The Wingnuttery of An Actor as President

I’m watching HBO’s production of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. As others have noted, it would’ve been better if HBO had spent at least a season’s worth of Deadwood-style TV time on it instead of making it a 2.2 hour movie. Given its Hollywood drawbacks (pass the bombast please), we can still consolingly absorb our history vitamins as they are so bestowed on us by those finger-wagging Hollywood elites.

Thompson as Grant
Thompson as Grant

I’m particularly fascinated by Fred Thompson’s portrayal of Ulysses S. Grant, not least because as a youngster my next-door neighbor Roy Engel portrayed President Grant numerous times on Wild Wild West. Lincoln’s bully general (adopter of the scorched earth battlefied tactic) is also buried a few blocks north of me. (Hi Groucho!)

Grant was in the middle of a long line of 19th century Presidents who adopted the yoke of indian removal begun by Andrew Jackson. Grant’s logic in the movie is in agreement with General Sherman’s: We bought the land the Indians are sitting on from the French so it’s ours especially because there’s gold there so it’s our gold. (And those Indians really do freaky things with their tomahawks.) (Note to self: fix image wraparound.)

In this fact-checking and instant polling internet culture, it’s funny when you see the same logical leaps in present-day punditry from Thompson as he appeared on the “circle the wagons” show hosted by Hannity after the 2nd Presidential debate. The GOP talking points have been deemed mostly irrelevant and yet they’re repeated and repeated as though the logic is “Voters won’t get it until we pummel them with repetition.” (Keating Five who?)

And another thing: Failures of irony bug the crap out of me. Another instance of this was over at America’s Shittiest Website™  today where Michael Graham is shocked– ok “informing us”– that an “elite” Harvard professor is suggesting the current administration ignore the constitution one more time but this time, really for the good of the country. Bush went to Yale and some of you people still swing the elite charge around like a dead cat. Meanwhile, a co-chair in the McCain campaign calls himself and Obama “a guy of the street” last week. Connect the ironic elephant dots that are stampeding on your faces.

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