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pocochina December 2 2014, 18:53:30 UTC
I could never really believe that the Bartlet administration was anything like the real thing would ever be, IYKWIM. Like, I thought it was a way of examining certain political stories but it always felt very…unreal, to me, IDK...

From what I understand, it got the dynamics of the West Wing as a workplace very accurately? There were a lot of Clinton Adminstration people who were consultants on the show. But in terms of what decisions they made, how they made those decisions, how those decisions were received by Congress and the public....unreal for a lot of reasons.

It's always a fascinating question, who's suited for that kind of job and who isn't…and it's often not the person who looks most ideal on paper, heh. Yeah, that's probably a big part of the issue with The West Wing not necessarily ringing true, was that Bartlet is very much a perfect-on-paper president. He's a genius! He's a Not-A-Politician politician! His family still carries the last name of one of our original patriarchs! And that was actually a fantasy that ( ... )


sunclouds33 December 2 2014, 18:01:33 UTC
Great post. I love the connection between TR's athleticism with his staff and Jed's trivia. Jed really is quite TR. I liked The Roosevelts documentary- but I didn't see the final two eps because they aired during my family's emergency. I hope to catch them later ( ... )


pocochina December 2 2014, 19:50:55 UTC
FDR and Laura Roslin play or *are* quiet listeners and pay so much sincere attention to the opposition making their case that the opposition feels like they're convincing FDR/Laura, but then, Laura/FDR just quietly do what they think is best which can leave the opposition feeling cheated.

I think that analysis holds up. There's also the never-quite-text reality that she'd obviously developed that skill in a lifetime of nodding along politely with men who are not half as smart as she is. FDR's ability to do so came from a very different place, I think - he always felt 100% entitled to be the smartest guy in the room, totally sure that he was the one who was most qualified to make decisions, and so he didn't need to tip his hand by proving how smart or otherwise impressive he was. But it somehow led to quite a similar political style.

Jed and TR can't quite play that game because they can't control their impulse to opinion-belch to all and sundry.

So true. TR really was not great at the "speak softly" part of his famous maxim.

I ( ... )


obsessive_a101 December 4 2014, 03:39:49 UTC

I still haven't watched TWW, but my intrinsic fascination with the Roosevelts (and FDR in particular) MADE me definitely want to read this - and of course LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! (shh.... just imagine a huge musical number reminiscent of West Side Story and oh - the angst *whimpers* My heart.

That said, this meta post has reminded me of the meta post I scribbled in my notebook last night regarding the most recent Major Crimes episode and an issue with it that I happened to have stumbled into... >>"

But I can't. Recent news have just made me down, and I feel exhausted.... :(

Anyway, *HUGS!* thanks for sharing your amazing meta! It actually made me smile. :) (Well, that and the recent tweet about MM's ad-lib in the adoption scene.) Good night!


pocochina December 4 2014, 05:01:01 UTC
ooooh, I need to catch up on Major Crimes!

and FDR in particular

I suspect a lot of us who love Laura share the same interest! He really was just....larger than life.



lokifan December 5 2014, 01:52:14 UTC
This is a really interesting post!

And forever agreed on discomfort with the way nobody on TWW ever articulates the idea that Bartlet is not required to disclose his medical history. It actually reminds me - the idea that the public are "just asking to be lied to" if they demand certain things of their politicians comes up twice in TWW using those exact words, talking about things like politicians having to disclose their faith (and in practice, to say they're devout Christians). I really wish that idea had come up in the context of Bartlet's medical exam (which he's not required to do, as he says to Abby, except he is) when he was first running.


pocochina December 6 2014, 20:59:00 UTC
Yeah. I even think with the MS specifically, I would probably come down on the side of thinking disclosure is a fair enough ethical expectation? But I just can't get behind it, precisely because there is a massive hole in the argument? Like, no, I cannot take it as axiomatically true that a person with a disability is less entitled to certain boundaries than a similarly-situated person without, so unless Congress was also going over Lassiter's children's school documents in order to divine his spouse's subjective intent in signing them, there was an explanation in order.

the idea that the public are "just asking to be lied to" if they demand certain things of their politicians comes up twice in TWW using those exact words, talking about things like politicians having to disclose their faith (and in practice, to say they're devout Christians).

Oh, I forgot about that, but you're completely right, that's a very telling discrepancy.


eilowyn December 6 2014, 05:48:28 UTC
This was everything I wanted in an answer to this question. I was having a conversation with my dad about politics and leadership in television and I mentioned you for how you're able to deconstruct fictional leaders to find the core of their real world-equivalent values. We talked about BSG and Game of Thrones (my original take when I first read the books maybe fifteen years ago was that it took the War of the Roses and amped it up +100000, and I think I stand by that because Westeros remains such a feudal system of governance - the show sometimes touches on this when it mentions the common people who are fighting simply because they live in a certain territory, rather than for reasons of conviction, but we all would rather stare at the high people in pretty costumes so stories about common people aren't a priority ( ... )


pocochina December 6 2014, 21:40:33 UTC
Aw, I am so flattered you thought of me. <3

The discredited/discreditable issue is one of those things that is really influential in how people live, but for numerous reasons does not pass muster in terms of Social Justice (TM) trendiness. Since you have access to academic resources, actually, it might be pretty easy for you to track down the real-deal book (Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity by Erving Goffman), which, while dated in its examples and not without limitations in some of its theory, is a relatively short but highly edifying read.

But yes, the disclosure decision is so complicated. For me it almost seems to get more so with time, as I rack up experiences with having disclosed and also come to a better understanding of many of the experiences I had pre-diagnosis (ie, when formal disclosure was impossible). It hasn't discernibly changed my stance on individual privacy rights, but this arc has definitely become more personal in some ways.


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