The Corner

Culture

Bigly

Perhaps you’ve heard of Rob Long’s new book, Bigly: Donald Trump in Verse. It’s funny. Check it out.

Also check out the coverage of Bigly in The New Yorker. It’s pretty funny, too.

Sometimes Rebecca Mead gets the joke, or at least sort of gets it:

It’s clear by now that the target of Long’s satire is not the book’s subject, the President. Rather, Long’s purpose is to make fun of poetry itself, and by extension, the imagined reader of poetry—the kind of thoughtful, liberal intellectual who might be expected to take offense at this book’s very premise.

Sometimes she doesn’t:

The President’s lies cannot be recast as spoof poetic license; to reframe his intellectual incoherence as deliberate, purposeful work is a joke we can’t afford to take. “Bigly” is an example of expedient political normalization dressed up in the honorable clothes of political satire. It is the jocular sanctioning, on the part of the right, of the right kind of tyrant.

What must make her most mad, of course, is that the joke’s on her and the kind of people who turn to The New Yorker for explanations of conservatism.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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