Welcome to the absurd world of politics

March 15, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

Please allow me (or "myself" as Mike Myers famously said) to introduce myself. Those of you who have been reading Baltimore-area newspapers for the past decade might (or might not) recognize my byline (I've written articles for The Sun, The Examiner, the Howard County Times, etc.) but this is my first attempt at a regular blog.

We're calling it the Ridiculous Report and, on it, I plan to show on a frequent basis how common sense is often lost in our discussions of politics, government and the news in general. Rational voices typically fail to gain notice and end up yielding ground to the pundits who shout the loudest and politicians who demonize the opposition. As a result, we end up turning to comedians like Jon Stewart for our much of our political analysis, because behind nearly every good joke is a point that's funny because it's true.   

For some examples of what I'd like to do in this space, here are some fairly recent controversies that would have been perfect for skewering: The fake controversy over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque," which is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero; Nancy Pelosi's admission that no one had even read the health care bill before passing it ("We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it"); and the absurdly inconsistent local ban of Four Loko (Um, did anyone realize it's just a really nasty rum and coke, not a hallucinogenic agent?).

If you see something that's ridiculous, let me know. Stupid laws, bad policies, nonsensical answers to simple questions, etc., all can be included. By year's end we can have a complete list of all the silliest, stupidest stuff that was part of the national debate this year.  

Two simple ground rules:

• I plan on this being a non-partisan blog. All parties have their moments of absurdity and hilarity. If you think I'm picking on a particular party too much, feel free to point that out.

• I also plan on this not getting personal or mean-spirited. I don't want to go all Kathy Griffin and attack Sarah Palin's kids.

In other words, I don't care that Newt Gingrich had affairs, except when he tries to blame his love of country for his doing so. (Affairs are not funny; weak rationalizations are.) And, I don't care that Rush Limbaugh was addicted to pain killers, but it's ridiculous when he tries to speak Chinese. (Addictions are not funny; terribly offensive impersonations are.)

That said, this should be a place where we can have fun with the state of political affairs in our country. But remember, we're only laughing to help numb the pain.

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