I’m determined to think the best of the whole Pete Davidson-Dan Crenshaw thing.
Believe me, my inner cynic can construct endless ways in which one or both of them is playing us, or just “doing what he had to do”.
Here’s what I’d like to believe: Pete’s an edgy comedian who got carried away and Dan’s not exactly a thin-skinned man. My mom always used to yell at us boys, “It’s always funny until someone loses an eye!”
Well, Dan did.
I’d like to think Pete saw the error of his ways, and Dan saw that Pete saw it. I’d like to think they decided to be bigger men, on their own, and so achieved a moment of reconciliation that managed to be poignant AND hilarious.
Maybe there’s something in this for the toxic, polarizing climate of our public life. Don’t worry, this isn’t a kumbaya column. Not my style, and it’s been done.
We honestly have disagreements, and different perspectives when looking at the same facts. Election results, for example.
That doesn’t have to change, or be hidden behind a facade. By all means, when I take a position, I think I am right and I think the other side is wrong. Informed convictions are good. Fear is not. Fear could’ve frozen Pete’s apology, or Dan’s acceptance of it.
I wonder if Pete Davidson had to resist people around him who advised him to double-down and be a hard-ass. You’re an EDGY comedian, for God’s sake.
Just as there may have been someone counseling Dan Crenshaw to not the let the little bastard off the hook. Go after some SNL sponsors. Make the Peacock grovel, or fire the kid.
Now, instead of the usual two-act play with a lousy ending, we’ve had a good laugh, two men have shaken hands, and both look a little taller to me.
Time was, we put most of our energy and effort into existential threats. Having a Hitler, a Khrushchev, or a potential Martian invasion, made everything else look like small potatoes. Important, but manageable potatoes.
Day in and day out, are we taking the advice that Pete and Dan heard, but rejected? If you haven’t, listen again to the words of Cong.-elect Crenshaw at the end of the segment, about Americans, our differences, and how these things usually go.
Are we really happier when they do?