Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Send in the (Good) Clowns

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Send in the (Good) Clowns

Article excerpt

My reading today is taken from a recent cartoon in The New Yorker magazine. Two clowns are walking along and one says to the other, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil clowns is that good clowns do nothing."

Precisely. In that parody of a famous saying, the caption hits the nail on the head and the bad clown on the red nose.

As one who strives to be a good clown, but sometimes fails with poorly aimed cream pies, I have made a New Year's resolution to be the best clown I can be and counter the influence of bad clowns (I do not want to be rude and call them evil).

My plan is to keep writing with the motto "many a true word is spoken in jest." But how can we laugh in times like these? As the Trump administration enters its second cringeworthy year, I would argue that reasonable people have only two choices: to laugh or to cry.

My message today is not to cry. Do not give bad clowns the satisfaction. Instead, before purging the tear ducts in a monsoon of sorrow, stop to consider how surrealistically funny these antics are that invite us to weep for our country.

The bad clowns have been busy, with their terrible ideas pouring out of brains the size of tiny cars and their outsized shoes flapping foolishly. Truly, they have made the Trump era a giant clown show. Sensing the clown-in-chief is in trouble, the bad clowns have sought to malign Robert Mueller and the FBI, the laughable attacking the respectable.

In case you have missed the drollery, what with your funny bone numbed by current events, let's recap the best howlers in the recent annals of buffoonery.

Where to start? My personal favorites concern the things President Donald Trump has done that he or other Republicans regularly used to denounce President Barack Obama for doing.

One is playing golf. To hear right-wingers tell it, Mr. Obama did nothing but play golf. Now Mr. Trump is playing more golf. Gophers can't wander from their burrows for fear of being nailed by the presidential barrage.

Actually, nothing is wrong with any president playing golf. Playing at hypocrisy is another matter. Consider how Mr. Obama was much criticized for ruling by executive order. …

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