Last night Ann Althouse blogged on Laura Bush's "surprisingly risqué" turn at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and this morning I saw the clip on This Week. I can't find a complete transcript, but if you read this and this you'll pretty much get it all.
"Nine o'clock and Mr. Excitement here is in bed, and I am watching 'Desperate Housewives' — with Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife."
"I'm proud of George," she told the ballroom. "He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year he tried to milk a horse." Pause. "It was a male horse." Pandemonium ensued...
Because I had just read Frank Rich's column about the new book South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias, by Brian C. Anderson of the conservative think tank The Manhattan Institute, I was able to put Mrs. Bush's remarks in a context. (I don't share Frank Rich's worldview. I do read him.)
Nothing this White House does strikes me as off-the-cuff or uncalculated in its impact. The down-home raunchiness, the perfectly placed pop-culture reference -- I suspect these are part of a just-American-folks, suburban-outreach strategy, of a seamless piece with George's demurral that "faith is a personal issue" in last week's press conference. "South Park" is both foul-mouthed and anti-PC. By embracing it, conservatives show that they're not succumbing to their own right-wing version of nanny-state political correctness. Guess what! We're grown-ups. We have a life below the belt. We can take a joke -- and make one. We are not out to censor harmless fun. Just another correction in their great tightrope balancing dance between the James Dobson and Dennis Miller constituencies.