09.20.2012 10:50 AM

West Wing returns

The thing below is both funny, and a coincidence.

A coincidence because a DNC guy was in here yesterday, and I told him (a) I once reviewed West Wing for CBC, and said I didn’t really like it because nobody in politics is ever as smart as the characters on the show, or is walking around and talking so much, and (b) everyone in Ignatieff’s office was obsessed with West Wing, which suggested to me that they were headed for a thumping, which they were.  Because they secretly considered West Wing to be what really happens in politics.  Um, no.

Funny, because it is.  A bit too long, but it makes its point (over and over).

Now, start hectoring me, West Wing maniacs.  If you must know, Star Trek is really the best politics series: fly in, convert the locals (by force, guile or good looks), dress it up as “values,” and then fly away.  That’s politics.


  1. Sb says:

    You perfectly articulated the Star Trek sentiment.

  2. Np says:

    First off, Love the vid. Miss the series. I wish politics truly was more like that. Oh well…

    Warren, I must say, I take great issue with your quote here: “If you must know, Star Trek is really the best politics series: fly in, convert the locals (by force, guile or good looks), dress it up as “values,” and then fly away. That’s politics.”

    That may be politics, but that wasn’t Star Trek. Certainly not Star Fleet or the United Federation of Planets. Converting the locals (and in fact interfering with them in any way that altered their own natural development as a species) was in complete violation of the Prime Directive and was considered treasonous. They flew in, studied the locals thoroughly, then after careful evaluation of the specie’s culture and intellect, first contact was made. What you’ve described sounds more like the Borg. Fly in, assimilate and call it progress in the name of the greater good, repeat. THAT’S politics.

    There, I got my nerd out for the day.

  3. Sean says:

    I loved the West Wing. However, generally speaking, you are right. I’d say politics is not anything like the West Wing about 80% of the time. If Ignatieff’s people were constantly talking about the West Wing, I’d say that explains a LOT.

    I’d say the TV shows which most accurately depict the political world are the Brittish classic “Yes Minister”, “The Sopranos” and increasingly “Game of Thrones”.

  4. W the K - No, not Warren says:

    No hectoring from this fan of the show. I’m not an insider but I understood it was fiction.

    Maybe I hoped that real politicians and their political staff were wise, informed, and motivated by country over politics. Contradictory? Naive? Probably. But a counterpoint during the age of Bush.

    I try not to be cynical about the political process but I suspect that reality has more in common with In The Loop. How else can one explain Rob Ford?

    Incidentally, the writing in both shows was top notch.

    • W the K - No, not Warren says:

      Oh, and yes. Star Trek was deeply political.

      • bigcitylib says:

        Which was why Captain Picard’s “surrendering” in the first episode of Next Generation was such a big deal. It was supposed to be a direct repudiation of the first show’s ideology.

        By the way, they are shopping a new ST show starring Whorf. THAT might be interesting.

  5. dmn451 says:


    I’ve heard that before somewhere, oh, right… “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”, yet Star Trek was fictional and therefore would end with a health chuckle on the bridge. Reality is much more complicated, more complicated than that of the government worker believes to be possible because they’re from the government and all knowing.

  6. Dan says:

    It was a great show, and (I’ll bet) a poor simulation.

    Aaron Sorkin has gotten a lot of flack since he’s become an Oscar winner for some reason. “Nobody talks like that.” Isn’t that sort of the point? If he wrote how normal people talked, the shows would be pretty dull.

    His dialog is as clever as Glengarry Glen Ross or American Beauty or Pulp Fiction, which also have an unusual number of witty/smart people in them.

  7. Doug Hamilton says:

    I’ll buy your Star Trek analogy – just don’t forget what often happened to the guys in the red uniforms.

  8. Tim Sullivan says:

    Our PM economists are not even economists. The one I’m thinking of does not have a doctorate, cannot even seem to write a book, and did not and cannot see bad economic times approach, makes policy decisions disapproved of by most economists, ignores evidence in making decisions … need I go on?

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