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Roger L. Simon

“Oh, Diogenes!” – Watching the Conventions

August 27th, 2008 - 3:48 pm

Is there a greater insult to our intelligence than political “talking points” – those utterances of utter banality uttered endlessly through the udders of utterly uxorious campaign surrogates. [Oh, stop. -ed. Okay.]

Well, they were out in force last night  before and after the Hillary Clinton speech – first telling us what she should say and then what she did (or didn’t.).

Who cares? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, political genius or even Stanislavsky himself to understand the “subtext”  of Hillary’s speech last night.  She hates Obama’s guts – and undoubtedly his wife even more.  Barack stole from Hillary what she thought was rightfully hers.  Fortunately for her, he may well go down in flames himself, leaving her an opening in 2012. Everything she said was predicated on that – just enough to stay friends with the Democratic Party but not so much as to help get Obama elected (assuming she could). She did a fine job of that.

Now everybody knows that – though almost nobody came out and said it.  American politics is all about all pomp, circumstance and “talking points.” Nevertheless, it is endlessly fascinating as pure spectacle. I got an email from Dutch novelist Leon de Winter, visiting California for a year, who said he was transfixed by the convention as “anthropology.”  Veyr Euro of him, but I see his point.

As for me, it put me in mind of that other great piece of American Tradition – the musical comedy – specifically Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse and its great “Oh, Diogenes”.  Sing along… “Oh, Diogenes/Find a man who’s honest/Oh, Diogenes/ Warm him up for me….” And so it goes.  [I thought you weren't doing any more John Edwards posts.-ed. ]

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