Comedian and political satirist Lewis Black says former Vice President Dan Quayle was the stupidest politician of his lifetime.
“He was the pantheon,” said Black on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Tuesday. “I had 60 minutes on Dan Quayle at his peak.”
But Black, a Washington, D.C.-area native who has built a long career skewing politicians, said the gaffe-prone Quayle has a new rival for his dubious title — upstart Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Ted Cruz is a gold mine,” Black said. “You can talk about him being the next big thing. Good luck.”
Black characterized Cruz, a Tea Party favorite who is pushing for a government shutdown unless Congress de-funds President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, as a petulant ideologue whose partisan politics risk hurting the nation.
“Seriously, is there an adult in the room who can’t say, ‘No, you don’t get to shut down the government?” Black said. “What are you going to do, you’re going to shut it down because you’re upset about something?”
Black said he pines for a return to the bipartisanship of the 1950s, when inebriated rival congressman would meet for drinks to hash out their differences.
“Government works this way; two drunks, one Democrat, one Republican … walk into a bar and figure something out,” he said. “Now these guys are in the gym pumping endorphins all day — it doesn’t help us.”
“This government is the worst it’s ever possibly been. When I was a kid, drunks ran it better.”
Black said he picks on Republicans more than Democrats only because the GOP is an easier comedic target.
“Democrats are dumb and Republicans are stupid, but the difference between dumb and stupid is dumb isn’t funny,” he said .”Dumb is when you say something and the whole room goes, what did he say?….[But] stupid is seriously funny.”