‘Philly-delphia’ lawyer stars in impeachment farce

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Farce — a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

We were still arguing about Donald Trump’s impeachment farce. I thought the crowning moment came when Mitch McConnell condemned Trump as “practically and morally responsible” for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, just minutes after he and 42 other Republicans ludicrously voted “Not guilty.”

Swamp Rabbit contended that the highlight was Michael van der Veen’s crude characterization of a defense lawyer. Van der Veen threatened to make potential Democratic witnesses travel to his law office in “Philly-delphia” to be deposed. His outburst sparked laughter among the senators, and van der Veen scolded them for ridiculing him.

“He thought they were laughing at his empty threat, but they were laughing at the way he pronounced Philadelphia,” Swamp Rabbit explained. “And I think they were laughing because he got picked to work the impeachment. He’s one of them personal injury lawyers — you know, car crashes and dog bites and such.”

“That’s pretty farcical,” I admitted. “And van der Veen wasn’t the only Philly lawyer on Trump’s team. I guess Trump is still trying to give our town a bad name.”

For Swamp Rabbit’s parole officer, Victor Cortez, the most improbable moment occurred when Republican senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee met with Trump’s bottom-of-the-barrel legal team to discuss strategies for winning Dear Leader’s acquittal. The senators were supposed to be serving as jurors!

“Yeah, that’s beyond farcical,” I conceded. “It’s theater of the absurd.”

We discussed the acquittal. The House impeachment managers presented solid evidence that Trump had incited an insurrection but the vast majority of Republican senators ignored it, just as they ignored evidence at Trump’s first impeachment. I asked Swamp Rabbit if he agreed with Marx’s notion that tragedy tends to repeat itself as farce.

“I live in a shack,” he shrugged. “I can’t tell the one from the other.”

Footnote: It looks like the half of the country that accepts the Big Lie — i.e., that the presidential election was rigged — has unofficially separated from the half that doesn’t accept it. Is this marriage worth saving?

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