*All the way back in May, the New York Times had an incisive – and ultimately depressing – article about the state of Obama’s second term, detailing the scandals and legislative mess that had brought his administration into a sort of stuck-in-the-mud rut.
There’s an interesting few passages in the article that involve some of the more famous, fictional political movie figures over the past few years; one compares him to Andrew Shepherd, the forthright and charismatic liberal president played by Michael Douglas in Aaron Sorkin’s The American President. That’s all well and good, but it’s the other one that’s much more interesting. The article details Obama’s frustration with the bogged-down political landscape and his wish to go Bulworth on the process.
Bulworth, for those who haven’t seen it, was a brilliantly underrated political satire from the 1990s. Directed by and starring Warren Beatty, it features a ready-to-die senator (Beatty), with nothing left to lose, delivering blistering, incisive speeches and monologues on what he really thinks of the political process. Fifteen years after its release, it remains one of the best political films ever made – and most of the problems Beatty’s Bulworth character rails about still remain present in American society today.
Watching the events of this week, too, it’s hard not to wish for Obama to drop some of his calm veneer and start ranting and raving like the fictional senator once did. Frankly, the whole “port-in-a-storm” thing that our president has is getting a little old, especially considering the massive sea of bull^*&@ that we all seem to be swimming in nowadays. Wouldn’t it have been just great, in the middle of Ted Cruz’s look-at-me, completely dishonest and totally shameless anti-”Obamacare” rant on the floor the other day for Obama to give his own press conference and just rip the opponents’ obstructionist, backwards thinking limb from limb? We’re talking full-on takedown here, complete with sarcasm, shouted language and even a few f-bombs. Sure, it would probably bring on tons of scorn and hand-wringing from the overtly sensitive crowd out there … but man, it would be refreshing, and man, it would certainly be some kind of a change in attitude.
So why not, Obama? Start yelling at us, please. Sometimes going Bulworth is exactly what a country needs from its leader.