For those who will fondly remember, the bygone days of the Bartlet Administration were a time when our government was populated by individuals of strong moral fiber, forthright people who took to even the most minute daily task thoroughly, with an eye to justice, and always maintained a principled integrity and a virtuous purity of character, and our president was a man of vision and fortitude, whose wisdom never faltered and whose commitment to his constituents was never less than total. Those were indeed the days…too bad they were fictional.
I will admit here that I am a fan of pretty much everything Aaron Sorkin writes – for his wit and talent, not for his politics – with The West Wing ranking near the top (though not his best work, I have enjoyed The Newsroom and plan to keep watching).
If you’ve ever wondered how Bartlet and his presidency stacks up in the real world, against the accomplishments of real presidents, it turns out, not that well. At least that’s according to Ian Millhiser, who wrote the article for ThinkProgress.org.
If, on the other hand, you’ve ever wondered what Bartlet would make of Obama, it turns out Sorkin dipped his quill in the Bartlet ink one more time, in 2008, and wrote a conversation between the two presidents I suppose as an intellectual exercise, and…then he did it again, four years later. They are both excellent of course, really fun to read, and are pretty astute criticisms of Obama at the time.