Not long after I took a job in San Francisco, during the late eighties, a local newspaper ran a feature story about San Franciscan Melvin Belli, the famous personal-injury lawyer known as the “king of torts.” Belli won hundreds of millions of dollars in judgements for his clients, but perhaps is best known as the grossly unsuccessful attorney for Jack Ruby in the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Belli was flamboyant and eccentric. The article disclosed that he had never bothered to have his dogs house-trained, and that the irrefutable evidence of this oversight could be found on the floors of almost every room in his mansion.
As I follow the presidential career of Barack Obama, I am repeatedly reminded of Melvin Belli, or, more specifically, his dogs. Obama, who plainly dislikes the country over which he presides – most likely a unique situation in our history – has deposited what Jimmy Carter might call the moral equivalent of dog poo time after time in the nation’s drawing-room.
I am sure everyone has his own list of favorites. There was the time he compared the headhunters of ISIS to the Christians who pursued the Crusades, and said that Christians mustn’t get on a high horse to denounce ISIS tactics, such as beheading Americans or incinerating Jordanians. There was the time he lied to the American people to put across his demented vision of health care. There was the time he professed himself outraged by the political antics of the Internal Revenue Service in slapping down conservative organizations seeking tax-free status, and then proceeded to do nothing about it and in fact called the whole mess “phony.”
The list goes on, and on, and on.
Lately we have been reminded of how he literally embraced, in the Rose Garden, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an alleged deserter from the Afghan war, and traded away five extremely dangerous Taliban prisoners to achieve his release from enemy hands. Now we are hearing that the Army may reduce its legal case against Bergdahl to the military equivalent of a parking violation, with no time to be served in prison. One cannot overestimate the repercussions, in military circles, of a Rose Garden hug when the commander in chief is doing the hugging.
How does Obama get away with stinking up the country that he swore to preserve and protect, while invariably getting away with it? Why do his lawless distortions of the Executive Order function, and his arrogant refusal to let his Justice Department prosecute malefactors who are on his good side, go uncorrected?
Yes, no doubt there aren’t the votes in Congress to remove him from office, but the Republican leadership has failed, out of fear or indifference, to lift a finger against him. When Bonehead John or Mitch McGobble hold three aces, they invariably fold their hands if Obama bets aggressively with a pair of threes.
That is why Bonehead John will be vacating the speakership any day now, and why the gobbler may be forced to follow suit. When last heard from, the old gobbler was muttering deliriously about the political dangers of a government shutdown. The conservative faction of Republican party officeholders – helped along, perhaps, by the GOP base’s anger, as demonstrated in the Trump phenomenon — is finally calling the party’s so-called leaders to account.
So, will Obama continue to dump on the United States for his remaining fifteen months in office? There can be no doubt that he will try. I see a glimmer of hope in the possibility that Paul Ryan, who loathes Obama (and vice versa), may become the next speaker of the House. As to who should replace Mitch McGobble: Any dog catcher would be an improvement.