Palace Intrigue in DC

Ayad Rahim
The people rise up, come out of their homes, and voice their strong rejection of the leader.

The leader, with a retinue of hundreds, is flown out of the country for an extended vacation.

The people grumble about the ruling family's extravagance and royal treatment -- while they suffer.

The leader and his attendants have long complained that he is not appreciated by the people, that the people are not worthy of such a brilliant leader.

The people think he doesn't like them and their ways, that he blames them, and views them as a hindrance to his great plans.

Some look at the grandiose caravan and wonder if he'll come back, that it looks like a government in exile, that he's having one final fling.

Meanwhile, back in the capital city, the courtiers and party elders try to stave off the rebellion and preserve their power and prestige. They fear they will be swept away, along with the leader. How to survive? Who will throw whom under the bus first, or off the sinking ship?

The party's leaders attempt to put on a pretty face, a show of stability -- that all is well, and nothing will be changed. Others in the regime say that change is necessary, that the deck chairs must be shuffled, that the leader must adapt, and listen to the people.

Insiders and apparatchiks put it about that the leader is out of touch, detached, isolated and indifferent; that he suffers from a humility-deficit; that he is not "self-aware enough" to understand what is happening, to make adjustments, or even to govern. The people wait for the regime's next moves, as the intrigue unfolds, behind the palace purdah.
 
The people have seen this movie before.

They sit home and wait, for the next moves from behind the palace purdah to be revealed.
Ayad Rahim is a Cleveland-based bookseller and former journalist.
The people rise up, come out of their homes, and voice their strong rejection of the leader.

The leader, with a retinue of hundreds, is flown out of the country for an extended vacation.

The people grumble about the ruling family's extravagance and royal treatment -- while they suffer.

The leader and his attendants have long complained that he is not appreciated by the people, that the people are not worthy of such a brilliant leader.

The people think he doesn't like them and their ways, that he blames them, and views them as a hindrance to his great plans.

Some look at the grandiose caravan and wonder if he'll come back, that it looks like a government in exile, that he's having one final fling.

Meanwhile, back in the capital city, the courtiers and party elders try to stave off the rebellion and preserve their power and prestige. They fear they will be swept away, along with the leader. How to survive? Who will throw whom under the bus first, or off the sinking ship?

The party's leaders attempt to put on a pretty face, a show of stability -- that all is well, and nothing will be changed. Others in the regime say that change is necessary, that the deck chairs must be shuffled, that the leader must adapt, and listen to the people.

Insiders and apparatchiks put it about that the leader is out of touch, detached, isolated and indifferent; that he suffers from a humility-deficit; that he is not "self-aware enough" to understand what is happening, to make adjustments, or even to govern. The people wait for the regime's next moves, as the intrigue unfolds, behind the palace purdah.
 
The people have seen this movie before.

They sit home and wait, for the next moves from behind the palace purdah to be revealed.
Ayad Rahim is a Cleveland-based bookseller and former journalist.