Mrs. Geek and I were watching The West Wing the other night. I have to say that I think the show has really re-bounded this season. For a while after creator Aaron Sorkin departed, I found the show to be rather lethargic. The show under Sorkin always was as much a civics lesson as it was a dramatic presentation. For a while after his departure, the new writers seemed to forget that. Now with the injection of some new characters (Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda) and some patter in the dialogue, it's got some of that old snap again.
After watching this week's episode, Mrs. Geek looked at me and said "I want to live in that world." Why? Well, one need look no further than the characters on the show and the civil way they interact with each other. The Republican candidate for President (Alda) is a pro-choice moderate. When he approaches his chief opponent in the primaries, a minister played by Don S. Davis, the minister rejects a bid to become Vice President in a very classy, principled way over the issue of abortion. Alda then sits down with Martin Sheen's President Bartlett over ice cream and they talk about religion and the Presidency. In the end, Alda's character makes a deal to give Sheen slightly more than he wants, and then goes on to make a statement rejecting the possibility of religious litmus test for the upcoming Presidential election. Are we in fantasy land yet, or what?
Mrs. Geek and I both think this is the way politics should be. It should be about honest men who are smart, honest, and above all willing to compromise. Views may differ, but the greater vision is shared. Looking at the political landscape of this country it is almost as if the Cold War did not end. Rather, an external political conflict with another nation has been internalized into an political conflict between the Red and the Blue. In this week of all weeks when partisan drum beating is at an all time high, it was such a relief and such a fantasy to see two men reach across the aisle and talk reasonably. I like to hope that government used to work this way... but those days are gone.
on 2005-03-25 at 10:57 a.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond