So it's taken weeks to return to what started out as an easy metaphorical ride, casting GOP candidates in the roles of our most popular Opera characters. Then the race got twisty and turny, Gingrich got interesting, Paul not so easy to brush off and suddenly my casting job got much trickier. So much so, that in the case of Gingrich I had to leave the world of opera and make a foray into ballet. Because of Newt Gingrich's recent and slightly weird political dream-telling about his first days in office, I started to wonder if he'd crossed over into a world of fantasy and obsession like what the character James experienced in the most popular Romantic ballet, La Sylphide, when he left his bride in favor of an elusive sylph. With weeks more to go, a lot could happen to make these castings sillier than originally intended, but for now let's play it all out, shall we?
Plot Synopsis of La Sylphide by Treva Bedinghaus on About.com. My "adjustments" are in parentheses:
La Sylphide: Original version choreographed by Philippe Taglioni first performed in Paris in 1832.
Most popular version choreographed by August Bournonville first performed in 1836.
"On the morning of (one of) his (many) wedding day(s), a Scottish farmer named James (Newt Gingrich) falls in love with a vision of a magical sylph, or spirit (AKA the enchantment of the presidency). An old witch appears before him (the voice of reason that tries to warn all presidential hopefuls), predicting that he will betray his fiancee (his former simple life as consultant, author, Speaker of the House, career politician, etc). Although enchanted by the sylph, James disagrees, sending the witch away.
All seems fine as the wedding begins (as life as usual continues). But as James begins to put the ring on his fiancee's finger, the beautiful sylph (representing his firm feeling that he just might be able to get the GOP nod) suddenly appears and snatches it away from him. James abandons his own wedding, running after her. He chases the sylph into the woods, where he again sees the old witch. She offers James a magical scarf (the South). She tells him that the scarf will bind the sylph's wings (the nomination), enabling him to catch her for himself. James is so enamored by the sylph that he wishes to catch her and keep her forever (I wouldn't put it past Mr. Gingrich to look into extending the term limits for President if he were to take office).
James decides to take the magical scarf. He wraps it around the sylph's shoulders, but when he does, the Sylph's wings fall off and she dies (turns out the South wasn't the magical windfall it was supposed to be and now his chances aren't as gleaming). James is left all alone, heartbroken (though Herman Cain has offered support, probably in exchange for a VP appointment). He then watches his fiancee marry his best friend."
Here is where the analogy breaks down. Given the way this thing has played out thus far, I have no idea who that "Best Friend" might be. But I'm pretty sure of one thing. Given his reaction to losing the Florida primary, whomever takes the GOP nomination wouldn't be anyone Newt Gingrich would call a friend.
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