Day: August 23, 2009

All the King’s Men…and the Health Care Debate

On Saturday of our vacation it rained hard all day as the remnants of Hurricane Bill sent showers our way.  With no opportunity for biking or canoeing, Candice and I pulled out the 1949 Academy Award winning movie All the King’s Men starring Broderick Crawford and settled in for an afternoon with Willie Stark, Sadie Burke, and Jack Burden. I had a high school English teacher who loved Southern literature, so my first introduction to this powerful Robert Penn Warren novel came early in life.  I’ve read it on several occasions since then but it has been a long time since I’ve revisited the tale of political idealism gone wrong.  Seeing the movie – which won Best Movie, a Best Actor award for Crawford and a Best Supporting Actress award for Mercedes McCambridge as Sadie Burke – was a timely reminder that demagoguery is part of the American experience and not something new as part of the current health care debate. Willie has many memorable lines in the movie.  One that I’ve always remembered is …