Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

December 22, 2003

by J

Back to the Schoolyard

Meg Greenfield, in her posthumous book Washington, used an extended high school metaphor to describe what goes on in Washington politics. It was depressing as hell. (I loathed high school and was glad to be out of that toxic swamp as quickly as I could.) I thought she was reaching a bit -- perhaps there is yet a small quiver of optimism in my soul -- but maybe not. A commenter at The Left Coaster named felix19 summed up what is going on with the Kool Kids and Dean with a pithy metaphor about schoolyards and bullies. It rings true to me, goddess help us all.
It hurts to say so, but we sometimes need to look at these things in terms of the schoolyard. A bully and his toadies have seized control of the whole school and they are running wild, trashing, burning and looting, beating up weaker kids, taunting everyone. They've terrified all the teachers and the administration, and somehow managed to charm the schoolboard. Everyone is either cowering in fear or expressing their (coerced) approval of the Bully. One of the vice principals has decided enough is enough and is standing up to the Bully. Throwing his shit right back in his face. Practically all the other administrators are trying to shush him or are criticizing his delivery or are really really hoping this guy doesn't succeed and upset everything, because they know that if he wins, things won't be the same any more, and bad as things may be, they are familiar. And familiar is good. But the kids and the teachers and parents who have been subject to the Bully's abuse are cheering the Vice Principal on, giving him advice and support, and doing whatever they can to ensure the reign of terror ends. They have hope.

Posted by J at December 22, 2003 01:17 PM

It rings true to me too. And parables can sometimes get through to the really thick-headed. How about putting that as a comment in the latest thread at the Dan Conley blog (danconley.com)?

Posted by: Todd at December 22, 2003 03:26 PM

Todd! My eyes! My eyes!

Feel free to poach and post this over there, but I don't think I want to get involved in that insanity. It's not a freeper site or anything, but umm, bitter much?? Good grief!

*beats head against desk*

Posted by: J at December 22, 2003 04:25 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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