Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 10, 2009

    Some traditional spring disasters are unfolding.  For instance, the Washington Nationals, not for the first time, have the worst record in major league baseball.
    But if you're looking for good news, we have some of that too.
    The U.S. has, I think, for the first time since Ronald Reagan, a president with a genuine happy sense of humor.  Barack Obama said to the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this past weekend,  "During the second 100 days, we will design, build and open a library dedicated to my first 100 days.  My next 100 days will be so successful, I will complete them in 72 days.  And on the 73rd day, I will rest."  And he defended  his wife's "right to bare arms," comely ones at that. 
    Does all of this make a difference?  In a (forgive me) funny way, it might.
    This has been a grumpy capital for some years now.  Voters are dissatisfied - and so they should have been - with a careless cowboy for a president and a Congress more preoccupied with scoring partisan points than with passing legislation which might actually help the country.
    A colleague points out that George W. Bush was often funny, too, but adds that his jokes were unintentional - blunders, foot wedged firmly in mouth.  Obama speaks the language well, means what he says whether he is telling jokes or making policy.
    Having a smart, funny president won't bring peace to the Middle East or magically turn the economy around in 30 days - or even 72 - but a witty, thoughtful president may encourage countries to talk to us who otherwise might not, may even encourage Congress to climb out of the partisan swamp and start legislating to do some actual good.
    You gotta have hope.  "Hope is the thing with feathers."  Isn't it encouraging to laugh along with the President who means to make us laugh instead of a president who scares us half to death?
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