“Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.” — Robert Penn Warren, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the King’s Men, one of the best novels on politics I ever read. I hear the 1949 film version is far better than the 2006 remake starring Sean Penn.
In the book, a character explains that “politics is always a matter of choices .… And there is always a price to make a choice.” Humans make choices, and those choices will cost friends and votes. “There is always a price.”
The book was based on the character of Huey Long (1893 – 1935) of Louisiana. Nicknamed “The Kingfish”, he was an American politician who served as the 40th governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a member of the United States Senate from 1932 until his assassination in 1935. He was the subject of a PBS documentary, as well as other documentaries, and a popular song, “Every Man a King” or in contemporary times, “The Kingfish” by Randy Newman.