Fair Game, the brand new movie starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, is a pretty good movie, and it is pretty brutal in its depiction of the United States government. I say "government" advisedly. While it would be nice to blame Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and President George W. Bush, as individuals, for what happened to Valerie Plame, the impression one comes away with from the movie (as if you need to go to the movies to get this impression) is that the entirety of American government has been corrupted by our imperial pretensions. The corruption of the individuals in charge of the government seems more effect than cause.
Which brings me to what I thought was the highlight of Fair Game: the presentation by Sean Penn, right at the end of the film, to a politics class, somewhere. Penn plays Joesph C. Wilson, Plame's husband, and in this final scene quotes an exchange between Benjamin Franklin and an unnamed woman, outside Independence Hall, the place where the Constitutional Convention met:
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Based on the movie (not that you need to watch the movie to get this impression), the question today might be rephrased:
If you can get it back!
Speaking of the movies, the "real" Valerie Plame appears in another chilling film that I highly recommend: Countdown To Zero.
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