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!" 

Robert P. Imbelli, a long-time Commonweal contributor, is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. A book of essays in his honor, The Center Is Jesus Christ Himself, edited by Andrew Meszaros, was published this year by The Catholic University of America Press.

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