunk and condescending smile every time the President takes an initiative. Carter apparently speaks directly with the Almighty prior to his public declarations. Conservatives exist to keep these self-appointed nannies in their place.

I once stopped a dinner party conversation dead in its tracks by saying that I thought liberals were "mentally ill." After the gasps, I defined mental illness as being out of touch with reality and failing to have a feedback mechanism to alter your opinions of the objective world. I happen to think my observation is true. When all the statistics show that higher spending on education in the public schools is inversely related to test scores and performance, you would think these people would reconsider their position.

Instead, this fact only proves to them the need for greater spending and the concept of "choice" in education is nothing short of heresy and smack of a desire to destroy education in society (as if liberal theories of education haven't already done that job). The problem with the War on Poverty is that we're not spending enough. Forget the fact that spending continues to rise at a geometric rate. Liberals have not been right on foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. This does not prevent them from continuing to believe that all international disputes are either our fault or a miscommunication. Liberal politicians will always SAY they are for a strong defense, but it just so happens that they oppose any specific action on every occasion.

What beats the hypocrisy of Senator Byrd, the man who has spent millions of American tax dollars to relocate or establish federal agencies and vital projects in the sticks of West Virginia, whining about President Bush's address to the troops aboard the USS Lincoln. I love the idea of this ex-Klanner contrasting President Bush with the image of the simple dignity of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. Does anyone doubt that had political opinion on race not changed so radically in America, the dottering senator from West Virginia would be waxing poetic over Jefferson Davis? One gets the feeling that Senator Byrd would find redeeming features to cannibals if they formed a large enough constituency. What an incredible double standard these folks have. When the youthful views of Trent Lott were brought up, the Democratic Party's whose former leader was a Klansman demanded Lott's departure. Senator John Kerry, the ultimate limousine liberal, calls for "regime change" in the US during the midst of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then defends his right to make "quips." (I personally would defend that right since he exercises it so infrequently.) Why has everyone forgotten about Jesse Jackson's "Hymietown" remarks? Can you imagine the hue and cry if a Republicans hectored President Clinton on his overseas adventures or if a Republican had made "quips" like Jesse Jackson? What about Al Sharpton? As Dennis Miller says, "Somewhere between the "S and the T" of Sharpton, we need to think about Tawana Brawley."

Conservatives have always been funnier than liberals. There has been a tradition going from H. L. Mencken to P. J. O'Rourke to Dennis Miller of biting satire. Indeed one could go back further to Aristophanes' jibes at the puffed-up seers and pretensions philosophers of Ancient Greece (Cloud Cuckooland) to Jonathan Swift's lampooning of 18th century conventional thought. The great Samuel Johnson was a master at skewering the utopians of his age.

Besides the fact that conservatives are the ones poking fun at the social engineering elites that have created the current social decline of America, there is a second reason that conservatives are inherently funnier. A sense of humor requires some degree of awareness that certain things in this world are not understandable and that we all have imperfect knowledge. Humor is outrage sublimated by humility. Conservatives never claim that people can understand everything and lack the hubris to believe that society or the government can perfect the world. Where liberals see intractable problems that must be solved by a government program, a conservative is more likely to see irony.

With all of the above in mind, I think it's worth quoting some of the better gems of Dennis Miller in recent weeks:

On Norman Mailer:

"…as Mr. Mailer's prostate gradually supplants his ego as the largest gland in his body, he's going to have to realize, as is the case with all young lions who inevitably morph into Bert Lahr, that his alleged profundities are now being perceived as the early predictors of dementia."

On Bill Clinton:

"Clinton's the sort of guy who'll always volunteer to help you move, then when you've got for of ya picking up the sofa, he's the one fake lifting."

On John Edwards presidential race:

"I think lawyers are screwing this country up, and I'm afraid that if Edward s gets in there, he might just end up suing other countries. 'Mr. Hussein, you have been served!'"

On Gephardt:

"You know most politicians are transparent and Gephardt is translucent actually."

On the French:

"The only way the French are going to go in (to fight Saddam) is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq…The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of their friends and always more willing to surrender to the wishes of their enemies. The French are in the ****-buster business. Why do you think the only French most people know is "Au Contraire… These guys have always been a problem…they take off work nationally on the day they invented Bernaise."

On the Germans:

"Do you think that the country that last hatched Hitler is even willing to concede the existence of the new? They're trying to keep that down. I assume most Germans everyday when they wake up their waking thought is 'Wow, hope that Hitler thing was a bad dream' And then they put the coffee machine on to remind them that it wasn't and they spend the rest of the day being pissed off that people know they're idiots. The only thing the Germans ever gave their blessing to is sneezes…"

The last line reminded me of the line by Fran Lebowitz that "the French are Germans with good food."

On North Korea:

"What's with that hair? (speaking of dictator Kim Jong Il). He's like a Chia dictator. I hope one day when somebody eventually blows that head off they have the good sense to bring it home in a jar because I know I'd pay a nickel to go see it in a tent show somewhere."

On "politically correct" educational theories: "We've got too much BS educational happy-talk by the liberals in this country. They don't want to grade. They don't want to call anybody to the carpet, they give you that stuff 'Oh, come on forget about grades, D's are just B's without their belt on!' The next thing you know, you're forty years old in a paper hat, going 'You want something to brink with that Dig Mac?"

On fighting terrorists:

"If you put the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison outside of Kabul it would be their Epcot…I say we create a new airline, called the ACLA, the American Civil Liberties Airline where you don't check anybody, you don't ask questions and let those morons fly on that one"

Whether you like Dennis Miller's humor or not, is there anybody on the left that can speak straight? Is there any group that liberals are not afraid of offending? You know the Democrats have lost it when they become nervous about attacking pedophiles. Republicans can only take pleasure as the Democrats move more and more to the left. With Daschle and Pelosi as their leaders, the Democrats can be sure to continue their crusade into madness.

As the liberals get shriller, more Americans will begin to tune them out.

After a while their mantras become tiresome and, well, boring. They don't make good dinner guests.

Scott Shore is a consultant, executive coach and a political writer in Providence, RI.

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