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Deja Vu -- All Over Again

On May 10, 2006 I posted on dotCommonweal the following:

On the fourth ballot this morning (requiring only a simple majority, in contrast to the two-thirds needed on the first three ballots), the eighty year old former Communist, Giorgio Napolitano, was chosen as Italys eleventh president.

It would require only a minimum of editing toaggiornare the post. Yes, so desperate and convoluted is the Italian political scene that, despite his own serious reservations, the now eighty-seven year old Napolitano has been elected Italy's twelfth (eleventh-bis?) president.This time the dysfunctional right and clueless left united against the upstart comedian-turned-demagogue, Beppe Grillo. Grillo and his minions are gathering today for a rally in the Piazza dei Dodici Apostoli to protest what they are calling a "coup d'tat."There is always the potential that these mass rallies can turn ugly, with clashes between protesters and police or among political factions. Happily, near the Piazza is the Ristorante Abruzzi, one of Rome's popular eating places. Given the choice between protest and pranzo, my compari might well choose the latter.As Papa Francesco would say: "buon pranzo!" 

About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.



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Pro tip: Read about Italian politics with Yakety Sax playing in the background. Everything makes more sense then.

My personal theory of Italian politics (a thing discussed only while they are awake) can be found in the wonderful movie (it has Anthony Quinn AND Anna Magnani) "The Secret of Santa Vittoria". I believe the politics goes something like: "Uh oh, another fine fellow on a fine horse here to save us. One would think a few millinea of this would have convinced even the most stubborn of them/us of its futility. Oh well then, hide the wine. We'll need it celebrate when this too passes."In my limited experience to say Italians love their country is very much an understatement. As much as anything I believe that accounts for their often delightful, sometimes tragic wandering away from reason.

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