Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Barack

Dear President-elect Obama:

As a longstanding member of the National Association of Satirists, Cartoonists and Humorists, I would like to extend my congratulations to you.

While there are, no doubt, major problems that you must address, I urge you, sir, to consider the plight of NASCAH members. With the defeat of John McCain and Sarah Palin and the imminent departure of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, we are facing what could be the biggest satirical crisis in America since the Great Depression.

The easy satirical times that we have enjoyed for the past eight years are quickly coming to an end. It appears that many of our members did not consider the immediate effect Mr. Bush’s departure would have on their livelihood and assumed that the good times would last forever.

You, sir, however, have lived through several political humor cycles and are cognizant of the ups and downs in satirical material that can occur. Those of us who suffered through the early Clinton years are well aware what can happen to our industry during a lean, markedly unfunny period. Mockable items are dramatically down, foibles and peccadillos can hit all-time lows and scandals are few and far between.

Luckily for those who survived those years, it turned out that good times were just around the corner. Despite the economic growth of the late 90s, our members were blessed with a lampoonable trifecta in the form of Whitewater, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that many of our members felt that an Obama-Biden victory would be disastrous for the humor market in general and comedic futures in particular. The thinking was that two intelligent, articulate officeholders in The White House would surely spell disaster for our organization and quickly lead not just to a satirical recession but possibly to a political humor depression.

And that is why I am urging you, sir, to do what you can to assist our membership in dealing with this humor downturn so that we can continue to earn a living. If you could perhaps make the odd mistake, take the occasional pratfall or even once in awhile mangle the English language, we would be eternally grateful.

Or if you cannot see your way clear to screwing up from time to time, please at least consider some other options. Give Joe Biden a more public profile. Appoint Hillary Clinton to your cabinet. Or maybe give Bill an ambassadorship to France or Italy.

Frankly, we were hoping for a future replete with mavericks, hockey moms, Joe Six-packs, fractured syntax and old geezer jokes. It is hard to accept that the easy times are over. But with your help, we will persevere through these next four years and do all that we can to ensure a Sarah Palin presidency in 2012.

Yours truly,

Dave Martin, NASCAH

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