Saturday, May 11, 2013

Loud Bad Music, It'll Run the Roaches Outa Town

I was walking across the UNC campus one time quite a few decades back and watched a fairly amazing thing happen. The campus has many big oak trees, and of course with the trees come plenty of squirrels. At that time Chapel Hill was a fairly small town, so there were also a number of free-running dogs, no doubt mostly pets of students who lived off campus. Probably some of these mutts had even been abandoned by departing students, and were hanging with other of the boys and getting their grub where they could. It was the middle of the summer as I recall. The livin' was easy.

Anyways, these dogs had spotted a squirrel and chased it up a smallish tree which stood fairly alone in a meadow. The tree was probably at least twenty feet tall, but not so big around. Might have been a poplar, if that whets your imagination. We have the perfect environment for poplars in these parts. Leave a field open and that's the first thing you'll get popping up. So here's the scenario. A ring of dogs, probably five at least, surrounding this poplar tree. Squirrel up at the top, flicking its tail in anxiety and chattering back at them while they all bark in a great cacophonous melee. This went on for some time. The dogs were jumping too, but of course were not specialized climber dogs (I did know one of those, he'd climb a tree for a frizbee, but that's another story). I was probably drinking a paper cup of coffee. It was probably about 10:30 AM. The sun dappled the green green grass, the leaves moving only slightly in the last cool breezes of the morning. It was going to get hot. This is North Carolina summer, you can count on it.

Then the squirrel jumped down out of the tree, into the circle of dogs, and scampered off to a bigger tree. I was glad the squirrel made it to better safety. But I was also struck by the plan fact that the dogs had actually barked that squirrel out of the tree. This was the stuff of Faulkner.

This is what's going on re Benghazi and the so-called "cover up." Ever since those halcyon days of yore, when I was strolling the campus and noting canine behavior and Sam Irvin was taking the Nixon Administration apart, Republicans have seethed with the false but comforting idea that Nixon was framed, or that somehow "they all do it, but we got caught." This is why Republicans keep comparing Benghazi to Watergate. They dream a fevered dream, of somehow finding a balancing scandal which will erase the Nixon blight on their brand. And it seems, at this much later juncture, that they actually believe this. So, this week, Benghazi is if anything worse than Watergate, because Americans were killed.

This is in reality so much squirrel logic. It's Vince Foster yet again. Republicans were no doubt profoundly shocked that an old Southern lawyer like Sam Irvin could actually knock a slick operator like Richard Nixon plumb out of the park. How was it possible? What they've concluded is that somehow there's some kinda magic in these grand hearings. Get one going and eventually your opponent disappears, poof! Even when they tried it with Bill Clinton, it didn't work. But still they dream. And bark.

And at the moment the barking is having some effect. MSNBC's guest Chris Matthew's host, Smirconish, was actually doing a piece yesterday about how maybe there is something to "this." Of course our Lord HawHaw network has been barking since the tragic events happened, and fantasize that if only the voters had realized the Benghazi events were "terrorism," they would have elected Romney. This fantasy is yet more victim thinking, another layer piled on top of Watergate, and the "Lamestream Media," and all the rest. It is really quite unlikely that the last election turned on the terminology used to describe Benghazi, and, moreover, Mr. Obama in one of the debates pretty much destroyed Mr. Romney by noting that he had called the events "terrorism." If that admission had carried the power Republicans imagine, why didn't the tide turn right then and there.

Still they bark. And who knows, maybe we'll all watch in amazement as the squirrel jumps out of the tree. But here's some reminder, if you need it, of the lay of the land, same as it ever was. The sun still shines. The tree's still twenty feet tall.

There are many pathetic things unfolding in the land. It's pathetic that one of the major political parties chooses to destroy our ability to work constructively on real problems and issues for the chimera of some sort of political victory which will redress the chagrin of Watergate, and of George W. Bush. Yet their minds obsess on that moment when the squirrel will, amazingly, jump down into their midst. Oh, won't he be so delicious.

Well mostly likely, he'll just run up another tree. And the Republicans will be left like a pack of dogs on a warm summer morning. Sniffing each other's assholes.

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