Newsverse: Elegy, Salt Lake City, May 2010

By Jerry Adler

SALT LAKE CITY— Senator Robert F. Bennett, an 18-year veteran Republican who had been seeking a fourth term, was stripped of his party’s nomination ... at the state convention here, becoming one of the first Congressional victims of the surging discontent from the Tea Party-infused Republican right.
The New York Times, May 8

Death, as it must to all men, came
To Robert Bennett in the name
Of Republican purity.
Poor man, he never overcame.
Accusations of civility.
Implications of maturity.
And as it must, obscurity
Swept down to stake its claim.
Instead of hemlock, he drank the tea.

Instead of hemlock, he drank the tea
He was judged and found to be
Insufficiently insane.
Are you listening, John McCain?
He would talk to Democrats.
Which, to the crowd with tinfoil hats,
Is like a moral stain.
Some things you can’t explain.

Some things you can’t explain
The words fall just like rain
On rock. And you’ll appear
Defensive, insincere.
The future now belongs to birthers
Militias, tenthers, and flat-earthers.
And no one will be left to hear
The elegaic mad refrain:
Oh, where are the Snowes of yesteryear?