Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bring Back the Gong Show*

If the war in Iraq and the ’08 election campaign were TV series, they would have been canceled by now. Both have been running too long and have no surprises left, as the Democratic debate tonight showed.

The only news in this latest chapter was the slippage of expectations about getting out of Iraq, now being discussed in terms of years rather than months by everybody but Richardson, Kucinich and Gravel, the bit players in the drama.

As surreal as the event at Dartmouth was what happened earlier in the day in Washington when the Senate approved a first step on the slippery slope to attacking Iran, designating its Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization by a vote of 76 to 22.

The bill had Joe Lieberman’s name on it as co-sponsor, and in an echo of 2002, Hillary Clinton was one of the majority, and ancient Robert Byrd was in the minority again.

The sense of déjà vu is so deadening that viewers may soon be doing what they usually do with reruns, tuning out. At least the Larry Craig show keeps coming up with surprises every day. Now that’s entertainment.

*In the late 1970s, the Gong Show featured awful amateur performers being gonged off the stage by a panel of pros.

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