Contempt of Congress
The founder of a firm for which I once worked was a human resources department nightmare. He smoked cigars when it was illegal. He demeaned nearly everyone. He died before the “me too” movement began (almost certainly a good thing) and his favorite word was stupid especially when shouted at someone else. He would extend the first syllable endlessly and pronounce it “you.”
The Mueller hearings last Wednesday reminded me of the sound of that word –“stuuuupid.”
Two Committees of the House of Representatives – Judiciary and Intelligence – decided to spend the last eight hours before leaving on vacation for six weeks trying to make Special Counsel Robert Mueller say or do things they themselves were too feckless and cowardly to say or do by themselves.
The Democrats wanted him to do their job of ridding themselves of President Trump by prosecuting him, clapping him in irons and frog marching him off to prison.
The Republicans wanted him to exonerate the President or, failing that, they would try to discredit the entire investigation.
The President wanted attention and yet another opportunity to repeat his “no collusion no obstruction” mantra.
The witness did not want to be there at all and it showed. He did none of those things.
Hearts and minds remained precisely where they had been before the charade.
There is, however, one reason for optimism: 97% of Americans had sense enough not watch it on television.
I watched about half and that is what reminded me of the firm founder’s favorite word. A therapist might find fault with thinking of myself as stupid, but at least the human resources department would not.
We are in a severe disdain deficit because there is not enough to be spread around among elected officials, the political parties, their consultants, the press and cable news. In their shameless quest for whatever currency drives them – money, attention, clicks, peer approval, votes or reelection – nobody will call out our political process for the naked emperor that it is.
If further evidence is needed, the two hearings on Wednesday are exhibits A and B.
Democrats, Mueller and his team wrote you a playbook. It is not his job to run your plays. If you lack the political spine to impeach the President, that’s on you. Stop whining.
Republicans, you know you have a crappy hand because “not indicted” is not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially when the Office of Legal Counsel says a sitting President can’t be indicted. If you do not know that there is room between indictment and exoneration, hire a lawyer and stop wasting our time.
Mueller answered most of the questions with yes, no or true. Well done him. He owed nobody anything and he showed great restraint.
Had I been in his chair, I would have spent weeks preparing vicious retorts to the stupidity of the questions and especially of the questioners.
Eventually one of the outraged idiots on the podium would have threatened me with contempt of Congress to which I would have replied, “you got that right.”
At the suggestion of a reader, let’s have a contest.
Come up with the nastiest or cleverest response to a real or fictional idiotic Congressional question that you might give if you were a witness.
Include it in a comment.