Saturday, April 21, 2018
Opinion

The 'greatest witch hunt'? Oh, thou braggeth

"You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA

@realDonaldTrump, Twitter, June 15

Frankly, this is fake news.

As witch hunts go, this is nothing. At least Joseph McCarthy had a fun list full of invisible names!

This is not like any witch hunt I have ever seen, but my high school did not put on The Crucible while I was there, so maybe I am missing something. For starters, I think that President Trump believes the witches are hunting him, nasty women that they are. Second of all, Trump has undergone not one of the traditional tests for witches. No one has weighed him against a duck or attempted to build a bridge out of him — even though infrastructure week, the week before last, offered the perfect opportunity.

No one is being pressed to death. In fact the complaint is that he is not getting enough good press.

He doesn't even HAVE a first demon familiar, even though people keep sending him pictures of adorable dogs.

But maybe he has been watching a different set of hearings than I have.

• • •

Sen. Mark Warner (clad in a long dark robe): I SAW GOODY SESSIONS WITH THE DEVIL!

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: I have no recollection of any such meeting.

Warner: HE DANCED IN THE WOODS AND SIGNED HIS BOOK!

I wish it had been more like that. I do understand that Sergey Kislyak, a large man who manages to go invisibly about and erase himself from all recollection, seems like the sort of person you would mention in a witch hunt. But where are the men in dark 17th century attire, bringing only spectral evidence — the accounts of hysterical girls, a dead cow and a doll that resembles James Comey wrapped in a blue curtain, with a long pin stabbed through its back?

We ought to at the least have a judge in an ominous robe and large wig to bang a gavel loudly while the chorus of hysterical girls in the Media section twitches and cries out.

Judge: Mr. Trump, who is this "Maga" whom ye invoke most continually? Is she a powerful sorceress? How may ye guarantee that the economy will grow at 3 percent without recourse to the dark arts? How can ye summon back a job which hath been taken by a machine? Why do ye cast the evil eye upon Theresa May and make her government for to sicken? What is this Cabinet meeting whereat thou didst make the men to go about and sign their names in blood in thy book?

Trump: That last thing is not correct.

Judge: Mr. Trump, is it true that you possess a perfect and wondrous health and vitality that is almost unnatural for a man of your age?

Trump: That is true.

Judge: Mr. Trump, is it true that you have two sons who run your business, see you frequently and yet have no contact with you? How can this be without sorcery?

Trump: (shrugs)

Judge: Newt Gingrich. Explain his state.

Trump: I did not do that to him.

The Rev. Kamala Harris: Mine eyes! I no longer sleep! I used to sleep well and easily and now each night I awaken repeatedly and rush to the Internet with hollow eyes to see what is the matter, and this is all his doing!

Mercy Elizabeth Warren: I no longer eat! My appetite is gone!

Harris: Time is different! A hundred years now pass in a single day!

Judge: Mr. Trump, is it true that when you sign your name to a place or a trademark it flourisheth? And when ye do not it perisheth? Didst thou not touch thy hand to an orb of great power and make an unholy vow whereby thou didst send weapons of immense power unto those who wish us ill?

Media: The bird! Why do you come, blue bird!

(Everyone turns to Twitter.)

Media: Do you not see the bird?

Trump: Bird?

Media: The blue bird! He makes it sing and millions hear it! And it says things that are not true and are erratically capitalized! Hear how it tweets! And all can see what it says! It shames us all!

Trump: This is fraud! Fraud! Fake news! And I will expose it!

Melania Trump: Nay, Donald! Nay!

(Jared Kushner inches slowly out of the room.)

Trump: This is all the doing of that evil woman Hillary Clinton! She belongs on trial, not I! Bring her forth!

Judge: But sir, she is not president. You are.

• • •

Until something more along these lines starts happening, I do not think this ranks with the greatest witch hunts of history. Put him on a ducking stool. Give spectral evidence. Call in his demon familiar. Make witch hunts great again. —Washington Post

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