Sunday, 21 September 2008

They Should Be Mad As Hell, Surely?

This is hardly Aaron Sorkin's best work, by any means, but then he tossed it off for his ex-girlfriend rather than writing it in the hopes of it bagging him another Emmy. On the other hand, it manages to make a few good points, and the price of admission (metaphorically speaking) is worth it for this exchange alone:
BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.

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!

The Republicans have always been very good at poisoning the well. When the GOP label Democrats as angry ahead of time, the natural tendency is for them to try to avoid sounding or looking angry at all. As Sorkin points out, though, it would make far more sense to look angry for a damn good reason.

At least, that's how it seems to me. What's next?


jamie said...

Interesting little dialogue there, most amusing. Pertinent to me too, as I (literally, as of yesterday) started watching season 7 of the West Wing last night, having finally finished Babylon 5 season 3.

I think my timing regarding watching WW at the moment is pretty much perfect, and reflects real life rather nicely. The controversy regarding the choice of Leo as VP by Santos nicely mirrors the furore surrounding Palin's position.

Senior Spielbergo said...

I think the BBC made the comparison as well. Interesting the way both the VP choice are mirrored in the West Wing, Santos appointing a seasoned veteran as his VP candidate and Vinic appointing a someone to appeal to the party base.

For the BBC story:

And I was rewatching season 7 of the West Wing lately (the Debate is one of my favourite episodes). Maybe I should move onto Babylon 5 again now as that is also awesome and provides a nice sense of symmetry.

Senior Spielbergo said...

Sorry link should be: