"Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."
"I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House Managers offensive and absurd."
"On [your] walk, think about worshipping a big c-k and having yours worshipped and you rimmed till you beg!"
Take your pick. Which of these at once comical and criminal quotes, each spoken by the caricature of an older, privileged, hypocritical, narcissistic white Republican man, is your favorite? Strike that. Most offensive? Strike that. Most diabolical? Strike that too. Most absurd?
Just imagine if your house was on fire, and you placed a frantic call to the fire department, and told them to come quickly, and they responded with, "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but sounds like you're more upset about your house than we are. Good luck with that."
The Republicans in the United States Senate outrageously ignored the retelling of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's phone call with Donald Trump during the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. It took a Republican House female member, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, to do what her male colleagues should have done weeks ago: come forward with the truth.
If what Herrera Beutler says is true, and how can anyone in their right mind doubt it, Trump literally and gleefully put the lives of every single House and Senate member, their staff, and everyone else in the capitol that day in danger. There is surely more to come about his gruesome lack of action that day. He willfully and selfishly ignored McCarthy's plea for help.
If you think about Trump's reaction to McCarthy, it sounds like a ruthless dictator, or murderous mogul, who takes wicked pleasure in savagely killing his opponents (does Vladimir Putin come to mind?) all in an attempt to retain his hold on power. But Trump is not the strong-man he pretends to be. He is actually a buffoon, a wag, a cartoon. He's more akin to Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons, sitting at his desk, with his tiny hands and fingers fidgeting, uttering "excellent" while the U.S. Capitol is breached.
Trump and Burns are both heartless, unscrupulous, pathetic old men, with nary a backbone. In an episode of The Simpsons nearly 20 years ago, Burns runs over a skateboarding Bart with his car, and as Burns's loyal lapdog Waylon Smithers runs to a dying Bart, Burns is more annoyed that Bart had the nerve to collide into his car than he is about running over a young boy. "Just give him a nickel and let's get going," Burns tells Smithers.
Trump's thugs ran over the U.S. Capitol, and he was more upset that McCarthy was getting in their way. And, just like Smithers to Burns, the poodle McCarthy crawled his way to Florida and cowered next to the man who put his very life at risk. Even Smithers had his limits.
In an episode where Burns threatens to block out the sun so that residents have to rely on his nuclear energy plant 24/7 for light, Smithers stood up to his boss, declaring that he had gone too far. Burns fires Smithers for questioning his methods and for his refusal to take part in his sun blocking scheme. Can you see McCarthy standing up to Trump and questioning his methods? If Trump wanted to block out the sun, McCarthy would rocket himself to it with a fire extinguisher.
Likewise, with lackey Lindsay Graham, who briefly, very briefly, questioned Trump's methods, and then recanted as fast as he could. Graham, along with his asinine accomplices, Senators Rubio and Cruz, described the impeachment as "a clown show." The senator from South Carolina, whose life was also at risk that day from a narcissistic, negligent Trump, thought the House managers presentation was "offensive and absurd."
If that was his startling summation to their spellbinding case, then wonder what he thought about being under threat on January 6? And being forced to evacuate the Senate floor, and barricade himself in an office? Fearless Lindsay demanded later that evening to "count me out" of supporting anymore of Trump's dark behavior.
That is until Graham was accosted in an airport the next day by angry Trump supporters, some who surely wished they were packing at the time, and who were ready to put Lindsay down for the count. Suddenly, count me out, turned into count me in! He enthusiastically shoe-horned his way into the huddle of Trump's laughable impeachment managers - even though Lindsay was required to be a juror. He should have stayed in the jury box, like he was supposed to.
Graham is the offensive and absurd clown, so perhaps his parallel is the ribald Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons, who both have a sweet spot for violent crazies. During an episode, Krusty is elected to Congress, and upon his swearing in, jokingly swears to "...uphold and protect the constitution of these United States. So, relax gun nuts, I can't touch you!" Graham is fine to let the gun nuts run amok in the Capitol, preferring that to having them run around him in an airport. Graham's fluctuations between never-Trumper and Trumpian are head-spinning. Even Krusty the Clown took a side.
Krusty ran as a Republican candidate, and his campaign started badly because he offended so many minorities with his politically incorrect jokes (eerily similar to Graham's blind support of racist Trump), but the pugnacious Lisa Simpson helped Krusty turn his campaign around, He ended up being more open-minded and deferential towards his constituency. Graham has a constituency of one, who is the antithesis of open-minded and deferential.
John Weaver, a long-time Republican operative, couldn't make up his mind whether he had a stronger allegiance to young boys or his wife and two children. Weaver joined colleagues last year on The Lincoln Project, which, most simplistically, encouraged Republicans to go against Trump. All the while, Weaver was encouraging college-age (and even younger) boys to join the crusade as interns. And instead of having them think about ways to oust Trump, Weaver told them "...to think about worshipping a big c-k and having yours worshipped and you rimmed till you beg!"
You really have to just stop and think about that directive for a moment. The lunatic libidos of Republican closeted men are absolutely astounding!
And for every Republican in the closet, there's another one adept at covering for him. Steve Schmidt, who for all intents and purposes was the leader and main founder of The Lincoln Project, and a respected operative and pundit, resigned from the organization because the young men who were sexted by Weaver say their complaints about Weaver's orders fell on Schmidt's deaf ears.
Weaver's secret foolishness, his rampant use of his power to groom underlings, and hire them not based on talent, but looks, is disgusting as it is deceptive. It's a caricature straight out of a cartoon, or the dictionary, of a slimy, sleazy and swelled-head (the top one too) political big-wig, and another in a long, long line of closeted Republicans who literally grab life by the balls without thinking about the consequences.
It's warped, really, to think that The Simpsons, for over 30 years, has been a show that has exaggerated and parodied the very worst in human nature, complete with obnoxious behavior, overdone narcissism, hilarious hypocrisy and uncouth and uncontrollable conduct. All in an effort to create a joke, a punchline and a laugh. That's why the show's still on the air, because it's done with a lesson.
What we've witnessed, just in the last week, makes The Simpsons look like child's play. The script of classic quotes that McCarthy, Graham and Weaver collaborated on is a lesson in being offensive, diabolical and absurd. Comparing these three stooges to characters on The Simpsons is an affront to a television classic, and an abject insult to courage, decency, and righteousness.
John Casey is editor at large for The Advocate.