I was watching "The Daily Show" earlier this week and saw a video on oil prices by correspondent Rob Corddry. It was a pretty funny bit -- Corddry rode around in a stretch Hummer limo, mocking bike riders, complaining about the enormous cost of filling the truck up, and driving a car from one end of the monstrosity to the other. All the while, Corddry drew comparisons between now and the last oil crisis -- high prices, a dubious war that had no apparent end, turmoil in the Middle East, and a scandal-plagued president whom the public no longer trusted. But, Corddry said with tongue planted firmly in cheek, "Today, the situation is completely different."
The video, however, was a year old. "The Daily Show" ran the exact same clip almost exactly 12 months ago. It was just as funny this time around, but it was a little disconcerting to see how everything is exactly the way it was when the video ran the first time.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that recent political events seem to be repeating themselves. Quick, when were these headlines published?
* Karl Rove has an election-year strategy that involves smearing Democrats.
* Dick Cheney is arguing (falsely) that John Kerry saw the same pre-war intelligence as the president.
* Conservative Republicans are saying critics of the war in Iraq are implicitly pro-al Queda.
* Bush wants everyone to believe Democrats will raise taxes.
* The media is writing about how Democrats don"t all agree on a single policy for Iraq.
Most of these come from just the past three days, but they could have just as easily come from 2005. Or '04, '03, or '02. It's almost as if the political world is standing still.
The right seems to believe they'll keep running the same play until the left figures out a way to stop it -- and at this point, it's not altogether clear they can. So we end up watching the players play their roles like they've been doing for several years now. It's a little painful.