- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 22, 2020

The late Christopher Hitchens once observed that you can tell who’s winning in politics by determining “which side is … having more fun.” By that measurement, even a few minutes of the recent Democratic presidential debate proves that today’s Democrats are in real trouble. The world, if you listen to them, is a gloomy place indeed; so gloomy as to render them incapable of humor in themselves or in others.

Oh, the candidates sometimes think they’re poking fun at their adversaries, but invariably they forget to smile and are far more interested in belittling or even demonizing those with whom they disagree. Laughing at or even with the lineup of foes is unthinkable. And they never, ever make fun of themselves. Maybe it’s hard to crack a joke when you see everyone with whom you disagree as a Hitler, Pol Pot or Stalin.

If you actually believe the Earth is going to implode in fewer than a dozen years, it’s hard to love life. For whatever reason, the current Democratic field isn’t entertaining and certainly doesn’t seem to have much fun. Their parties, like their debates, must be dismal affairs.

Today’s Republicans, on the other hand, are if not joyful at least capable of joking about themselves, their adversaries and the world around them. Even President Trump’s most ardent supporters often find themselves laughing at what the man has to say, and attend his rallies not because they are attracted to hour-and-half speeches but because the rallies are entertaining and fun.

If depressed Democrats want to go off by themselves to bemoan their political fate or the failure of others to see the wisdom of their nostrums, fine. Perhaps we should feel sorry for them, but acknowledge their right to wallow in their own misery. But they aren’t content. Instead, they want to make sure that everyone else is just as miserable.

Thus, when the organizers of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) announced their showcase production of a play called “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers” the left went berserk. An actress and actor playing FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok will read the text messages the two exchange at the height of their frenzied love affair to keep the “loathsome idiot” Donald Trump from the White House.

According to those who have seen it, the play is not just entertaining, but hilarious — and funnier because it isn’t fiction. As author Phelim McAleer told a reporter, “It is verbatim — there are no additions — no extra drama. It is the truth and that is why the left hates it so much. And that is why it is so compelling.”

In the play, as in real life, Mr. Strzok celebrates starting the Russia investigation into candidate Trump as an “insurance policy.” When Lisa Page considers the possibility that Mr. Trump might actually win the election, Mr. Strzok comforts her by promising that it wouldn’t happen because he will “stop it.”

They openly talked about impeachment just days after actual voters elected Mr. Trump. There are thousands of such texts and Trump-haters see them as evidence of the lovers’ efforts on behalf of the resistance. The idea that thousands of the deplorables would find all this amusing was too much for the boys and girls at the Daily Kos, Esquire and the inhabitants of the fever swamps of the left. The Daily Kos called the play “sickening,” and Esquire urges readers to join together to prevent the actors, Dean Cain who had played Superman on television and Kristy Swanson of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” from ever working again.

Not to be outdone, a leftist blogger asked, “Can we start a Go Fund Me to send one lucky Coronavirus victim to CPAC? I’ve got $100 to start it,” and the Daily Kos called on the site’s followers to protest at CPAC the very idea that conservatives might find humor in something so serious.

Some protesters may actually buy tickets and get in and actually disrupt the performance before being escorted out for their trouble. But they won’t be beaten as so many Trump supporters have been for — gasp — wearing a MAGA hat. Conservatives have not only read, but believe in the First Amendment and have the ability to laugh at the foolishness of their adversaries rather than wish them dead.

• David A. Keene is an editor at large for The Washington Times.

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