Continuing the theme of seeing what we want to in art, we also saw Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre in New York. Lavish production combined with a heavily troweled musings on moral ambiguity. One of the themes is the way in which ineffectual political leaders (here, the Wizard) create scapegoats (Elphaba and the animals) to deflect attention from their own failings.
Standard commentary has drawn a parallel between demonization of the Witch of the West and talking goats (see what I mean by heavily troweled - one of the scapegoats literally is a goat) and the war on terror. The wizard is Bush, man !
But I see it differently. Maybe the Wizard is Obama and the scapegoats are Republicans and conservatives accused of crimes that they did not commit.
The silly meme of a “War on Women” (which is either uninformed or unserious) and the enflaming of racial passions as an electoral strategy seem like classic instances of scapegoating to me.
Nothing Obama has tried has worked very well. Six years into his administration, we are mired in a historically weak recovery. The best that can be said about the Affordable Care Act is that it might be a nonevent and, if so, only because most of its supposedly “essential” provisions have not been implemented and the cost of subsidies has not yet hit home. The reset on our relations with the world has done nothing but reverberate against us. Hopes for a transformative presidency – one that would heal the sick and still the waters – have been mocked by events.
So, just like a Wizard without magic, our President without hope must find some one to blame. This explains the hysteria – the sophistry – behind these themes. As Jonah Goldberg puts out, “women’s health” has become another word for abortion on demand. Respecting the views of a few employers with religious objections to paying for what they believe to be abortifacients becomes compelled breeding.
Criminal investigations – something that ought to be conducted dispassionately – become backdrops for race baiting. Pay no attention to the failed programs behind the curtain.
Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin.