“The Boys In The Band,” A Play About Gay Life In 1970

Inspired by a CBS News story about the playwright Mart Crowley’s insightful “The Boys in the Band,” I sought out an old movie adaptation of the play, and then attended the performance on Broadway a few days later. It was a unique and educational experience for me.

The first thing you should know is that the show is not a musical. However the cast danced to great, recorded music during the performance.

The play showcases the trying lives, issues and choices gay men faced 50 years ago in America. In the opening moments of the show, the dialogue was light and witty about the band’s persuasions. The players jousted with each other. It was funny, although their comments would be resented if uttered by a straight person in 1968 or now in 2018.

I was taken aback as the boys aggressively needled each other. Supposedly they were friends celebrating the birthday of one of their own. Yet I came to realize these comments about sexuality, morals and intelligence were an important element of the show.

The play is shrouded in comical quips and one-liners, but the subject matter is not a laughing matter. The audience responded loudly, but they were not so amused by the time the performance ended.

The reality is that gays and lesbians have been persecuted by society since the beginning of time. To this day some homosexuals hide their sexuality fearing the ramifications of not doing so. Coming out has to be a major event for every gay person. How brave these people are. Revealing one’s true sexual feelings publicly must be a monumental ordeal in spite of greater tolerance in recent times.

In the day, gays hung out in bars and other places that catered to their edgy and sometimes perilous lifestyles. These places provided a modicum of safety. In the case of the boys, they chose to have a party in the apartment of one of the members to avoid interference by outsiders.

That was the plan until a college classmate of one of the attendees phoned and showed up unexpectedly. Mostly everyone assumed that the interloper was straight and tiptoed around the subject of homosexuality. It wasn’t hard for the guest to ascertain what was transpiring.

Without giving away the story, the sexual persuasion of the new attendee was in question. Even in the comfort of a gay man’s home, the group was walking on eggshells relating to their own sexuality. The new man upset a fragile balance and evoked a raft of self-loathing and paranoia among each member of the band.

Are the prospects of gays and lesbians better now than in 1970? For sure they are. It’s illegal to discriminate against anyone based upon sexual preference. Gay and lesbian couples may now marry and be recognized by the state.

The big question is why were homosexual couples only permitted to marry just recently? Why were they denied an opportunity to be happy and find personal and financial security? How did our country benefit by not allowing members of this group to formally and legally recognize their relationships?

It’s all behind us now, hopefully. Yet it’s sensible for the LGBT community to remain diligent and careful about covert bigotry. Gays and lesbians remain at risk and are vulnerable in spite of great strides in recent years.

I recommend everyone see “The Boys in the Band,” live or the original version on demand.

Suppose Trump Does All These Things. Will You Support Him?

Suppose Trump is cleared of all crimes related to Russian collusion, relating to the US elections, and obstruction of justice?

The noose is getting looser every day. Robert Mueller indicated to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s counsel, that he has no intention to indict the president. In fact, existing Department of Justice guidelines prohibit such an action.

Mueller has been working diligently with his merry band of Trump haters to manufacture crimes that will take down the Trump administration. Alas, to no avail.

Given the burning desire of lawmen to leak to the press, it’s inconceivable that Mueller has anything substantive on Trump. If he did, the New York Times would already have reported on it.

Five relatively low-level hacks have been indicted for “lesser” crimes, some of which predate Trump’s political campaign. The biggest fish was Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, who was convicted of lying to investigators. Paul Manafort, a political consultant, is being prosecuted for money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent. Nothing has surfaced that ties Manafort to any collusion with Trump.

The Mueller investigation will likely second the fact that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 elections. But Americans already know that Russia has been active around the world for some extended period of time from a number of other investigations. There is no proof that anything other than Hillary Clinton’s incompetence was responsible for her loss.

The Special Counsel is going to be the laughing stock of Washington if he does not find a large fish to take down. His only remaining possibility is to trap Trump in a lie, which is the primary reason the president should not agree to be interviewed by Mueller.

The Special Counsel could also tilt towards Hillary Clinton who has chalked up a number of dubious and suspicious activities relating to her campaign and time as Secretary of State. Of note are obstruction of justice for destroying evidence, lying to investigators and Congress and improper disclosures that resulted from the infamous and inaccurate Steele dossier.

Suppose Trump is able to negotiate a rock solid disarmament deal with North Korea?

Trump promised denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and the ability to verify that North Korea will have no nukes or processing facilities prospectively.

It appeared that Kin Jong-un was prepared to agree to these conditions but recently has had a change of heart. At first it was the joint military exercises with South Korea that he objected to, and now he seems to be equivocating about the meaning of denuclearization. Is it elimination of all existing weapons or an arms agreement, in which North Korea agrees to not manufacture any more weapons?

If Kim really wants to solidify his regime by improving economic conditions, he can do it by dismantling his arsenal of nukes and obtaining large financial support from the US. If he balks, which he, his father and grandfather have been doing for the past 70 years, Trump will likely increase sanctions that will destabilize the country and mark the end of Kim’s regime.

Suppose Trump can renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal?

The first thing that will happen if Trump is successful is that France, Great Britain and Germany will be eternally grateful.

But, what is the definition of success? It’s the same as North Korea- no nukes and the ability to inspect without restrictions.

What if Iran resists? It’s really simple. The US should continue to ramp up sanctions and totally isolate Iran economically. This will destabilize the country and result in a regime change. Sanctions and bankruptcy are the modern day weapons of mass destruction without any blood or death.

Suppose Trump continues to take actions that improve the economy?

It’s always the economy, stupid. Trump has over two years to prove his policies are improving economic conditions. Low unemployment, negligible inflation, higher wages, growing consumer confidence, greater profits for all major industries are the measures of success. Voters will appreciate and reward these results.

Suppose Trump is able to restructure the Paris Accord so that China, India and Brazil assume a grater role in reducing pollution?

If this occurs and the US’s responsibilities are ratcheted down to more reasonable levels, the global climate problem will begin to subside. The US cannot make the environment better without the cooperation of the other largest polluters who happen to be in the throes of their own industrial revolutions.

Suppose Trump is able to convince voters that Democrats are nothing but obstructionists prior to the 2018 mid term elections?

Given that bashing Trump is the only political strategy of the Democratic Party, one might think that Republicans will not lose ground in Congress, but will actually gain seats. Old political trends don’t seem to apply to Trump. So why shouldn’t the majority make gains in a mid year election on the coattails of the president?

What if Trump is able to obtain money for the wall and beefed up border security? And suppose that this materially decreases illegal immigration?

The US would then be able to focus on the DACA children and young adults and illegals that have made a life in America with their families. These groups deserve to have a path to citizenship. Without increased security and a cessation of new illegal immigration, the law-abiding illegals in the country will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

Trump’s methods and management style are not admirable. But in this day and age a strong leader who is unafraid to challenge the system and end bad habits can bring us forward and make America more secure and prosperous.

New Israeli Embassy and Celebrations Spur Palestinian Protest

The ultimate settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict may still be a generation away.

Arab leaders encouraged violent and deadly protest on the Gaza Strip in response to the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The competing images of rioting on the Gaza and celebrations at the new US facility are symptomatic of the 70 year-old dispute between the two factions.

Exacerbating the situation were the presence and participation of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in an extravagant affair at the new embassy. Comments by Kushner implying that a settlement could be close at hand were absurd and an insult to the parties on both sides of the issue.

The transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem is very symbolic for everyone. True, the Israeli government should be able to decide which city is its capital. But the Holy City has strong connections to many people, and this must be recognized.

Over the years Israel has attempted to give reasonable access to Jerusalem to all groups because it’s so important to the faithful of several religions. It has been a delicate and controversial initiative. Most of the time at least one group or another has been dissatisfied. This will not change anytime soon as Israel and the US work together to make peace with Arabs in the region.

What has been disturbing is the nature of the embassy celebration. The transfer to Jerusalem is the fulfillment of a long-term promise by former US presidents that Trump has now implemented. But it would have been better to decrease the fanfare, which has fueled violence and unnecessary death. And to even suggest that the Kushners have, or will be able to, foster a settlement of the conflict is absurd.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is in a very difficult position. He regularly proclaims to the world that Israel is biblically tied to the Holy Land upon which his country is situated. This perspective has not been endorsed by the international community of nations, which has sided with the Palestinians.

It’s true that Palestinian leaders have continually resorted to aggressive and derisive actions over the last seven decades. Their leadership has been anything but effective. Many times peace, or cessation of violence, was at hand and the Palestinians intentionally sabotaged the process.

The facts are that Israel is going to protect its sovereignty and the US will support the Jewish State enthusiastically. Arabs in the region are still generally supportive of Palestinians but are frustrated by bad leadership of the group. Moreover Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia, believe the existential threat posed by Iran is far more serious than a petty squabble about a few square miles of territory in Israel. And finally, Trump and the US are getting closer to the Sunni nations in response to Iran aggression.

Netanyahu needs to decrease tensions, while not ceding anything that jeopardizes Israeli security. He needs to temper his rhetoric in situations where force is required and during symbolic affairs like the transfer of the embassy.

President Trump should enlist an experienced team of diplomats to help bring the warring parties together.

“Liberals Aren’t As Smart As They Think”

Much to my surprise the New York Times published an op-ed by Gerald Alexander, a professor at the University of Virginia, titled “Liberals, You’re Not As Smart As You Think.” It’s an insightful piece that takes a perspective that many conservatives hold relating to the tactics of liberals in America.

For several years, and especially during the Obama and Trump administrations, liberals have proclaimed their superiority and denigrated, as bigots and morons, any Americans or groups of citizens who disagree with their political opinions and, more recently voted for Donald Trump. Clearly this tactic backfired in 2016 as about half of America voted for, and elected, an inexperienced, self-aggrandizing and crude businessman to hold the most powerful office in the world.

Liberals think they occupy the high political and moral ground because they “dominate the entertainment industry, many of the most influential news sources and American universities.” These progressives are frequently in the public eye. Their platforms enable them to “express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national controversies that others really can’t ignore.”

This creates a sense of empowerment that “attract[s], but also annoy[s] and repel[s].” Often times this perceived attitude results in great resentment.

Liberal loudmouths are quick to apply the most damning labels on other Americas, including racist. This description should be used carefully. Saying Trump voters are racist means that the accuser effectively believes that 60 million Americans are bigots.

Commentary about facts relating to urban areas and people that live in them cannot be discussed in any forum without generating a great deal of emotion. If one says crime is prevalent in poor neighborhoods, it will likely be considered a racial slur, and the speaker will be labeled a racist.

President Obama masterfully attacked the wealthiest 1% of Americans by saying time and again that they do not pay their fair share. This trite commentary has been adopted by liberals and only serves to widen the gap between affluent and poor Americans, even as the former pays over 50% current income tax rates.

Many people are insulted by political propaganda spewed “from the Oscar stage.” Uniformed actors, who achieve great fame and fortune by reading scripts written by others, say conservative campus speakers damage our society and call voters misguided because they voted for a Republican. All this smacks of self-proclaimed (and undeserved) superiority.

Mr. Alexander believes that liberals should “not be so certain” that bigotry motivates people who disagree with them on issues such as immigration. Objecting to the influx of illegals into the country, somehow, has become a racial issue. Forget the $100 billion plus net cost of 12 million illegals in the country that is not being used to help needy Americans.

Self-righteousness can cause people to make improper assessments of others. This sense of superiority might be one of the most important reasons why we now have a man like Trump sitting in the White House. Yet liberals spend most of their time criticizing anyone who does not agree with their perspectives. Liberals infrequently offer something other than denigration of the president or others that support him. More often the group should propose actual alternatives, not just personal attacks.

Trump voters may be deplorable in the eyes of liberals, but Republicans currently hold the presidency and both houses of Congress. Moreover, unlike Obama who just talked, Trump has acted with authority to improve the status of America worldwide.

Liberals should recognize that they are damaging their own philosophical standing by allowing self-important, self-proclaimed intellectuals to represent them.



Regarding North Korea, It’s Time For Trump To Put Up Or Shut Up

It’s time for the Trump administration to put up or shut up regarding North Korea.

With the release of hostages and the impending historic meeting in Singapore with Kim Jung-un, the president is wallowing in his diplomatic achievements. As usual he’s a bit premature.

There is still much to be accomplished. Scheduling a meeting with the rogue despot of North Korea, whose family has befuddled previous US presidents relating to the country’s nuclear arsenals, is hardly a diplomatic victory.

What is the definition of success? Trump has said it repeatedly. One, Korea must give up or dismantle its nuclear weapons and the facilities that produce them. Two, the international community of nations must be able to verify the previous action without any resistance or exemptions.

Note: In the press today it was written that the negotiations of a mutually agreeable summit location were impacted by the ability of Kim to travel safely in his own aircraft to the site. One might ask how North Korea supposedly has nuclear weapons that can fly several thousand miles, but no aircraft that can transport its leader to a meeting.

The potential problems with the summit are fairly obvious. Kim, his father and grandfather repeatedly rejected US threats about its nuclear development over the past half century. The current dilemma, North Korea’s current arsenal of weapons and large standing army at the doorstep of South Korea, has arisen because of ineffective diplomatic acumen by previous American presidents.

Moreover, the ambivalence of China has been startling. Why would current and former regimes turn a blind eye and allow North Korea to build a powerful weapon? Why haven’t Chinese leaders been concerned with a rogue nation that abuts their country having nuclear weapons?

The evolution of North Korea and the tension it has created for South Korea, Japan and the US was fostered by China, which preferred a nuclear threat on its border to possible unification of the Korean peninsula led by west-leaning South Korea.

Kim has received a lot of attention from the world as he responded aggressively to US threats. The big question is how will Kim react to not being the center of attention sans a nuclear weapon?

Kim may now be employing a longer-term strategy. With the ultimate bargaining chip (his weapons) he can negotiate very favorable economic terms with, not only China, but also with the US and South Korea. All the money and effort that has gone into the nuclear program could result in a bonanza for North Korea’s fledgling and failing economy.

Besides favorable trade agreements, foreign investment and strong defense pacts, Kim will no longer need to spend money on costly military assets, probably the country’s largest expenditures.

Will Kim be able to deal with insignificance and irrelevance as a tiny nation, and will he be able to trust the US?

It’s up to Trump and his surrogates to convince Kim that economic and military security are more valuable than wielding a nuclear weapon. Also a good deal for North Korea could solidify Kim’s position of power in his own country. He’s a young man and could be his nation’s leader for many years.

For Trump this negotiation is huge. Every new initiative is his most important accomplishment. Along with immigration and tax reform, making peace with North Korea and eliminating, repeat, eliminating a nuclear confrontation, could seal the president’s domestic political fate.

If the North Korean negotiations are a replay of past failures, his opponents will mock Trump viciously. This leads one to believe that Trump, like Obama, will do almost anything to complete a deal. Will the deal be strong and good for the US and its allies, unlike the Iran nuclear arrangement? We shall see.

Senate Democrats “Torture” Qualified C.I.A. Nominee

Gina Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran, “who oversaw a secret prison in Thailand in 2002,” was lambasted by Senate Democrats on the Intelligence Committee for torturing war criminals. Haspel has been nominated by Trump to lead the CIA.

Democrats ever eager to make every presidential selection unnecessarily difficult to confirm have gone too far in the Haspel affair. Questioning dedicated soldiers and spies, like Haspel, years after they bravely served the country is a travesty. It’s especially irksome when so many of the interrogators never were in harm’s way themselves.

Clearly Democrats are only interested in embarrassing the president, the primary front of the opposition party. In this ignoble quest they did not put Hampel’s service record into proper perspective.

The CIA operative was on the leading edge of efforts to uncover intelligence about Al Qaeda’s intentions shortly after the 9/11 attacks. For those of you with short memories, radical Islamists invaded the US. Thousands of Americans lost their lives when Middle East terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Mass hysteria overwhelmed the country at the time, and Americans were demanding retribution. How could men with box cutters commandeer planes and use them as weapons of mass destruction? The government did whatever necessary to ensure that the onslaught was over. Gathering intelligence about the intentions of Al Qaeda was a cornerstone of the effort to defend the country.

After some important terrorists were captured, they were aggressively interviewed using certain techniques that have since been labeled torture. But there’s an important issue that Democrats adamantly refuse to acknowledge- these interrogation activities were deemed to be legal by the Bush administration and his Justice Department at the time. Haspel was among the operatives who employed the aforementioned techniques, like waterboarding.

Why are these political hacks questioning the morality of Haspel 17 years later for activities that were endorsed by her superiors including the Commander-In-Chief? It should be noted she played no role in the creation of associated legal arguments.

Frankly this un-American and dishonorable inquisition by politicians is no different than interrogating soldiers after they return from combat.

To be clear the issue of using aggressive interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, is now illegal, as are certain other methods. And as far as average Americans know, neither spies nor US soldiers are employing them. If they were, the perpetrators along with the superiors that authorized them would and should be punished.

Haspel was doing her job trying to uncover intelligence that could possibly save American lives. Never did she break the law.

Senate Democrats also delved into the morality of using aggressive interrogation, setting off a philosophical discussion that was moot. The government and the legal system have indicated that aggressive interrogation is illegal, effectively making it immoral. Haspel’s personal feelings are not germane to her confirmation.

Democrats are barking up the wrong tree. Haspel said she would not employ aggressive interrogation even if it were now deemed legal. Rightly so, she will not take blame or allow others to be criticized for serving their country in 2001.

If Democrats want to rehash history, instead of working on current problems, they should direct their attention to George W. Bush and his lawyers who green-lighted waterboarding and such.

Once again Democrats are proving that their most important mission is to destroy a sitting president with bogus investigations and inane questioning of political appointees. The voters should take note of these tragedies in the impending elections.


Finally, The End Of The Impotent Nuclear Deal With Iran

The president just announced the abrogation of the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump assured Americans this day would arrive if he was elected, and he has kept his campaign promise.

The naysayers are flooding the news networks. What are they saying?

The negotiations with North Korea will be much more difficult because Kim Jong-un cannot be sure Trump or his successors will honor a new deal in the future. Trump has made it perfectly clear about what he expects from North Korea. The most important expectations are that North Korea will no longer have a nuclear capability, and all facilities and military installations will be inspected regularly to ensure that North Korea is living up to any agreement.

Regarding Iran, the authorities cannot freely inspect its facilities, and the country will be able to build a bomb legally by 2015. The agreement did not give any comfort to Iran’s neighbors, including Israel and all Sunni nations, or the signatories to the deal for that matter.

Our European allies will no longer have confidence in American diplomacy. If Trump succeeds in renegotiating the Iran deal ensuring that Iran will never have a deliverable nuclear weapon, the allies will be ecstatic and salute the president.

Unfortunately there are economic issues at hand. Some of the allies do businesses with Iran and those arrangements could be in jeopardy. This circumstance could have some impact on the European reaction to the president’s actions.

Supposedly Iran will attempt to build a bomb now, the naysayers say. While this is happening, the president promised to install the harshest economic sanctions on Iran and any nation that abets it. The impact on Iran’s economy will be devastating and put the stability of the current regime under great pressure.

The authors of the Iran deal are furious. In fact John Kerry, the US’s lead negotiator, is allegedly working behind the scenes to denigrate Trump’s efforts. Kerry did a lousy job, and Trump exposed it. Kerry should tread carefully because his actions are illegal. He is not authorized to represent the US. Kerry and President Obama’s faux nuclear proliferation legacy has been exposed as a dismal failure.

What’s good about this diplomatic gambit by President Trump?

PM Netanyahu of Israel has exposed Iran’s leaders as liars thanks to recent disclosures. The ayatollahs cannot be trusted even as benign member of the international community of nations. It’s insanity to think that a nuclear weapon in their arsenal will make Iran more peaceful or productive.

It’s dubious that Iran will be able to attain its dream of wielding a weapon of mass destruction in the faces of Israel and the Sunni world. The sanctions and military threats from the US will delay indefinitely the development of a nuke. This will have the effect of postponing the ambitions of Iran’s enemies to develop or buy a nuclear bomb in response to Iran.

Trump is making history. He is on the brink of establishing an effective way to respond to new nuclear ambitious nations. When Iran and North Korea are denuclearized, it will be much easier to prevent future rogue nations from going down the same path.

The consummation of a North Korean and Iran denuclearization plan is going to be a long and difficult journey. But what could be more important to the world and to humanity?


Stop Robert Mueller’s Fantasy Investigation Now

Why the hell would the president cooperate in any way with Robert Mueller? His only objective is to manufacture evidence that will bring down the Trump administration.

If Trump is guilty of some crime, he should avoid the prosecutor like the plague. If he’s innocent, his big mouth will likely result in misstatements and exaggerations, and the president will be charged with perjury.

Robert Mueller is on a mission. It’s always the same drill with Special Counsels. They are like black mamba snakes that relentlessly pursue their prey. Mueller is not a person to trifled with or challenged in a test of manhood. Keep in mind he has no budget or time constraints. More illegal and/or embarrassing revelations are certain to arise if the investigations go on without limitations.

Prosecutors are expert at interrogating hostile witnesses. They look for weak links among the associates of the people they wish to convict. With threats, relentless pursuit and costly legal action, investigators make deals by offering immunity to small players to trap the big ones. And there is no bigger player than a sitting president.

General questions evoke long responses and must be answered very carefully. Trump should not put himself in a position where he attempts to showboat or one up Mueller and his band of legal henchmen. I’ve seen enough “Law and Order” episodes to know that you should never volunteer to speak with the authorities.

Mueller is on a perpetual witch-hunt. Trump should not put up with his foil’s intentions to investigate until he uncovers the smallest offense in an effort to bring down his administration. It’s puzzling why the president has allowed the expedition to continue for so long. So far very little has been revealed other than some unrelated crimes by a small group of Trump’s lower level staff. If there were a major crime discovery, like actual collusion, the leakers on Mueller’s staff or the Department of Justice would have already called the New York Times as an unnamed source.

Why are some Republicans supportive of Mueller’s odyssey? The president should be focused on making peace with North Korea (choose between sex with a pornographic actress or nuclear proliferation). And there is the pending extension, or abrogation of the inane Iran nuclear arrangement.

The economy is fragile and needs attention. Health care is a mess and must be reformed. Immigrants continue to pour across our borders exacerbating an already untenable situation. Terrorism is flourishing in the Middle East and around the globe. Russian and China are more aggressive each passing day. Trade relations are a disaster. But Trump is wasting time with Mueller.

It was recommended on this blog that Trump give Mueller 2 or 3 months to wrap up his investigation and report his results. Funding should end and the Special Counsel’s cream puff gig should come to a conclusion. It’s time to get off the pot.

Trump doesn’t care about making friends, so if any of the geniuses in Congress, Republicans or Democrats, have a theoretical or metaphysical problem with terminating Mueller, who cares? Impeachment is a Democratic pipedream.

Republicans are going along with Democrats in an effort to “avert a constitutional crisis” if Mueller is fired or is forced to end his investigative fantasy. Lawmakers say they are concerned about the Constitution and the rule of law. Actually getting reelected is their only concern. Showboating, even if it’s against their own president is the way to win voters, they think. It’s not. Trump or someone who defeats Trump in the primaries is the only person who can save the majority of Republicans in both houses of Congress.

The sanctimonious garbage spewing out of Congress is disgusting many Americans. Trump is getting higher polling results than Congress.

Democrats are lost. Their has-been leader, Nancy Pelosi, can’t take a hint. She’s resisting all efforts to finally put her out to pasture. This is a windfall for the GOP. The party has nothing to hang its hat on, except Trump. What is the liberal plan for Korea, Iran, immigration, health care, racism, student loans, etc.?

Democrats are so into telling us day after day that Trump is a bad guy, they forget to legislate, govern, plan, offer alternatives or anything else that a politician is supposed to do.

I say stop the investigations of pornographic stars, Playmates and $130,000 nondisclosure deals. Stop Mueller from wasting more money and time on the most ridiculous bridge to nowhere. Frankly Trump’s people were not and are not capable of colluding with another foreign government to influence an American election.

Comedian Belittles W.H. Press Secretary In Vicious Personal Attack

The comedian Michelle Wolf is the toast of the town. She really got a rush from beating the crap out of Trump and his minions last Saturday night. In particular, Wolf (an appropriate name) viciously attacked Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary.

The Correspondents’ Dinner is an annual event where hired comedians and journalists poke fun at the sitting president, his staff and each other. Note: President Trump boycotted the affair and spoke at the same time to a large rally in Michigan.

This year the 800-pound gorilla in the ballroom was free speech. Every American has the right to say whatever she or he would like to say- it’s constitutionally protected. And, the Correspondents’ Dinner is a forum where the Washington political elite has been roasting each other for years. In the past it was good fun, but bad feelings arose in recent years after Republican presidents were lambasted excessively – the liberal press loves to see conservatives get their comeuppance. It’s sad Democrats haven’t been as successful in the voting booth.

The remarks by Wolf were cruel, especially those directed at Huckabee Sanders, who in all fairness is in a position that puts her at odds with journalists every day. Witty and acerbic commentary is to be expected, and the targets should let it all roll off their backs. But, on Saturday, Wolf’s obvious attempt to belittle and beat down another woman, who has the dubious honor of representing a mercurial president, went over the line.

Many have lauded Wolf because she got the best of Huckabee Sanders, who sat on the dais and was visibly upset. It was a one-way assault that clearly made some empathetic attendees cringe. Was it necessary to make fun of Huckabee Sanders’ physical appearance?

Many are supporting Wolf’s “constitutional right” to crap all over any other human being for the fun of it. Judd Apatow, another comedian, was quick to point out that the right of free speech protects Wolf. You may be wondering if Apatow ever took a constitutional class in college, and received a passing grade.

We can only wonder whether Wolf attends social events with her free speech license in hand, and eviscerates other invitees she disagrees with. If there’s a conservative in the room, does she stalk her and look for an opportunity to embarrass the person? What a lousy houseguest she must be.

And then there’s the selective perspective of liberals who demand the right to say whatever’s on their minds. Unfortunately they too frequently are not so accommodative to opposing views.

Every time this commonly held hypothesis arises, I feel harken back to the fact that too many liberal universities are reticent about conservative discourse on their campuses (the hell with academic expression). In 2017, Berkeley, the home of free speech dating back to the 1960s, rioted to ensure that a conservative commentator would not be heard. The rioters destroyed property and people were injured.

Roasting famous people in a congenial way is good fun. Belittling them in a vindictive manner may be constitutionally protected, but it’s rude and obnoxious.

If the liberal press and their advocates can’t control themselves when they’re speaking into a microphone, then the stupid affair known as the Correspondents’ Dinner should cease to exist. Comedians don’t have a 007 license to crush and demean others. This get-together only served to do more harm to the already toxic political environment that exists in the country.