In an online article written with (let's say) healthy amounts of seriousness and gravity, Kathryn Jean Lopez blasts the president for his performance at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner Saturday night. I urge everyone to go and read her piece because it is admittedly much funnier than the comedy routines at the dinner itself. Here is just a taste:

But even the children were not left out of the jokes. President Obama used his daughters to make light of Air Force One’s Lower Manhattan flyover. Before Saturday night, there was no better visual symbol of this administration’s September 10 policy blindness. Air Force One might as well have been flying a banner that read “We Don’t Get It.”


I keep going back to Sasha and Malia. The president used his daughters, two days after he let one of his staff take the fall for his administration’s use of everyone in Lower Manhattan and along the Hudson River on a clear morning as a prop in the Obama show. Nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered on a day not unlike that one, and his administration needlessly freaked out those who witnessed it. And he’s laughing. 

No, the rest of us are laughing. And yet, amazingly, it gets better:

Somehow Dick Cheney, who continues to stand athwart unseriousness yelling “Stop,” is the enemy. Somehow Rush Limbaugh, conservative stalwart, the embodiment of capitalist success, a man who has struggled with adversity with an inspiring humility, is someone we’re to disdain so much as to laugh at the prospect of his kidneys’ failing. Somehow we are supposed to be pining for one of the nastiest men on television to do something that everyone laughing at the joke presumably considers torture to Sean Hannity, who, agree with him or not, is the happiest of warriors compared with Keith Olbermann. 

Lopez concludes by saying that what happened Saturday night was "not right" and "beneath America."

Update: A sharp reader astutely notices the words "inspiring humility" applied to Rush Limbaugh. This, surely, must count as a first.

--Isaac Chotiner