My colleague Ruth Marcus writes, “The item was too delicious to resist: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, he of the don’t-worry, be-happy approach to the federal deficit, had been forced to declare personal bankruptcy. Except it wasn’t true. The tidbit was satire, from a Web site called the Daily Currant.” Maybe we should be more forgiving of the parody-preyed-upon journalists given that pols keep acting in ways that are self-parodying.
A few examples should suffice.
President Obama: “There’s not — in any way — an immediate crisis with respect to — our finances.” That’s not a parody; that’s the president of the United States. The purpose of debt sobriety now is of course to prevent a debt crisis, a task made more difficult with each passing year. (It is sort of like saying we don’t need the Secret Service because there are no immediate threats to the lives of high government officials.)
The White House press secretary says that selling access to the president via Organizing for America is “perfectly appropriate.” That is not a parody; that’s Jay Carney. But it was too good not to use in an American Crossroads ad.
The president who harangued us with horror stories about the sequester says he has no input on closing the White House to tours. (“This was not a decision that went up to the White House.”) That is not a parody; that’s the president, who has a grasp of phony sequester facts but not what is going on literally in his own house.
CPAC won’t invite the two most popular GOP governors (New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell), but does invite Donald Trump. That’s not a parody; that’s a conference that should go out of business.
Ashley Judd may end up running for the U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky. That is not a parody; that’s a nightmare for the state’s Democrats.
President Hope and Chance selects a Treasury secretary who made zillions in cronyism from NYU and Citicorp. That’s not a parody; that’s Jack Lew.
And if you go back and look at a lot of the “reporting” on the sequester, you’ll find plenty of outrageous, false and hysterical claims. That wasn’t a parody; that was the disingenuous president in cahoots with the willingly gullible media. Mistaking the Krugman bankruptcy as fact is nowhere as bad as repeating the president’s claims.
We’re $16 trillion in debt and liberals scream “austerity.” A Nobel Prize winner says the problem is we spent too little. State after state votes for gay marriage and social conservatives holler for a Constitutional Amendment in favor of “traditional” marriage. Sorry, but truth these days is stranger than fiction — and that includes parodies.