Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Political Theater of the Absurd

There is a Marxist explanation for all this. Groucho, of course, not Karl.

In Indiana, a Republican Congressman resigns after promoting but not practicing abstinence with a woman on his staff.

In Connecticut, a Democratic Senate aspirant is revealed as a Vietnam draft evader after years of "misspeaking" himself into the role of a war veteran.

In Pennsylvania, a Republican-turned-Democrat is turned out by his new party after decades of bipartisan tap-dancing, as one of the state's House seats held by the late King of Pork is retained by a Democratic protege.

In Kentucky, the Senate Minority Leader's choice for a colleague is trounced by a Tea Party lover named at birth for one of the crackpot political philosophers of the past century.

If there were a Glenn Beck blackboard to diagram yesterday's news, the resulting picture would resemble the Marx Brothers' classic stateroom scene, in which characters keep crowding into a small space until they spill out for the cameras in a tangled heap.

In coming days, there will be tons of political analysis about what's happening to Democrats and Republicans this year, but pathology may be more to the point. Reason, if it ever was a major element at the ballot box, has been routed by emotional upheaval that no number of bloggers and talking heads on Cable TV will able to explain away.

If there is an overall theme, however, it could emerge from a Marxian principle after all. "I don't want," Groucho once famously proclaimed, "to join any club that takes people like me as members." The voters this year seem determined to trash anyone who has ever set foot in the clubby halls of Congress.

1 comment:

jf said...

Embrace these Modern Times. There's no simple narrative. It's messy, sometimes tragic. It's complicated, absurd, and a bit funny. Just like like your post.