The three-page Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, affectionately known as the bailout bill, went into the sausage maker that is Congress and came out a bloated 451 pages. It is left to the imagination of the citizenry to visualize the frenetic backroom dealing that went on in every corridor and office and cafeteria in those days that we thought our lawmakers were in deep soul-searching contemplation about the sins and the healing of the nation.
But politics and backroom deals and subtexts are old stuff. King David was also, as they say, a consummate politician. When he came to power, it was by no means a shoo-in that he would rule over a united Israel. The Scriptures only hint at the depth of the fissure between the northern and southern parts of Israel (2 Samuel 3:1,6,10).
Then came the moment that David (the southern faction) could capitalize on the death of Abner, King Saul's (the northern faction) erstwhile commander of the army, a hero of Benjamin. David thought fast. He went to the funeral and cried like a baby. By the sound of the eulogy he gave Abner (2 Samuel 3:33,34), it seems it was all he could do to think of something nice to say.
But it did the trick. David, by his public humbling of himself and honoring of Saul's dead commander, won a new constituency. A blue state turned red, as it were. "Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them" (2 Samuel 3:36).
"There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes). "The fundamental things apply as time goes by" (Casablanca).