We’re all bad at something. I struggled with math growing up. Even today, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, heart a-flutter in a fetal position after dreaming that I forgot to study for an algebra test.

At least I’m not alone being bad at something. Politicians offer good company. Republicans, for example used to be good at humor, sometimes by accident:

“Is our children learning?” - George W. Bush

“I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. The bombing begins in five minutes.” - Ronald Reagan

"It’s wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.” - Dan Quayle

Bush knew he wasn’t considered the smartest man in the room, but he good-naturedly laughed at himself with us. And I don’t remember him complaining after being mocked on “Saturday Night Live.” Can the same be said about Donald Trump?

Conservatives have certainly mastered talk radio, but something is missing: the Reagan wit that coaxed a chuckle even from the staunchest Democrats, and Bush’s willingness to be the butt of a joke. Reading Dan Quayle quotes make me feel better about being a “C” student in school.

The blooper reel is now trained on Joe Biden, and that’s fine. Democrats are fair game, too. If we can find common ground laughing instead of slinging the nearest insult, better yet.

Jim Newton

Itasca