Is Shakespeare writing John McCain’s foreign policy?

While looking at Crooks and Liars yesterday reading comments on one of the articles which had suggested John McCain’s belligerent stance on Iraq and commitment to “staying in” indefinitely might alienate middle class conservatives, a Democrat commenter with more political nous than political correctness replied that talk of permanent war was just what middle class conservatives wanted to hear, they loved the wild west politics of Bush and wanted affirmation of America’s global ascendancy. Increased military action would take their minds off the price of gas and bread, the credit crunch, immigration and the rising tide of atheism.

As the person who wrote the comment expanded his theme it stuck me that I had heard something similar before. Something about giddy minds and foreign wars…

This sent me scurrying to Google to see what I could find. Sure enough the search came up with this, from Henry IV Part 2 (Act 4 Sc. 5)

King Henry is talking to his son, Prince Harry:

Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.

So if we think about that then quite clearly the “action hence borne out may waste the memory of former days” is a reference to the fact that the GOP hierarchy know the economy is in a hole it cannot climb out of, society is divided as never before and the challenges posed by climate change may already be insurmountable. How then do they waste the memory of former days or to put it another way, discourage the electorate from looking backward to happier and more secure times under a Democrat President? Simple, distract them with foreign quarrels. Political orthodoxy holds that in times of war the electorate will rally behind the incumbent Government.

Well that could not be more plain could it. John McCain’s senior foreign policy advisor is William Shakespeare. So when you hear Republicans claiming McCain’s age should not be an issue, knock them down by replying “It ought not to be, but some of his team are way past their sell by date.”

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