Good morning, it’s Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Seventy-two years ago today, "South Pacific" made its Broadway debut. To say the musical was a smashing success is an understatement. Its tunes are still familiar to many of us today. As I’ve done previously on this date, I’ll offer a thought on why that’s true in a moment. First, I’d point you to RCP’s front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors:
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Biden and the All-Star Game: A Presidential Wild Pitch? Phil Wegmann examines the pickle the president finds himself in after expressing support for moving the game out of Atlanta amid controversy over Georgia’s new voting law.
Why I Canceled My MLB Subscription. Thomas K. Lindsay writes that Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred apparently didn’t read the Georgia voting law he cited in announcing that the league is moving this year’s All-Star Game.
The Founding Fathers Rejected Filibusters. At RealClearPolicy, George R. Tyler cites Hamilton’s Federalist 22 to support his point.
Why S. 1 Would Be a Disaster for West Virginia -- and the U.S. Mac Warner, West Virginia’s secretary of state, argues that the For the People Act would disenfranchise military voters, and impose unfunded and unrealistic requirements on states.
The Office Is in No Way Dead. At RealClearMarkets, Mahesh Ramanujam suggests ways to make workplaces healthier and more inviting once the pandemic recedes.
Measuring F-35 Progress. At RealClearDefense, William Looney assesses production of the stealth fighter jet amid COVID- related supply chain challenges.
Fred Singer Saved His Best Climate Writing for Last. In RealClearEnergy, Patrick J. Michaels applauds the level-headed thinking and clear writing in “Hot Talk, Cold Science.”
Looking Back at the Texas Flag Burning Case. At RealClear’s American Civics portal, Edwin C. Hagenstein focuses on the Supreme Court’s far-reaching decision in Texas v. Johnson.
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The audience at the Majestic Theater for the April 7, 1949, Broadway premiere of “South Pacific” included the elite of New York City's art world. As was befitting the social event of the season, the musical’s financial backers rented the roof of the St. Regis Hotel for an after-party. And in a further display of faith that Rodgers and Hammerstein had produced another hit, some 200 copies of the New York Times’ early edition were ordered, so that party guests could read the review. This confidence proved to be well-placed: Famed theater critic Brooks Atkinson, who sat in his customary front-row seat that night, wrote glowingly of the show.
The real critics -- those in the audience -- had already voted with their feet, or rather, with their hands: The opening night performance took a long time to complete because the crowd kept stopping the show with extended applause after each of the songs.
And why not? Those songs are brilliant in their composition, rendered beautifully by a cast that included Mary Martin and opera star Ezio Pinza, and carried uplifting social messages, the chief one being that love can thrive even in wartime -- and is more powerful than racism.
Several of those numbers, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Younger Than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” are popular torch songs to this day. And the tenor of modern American politics is a reminder that my own favorite “South Pacific” number – “You've Got to Be Carefully Taught” -- is as relevant now as it was in 1949.
Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics