Shirley, You Can't Be Serious

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This is dangerous, DMZ-style territory I'm treading into. Kim Jong Il is the most inherently humorous dictator since Mobuto; Trey Parker and Matt Stone's mockery of him in Team America was pitch-perfect, until they got to the cockroach stuff. With that said, this "sensational" David Zucker ad linking the Democrats to Kim is so dumb it hurts. It veers from mocking Kim to mocking the very idea of talking to your enemies.

History has taught us that evil needs to be confronted, not appeased. Evil dictators will be evil dictators, no matter what we do. Unlike basketball, the security of the United States is not a game.

You can say "but that was the point of Team America!" Not quite true. The point Parker and Stone made when they parodied Kim was that the United States, for all its recklessness, needed to stomp down evil regimes occasionally, and that people whose first instinct was to blame the U.S. for violence were "pussies." (The whole Puppet Doctrine is up at IMDB.)

The point Zucker and his fair-weather (or, given the news, foul-weather) fans are making is, believe it or not, less sophisticated. It's that any effort to empathize with a threatening enemy or regime, ever, is doomed to failure. That's a more extreme position than even the Bush administration's, which is that threats can be neutralized by a combination of realistic threats and negotiation. (See: Libya.)

Maybe this is taking a 90 second ad too seriously… but this was commissioned by the Republican Party in the hopes of creating a viral video.

Speaking of "North Korea" and "things that are funny," Gene Healy does a nice job puncturing some of the sillier NoKo talk of the week.