‘The Ides of March’: A Movie About Liberals Behaving Badly

COMMENTARY | “The Ides of March” is a riveting, well directed and acted film about a series of bad decisions, betrayals, and revelations that occur in the days before the Ohio Primary in the campaign of a fictional Democratic governor played by George Clooney.

Mike Morris, the politician Clooney plays, is on the surface every liberal’s dream of what a candidate for president should be. He is handsome, charismatic, and not afraid to take positions that in the real world would frighten most voters to death. For instance, Morris proposes to outlaw the internal combustion engine by government fiat. His prescription for ending the war on terror is to stop buying Arab oil and thus make the terrorists irrelevant.

That the movie depicts Morris as the front runner in the nomination process who is certain to be elected demonstrates the capacity of liberals for self delusion. However this supposition is crucial to the movie, because it means that Stephen Meyers, played by Ryan Gosling, believes that Morris is the one who will get elected and change the country for the better. This belief is part of Meyers’ undoing. Morris is not entirely what he seems to be.

Evan Rachel Wood plays Molly Stearns, an intern whom Meyers unwisely enters into a sexual relationship with. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Paul Zara, Morris’s campaign manager. Paul Giamatti plays Tom Duffy, the chief of the rival campaign. Both are cynical and jaded to the marrow and are willing throw Stephen under the bus if it will advance their campaigns. Marisa Tormi is a New York Times reporter whom Stephen plays. She plays Stephen right back. Finally, Jeffrey Wright plays a Senator whose endorsement is crucial for winning the nomination and can be had for a price.

It would be unfair to the reader to be too detailed about the plot of the movie, since it unfolds with unexpected twists and turns. Suffice to say the bad decisions lead to worse decisions which lead to tragedy.

Morris’ campaign has more intrigue and backstabbing than a typical court of a Renaissance potentate. The difference is that unlike the Borgias or the Medici, the Morris campaign staff do not have people killed.

Even though every character on screen is a liberal, “The Ides of March” is just as fun to watch for a conservative as it is depressing for a liberal. In an era of disillusionment for a president who was once called “the One,” leftwing film goers will have to get out their hankies while watching the revelation of Morris as a heel and a hypocrite. Conservative movie watchers, on the other hand, will smile in confirmation of what they always suspected of empty suit, big talking lib politicos.

Source: The Ides of March, TV.Rage

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