Thingish Things

Don’t Go Wobbly, GOP

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Aug• 17•12

Gene Wilder delivers a memorable line in the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” that captures the state of American politics at this very moment in time.

Portly Augustus Gloop becomes lodged in the main chocolate artery of Wonka’s plant. A seemingly irresistible force of liquid chocolate builds in the pipe behind him. Something has to give, either the pipeline or the hapless Gloop himself.

Wonka, entranced by the scene, rapturously whispers to no one in particular: “The suspense is killing me; I hope it lasts.” (Gloop is then shot through the pipe like a cannonball, at last clearing the thing.)

Fiscally conservative political observers — those willing to accept such a light analogy — must empathize with Wonka. The political suspense of the day is killing us, but there is something so excruciatingly delicious about what we are seeing right now that we almost want it to linger.

We find ourselves at the most ideologically heightened moment in memory. On one side we have steadfast budget reformer Paul Ryan— and his running mate Mitt Romney — calling for fundamental national spending reform. On the other we have ardently liberalDemocrats calling for greater federal entitlements (Obamacare) and employing their tried-and-true “Mediscare” attacks.

This is the time when the Republicans normally run.

But not Ryan. And not Romney. Not this time.

The Republican ticket is holding firm on principle, and all America is watching. No one knows for sure what will happen.

The suspense is killing us in the most exciting way.

The rest of this column is available at Newsday and Newsday Westchester.  Thanks for reading!

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