In May, I wondered- at length, why, when Republicans tell jokes, no one can get the punch line and they have to come back later and say it was a joke, only they never explain what it was we missed the first time.
Republicans are terrible joke tellers. Always have been.
Now the first Republican president, "the late great Abe Lincoln," as the current *resident likes to call him, he could tell a joke and you knew it was one. But after that? Twenty-six nominees, and not one of them a real wit.
Nobody says, "Rutherford B. Hayes, what a kidder," or "So William McKinley walks into a bar..."
Calvin Coolidge could be droll at times. Thomas Dewey was inadvertently funny, as when he intoned, "The future...lies before us." Ditto Ike, who said he could think of something Nixon did as veep if the reporter gave him a week.
In 1968, Nixon got points for reading a one-liner on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, but still barely won:
Ronald Reagan was the GOP gold standard for funny in the modern era. Bob Dole was funny but left his targets contused and bleeding.
Republicans are the worst joke-tellers since Foghorn B. Leghorn.
And who has ever heard the current *resident tell a joke?
This week a Florida congressman said this about the Great Wall that “no one could really believe that Mexicans were going to pay for a wall" and that Trump obviously used "wall" as a “metaphor for border security.” And now that the matter is settled, "it’s time to move on."
Last week the *resident's press secretary said he was joking when he called on police to feel freer to rough up those they arrest.
He's "joked" about firing the UN Ambassador:
“She's doing a good job. Now does everybody like Nikki?” Trump asked at a meeting of U.N. Security Council ambassadors and their spouses. “Otherwise she could easily be replaced. Right?”
Trump added: “No, we won't do that. I promise. She's doing a fantastic job.”He's done the same to the Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“By the way, you’re going to get the votes?” he asked Price. “He better get ’em. He better get ’em. Ah, he better — otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired!’”And to a US Senator,
“The other night, I was very surprised when I heard a couple of my friends — my friends,” Trump said, looking around at the senators in the room. “They really were — and are.”
“They might not be very much longer, but that’s OK,” he added.
Seated next to Trump at the lunch was Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is up for re-election next year.
“This was the one we were worried about,” Trump said, turning to Heller. “Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”In each instance, people laughed, but awkwardly- at best.
Why can't Republicans pull this off?