Thursday, September 8, 2011

The frittering away of political fear

              Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
              Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
              The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.

              Bishop of Carlisle
              Richard II, IV, i, 142-4

The President of the US,
who will speak yet again,
this evening, negligently
has stripped pessimism
of enduring his policies
of any fear of losing his
leadership - apart, for
marginal voters such as
oneself, from concern for
the federal judiciary.

By their own initiative
his airily disbanded and
abandoned coalition now
must act in his place,
to show the horror he 
would leave them, from

He believes he is wasting
because he has been nice,
and he is wrong. He is
wasting because he has
been willing to do the
wrong thing to be nice,
in which his vaunted
conceit has only shown
proof of indifference.
The Republican destruc-
tion of the nation's
economy bears his name,
for the reason that he
has been satisfied.

Despite this, it has
been argued in The 
Washington Post, in the
last week, that voters
truly do support this 
man, because they favour
policies he espoused at
one time. The problem is,
they know he favoured 
them by abandoning them.
He could come out for
sorbet, and they'd know
to expect crème brûlée.
That's not compromise;
that's being Richard II.

Any Republican can now
run as the Obama with
courage; this man has
given the happy warrior
of our heritage to the
Party which promises to
erase him from history.
Fear, itself is on a
This reality does gall,
given the phony Henry V
he just succeeded, and
the Tea Party chaos pre-
figured for Henry VI. All
right, the man doesn't
read. But I think of 
his obligation, not of 
the death of kings. I 
think of who's sovereign
in this nation, for whom
he did not even swing.

         Used, misled, cheated. Our time always shortening.
         What we cherish always temporary. What we love
         is, sooner or later, changed. But for a while we can
         visit our other life. Can rejoice in its being there
         in its absence ..

William Shakespeare
Richard II
op. cit.

Jack Gilbert
Refusing Heaven
  Burma [fragment]
National Book Critics
  Circle Award
Knopf, 2005©


  1. so much in agreement here. I love the line about sorbet and brulee--spot on sweet.

  2. It would be sweet to agree on something happier. :)

  3. Yes, yes it would.

  4. ohhh i dunno. maybe we all forgot the mandatory deference learned growing up black..or he forgot it. the repuglicans didn't.

  5. Well said, and in firm agreement, sadly so. there will never be any gentleman's agreement to what he would propose. blotting out his existence as President is the only thing that will satisfy the right. pgt

  6. You are certainly right, PGT, but resistance to the right has terribly pathetically taken the form only of delegation to an authority figure, whereas the right has exploited its inherent cult structure to mount and link coalitions outside the institutions of the electoral spectrum which at last have the specific gravity to dictate policy. Obama's destruction of Move On in favour of his enchantment with his Chicago chums ought simply to have been repudiated openly and immediately. I don't care to save El Cid, I care to prop him up for our people to gather the resources of their own defense. We have to enact the Presidency we elected.