Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Master Plan Takes Shape

Lawrence O’Donnell has figured out President Obama’s master plan to completely flummox the Republicans.

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Mr. O’Donnell spent a number of years as a producer, screenwriter, and occasional actor for The West Wing, so he might be forgiven if he’s seeing what’s going on in the real West Wing as a masterstroke of planning and deft plot work on the part of Mr. Obama. As a playwright, I too can appreciate the story arc being played out on the stage of the Capitol. But reality writes lousy drama, and things don’t always play out the way they’re written; actors flub their lines, miss their cues, and a lot of times they’re more interested in getting the attention of the audience rather than follow the script or interpret the objectives of the character.

Granted, Mr. Obama has been blessed with a cast of antagonists that are two-dimensional, which makes it easy to play against them and cast them as mustache-twirling villains while he portrays the noble yet humble hero in this melodrama. The only problem is that, as most playwrights will tell you, writing a neat and satisfying ending at the curtain is the hardest part.