I have days where I wonder if the world can get any crazier. I wonder if the TGOP is some advanced stage of nuttiness unique to our time. I thought of Shakespeare’s famous lines from Macbeth,

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day… And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

And it made me go hmmmm. I wondered what else Shakespeare might have said that seemed relevant to today. I find it somehow strangely comforting to know that much of what we are dealing with is basic human nature recycled and repackaged for our times. Sit back and enjoy Will’s wit and wisdom as applied to our times.

Do you realize that old Will foresaw twitter?

Brevity is the soul of wit.

or even texting:

What’s here? the portrait of a blinking idiot.

Apologies to the technology fans, but I was thinking of all the coverage given to Governor Airspace’s tweets.

How about the financial crash and Wall Street?

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.

Or this for AIG and Lehmann brothers:

My pride fell with my fortunes.

Or why we really need Elizabeth Warren and consumer financial protection:

I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.

Shakespeare had some quotes for politics too:

Faith, there hath been many great men that have flattered the people who ne’er loved them.

That fits quite a few ‘great men’. And for the blue dogs and reluctant Democrats:

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

Here’s Will on Reagonomics:

Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?

Or a great line on why we should not let the TGOP govern again:

What is past is prologue.

I think that’s Will’s version of they’re the ones that drove us into the ditch. And this summary of the TGOP:

Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.

I think of Representative Bachmann when I read:

Out, damned spot! out, I say!

Of course you may wish to substitute your own TGOP Representative or Senator to motivate your calling and canvassing efforts.

Ever think the religious right is a new phenomenon? Think again:

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

Or this, which for some reason had me thinking about Christine O’Donnell:

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

I skipped the famous quotes on witches since she only dabbled in witchcraft. But this quote fits her searching her shrubbery:

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Or thoughts on Glenn Beck’s tears:

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

The Iraq war is nothing new either. Take this quote:

Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.

And all the fear that was generated to wage a war on terror that has turned into Islamophobia:

In time we hate that which we often fear.

Sadly it was perfectly predictable.

Shakespeare’s time must have had something akin to the Texas School Board for him to write:

How well he’s read, to reason against reading!

And the debate about the role of science, whether for climate change or genetically modified food and fish:

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

And speaking of both climate change and the earth is our home not our trash can, I wish this were enough:

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

I’m pretty sure Shakespeare’s time had neither botox nor plastic surgery but this quote says the issues are timeless:

God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.


And Will had some great lines for the victims of the great recession:

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

Sure fits if you are unemployed, underemployed and losing your house to foreclosure doesn’t it. As does this:

The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.

But Shakespeare also has some advice for those of us who would help those suffering:

Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after.

That sure sounds like good advice and a progressive value to me. And in summary:

True is it that we have seen better days.

Lest you think Shakespeare is only good for tragedy, I like this line for all the get out the vote efforts,

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

And one last bit of inspiration for all the long suffering, determined progressives among us:

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

Hmmmm. So much has changed and yet so much remains the same.