One of the funnier features on the popular Onion news parody site is the editorial cartoon. Ostensibly drawn by a grouchy cartoonist, the cartoon supposedly takes aim at often progressive or mainstream topics with what the fictional cartoonist clearly imagines are blistering takedowns. The joke is that the commentary in the cartoon is so over the top that the fictional cartoonist is the one who the reader ends up being amused by in the end.
I imagine this sort of complex ironical humor on current events is rare and difficult to do but I can’t help thinking that new “conservative-slot” columnist for the News and Observer, Marc Landry, is a practitioner of this particular brand of editorial comment that makes fun of its own author because it is so clearly over the top. How else to take today’s piece where he posits not only that drinking and driving really isn’t such a big deal but how outrageous it is we are spending tax dollars to enforce the law. This follows his column where he criticized the Affordable Care Act as unworkable and terrible for the country because other countries in the world with single-payer health systems are delivering much better care at a cheaper cost. To cap it all off, he also argued recently that because he was in good health he shouldn’t have to buy health coverage – after all he could always get care in the emergency room for free.