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By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday April 1, 2008 11:02 AM

Carl commented, on an earlier post:
I thought I might get into a political debate here, but I can't find much in the way of politics--you know, like Lenin defined it, concrete analysis of concrete conditions, then 'Who-Whom', who can do what to whom. I know you're against the Dems, any Dem, but are you for McCain, the Greens, or staying home studying POMO stuff? Can't tell from these posts.
Who-whom is always a good question.

Here at SMBIVA our dramatis personae are:

  • Who: the Democratic Party.
  • Whom: well-meaning folks like Carl.
The storyline runs like this:

In Act I, Dems make vague pwoggie noises during primary season, thus luring people like Carl into the tent to invest time and effort and cathexis in the process.

In Act II, the general election campaign, the Dems drop the pwoggie noises and do their best to look like the Republicans, only better (and smarter, naturally). Executions are a popular bit of stage business during this phase. People like Carl are disappointed, of course, but having made such an investment, they are naturally reluctant to write it off. And they can always console themselves with the insiderish reflection that their candidate is "only doing what s/he has to do" to get elected.

In Act III, the story can take either a comic or a tragic turn. The Democrat can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, which is the most usual outcome, or, if the Republicans have screwed the pooch worse than usual, the Democrat gets into the White House, signs free trade treaties, puts the insurance companies in charge of the public health, expands the secret police, and finds a small country to bomb.

Either way, in the epilogue (spoken by Carl) unquenchable hope is expressed that it will be different next time.

Comments (8)

Nicholas Hart:

Act IV: the Democrat miraculously pulls off a victory and proceeds to sacrifice every progressive campaign pledge on the altars of bipartisanship or fiscal responsibility (both housed in the Church of Realistic Expectations). Liberal groups (NOW, NARAL, ACLU, Sierra Club, et al) tell their membership to settle down and not complain too much--we can't rock the boat because "our guy" is in the White House, and we can't jeopardize his re-election.

Zen Prole:

Elsewhere I've just read your deconstruction of David Mamet. Well done! Recently I got "Bambi and Godzilla" out of the library and was soon stunned: I had no idea Mamet was a raving Zionist lunatic. Fools come out on the short end in his dramatic works and it will be interesting to see if he ever finds out he's been played by one of the longest-running scams around.


I'm illiterate: where's the picture from?


I had to look it up, but it's "shkotzim." Strange pluralization rule to get there from "shegetz."


Beautiful post on Mamet. More taking apart of people I don't like, please!

Al Schumann:

Here's the direct link to MJS's Mamet article.


The picture is a contemporary drawing of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. As for "shgutzim/shgotzim" it's a matter of transliteration, always a dicey business. For what it's worth, the word was spelled with a shureq in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew scriptures -- more of an 'u' sound than an 'o' sound, or so I was taught. But quite likely in Yiddish it underwent some change. Dunno enough about Yiddish to say.


anonopterix :

moved to comment
a vowel change ???

are you an xer per chance

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