As a teenager, I had something of an obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals. I can’t quite claim to have attained an encyclopedic knowledge of them, but I do have an uncanny long-term memory, and I listened to recordings of his musicals a lot. It was also during that time that the film version of Evita, starring Madonna, came out.
All of this ended up providing me with a coping mechanism of sorts during last year’s election season, when I realized it could all be pretty aptly summarized using lines from Evita.
It started on the night of the first general-election debate:
Oh what a circus, oh what a show…
The parallels snowballed from there.
You let down your people, Obama: you were supposed to have been immortal. That’s all we wanted, not much to ask for, but in the end you could not deliver.
Soon Donald and Hillary burst into their waltz, singing in perfect unison:
There is evil, ever around, fundamental system of government quite incidental.
Donald, with a characteristic improvisation:
So what are my chances of honest advances? I’d say low. Better to win by permitting my sin than to lose with a halo. (That’s called business, by the way.)
Segue from his endless conflicts of interest into the Fundación Clintón, and back again:
When the money keeps rolling in, you don’t ask how…
And then there was Hillary’s misplaced effort to win over all the descamisados:
Eyes, hair, mouth, figure, dress, voice, style, pantsuit!
Donald, again true to style, burst in and took over:
All my descamisados expect me to outshine the enemy, the aristocracy. I won’t disappoint them! I’m their savior, that’s what they call me…
And they did indeed, even though he was and still is spending a lot more time “at the watering holes of the well-to-do.”
Kellyanne Conway on election night:
Don’t close doors, keep an escape close, because we might lose the Big Apple. But would I have done what I did if I hadn’t thought, if I hadn’t known, we would take the country?
A bit too close to home, that.
Donald on inauguration day:
And if ever I go too far, it’s because of the things you are…
None too flattering to all of us, but “that’s how we get the government we deserve.”
This all came to my mind again as our “greatest social climber since Cinderella,” right after belting out a verse of “Good night and thank you, James Comey,” has been on his very own Rainbow Tour to give the Middle East and Europe “just a little touch of … America’s brand of star quality.” And playing all sides of the field as usual, seizing every possible excuse to boast, “There you are, I told you so, makes no difference where I go….”
But the news from home was not so good…. They compared The Donald to Richard Nixon, can’t think why.
Things weren’t all that bad [if one goes with the revised lyrics]: he met with the pope. He got some papal social teaching and a kindly word…
And a word of admonition on the Paris climate agreement.
He may be hoping for “some kind of coming-home triumph,” or at least some kind of reset, but the medley isn’t over yet. A few days’ worth of grandstanding won’t drown out the spreading disenchantment:
I hate to be rude, but as fine as your sentiments sound, little has changed for the rest of us here on the ground.
Meanwhile, investigators are still circling:
You must be quite relieved that no one’s told the papers – so far.
As things sooner or later come to a head, perhaps increasing numbers of us are hoping the branches of government can find the political will and wherewithal to reprise the waltz:
So go if you’re able to somewhere unstable and stay there. Whip up your hate in some tottering state, but not here, dear. Is that clear, dear?
In other words: Donald, beware your ambition.