Weird Conservative Politeness

I might be nitpicking a bit here, but this Pete Wehner denunciation of Tim Pawlenty for cracking a joke about Elin Woods hitting Tiger with a golf club strikes me as a bit bizarre:

I’m told from those who know Governor Pawlenty that he is an impressive and decent person, and he certainly has a fine record as governor. But this kind of talk is pretty classless — and strikes me as inauthentic to Pawlenty, as an effort to throw some “red meat” to a conservative crowd.

He doesn’t need to do that. It undermines his appeal. He should speak in an intelligent, mature, serious way to his audience. These are, after all, serious times. Humor is fine and I’m all for tough-minded criticism. But grace and class are important, too. And we don’t need to pull down our political culture with stuff like this.

What strikes me as odd is the way Wehner denounces making jokes about domestic violence as “classless,” without ever really specifying that it’s jokes about domestic violence that he finds classless. I’d really like to know why, exactly, that is.