I have to admit – I don’t think I ever saw an episode of the ‘West Wing’ [there's this thing called the news...and a President called Bush...that's about all the white house entertainment I needed]. That said, this op-ed from Maureen Dowd’s column in the NY Times was killin me – here’s an excerpt:
[FYI: Bartlet was, apparently, the president in the show 'West Wing', played by Martin Sheen. The following quote is a meeting between Obama and the fictional president, as conjured by the show's creator]
BARTLET Youâ€™d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old â€œERâ€ time slot with â€œ30 Rockâ€ as your lead-in, youâ€™d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share â€” youâ€™d be selling $450,000 minutes.
OBAMA What the hell does that mean?
BARTLET TV talk. I thought youâ€™d be interested.
OBAMA Iâ€™m not. They pivoted off the argument that I was inexperienced to the criticism that Iâ€™m â€” wait for it â€” the Messiah, who, by the way, was a community organizer. When I speak I try to lead with inspiration and aptitude. How is that a liability?
BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesnâ€™t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.
OBAMA Youâ€™re saying race doesnâ€™t have anything to do with it?
BARTLET I wouldnâ€™t go that far. Brains made me look arrogant but they make you look uppity. Plus, if you had a black daughter â€”
BARTLET Hang on. Home run. Right here. Is there any chance you could get Michelle pregnant before the fall sweeps?
OBAMA The problem is we canâ€™t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?
BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my familyâ€™s less safe than it was eight years ago, weâ€™ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … Iâ€™m a little angry.
OBAMA What would you do?
BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because thatâ€™s what they are. Sarah Palin didnâ€™t say â€œthanks but no thanksâ€ to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said â€œThanks.â€ You were raised by a single mother on food stamps â€” where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. Iâ€™d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While youâ€™re at it, I want the word â€œpatriotâ€ back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesnâ€™t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he canâ€™t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie â€” the truth isnâ€™t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; theyâ€™ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. Itâ€™s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? Itâ€™s not bad enough sheâ€™s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? Itâ€™s not enough that a woman shouldnâ€™t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapistâ€™s baby too? I donâ€™t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure sheâ€™s got the qualifications of one. And youâ€™re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!