Saturday, January 28, 2006

Call for crowd business

Regarding this:
George W. Bush's delivery of the State of the Union address will take place on Tuesday, January 31, a little more than a week from now. It is my strong belief that every single Democrat present in the House chamber for the speech should, at a predetermined moment, stand up and walk out. No yelling. No heated words. Every Democrat should simply stand silently and leave.
What's right with it: The occasion is engorged with signifying potential. It is the World Trade Center of occasions. Its political theater, however, has long abided by tedious conventions involving feigned crowd enthusiasm, robotic applause, becks and nods and shows of joint sympathy, seated pantomimed demurral, etc.

What's probably wrong with it as idea: To simply turn and walk out would require a dollop of gumption that nearly everyone feels is currently unavailable to most of the elected officials allowed in the room. Besides, it wouldn't break any expressive ground. The silent turning-of-back schtick sends a sort of sullen thud. It's the feckless "just walk away" ploy advised by mothers to children who are debating whether 'tis nobler in the mind to cry, run, or slam Jake the Booby with the nearest sledgehammer. Rove would yawn.

What would work better? I don't know, but in a vision I see the familiar coiffed heads behaving counter-to-type. E.g., as Bush toils through his Dogberry imitation, the camera surveys
  • Kerry sitting back, lighting matches and tossing them into the air. They fall onto the shoulders of people sitting around him, starting small hairfires in some.
  • Lieberman dropping trou to reveal his "Blue's Clues for Big Boys" diaper.
  • A group on the side playing roulette.
  • Murtha watching "Le Samourai" on his iPod.
  • That sort of thing.
Suggestions for other bits of business welcome.


Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton locks lips, prompting the anchor personalities to compare them to Madonna and Christina Aguilera. A wardrobe incident sets off a hundred thousand emails that, oddly, all come from the same IP. A disheveled and drunken Al Gore crashes through the doors to yell, "bring it on, monkeyboy". The Progressive Caucus produce instruments and start up a pretty fair bossa nova.

1/28/2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

At first I saw Gore in a leather bomber jacket. Then in something like this. In any case, his entrance triggers a Walpurgisnacht in which omens grin, portents hover, imperial horses neigh, and harpies feed. Alito turns into a pubic hair. Twelve Scotsmen dance on the dais. A bloody bull paws the ground. Two-headed Lyndie Englunds hang from the ceiling.

1/28/2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

I have seen it suggested on several blogs that the Democrats carry out a 24-hour filibuster of the Alito vote that unfolds in the same 24-hour period as the SOTU lecture.

Theatrical, but probably effective as a symbolic stance from a neutered opposition.

1/28/2006 3:45 PM  
Blogger juke moran said...

Two "n"s in Lynndie.
Singing "Kumbaya" backwards while grimacing like Tongan warriors and drumming triplets on their chests, or in the case of female members on their thighs and hey what's with this "gentlelady"? Have you heard them, have you heard them saying this? The gentlelady from California?
As an antidote to the biased unrecognizance of "gentleman"? Whose gender antonym is "lady" to begin with? As though the opposite of man is lady. Whereas gentleman was a man with manners.
But that's not exactly pertinent.
David Copperfield designs a mass disappearance, much more effective than a walkout.
Bush begins to speak his speak, and every time he mentions September 11, 2001 in any form or direct allusion the entire Democratic membership, plus including conservatives now disaffected, vanishes into thin air.
Then when he mentions "terror" or "war on terror" they reappear!
In case of repetition without consequent alternate they flicker in and out three times in 450-microsecond bursts.
Good TV!

1/28/2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous brian moffatt said...

I think what they should do is this. It's an old Saul Alinsky trick. For three days eat nothing but beans and bananas and soya and drink plenty of beer. Show up like nothing's different and start ripping farts. Just get the place humming. I have no idea what the reaction of anyone would be but...yeah turning and walking out does nothing...causing the other side to gag or hold their noses might be better.

1/28/2006 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walking away is a great idea, a perfect idea, but it only makes sense as a tactic in line with a broader strategy that precedes and follows it, and since that strategy does not exist, they might as well fart.


1/28/2006 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Tutor said...

Whistle lillibulero in unison, like Uncle Toby in Tristram Shandy.

1/28/2006 10:43 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

It was once explained to me in the heart of black Rochester that the Alinsky maneuver was a specialty there, utilized by some guy who used to hire a goodly number of portly black men to sit front & center.

So the dems could disappear and reappear as black people. And the next time, have extra appendages. Budding Briareuses and Kottoses. Whistling from their 100 heads.

1/28/2006 11:09 PM  

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