Seeing Nobody

Thus far the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee investigating alleged “weaponization” of the federal government appears not to have discovered much, clearly no “smoking gun.”

From my biased, Democrat perspective, the antics of Chairman Jim Jordan’s Committee call to mind an event from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-glass: And What Alice Found There (ed. 1882):

“I see nobody on the road,” said Alice.  “I only wish I had such eyes,” the King remarked in a fretful tone.  “To be able to see Nobody!  And at that distance too!  Why, it’s as much as I can do to see real people, by this light.”

King James and his Court might do well to shine their light inward.  Could it be there’s “nobody on the road”?

The Circus

“Send In the clowns
Don’t bother they’re here.”
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

The cabal of Reactionaries who—finally!—elected Kevin McCarthy Speaker of the House of Representatives are roundly viewed as a Circus.  With Kevin putative Ringmaster, in the center ring Marjory Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Matt Gatez, Jim Jordan, and Josh Hawley tumble from a clown car.  Bereft of platform, policy, or any notion of “governing,” the second and third rings, feature slapstick recriminations and tit-for-tat reprisals. 

This Circus’s P.T. Barnum is Donald J. Trump.  His acts showcase hatred, bigotry, and lies.  Asked to disavow paramilitary thugs, Proud Boys  and Oath Keepers, candidate Trump famously responded, “stand down and stand by.”  Donald called torch-carrying white man chanting “Jews will not replace us” “very fine people.”  Haiti and Africa are “shithole” countries. Four female, non-Caucasian, members of Congress—three native-born Americans—should go back to their countries.  Trump’s lies are tabulated in tens-of-thousands.

Adopting Donald’s mad, mindless model, a handful of mawkish zealots drag civil discourse and Honest Abe’s Grand Old Party to heretofore unthinkable lows.  Their megaphones blare xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism.  A poster shows Marjory Taylor Greene holding an assault rifle and non-Caucasian, female Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rishida Tilaib.  A photoshopped anime video depicts Paul Gosar killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and lunging with two swords at President Biden

Erstwhile National Committee Chair Michael Steele, Representatives Liz Chaney and Adam Kitzinger, founders of The Lincoln Project, commentator Joe Scarborough, and who-know-how-may more?, former and disillusioned Republicans recognize the hazards and insanity in Donald’s faux-populist rhetoric but feel stymied by his headlock on the Party.

After the final buzzer or last out, professional, collegiate, amateur, or little league, coaches and players share pats-on-the-back, fist bumps, and high fives with erstwhile opponents.  It’s sportsmanship, being a good sport!

If team Trump were to lose, coach Donald would decry “bought-off officials and cheating scorekeepers.”  His team would stick out their tongues and show the middle finger to opponents. 

Sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote:

For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against our name,
He writes – not that you won or lost – But HOW you played the Game.”

How might He write of team Trump?