NBC's "The Right Wing"
I'd like to see the expression on Martin Sheen's face when he reads some of the scripts to "The West Wing," since many of the story lines and dialogue seem to be taken out of a Karl Rove playbook.
From preemptive strikes to the assassination of a foreign leader based on evidence he's planning a terrorist attack on the US to statements like "they'll like us when we win" in response to the Islamic communities sentiments about the United States. There's the conviction of the bright, articulate and optimistic Deputy White House Counsel, Republican Ainsley Hayes. And how can we forget Toby Zeigler's stifling of inappropriate comments of the progressive White House Poet Laureate and his Ann Coulter-like pronouncements in the UN speech he wrote in the "Night Five" episode which include:
"The world will be free when we have freedom of speech for every nation. The world will be free when there is freedom to worship for everyone. The world will be free when we finally shake off the rusted chains of tyranny. Whether in the guise of facist dictatorship or economic slavery, or ethnic hostility or the crushing yoke of Islamic fanaticism."
In defending his position, Toby concluded "there's a lot of reasons why they hate us. You know when they're gonna like us? When we win." Wow, Donald Rumsfield couldn't have said it any better. And if he did, he'd be crucified by the left for saying it.
Clearly, these aren't easy choices to make in this day and age, which is really brought home in the "Isaac and Ishmael" episode. It's a delicate balance between ensuring civil liberties and at the same time, protecting our very existance from those who want to kill us for who we are.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a HUGE fan of the show. I watch it every Wednesday evening, as well as reruns every night on Bravo. And believe it or not, it was a big influence on my support for George Bush in this year's elections. Just to give you a sense of perspective, I'm pro-choice, support gay unions and I had voted for Gore in 2000 - believing Bush Jr. was a "f*cking moron" up until 9/11.
While the Bartlet adminstration is comprised of Liberal Democrats, their actions frequently run counter to much of the typical rhetoric of their political base. The show helped me to gain great respect for the office of the President and the strength of character it takes to lead this nation, particularly in such challenging times. Not to mention the strong sense of civic duty exhibited by those working in the admistration. And the Democrat's rehtoric, combined with the petty attacks of Michael Moore, George Soros, etc. just pushed me further and further away from their party's candidates.
That said, I find it amusing how many Republicans claim the don't watch it. I had made reference to the show when speaking with Delegates at the Republican National Convention this summer and not one person admitted to watching it. It's also surpising considering that Bush exhibits the kind of decisive leadership that many admire in fictious President Bartlet, but that liberal Democrats can't seem to find in their own party.
That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Toby Zeigler, "if you think demonizing people who are trying to govern responsibly is the way to protect our liberal base, then speaking as a liberal, go to bed, would you please?"
Finally, this blog wouldn't be any fun without at least one shot on Michael Moore ... Contrary to what the bloated bloviator may think, Sam Seaborn put it best when he said "Not only do terrorists always fail at what they're after, they pretty much always succeed in strengthening whatever it is they're against".