Most Americans, and rightly so, hold a dim view of the grossly incompetent Biden-Harris administration. Living through what historians may someday call the Biden-Harris stagnation-inflation-triple vaccination era is not very much fun: unless, I suppose, you are a liberal- millionaire celebrity or far-left politician, living in a bubble of Democrat delusion, unaffected by such trivial things that the rest of us are concerned about, such as skyrocketing gas and food prices or federal government overreach.
Against this bleak backdrop, it is refreshing to see an elected official who displays a sense of humor, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and who doesn’t hold back in ribbing a public figure who made pejorative remarks about the people of his home state. The Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice (R), recently provided some comic relief from these gloomy times, by poking fun at a celebrity who had slung mud at the people of the state of West Virginia.
On December 20, 2021, actress Bette Midler furiously tweeted her frustrations about United States Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and, in doing so, Midler made the ignorant and derogatory characterization of the people of West Virginia as being “poor, illiterate and strung out.” It leads one to wonder what level of anger would make an esteemed and talented performer write something so insulting directed toward an entire state?
The words chosen by Midler were not spur of the moment thoughts that she rattled off verbally during a private dinner conversation at some fancy New York restaurant. Rather, the demeaning and hateful phrase Midler chose to utilize was one that she deemed fit to reduce to writing and broadcast to a world audience via the Internet. While Midler later apologized in a subsequent tweet to the people of West Virginia, her original insult was certainly fair game for Governor Justice to address through humor.
The Governor’s response to Midler’s invective, came last week at the tail end of his State of the State Address when he held up his bulldog, Babydog, turned her tail end toward the camera, and mirthfully announced, “Babydog tells Bette Midler and all those out there, ‘kiss her hiney.’” Hopefully, the phrase “all those out there” includes Democrat congressman Sean Casten of Illinois (in whose district I reside), who last year referred to West Virginia as “an irrelevant part of our [nation’s] economy.” See, CEPP on the edge, by Matthew Choi, politico.com, 10-18-21. There certainly is some irony in Casten’s use of the word “irrelevant” in the context of West Virginia: The irony being that many Illinoisans know who Joe Manchin is and what state he represents, but most Illinoisans have probably never even heard of this Sean Casten guy.
However broad the scope of Babydog’s invitation, the Governor’s comedic response was a fitting counter to the insults lodged by rude progressives against the state of West Virginia. While some folks’ feathers seemed to have been ruffled by the Governor’s conduct, did these same individuals speak out publicly against Nancy Pelosi’s melodramatic shredding of President Donald Trump’s printed speech at the conclusion of the State of the Union Address two years ago? Were these critics of the Governor of West Virginia concerned over decorum in the halls of Congress when Speaker Pelosi disrespected the Office of Presidency by such a premeditated and visible display of contempt toward President Trump?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hostile and infantile action of tearing up President Trump’s speech was shocking and disconcerting to any American who hopes for a stable, well-functioning government. In stark contrast to Pelosi’s actions, Governor Justice’s conclusion of his speech was simply a good-natured joke aimed at folks who have been casting aspersions upon the state of West Virginia. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
In tough times, laughter can be an elixir and a unifier. As the Governor and his Babydog demonstrated, laughter is always the best medicine.