Barack Obama and The West Wing

To this day one of my favorite TV shows is the West Wing. I think it was one of the most (if not the most) well written shows that I can recall and the fact that it was so popular in America gave me hope that the real “silent majority” in America were really, deep down, socially conscious. Yesterday the New York Times published an article paralleling the campaigns of Obama and McCain to those of the fictional Matthew Santos and Arnold Vinick in the last two seasons of the West Wing.

I won’t repeat the article here, it is worth reading. But I will say again that the fact that a show about a very liberal white house could get as popular as it did IS I believe testament to where Americans really are in their political thinking. Finally after eight years of failed conservative policy we are on the brink of finally bringing a liberal administration to the white house which will work to put our nation back on the right track. And if you are not sure, just take a look at this column from the Telegraph in London.

And since I am talking about the West Wing I had to add this little thing. The last episode of the 2nd Season contains what I think was the greatest moment in dramatic television. The you tube is below, but I want to set the stage for it for those who did not watch the show. President Bartlett is in his third year of his first term in office and was contemplating not running for re-election. He suffers from MS and that was kept from the public. In the midst of all of this and the tribulations of being president, his secretary, Mrs. Landingham purchased her first car ever and while she was driving it for the first time, she was killed by a drunk driver hitting her car. She was probably one of the two most important people in his life and he knew her since he was a boy.

The scene below is right after her funeral at the National Cathedral.


Here is the translation of the latin:

Gratias tibi ago, domine
Thank you, Lord.

Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?
Am I to believe these things from a righteous God, a just God, a wise God?

Cruciatus in crucem
To Hell with your punishments

uus in terra servus, nuntius fui; officium perfeci
I was your servant, your messenger on the earth, I did my duty.

Cruciatus in crucem (with a dismissive wave of the hand) eas in crucem
The Hell with your punishments! And to Hell with you! (literally, “may you go to a cross”)

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