The Politics Of David Mamet

Ken AshfordTheatreLeave a Comment

In the Village Voice, Mamet explains "Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Liberal’".

While it may appear at first blush like Mamet has jumped the aisle from being a liberal to a conservative, that’s not my take.  I think instead he’s gone from being a non-thinking liberal to a thinking independent, having realized that government intervention isn’t always the best, and leaving things to the free market isn’t always the best.

That’s fine.  I don’t agree with him though, especially when he writes this:

I found not only that I didn’t trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president—whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster—were little different from those of a president whom I revered.

Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh.

I don’t think you can compare Bush/Iraq with JFK/Vietnam.  Kennedy got us in, initially, but he was also very concerned about it being a limited involvement.  Johnson, not Kennedy, turned it into a full-scale war.  Whereas Bush, of course, was for the full-scale war right away.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read.

UPDATE:  Sadly, No weighs in:

A quick history review for Mamet is in order. Eisenhower arguably started the Vietnam debacle by sending Diem to Vietnam and funding and training his armies there. The first U.S. ground troops were sent there by LBJ. Kennedy won the Kennedy-Nixon election by a margin wider than the number of electoral votes from Illinois. There is no evidence that any CIA agents were among the Cuban exile force that invaded Cuba, much less “hundreds” of them. Sorenson always said that Kennedy had significant input on the book. (Bonus question: tell me, David, if I reveal to you that Brent Bozell wrote The Conscience of a Conservative for Barry Goldwater, will you become a liberal again?) And if Kennedy was in bed with the Mafia, what on earth was Bobby Kennedy doing going after all those mob members?

At best Mamet’s claim to no longer be a “brain dead” liberal would appear to be only half true.