Saturday, July 16, 2011

WHO SAID IT? (Harry Potter and Congress Edition): "...The federal government is kind of a Slytherin."

Which Arizona Congressperson is quoted in the Washington media as using the above Harry Potter-related metaphor this past week on the eve of the release of the final movie installment of the incredibly-popular series? 

In the face of the actions by various Slytherins in the final installment, it may not have been the analogy he (we will eliminate the three Democrats in the delegation, due to the attempt to demonize the federal government) was reaching for.  Nonetheless, he certainly gets points for his overall knowledge of and participation in the big midnight releases of the books and movies.

Answer - and rest of the post - after the jump.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD1) was one of two Representatives chosen by Roll Call's reporter to extol the virtues of the J.K. Rowling series and its impact on their - and others' - kids.  Here is the entire section about Gosar's comparison of Dumbledore and Slytherin to the issue of states' rights:

This tendency has Gosar often explaining his politics to kids — and sometimes adults — through Potter metaphors.

"There are things that should be allocated to states' rights — that's Gryffindor — and certain things allocated to the federal government, which is Slytherin," he said. "Being from Arizona, the federal government is kind of a Slytherin."

His favorite character also aligns with his political beliefs. Dobby the elf inspires Gosar, he said, because the elf found it honorable to die free rather than to live in servitude. And he believes the federal government should be less like Slytherin and more like Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore — empowering the students, or states, to take charge on their own.

"One of the things that Dumbledore is always trying to do is to empower the kids to take ownership of issues and be creative and involved," he said. "That's what we see today. We need to empower America to be a creator of its solutions going forward in a new, very confusing world."

Gosar's press assistant, Hannah Loy, is apparently a super-fan; she has the much more (not in a political sense) conservative take on using Rowling's world as political metaphor:  "Its about the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, standing up for what you believe in. And that's the same with anything on the Hill."

I would only add that the series - moreso the books than the movies - featured many more of its metaphorical punch in the actions (and inactions) of the British magical community's government.  Many of them will long be dissected in much the same way as those found in Animal Farm1984 and the like.

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