The Dan Kenitz fan club seems to have grown to four: Patrick "brilliant!" McIlheran, as I mentioned yesterday; Charlie Sykes (there's a shocker), who read Kenitz's op-ed on the air yesterday; the normally reasonable Lance Burri; and Dan Kenitz himself.
I'm sure it's done wonders for his blog traffic, too.
Let me see if I can rephrase the problem here. This week when John Kerry flubbed the punchline to a joke that would have called George W. "is our children learning" Bush stupid, Kerry was criticized for insulting the president. Flubbing the line made it seem like John Kerry was calling our troops in Iraq stupid, for which he was nearly crucified. Yet this very same week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel decides that the best use of its op-ed space is allowing a peurile conservative columnist to call voters--liberal voters, mostly--stupid, repeatedly. Five days before the voters go to the polls, the JS thinks its greatest contribution to the discourse is a column insulting half (give or take) of its readers in an uncreative, juvenile fashion.
It's a joke, Kenitz says. I have no sense of humor, Lance Burri says. Well, look, calling someone stupid is not funny. Lenny Bruce was funny. "Arrested Development" was funny. Some days even "Marmaduke" is funny. Kenitz's column was not funny, not even if viewed as smack talk. The high school students I teach talk funnier smack than that. (My favorite from this week: Your mama's so fat, I tried to walk around her and got lost.)
And while no, I don't think that anyone who reads Kenitz's infantile rangtings yesterday would decide not to vote becuase of it, I do think it reflects badly not just on Kenitz, anyone who praises him, and the paper, but on a lot of conservatives like that--the Jessica McBrides of the world who can't face reality. They see that they're losing, nationally and locally, and their last remaining hope is convincing themselves that no, it's not them, it's everyone else. Everyone else is stupid. Everyone else doesn't get it. Everyone else is going to ruin it. Only people who agree with me should be allowed to vote.
Kenitz, McBride, Sykes, McIlheran and the rest of you holding on to the last disappearing threads of your Bush Revolution illusion: You need to look in the mirror for a while. It isn't my missing sense of humor that is the problem here. It's you.