Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The "Fortune-Cookie Candidacy"

I've been reading the odd post here and there about comments Her Wackiness Sarah Palin made in reference to the poetry of Robert Frost. Seems she sorta sides with the neighbor in that poem, the sad sack who stacks those stones one at a time, "In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed," content to fall back on "his father's saying":
And you know what they say about "fences make for good neighbors"? Well, we’ll get started on that tall fence tomorrow...

Well, I could go there and fault Palin for misreading the poem, failing to capture any amount of the irony, and reducing the multiple layers of meaning to something her many mouth-breathing followers can just about understand, but it'd be like faulting the sun for setting in the west.

West Wing genius Aaron Sorkin got there first, anyway:
When the President's got an embassy surrounded in Haiti, or a keyhole photograph of a heavy water reactor, or any of the fifty life-and-death matters that walk across his desk every day, I don't know if he's thinking about Immanuel Kant or not. I doubt it, but if he does, I am comforted at least in my certainty that he is doing his best to reach for all of it and not just the McNuggets. Is it possible we would be willing to require any less of the person sitting in that chair? The low road? I don't think it is.

Literally, I've had it up to here with sound-byte candidacy, something that politicians and the mainstream media co-created and have co-perpetuated. I want a president who goes on TV and reads a speech that quotes liberally from the greatest thinkers we've ever known in our history. But the hairy-backed, beer-belching Weebles with vestigial lower limbs who can't get around without their motorized scooters would simply glaze over: "Yeah, well what did some fudge-packing Greek like Socrates ever know 'bout aMERka? Go back to yer latte, Obama bin Laden!"

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