Recently, if I am honest, I have been paying far too much attention to politics. It is almost impossible not to look at a train wreck, especially if it keeps happening on a daily basis.
We watch, with fevered anticipation and some hope of change, the unfolding melodrama, one that promises to lead us to Valhalla, the shining, gold-plated city on the hill. Or, like so many lemmings, to the wrong end of the cliff. Every tweet and twitter of the big yellow bird, followed by endless analysis and commentary, promises to be the one that will do the trick, the straw that will finally break the camel’s back. But no. Here comes another.
The latest soap opera, the Roadrunner Repeal and Repeat of Obamacare (meep-meep), took a mere seven years to reach a climax, resulting in the déjà vu denouement du jour. In spite of coming off like a swan dive into a vat of jello, it did not disappoint. There was enough schadenfreude and blame game to go around, entertaining a gratefully addicted audience for weeks, after the slow reveal of there being no there there. It beggars the imagination to find an analogy apt enough to embrace the theater of the absurd that is now our daily newsfeed fare.
One recalls the caucus race from Alice in Wonderland, which turns out to be not what it appears—a way of drying out after the flood, rather than a contest that anyone can actually win. Or the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain, artificially amplifying his puny voice to a booming volume. Political life no longer imitates art, but is itself an artless form of performance, in which it has become impossible to commit a gaffe, defined as “an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder: an unforgivable social gaffe.”