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CSotD: The Clodfather

Bill Bramhall uses a familiar symbol — heck, I just cited it the other day — and this time, it’s no joke and not much of an exaggeration. Perhaps none.

(Bloomberg) — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, has postponed his testimony to Congress citing concerns for his family’s safety.

On the surface, we know Trump has referred to Cohen as a “rat,” and that he and his henchmen threatened reprisals in the form of legal investigations of Cohen’s father-in-law.

You can argue over how much of a “family safety”issue that might be, but, then again, when Johnny Fontaine got that role in the movie, I’m pretty sure the producer never mentioned his horse, and that report further cites a quote from a Trump interview with Fox:

“Did he make a deal to keep his father-in-law out? Did he make a deal to keep his wife, who supposedly, maybe I’m wrong, but you can check it, did he make keep — make a deal to keep his wife out of trouble?”

Yes, it would be a shame if something were to happen to his wife.

A little while after he had dismissed the grand jury subpoena for my notes from an interview with a murder suspect, I ran into the chief investigator, who shrugged our confrontation off and then asked me if I thought the guy had done it.

I said that I’d known cons I didn’t want to be in the same room with, and cons who I’d invite to my kid’s birthday party, and it had nothing to do with guilt or innocence. The investigator, who had surely known a whole lot more cons than I ever had, chuckled.

We’ve made a hero of Tony Soprano and a president of Donald Trump, and they’d probably both behave nicely at a birthday party.

But I’m more interested in how the investigators handle things going forward.

Assuming we’re going forward.

 

Mike Peters suggests that an increasingly nervous Dear Leader might want to book a berth at Elba, but, while it made for a memorable palindrome, Elba made for a lousy prison, from which the monster escaped, rallying his troops until he was finally defeated at Waterloo.

After which he was sent to a much more escape-proof resort on St. Helena, which, about 75 years later, would be used by its British owners as a prison camp for Boer leaders.

 

While their families and other potentially dangerous women and children guilty of speaking Afrikaans were being held in “refugee camps” that the British insisted were safe, clean and well-tended, despite the high rate of sickness and death and the testimony of disloyal media.

 

Mike Luckovich echoes Bramhall’s view of criminal behavior, but, while the threats are real, so is the dismissive smile on the face of the recipient, and I’m less inclined to compare Pelosi to Eliot Ness than to her Congressional predecessor, Shirley Chisolm: Not simply “Untouchable” but “Unbought and Unbossed.”

No wonder her political opponents have spent such energy demonizing her, without ever being terribly precise about why she is such a horrible person.

 

In fact, David Rowe sees her as somewhat motherly, and once again we see a smile, because, once again, she simply doesn’t seem to be intimidated. (Heh. She’s sure got that feller’s tie hammered down, doesn’t she?)

 

Even Gary Varvel, a dependable conservative voice, recognizes the difference between a latched door and a brick wall.

And for those whose interest in history goes further back than the Boer Wars or even Napoleon, there was a comparison on Twitter yesterday to Charles I, who famously quarreled with Parliament, as well as to another quarrel twixt King and Commons, which resulted in France’s Third Estate convening on a tennis court.

Unlike the Sopranos, the endings in those stories were unambiguous.

 

Elsewhere in the News

I mentioned yesterday the flurry of mediocre, tearful “we wuz robbed” cartoons about the end of the Saints/Rams game, but John Cole managed to turn the outcry into a relevant commentary on things that matter a great deal more.

Excellent example of repurposing a trivial pop culture reference for a solid, worthwhile political cartoon.

 

Jimmy Margulies likewise blends the issue of sickouts among traffic controllers with the multiple announcements of Democratic candidates. This made me laugh, and, yeah, I think there’s a real risk of some mid-air collisions.

Someone on Twitter noted that it’s the job of political commentators to criticize these would-be leaders, and I heartily agree. I’d love, once the field has filled out a bit more, to see some comparisons of where each stands on various issues, how they’ve voted, years in office, etc.

But simply plinking them one by one like crows at the garbage dump isn’t the same thing. Truman was a failed haberdasher, FDR had affairs, Lincoln was against abolition before he was for it and Kennedy bought his way into office. Johnson used to fart loudly. Taft was fat.

Turns out we’ve never had a worthy president.

 

On the other hand, Darrin Bell notes a type of hypocrisy that does need to be called out, though Joni Ernst is a bit of a fringe figure not exactly noted for deep thought or well-crafted positions.

Still, her votes count as much as any other Senator’s, and it’s a good example of how those who refuse to empathize are often those who turn out to need a little sympathy themselves.

Since the Republican Party seems most apt to cling to rules and principles at the expense of mercy and understanding, it’s not surprising if they also seem most apt to find their tails pinched in the crack.

It’s all sin until it happens to me.

They opposed stem cell research until Reagan was diagnosed with dementia and they opposed gay rights until Cheney’s daughter came out (though he’s gone and so mostly is their tolerance). 

Joni Ernst does, after all, understand why someone might not report an assault, but Kavanaugh was voted to the bench, 50-48.

Y’all need to listen to Mama.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Mary McNeil
January/24/2019
@ 4:21 pm

My personal favorite was a year or two ago when a prominent Anti-Abortion Male (not a Democrat) got word from his mistress that she was pregnant and texted her to get an abortion. And the media learned it wasn’t fake news.

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