That’s how my good friend John Rogers describes it, and coming across this clip from the last season supports the description.  It’s a fantasy in a couple of respects – that two intelligent party nominees for President would agree to a free-form debate with unlimited exchange without obsession over precisely how much time each gets.  It’s a fantasy that the Republicans would nominate a free-thinking pro-choice Republican capable of plausible depiction by Alan Alda.  And it is the ultimate fantasy of how we wanted Michael Dukakis to respond against George Bush, Sr. way back in that debate of 1988 when the former’s ACLU membership was brought up.



Of course, it doesn’t beat this fantasy response Gore ought to have made to Bush as Bartlet does to James Brolin’s depiction of a Bush-like pol (several years before his son depicted the real thing in W).  The theme is underscored by the lead-up to the debate where his staff and wife try every trick to pull a cerebral President out of his head.  Of course, the real fantasy is that voters actually want someone in office smarter than them, and would not be turned off by Bartlett’s smug sense of liberal superiority.

Addendum: Bernie Sanders tries to bring class issues back into national discourse.  Thanks to PAN for the notice.



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