July 12th 2018
“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk how many times did you look all innocent in your wife’s eyes and lie about Ms. Page.”
And with that, Louie Gohmert, well known as being the most vicious clown in Congress, managed a new personal low, talking that august body, the House of Representatives, with him.
Wait, did I say ‘august’? Silly me. It’s only July. Although a case can be made for Congress being August; after all, that’s the dog days, and Congress has no shortage of curs.
Gohmert was attacking Peter Strzok, the FBI employee who wrote emails to his girlfriend disparaging then-candidate Donald Trump. Gohmert was exercising whatever it is that passes in him for moral outrage to defend the honor of serial adulterer Donald Trump.
It was a low point, but not by much. The Republicans were doing everything in their power to discredit Strzok, the FBI, the Justice Department, and anything and anyone that might bring Donald Trump and much of their own criminal party to justice.
The ones that weren’t vicious were almost preposterously stupid. Paul Gosar, an Arizona dentist who got tired of working for a living and ran for Congress, said to Strzok, “I’m a dentist, OK? So I read body language very, very well. And I watched you comment in your interactions with Mr. Gowdy. You got very angry in regards to the Gold Star father. That shows me that it’s innately a part of you and a bias.”
Well, OK, then. Let’s see if we can recreate the situation in that air conditioned dentist’s office that made Gosar such an expert.
“Observe, Watson. The patient has his hands drawn into claws. His back is arched, his face is red, tears are streaming from the sides of his eyes, and he is emitting a loud, shrill, unpleasant noise. Do you note?”
“Amazing, Gosar. I have observed, and noted none of these things. How do you do it?”
“Acute powers of observation, Watson. Nothing more. But what do you deduce from this?
“The patient is, perhaps, a Democrat.”
“That is possible. Likely, even. But it suggests something a more immediate nature, Watson.”
“What would that be, Gosar?”
“That I forgot to administer the novocaine.”
Yes, he’s a member of Congress. Three terms now. The tide brings him in every two years, and the voters keep throwing him back. Bad teeth must be a small price to pay.
Republicans actually tried to threaten Strzok with contempt of Congress for refusing to divulge FBI investigation details that he is forbidden by law to answer. It happened like this: After declaring a motion to adjourn out of order, Chairman Goodlatte, who will never be associated with a tasty coffee drink, erupted in fury that Strzok refused to answer questions pertaining to confidential or secret FBI matters and threatened him with Contempt, despite an existing agreement that the committee honor such restrictions on what they could demand of him. Gleeful Democrats demanded the committee recall Steve Bannon, who also refused to answer some questions, but his basis was that to do so might embarrass President Trump.
They even tried accusing Strzok of claiming Trump supporters stink because he went to a Walmart in the sticks and “could smell the levels of Trump support.” Apparently metaphor is beyond the intellectual capabilities of the moral giants and magic dentists of the GOP.
The Republicans were betting the farm that they would find something, anything, to suggest that a) Strzok was tring to influence the 2016 presidential election and b) that the Russians were not. It’s safe to say they failed miserably, managing in front of a huge television audience, to thoroughly cover themselves in shit. Contempt of Congress isn’t a crime; it’s a sign of mental health.
Congress wasn’t the only branch of government making a complete ass of itself, of course. Trump barreled through Europe, doing all he could go blow up NATO. (Ironically, at the same moment that Strzok was explaining to the Committee that his remark that Trump must be stopped was based on Trump’s campaign pledge to make defense of NATO allies conditional on how much vig they put up.) He deep-sixed his own ally other than Putin by telling Prime Minister Teresa May publicly that she handled brexit all wrong.
(Remember the howls of outrage when Obama told the Brits that Brexit would move the UK down a notch as a trading partner to America? “Monstrous outrage” was one of the terms they used. According to Faux News, “Trump slams British PM over Brexit plan, warns US trade deal ‘probably’ dead in the water.” with the sub header, “Despite anger in London, Trump finds support in England’s pro-Brexit working“-class towns.” Oh, well, that’s OK then. He has support in Sheffield, so who cares what London thinks? )
Obama said Brexit was a mistake, and was clearly trying to interfere in someone else’s election, and that’s not a bit like Trump’s best budyy, that nice Mister Putin, who wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.
Speaking of which, Putin and Trump meet in Finland next. No staffers, no aids, no interpreters. No witnesses.
It’s a truly terrifying prospect.
But perhaps Congressman/Dentist Gosar will read their body language as they leave the meeting, and tell us just how badly Trump has sold us all out.
NOTE: Article corrected to reflect that Putin and Trump are meeting in Finland, not Iceland as I originally stated.