Newt Gingrich, a man sculpted by God from leftovers from Rush Limbaugh's right buttock, has demanded apologies for a joke Robert De Niro made at a fundraiser. Gingrich called the joke inexcusable; he wants President Obama to apologise. And you know what? Because the fundraiser was attended by Michelle Obama, and because the joke involved her, Michelle Obama's people . . . agreed, and called the joke 'inappropriate.' They caved in, they agreed with Gingrich, and they threw De Niro out of the back of a bus, so to speak.
That's the country, and that's this presidency, in a squirrel-gnawed nutshell.
But wait, what was the joke? Maybe it really was bad. Well, I've discussed a lot of awful jokes on this blog, I've taken you, my iron-stomached readership, into the purulently-moist, fetid pools of sick jokes, but for this joke, you're going to need a metal bin beside your computer, because after you've read it, you're either going to be spewing with convulsive disgust or collecting all your De Niro posters, books, and DVDs and setting them alight. So, prepare yourselves. Here we go.
"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white First Lady?" he asked the crowd. "Too soon, right?"
Oh. I see.
Now, we all know that Callista Gingrich, Karen Santorum, and Ann Romney have struggled every day of their lives with the burden of being white, the prejudice, the long history of oppression, the dense social matrix of adversity that faced them as whites; we know that there have been countless articles in newspapers and magazines asking if America is "ready" for a white person in the White House; and for the past three years, they have been unable to look at the White House and see a role model who looks just like them there, and when they were little girls, they were told they would never see someone who looked like them in the White House, but the whole point is . . . we're past that. Those days are over. What the hell was De Niro thinking?
As Gingrich said:
"I do want to say one thing, both on behalf of my wife and on behalf of Karen Santorum and on behalf of Ann Romney, I think that Robert De Niro's wrong," Gingrich said. "I think the country is ready for a new first lady and he doesn't have to describe it in racial terms."
No, De Niro didn't. Unlike Gingrich, he's caught up in the racial past, he's stewing in history, and, clearly unlike Gingrich, he's not a gentleman. De Niro is a racist, and he also lacks Gingrich's silky chivalry. What a cad.
Santorum - not the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a side-product of anal sex, but the politician - said:
"It's sad, but I'm not going to bite on that one. It's just sad. The idea of looking at politics through eyes of race should be over. That's just over. I don't know where he thinks he's coming from."
Race is over, it's just over.
I was going to write a long blog post, discussing how these contrived affairs around comedy do several things, the most impressive of which is to ignore the actual content of the comedy. Cf. Jyllands-Posten. But I don't really have to, because somebody else got there first, and was much, much more concise than I was going to be. That someone was Ann Coulter, tweeting:
"Can we please stop the fake "offended" routine? Pls explain what was allegedly offensive about DeNiro's joke?"
When Ann Coulter intervenes in the interpretation of comedy, my job here is done.