The West Wing claims to be a relatively realistic portrayal of
how government works, but it suffers from a fatal flaw. The West Wing
staff are intelligent, hard-working and always acting in the best interests
of the American people. Talk about fiction.
The question begs itself: what if The West Wing crew was really
in charge of the United States? There is a natural marriage between acting
and politics; just look at Ronald Reagan. The only president who could
claim a legitimate beef against the dramatic arts is Abe Lincoln.
President Bartlett would be a great leader, but I'm not sure about Martin Sheen himself. Sheen can form a coherent sentence, which puts him above President Dubya, but Sheen is as ultra-liberal as the Bush government is ultra-conservative. One extreme is as bad the other.
In addition, would you really want the star of the TV movie Project:
ALF as the most powerful man in the world? If he can't even keep
that zany, cat-eating Melmacian in line, how can he run an entire nation?
Debates would become much more interesting, since Aaron Sorkin, the show's creator, writes great dialogue. If the showbiz thing fizzles out, Sorkin can easily get a job as a speech writer. Even better, he can get diplomatic immunity for his drug arrests.
Alison Janney would make a much better press secretary than the real-life mouthpiece, Ari Fleischer. Fleischer is the kind of guy who can talk for an hour and say nothing, aside from trying to break his boss's record for most uses of the word "evildoer" in one sentence.
A West Wing White House wouldn't be perfect, however, most national
problems can't be solved in an hour before Law & Order. Also,
I don't trust John Spencer as the Chief of Staff. His character on the
show is very competent, but let's not forget how Spencer tried to screw
over Sean Connery in The Rock. Scottish-American relations would
be soured for years to come.
So, the battle between the two West Wings is still up in the air. For Canadians, however, the debate is much clearer. Give Jean Chrétien the boot, and bring in Colm "Trudeau" Feore. Whatcha gonna do, Bloc Quebecqois, when Feoremania runs wild on you?