Christine O'Donnell, tragedy, and the rule of three
"Tragedy comes in threes," Christine O'Donnell said to a gathering in Virginia. "Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards's passing and Barack Obama's announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits."
I almost hate to poke fun at this. It's like shooting a low-hanging puppy in a barrel.
But this being said, really, Christine? One of these things is not like the others! The last time I saw anything that came close to such a woefully incongruous combination of things was when I found myself sitting next to two Walter Cronkites. I can't imagine Christine O'Donnell scored well on the part of the SAT's in which you have to pick which one doesn't belong. "The Titanic, the death of FDR, and the passage of the 19th Amendment." "The Hindenberg, the demise of John Lennon, and the passage of McCain-Feingold."
The rule of three in tragedies implies that two like things are followed by another of the same kind. But Christine O'Donnell's remark is actually a fairly accurate illustration of what, in comedy, is known as the rule of three. As New York comedian Harrison Greenbaum once told me, seeing two skinny men walk out of a car followed by another skinny man isn't funny. Seeing two skinny men walk out of a car, followed by a fat man -- that's more like it! Christine O'Donnell's juxtaposition of these three things is so awful it almost seems like a joke.
I don't know whether she meant to make light of the tragedies, but it's like the old saying, "If you ever can see yourself saying the phrase 'I certainly didn't intend to make light of the tragedies,' because of a remark you're about to make, maybe you should reconsider that remark." Assuming it's not a failure to understand the gravity imbalance, maybe Christine legitimately doesn't understand how to group things.
With this in mind, here are a few other things I assume Christine O'Donnell Thinks Should Be Linked Together.
- Fish gotta swim, bird gotta fly, man gotta shop at Zales.
- Athos, Porthos, and Bob Dole
- "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Burlesque"
- Planes, Trains, and Waxman-Markey
- The Father, The Son, and John Kerry, who is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits.
| December 8, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Categories: Epic Failures, Petri, Worst Things Ever | Tags: Christine O'Donnell, Too soon?, trains
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