The News Hasn’t Gotten to the West End Yet

The New York Times supplies a counterpoint to today’s columns by Robert Bartley and Michelle Malkin, in the form of a review of a new play in London’s West End called “The Madness of George W.”
The play’s title comes from “The Madness of King George III,” and its subtitle, “Strangelove Revisited,” refers to the anti-cold war classic “Dr. Strangelove.” Creativity appears to be in short supply here, but never mind: the show, described by its author as a “hotch-potch of revue, satire, cabaret, stand-up and vaudeville,” is a hit.
President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld have been proved triumphantly right about Iraq, but don’t expect the news to penetrate the consciousness of Great Britain’s (or America’s) theater crowd any time soon. As Thomas Sowell has so discouragingly demonstrated, these people’s views have nothing to do with the facts, and little to do with reality. Despising President Bush is a fashion statement and a badge of identity, not an empirical hypothesis.
The show’s creator, Justin Butcher, says that the play’s parallels to the Cold War are intentional; he sees a repeat of the Cold War in the Administration’s current determination to oppose terrorism. Apparently Butcher, and the theater fans who flock to his play, haven’t yet gotten the word that American conservatives were right about the Cold War, too.
Someday, I suppose that the fashionable ridicule directed at President Bush (and President Reagan before him) will be viewed as a puzzling historical curiosity, much like the vitriol that was heaped on President Lincoln in the early years of his administration. In the meantime, however, it is pretty infuriating.


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