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The Political Coriolis Effect

Rich Galen

Monday February 10, 2020

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  • Everyone behaved (and is still behaving) badly last week.

  • Actually, the bad behavior started several months ago when Nancy Pelosi, having been maneuvered into a formal impeachment inquiry that she had wanted to avoid, then held a celebratory ritual during the signing of the Articles of Impeachment by using many pens and handing them out to the various Democrats who had been involved in the process.

  • The Republicans, legitimately cried "Foul!" over the event which was lacking only balloons and a marching band.

  • A month or so later, when the members of the U.S. Senate had to sign the "Oath Book" they all used the same pen. As usual, when one side pretends to paroxysms of outrage over something the other side has done, they are soon found out to be phonies.

    From the BBC:

    "Back in 1998, Republican senators also kept pens as souvenirs after signing oaths for the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton - although those pens had typos on the text inscribed on them, and had to be reissued."

  • Another example, the communications geniuses at the Republican National Committee and the White House were hootin' and hollerin' about how badly the Democrats had screwed up the Caucuses that were held last Monday night and how can the Ds run a national health care system when they can't run a caucus.

  • As worrying as the inability to count votes, was the small number of votes that had to be counted. According to the NY Times:
    "The leading campaigns were prepared for as many as 300,000 people to show up - 60,000 more than the record set in 2008. Instead just 176,000 showed up, less than 3 percent more than in 2016."

  • In their defense Trump team probably didn't even know that in the GOP caucuses in 2012, well let's let Rick Santorum tell it via CNN.com:
    "Nearly two weeks later, a week after the New Hampshire primary and the morning of the South Carolina primary, Iowa Republican Party Chair Matt Strawn announced that the recount had me ahead by 34 votes, but he was declaring it a virtual tie!

    "The announcement was a muddled mess and was barely noticed by the national media on the day of the South Carolina primary."

  • Then came the State of the Union Address before which Nancy Pelosi held out her hand to shake Donald Trump's but he either ignored it or (I choose to believe) he didn't see it.

  • As Trump turned the SOTU into a new edition of The Gong Show, Pelosi ostentatiously looked past the back of Trump's head or at the text she was holding and cast her gaze across the men and women seated before her on the House Floor.

  • When the speech was over, she stood up and ripped the text in half - I believe three times - to make sure at least one was captured on camera.

  • The speech had all the weight and gravitas as handing out prizes at a British Public School, but Pelosi trumped Trump with her inappropriate temper tantrum.

  • Trump, not to be undersold in the tantrum business fired at least two people who had the audacity to obey subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives: Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sundland and National Security Council aide LTC Alexander Vindman.

  • Colonel Vindman was reportedly "escorted" off the White House grounds. No word on whether Amb Sundland had to pay his own way home from Brussels.

  • And that was after Trump had said he didn't believe people who said they prayed at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then held a self-congratulatory East Room event with an Airing of Grievances that went on for about an hour.

  • You know what the Coriolis Effect is, right? It's what makes the wind generally come out of the west (in the northern hemisphere) due to the rotation of the Earth.

  • But of more interest to our looking back on last week it is also what makes water flush down a drain in a counterclockwise motion here in Our Nation's Capitol.

  • That's where we've come to in our politics. Both sides.

  • Maybe it's time to pull the handle and start fresh.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A short piece on the Coriolis Effect, and links to the Santorum Saga of 2012, the Gong Show, and Trump's firing of Sondland and Vindman.

  • The Mullfoto is of instructions on a gas pump in Alexandria, Va.

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