They’re righter than perhaps they know. Consider: Kabuki is designed around actors -- not the setting or the direction or even really the story, but the actors. Earle Ernst, in his influential study of Kabuki, notes that “the most spectacular stage effects are those which are created to show the actor to best advantage.” The few props that are used “appear only when needed and are removed immediately when they are not required.”
Isn’t this the perfect description of the Senate’s Keystone vote? The purpose of the performance is entirely to show Landrieu to best advantage, and the vote itself is a prop that will most certainly vanish immediately.
Kabuki costumes, moreover, are designed to be removed with ease, right up on stage. Underneath, the actor is always wearing another costume, different in color and pattern. The effect can be dazzling, as the performer transforms suddenly into someone new: the reliable party functionary can, when necessary, become the rebel, and the rebel can then revert to form as reliable party functionary.
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