Roger Stone is in the news again, for posting a picture of the Federal judge poised to hear his case, alongside a bullseye icon. This is the worst idea for defending against a criminal charge since the Unabomber published his manifesto in the Washington Post. As my late grandmother would say: oy vey!
My pockets have always bulged with the business cards of sundry politicos from my years of wading through the D.C. swamp, but in late January most of them perished in an unfortunate industrial accident involving a washing machine. Some of our nation’s most powerful men and women were reduced to a clump of grayish lint in the aftermath. Yet in a weird act of preternatural defiance, one card emerged intact. Well, not quite intact; the front and back separated and one two-sided card turned into two one-sided cards. The name of this hardy survivor: Roger Stone.
Whether or not he plays with a full deck, whether he is an ace or a joker, Roger is definitely a card.
The only time I met Roger up close he was not wearing his political fixer hat. His adventures in the murky realms behind the scenes of political campaigns have been ably chronicled by The American Spectator alumnus Matt Labash, although he did it in the service of the Weekly Standard, a sister publication whose subscription expired recently. Matt’s profile of Roger, like my card, has probably survived the washout of that magazine and is well worth the scavenger hunt among the linty archives.
The night I tracked Roger down was a November 22, the equivalent of the Full Moon for Kennedy conspiracy theorists. They all come out and bay at the moon, werewolves mixing happily with zombies and other denizens of Nether Nether Land, telling tales of monsters clambering across grassy knolls.
Roger haunts that region too, as the proud author of several volumes maintaining that JFK was dispatched to the big Presidential Library in the sky by none other than LBJ. The preposterousness of the notion melts away before Roger’s cheery advocacy. He knows every detail of that deadly day in Dallas, and no amount of sane argumentation can talk him down from the ledge of moral high ground he has made his perch on the aforementioned knoll.
That was November 22, 2016, weeks after the Trump upset. I took my best girl to an event in a trendy Miami book store featuring a debate between Roger and a dogged Oswald acolyte intent on giving old Lee Harvey his due. The evening went as anticipated, a delightful sojourn into the Theater of the Absurd. For the uninitiated, there was no way to tell that the Jolly Roger they saw that evening was also the Gall Stone of American politics. (Samantha Bee recently christened him the Athlete’s Foot of American politics, and despite the yawning chasm between Bee’s worldview and my own, I could not fault her characterization.)
The only time a naïve viewer at this literary event might have caught on that something was afoot, or amiss, was one the Q&A afterwards was infiltrated by someone querying: “Did you really think Ted Cruz’s father knew Lee Harvey Oswald?” This was a reference to a wacky story planted in the National Enquirer by Stone in the service of Trump during the Republican primary battle against Cruz. In an old black-and-white photograph of Oswald with a bunch of people behind him, a nondescript face in the crowd had been circled. The tabloid suggested it looked like a younger version of Ted’s father, Rafael Cruz.
“No,” answered Roger. “But it was sure fun to watch Ted Cruz’ head explode over that!” The mischievous grin that accompanied this response gave a clue to the charm that enabled Stone to hang on for five decades as the Merry Prankster of American political theater.
When I collared Roger afterwards, I ribbed him: “I hold you responsible for bringing us Barack Obama, because you dropped out of that Senate race in Illinois.”
With that remark, I was opening the memory hatch to admit yet another quirky episode from Roger’s résumé. This came back in 2006, when one of the Illinois seats in the U.S. Senate was vacant and Roger spent a moment in the sun as the front runner in the Republican primary for the right to oppose Barack Obama in the election. Some pesky oppo research guy uncovered an ad by Roger and his former wife in a swingers magazine. Yes, they were looking to make new friends in yet another secret society, the open marriage types for whom three means the crowd is just beginning to show up.
Well, now someone has answered Roger’s ad and his name is Robert Mueller. The Special Prosecutor claims he is indicting Roger for lying to Congress about telling Jerome Corsi that Randy Credico knew from Julian Assange that he had the Democrat National Committee’s hacked emails prior to the 2016 Democrat convention. The real reason Roger’s head is in a noose is that he created the BILL CLINTON IS A RAPIST t-shirt, as outlined in these pages shortly after the election. Yes, Trump’s victory over Hillary was Juanita’s Revenge, not the result of Don and Rog colluding with Boris and Natasha.
For whatever reason, Mueller’s team is loyal to Hillary Clinton, and in taking down those who took her down they are doing her bidding. She may live in a glass house but she will never stop throwing Stones.
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