I have thought often about how the left seems to have the monopoly on comedic influence in culture. With the Colbert Report and Daily Show leading the way in subversive point making layered under the sweet candied shell of a fart joke it’s hard to see how the right could ever enter the ring. With the hit “between two ferns” video feature Obama plugging the Affordable care act it is even more important for Republicans to really examine why this sort of thing works. I shook my head today as I saw video after video of Fox news personalities denouncing the President, their disgust seemed so manufactured and vapid that you could see them wincing at each other. Asking “should he be doing this” while your co-host’s are laughing and trying to wrestle them down to agree that it’s “outrageous” is just sad.
What would probably shock most people (especially Fox news) is that watching the daily show and Colbert has actually made me more conservative. I believe this is because I am able (by God’s grace and my earthly fathers teaching) to actually hear what is behind the argument. Satire is a useful tool and the right needs to get more practice with it. And those on the left will find that the right does use humor, but it’s usually not funny to them because they are often offended by it, much in the same way Fox is “offended” by shows like the daily show.
Back to Obama. There is a real issue here and it isn’t that he was plugging the Affordable care act on a comedy website. The real issue (for the right) is that it worked. By laughing at an initial failure Obama was able to make people more comfortable with the reality that now not only can people afford health care, but they have to afford it. Satire can wear many masks.