Only Theater Can Capture It?

July 3, 2012 5:14 am

TPM Reader KA on the ‘world of hurt‘ …

I think your post about conservative rage against Roberts is spot on. It reminds me of a moment from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. It is 1986 and Martin, a Justice Department contact of Roy Cohn’s explains to Joe, a young Mormon lawyer, the essence of the conservative agenda. In this scene, I think, Kushner captures the id of right-wing governing philosophy that has held sway since Reagan…

Angels in America
Part 1 Millennium Approaches
Act 2: Scene 6

The second week of January. Martin, Roy and Joe in a fancy Manhattan restaurant.

MARTIN: It’s a revolution in Washington, Joe. We have a new agenda and finally a real leader. They got back the Senate but we have the courts. By the nineties the Supreme Court will be block-solid Republican appointees, and the Federal bench–Republican judges like land mines, everywhere, everywhere they turn. Affirmative action? Take it to court. Boom! Land mine. And we’ll get our way on just about everything: abortion, defense, Central America, family values, a live investment climate. We have the White House locked till the year 2000. And beyond. A permanent fix on the Oval Office? It’s possible. By ’92 we’ll get the Senate back, and in ten years the South is going to give us the House. It’s really the end of Liberalism. The end of New Deal Socialism. The end of ipso facto secular humanism. The dawning of a genuinely American political personality. Modeled on Ronald Wilson Reagan.

JOE: It sounds great, Mr. Heller.

Right now, the conservatives feel like Wile E Coyote, as one of those land mines just blew up in their faces and the Roadrunner got away.

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