Monday, September 22, 2008

Brothers in Arms

I'm not a huge Maureen Dowd fan - at least her writing. Granted, she has a Pulitzer and I don't, but I just don't have the peeps to get me nominated for anything. Hell, I can't even get a Bloggie.

No matter.

I do like her when she appears on shows like Real Time w/Bill Maher. She is intelligent and witty, but sometimes her columns just come across as annoying. Kind of like yesterday's.

....I said 'kind of like...'.

To be fair, it is in the style which she'd write - faux conversations between real politicians. But she didn't write this - it was Aaron Sorkin. It is a fictional conversation between Obama and Sorkin's fictional president, Jed Bartlet.

I was a big West Wing fan. At least the Sorkin years. It was well written and even insightful to the inner-workings of politics. Exaggerated to a degree? Sure, but the points were made. I used the title of the post from one of their better episodes - which was possibly the best incorporation of a song into a drama show. Sure, it begat every show from using the trick and now it's overdone and not done well.

Most of the article is throw-away, which is why if you didn't read the intro, you'd just assume it was Dowd who authored the piece. But it's not until about three-fourths into the article that it gets to the heart of the matter. Feel free to follow the above link to read the entire thing, or you can just go to what I'm cutting and pasting below.

To set the scene, Obama has come to New Hampshire to get the advice of former president Bartlet.

OBAMA: What would you do?

BARTLET: GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

OBAMA: So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?

BARTLET: No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.

Amen. That was me, not Sorkin.

Song by: Dire Straits

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