Just when you thought the House Democrats’ slapstick impeachment show couldn’t sink any further into low comedy, along comes Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s threat to embargo the articles of impeachment unless the Republican-controlled Senate establishes removal trial procedures to her liking. As a negotiating technique, this would appear to be sub-optimal. As in who cares if she never forwards the charges to the Senate?
The only historical precedent that I can find for Pelosi’s stratagem is to be found in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. When Cleavon Little is appointed the first black sheriff in a town full of racists, an angry mob corners him with drawn guns. To outwit the mob, Little points his own gun at his head and shouts, “Nobody move or the n***** gets it!”
Maybe that’s where Nancy got the idea for her brilliant threat.
But the fun doesn’t end there. To place President Trump’s impeachment into proper dramatic perspective, recall the example of Brer Rabbit in Walt Disney’s classic Song of the South. When caught by his mortal enemy Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit pleads, “Whatever you do, please don’t fling me into that briar patch!” But after Brer Fox gleefully throws him in, Brer Rabbit happily shouts that he was born and bred in the briar patch and that it is his “laffin’ place!”
That part of the Disney movie could serve as a metaphor for the the whole silly impeachment saga. Take a look by clicking on this link and ask yourself if Brer Fox could represent the scheming Nancy Pelosi, Brer Bear the thuggish House Democrats, and Brer Rabbit the elusive Donald Trump. Given the massive amounts of money Trump has raised while being impeached and his rising approval ratings in the polls, it seems that, indeed, he is having the last laugh.
And yeah, I get it. Song of the South is based on Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus stories, the characters speak in black dialect, and, therefore, as with Blazing Saddles, it is a movie that could never be made today without offending politically correct sensibilities. Which is exactly why I used them to make my argument.
George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor. He is a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and blogs at knowledgeisgood.net. He my be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.