When rats abandon a sinking ship, the vessel will go underwater and the rats, although wet and in peril, might make it to safe harbor. But even if they do survive they remain vermin. They do not become docile lap cats obediently purring and rubbing up against our legs for comfort.
When I think of displaced rodents my thoughts seamlessly turn to Kellyanne Conway, the disposed queen of alternative facts, that smirking spinner of lies, that smug enabler of soon-to-be ex-president Donald Trump, the biggest rat of them all.
In the wake of a failed violent coup of the United States instigated for more than four years by Conway’s mentor Trump and his cult-like zombies, Kellyanne is trying to swim to dry land by suddenly condemning that which she has supported all along.
Like her fellow rodents Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley (last spotted at a St. Louis’ Kinko’s begging for a book deal), and countless come-to-Jesus hypocrites, Conway would have us believe that the flat-earth insurrectionists have gone too far, and can’t we all just calm down, join hands in unity and sing Kumbaya.
Here is part of her carefully rolled out, PR-vetted do-over, her first of many attempts at revisionist history and hoodwinking: “Only later did it become clear that lawmakers feared for their lives; that some of the attackers were hunting for congressional leaders; that there could have been a massacre.”
Later? Like when exactly? Perhaps when the charging mob constructed gallows outside the Capitol, or when the Trump supporters sporting Camp Auschwitz shirts and unfurling Confederate flags ran through the hallways looking for blood while brandishing plastic handcuff ties? Or was it when they broke glass, looted, then defecated and smeared their feces on the walls?
Oh my, Kellyanne, how could you have ever imagined such a frightening scene?
By now we all know that hypocrisy is all the rage in our nation’s capital, and even with videos of past contradictory statements readily available, the purveyors of pitiful posturing continue to march down the path of denialism and delusion.
Shout out to Texas’ Senator Cruz, who prior to the coup attempt compared jacked-up Trump followers in Georgia to “patriots … fighting for the United States of America.” But, on further review, the day after the bloody rebellion at the Capitol, a day after he refused to validate president-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory, said, “I think, yesterday in particular, the President’s language and rhetoric crossed the line and it was reckless. I disagree with it, and I have disagreed with the President’s language and rhetoric for the last four years.” Yeah, yesterday was the tipping point for Cruz.
By the way, the second most troublesome rodent is Texas is the invasive creature called the nutria, aka the swamp rat.
Polluted Sea of White Nationalism
Still, Kellyanne’s about face is particularly galling — she, the dutiful soldier, who never found it in her heart to push back against kids in cages, the gutting of environmental regulations, the Ukraine play-for-pay scandal, the unnecessary tax break for the rich, and ardent defender on Trump’s horrible response to the pandemic. That’s the real Kellyanne, the one who went along to get along, all for about $180K a year.
But now the Trump ship is listing further into its polluted sea of white nationalism and outright insurrection. In the final days of this failed administration, cabinet millionaires and billionaires such as stewards of mediocrity Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have jumped ship in the wake of the Capitol assault.
Also beating a hasty retreat is former White House communications director and press secretary and former chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, the forgettable Stephanie Grisham, who never could fit an actual press briefing into her hectic schedule of… whatever. And this after the bar was set to limbo standards by the equally unimpressive Sarah “Scowling” Sanders.
So cue the book deals, the corporate and thinktank board appointments, and the lucrative talking-head contracts at FOX News, Newsmax and even, god forbid, Trump Media. No bad deed goes unrewarded among the political elite.
In a recent Forbes op-ed a rare cautionary warning was shot across the bow. Editor Randall Lane wrote,
“Don’t let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty. Press secretaries like Joe Lockhart, Ari Fleischer and Jay Carney, who left the White House with their reputations in various stages of intact, made millions taking their skills — and credibility — to corporate America. Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.”
Here’s looking at you Kellyanne. You must be relieved to have made it ashore. Enjoy your extreme makeover, but we will not forget how you abetted and enthusiastically led this troubled nation to one of its darkest chapters in history. All we have to do is roll the tape, and there you are, over and over again, gnawing on the discarded bones of democracy’s detritus.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.