Tanenhaus’ flair for Political Melodrama almost rivals that of Cukor’s 1943 MGM potboiler ‘The Keeper of the Flame’. Starring the celebrated Tracy and Hepburn, playing their respective roles, as brave inquiring reporter, and the anguished wife of a politician secretly allied with Fascism. Script by Donald Ogden Stewart, who was eventually Blacklisted. Premature Antifascist? The great advantage of ‘Keeper’ is that it had two actors of high reputation, and a script that kept the melodrama moving. With Mr Tanenhaus’ essay the reader is condemned to actually having to read his prose awash in near breathless hyperbole.
After his exercise in hyperbole, Mr. Tanenhaus recap of the political story descends to the level of good grey reportage, with stock heroes and villains of the American political establishment making quick entrances, as the in order to of keeping his rickety melodrama moving. And quoting perpetual political dull wit Colin Powell as some kind of ‘American Statesmen’ is exemplary of this writers grasp of the American political scene! And true to form, the alliance between Trump and Putin, and Putin and Assange seek to make concrete, in the readers mind, the New Cold War narrative, of an ever present 5th Column in the midst of American political virtue. Additionally, brevity is not a Tanenhaus practice.
What is most telling is that Mr. Tanenhaus has missed the most salient statistic of all, in this presidential race: 49.6% of all voters did not cast a vote for Trump or Clinton. The meaning of this is stark in its clarity, almost half the voters were so disaffected from both candidates, that they did not vote for either! One half of voters decided this contest between two loathsome politicians.