Editor’s Note: SPOILER ALERT: The following post contains spoilers of the wonderful Shakespeare play “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (or, for the superstitious among you, “That Scottish Play“). We’re not sure how much we can spoil it, given that “tragedy” is in the title, but if you’ve never read it, we think you ought to do so immediately.
Editor’s Note II: Please read the post carefully. Editorial Director Frank Andorka is not calling Republicans in general or any Republican an idiot. It’s an allusion. Thank you for your attention.
I love William Shakespeare. His writing set the standard for all writers coming after him. His poetry of language is unmatched. He told interesting stories with great characters. That’s why his plays and sonnets are still relevant today, nearly 400 years after his death. My copy of The Riverside Shakespeare is still one of my most prized possessions, one that I have recently bequeathed to my daughter, Maggie.
My personal favorite play of his is Macbeth (or, for the superstitious among you, “That Scottish Play“), which I was introduced to as an overachiever in Bay Village, Ohio, read again as a ninth-grader and then most recently as a sophomore at The College of Wooster.
In particular, I remember the famous “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy from Act 5. Macbeth is about to be held to account for his actions (which include killing several people in an attempt to seize the Scottish throne). Macduff (who was “from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped”) is about to lay siege to Dunsinane (Macbeth’s castle), where his death is nearly guaranteed. Macbeth finally expresses his understanding of the futility of the life he had lived and coming to grips with his own mortaility. I won’t quote the entire speech (although you can read it here), but there was one passage in particular that came to mind when I heard of the Republicans’ attempts to pass something called the No More Solyndras Act:
….it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (Act 5, Scene 5, 26-28)
Honestly, the Republicans’ attempt to score cheap political points by bringing up the Solyndra bankruptcy in an election year (a non-scandal, by the way — did I mention we’ve written about this before — specifically here, here and here) is just sad. Pathetic, really. The least they could have done is update the act’s name and called it the No More Abound Solar Act to look a little more contemporary. After all, Solyndra is so last year.
To paraphrase Macbeth, this whole No More Solyndras Act foolishness is nothing but sound and fury. It signifies exactly nothing. The vocal, loud and petty minority is doing nothing more than posturing, grandstanding and otherwise displaying pompous self-righteousness that does absolutely nothing to alleviate the real problems facing the United States today.
And even if it were good policy (it’s not), there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Hades that the Senate would pass it. So why waste time pushing for a bill that has no chance of becoming law? Because they’re angry. Because they despise President Barack Obama so much that they are willing to sacrifice the country’s interests (which should first and foremost, jobs) to make sure he is a one-term president (don’t believe me? Here’s Senator Mitch McConnell touting that is the Republicans No. 1 political priority). They love railing against this president on the floor of the House because it plays well to their rabid, anti-Obama base.
But in the end, they are shaking their fists in impotent rage. The DOE loan program — so vital to the investment in current and future solar innovations — will survive this onslaught (and perhaps come back even stronger than before).
As Macbeth himself articulates:
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
The inevitable death of this legislation is coming; it is only a matter of how many tomorrows the Republicans decide to keep it alive before its dusty death. Ultimately, Republicans’ dreams of making this a campaign issue will ultimately lie tattered on the field of battle, destroyed by hubris and overreach just as these destroyed Macbeth so many centuries before.