comments_image Comments

Pick of the week: Rick Santorum, unlikely hero

I suppose the danger of AJ Schnack’s immensely entertaining documentary “Caucus” is that it retells all the hair-raising twists and turns of the 2012 Republican caucus in Iowa as human drama, with the things we’re supposed to care about – the ideology, the “politics” – stripped away. We know for sure that none of these clowns will ever be elected president, so we’re free to view them as flawed, interesting, crazy and sometimes even sympathetic characters in a larger narrative that’s beyond their control. I would argue, in fact, that this gripping and grotesque portrait of retail politics in the Hawkeye State, entirely free of editorial commentary, locates truths about the contemporary Republican Party and our flawed electoral system that a more tendentious account never could.

I was a little hesitant to watch “Caucus,” and it might indeed sound masochistic to invite Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry back into your consciousness after you thought they’d been banished for good. But they’re all so weird! Any HBO writer who tried to invent the crazy-eyed Bachmann and her flamboyantly gay-seeming husband, Marcus, would be laughed out of story meetings. Considering the fact that Bachmann was briefly regarded as the Republican front-runner and became the subject of a New Yorker feature forces you to question the sanity of the governing media caste, or perhaps the Matrix-like nature of political reality.

Continue Reading...


    





Share