In Arnold Bennett’s comic novel The Card, the raffish Denry Machin resolves to become mayor of Bursley and bribes the voters by buying an ace center-forward for the local soccer team. When his scheme pays off, a detractor, Councillor Barlow, huffs: ‘What great cause is he identified with?’ ‘He’s identified,’ comes the reply, ‘with the great cause of cheering us all up’. In progressive self-mythologizing, they are the Denry Machins of this world — fun, easygoing, daringly transgressive — and their opponents the stern and officious Councillor Barlow. In fact, it is progressive culture, the dominant culture, that is censorious and intolerant, always scolding and deadeningly certain. It’s the kind of culture that not only invites satire but makes it essential. The Babylon Bee is engaged in the same great cause as Denry Machin and its satire, and the auto-satire its very existence provokes in progressive critics, sustains us in cheer through the long, dark nights of the culture war.