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The Bard Blog

05/28/2010 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

Surveying last week, William Shakespeare offers these blog-servations:

"Zounds! We were never so bethumped with words" (King John), which continue to flood the airwaves even after final passage of the health care bill. Quite apt, since the bill itself became a collection of "paper bullets of the mind," as Benedict says in Much Ado About Nothing.

Yet this is much ado about something - a bill of more than 2,000 pages, with sundry amendments of up to 383 pages. Both the legislation and its process reflect Macbeth's quip: "Confusion hath made his masterpiece."

Nonetheless, the votes constituted a big win for the Obama Administration and its backers, who reacted with near-euphoria: "O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!" (As You Like It).

Few Republicans said so, but at least some recognized the Congressional passage as a defeat. They could console colleagues: "Be cheerful. Wipe thine tears. Some falls are means the happier to arise." (Cymbeline).

Whether Republican fortunes will arise depends on how they perform on the political stage after the Congressional recess. Thus far, their words satisfy their backers. Yet many independents listen to them on incendiary cable TV talk radio shows and feel, "You cram these words into mine ears, against the stomach of my sense" (The Tempest).