At the New York Times opinion page, the contributor's roles are
well-defined. David Brooks is the Austerity Guy. Paul Krugman is the
More Stimulus Guy. Ross Douthat is the Reasonable Conservative Guy. All
that's missing, it seems, is a Snarky Guy.
Granted, snark is not a tone The Gray Lady goes for very often. But when it does, nobody has been better than guest star Larry David. In Tuesday's edition of the paper, the Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm impresario thanks President Obama and the Democratic congress for extending the Bush tax cuts. This is not the first mocking, insincere editorial from David the paper has published. Here's a sampling of the choicer examples. Taken together, perhaps they merit a weekly column, or at least a paywall-protected Times blog.
On Extending the Bush Tax Cuts (2010)
There is a God! It passed! The Bush tax cuts have been extended two years for the upper bracketeers, of which I am a proud member, thank you very much. I'm the last person in the world I'd want to be beside, but I am beside myself!
To begin with, I was planning a trip to Cabo with my kids for Christmas vacation. We were going to fly coach, but now with the money I’m saving in taxes, I'm going to splurge and bump myself up to first class. First class! Somebody told me they serve warm nuts up there, and call you "mister." I might not get off the plane!
It's also going to be a boon for my health. After years of coveting them, I'll finally be able to afford blueberries. Did you know they have a lot of antioxidants, which prevent cancer? Cancer! This tax cut just might save my life. Who said Republicans don’t support health care?
On Brokeback Mountain (2006)
Somebody had to write this, and it might as well be me. I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain," nor do I have any intention of seeing it. In fact, cowboys would have to lasso me, drag me into the theater and tie me to the seat, and even then I would make every effort to close my eyes and cover my ears.
And I love gay people. Hey, I've got gay acquaintances. Good acquaintances, who know they can call me anytime if they had my phone number. I'm for gay marriage, gay divorce, gay this and gay that. I just don't want to watch two straight men, alone on the prairie, fall in love and kiss and hug and hold hands and whatnot. That's all.
Is that so terrible? Does that mean I'm homophobic? And if I am, well, then that's too bad. Because you can call me any name you want, but I'm still not going to that movie.
On Deep Throat's Identity (2005)
I knew Deep Throat. When I was a student in Washington, we met by chance one afternoon in an underground parking facility. I had just come from the allergist and was having a bad reaction to an allergy shot, which for me meant screaming at the top of my lungs, "That freaking shot hurt!"
Suddenly, from the shadows by the stairwell, I heard a man asking me if I was O.K. I approached him tentatively and we struck up a conversation.
Before long, he began telling me all kinds of things that you would never expect to hear from a complete stranger. There was one really juicy piece of gossip about Frank Sinatra that was so outrageous I've never been able to forget it. "It's all true, you can take it to the bank," he winked. I thought to myself, "He's telling me all this and I just met him - what must he tell his acquaintances, friends, family!" I determined, right then and there, that I would try and get to know this strange man with the big mouth a little better.
On Undecided Voters (2004)
I'd like to address this to the Undecideds: I'm on to you. You may be fooling everyone else with your little "undecided" act, but you're not fooling me. You know perfectly well whom you're voting for. The only reason you say you're undecided is that it's a cheap ploy to get attention. How do I know? Because I'm the most indecisive person in the world. I set the template, baby, and you're not passing the smell test.
On President Bush's National Guard Service (2004)
I couldn't be happier that President Bush has stood up for having served in the National Guard, because I can finally put an end to all those who questioned my motives for enlisting in the Army Reserve at the height of the Vietnam War. I can't tell you how many people thought I had signed up just to avoid going to Vietnam. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Even though the National Guard and Army Reserve see combat today, it rankles me that people assume it was some kind of waltz in the park back then. If only. Once a month, for an entire weekend--I'm talking eight hours Saturday and Sunday--we would meet in a dank, cold airplane hangar. The temperature in that hangar would sometimes get down to 40 degrees, and very often I had to put on long underwear, which was so restrictive I suffered from an acute vascular disorder for days afterward. Our captain was a strict disciplinarian who wouldn't think twice about not letting us wear sneakers or breaking up a poker game if he was in ill humor...In the summer we would go away to camp for two weeks. It felt more like three. I wondered if I'd ever see my parakeet again. We slept on cots and ate in the International House of Pancakes. I learned the first night that IHOP's not the place to order fish.
[T]hanks to President Bush, I can stand up proudly alongside him and all the other guys who guarded the home front. Finally, we no longer have to be embarrassed about our contribution during those very trying years.