Justice Deferred? Or Defunct?

Watching Vladimir and Estragon on a nearly bare stage as they wait for Godot can, paradoxically, be a thrilling experience.

Waiting for Merrick Garland to slap the cuffs on The Former Guy, on the other hand, is beginning to get tedious.

Talk about pent-up demand. If Ticketmaster could sell seats to a DJT Perp Walk, its ensuing collapse would make last year’s Taylor Swift fiasco look like business as usual.

And yet, we wait…and wait….

What—a seething nation might ask, boiling over in exasperation, had it not already been beaten down by a bitter succession of past disappointments—is the #@$&ing hold up?

Being about as far out of the loop as the former planet Pluto, we recently resorted to a well-known search engine, the former motto of which was “don’t be evil.”

Our query was, “what is Garland waiting for?” The leading results included an article in Time—“These Are the Factors Garland Is Likely Weighing as He Mulls Charging Trump”— and a podcast in which Julián Castro interviews Elie Mystal, aptly titled, “What’s Merrick Garland Waiting For?”

Well, then—at least someone else is asking. But the Time article was published eight months ago and the podcast is eleven months old. This newspaper is 266 years old. It would therefore be most unseemly if we were to act in a manner suggestive of fretful impatience.

Despite this we are compelled to repeat—on our own account, this time: What is the #@$&ing hold up?

As our alleged Justice Department dithers, throwing an insurrectionist in the hoosegow every once in a while, an Everest of evidence has mounted proving that the nutjobs really are running this asylum.

CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, convened over the weekend. Writing about it makes us nostalgic for the days when we would have had to explain CPAC due to its obscurity. Now, like the symptoms of some loathesome disease, the concept is all too familiar. Formerly annual, this was the seventh such shindig since January, 2021. It must have become too painful to pass up all that grift.

The weekend’s highlight was a speech Saturday night by America’s Most Unwanted—perhaps his most unhinged performance yet. The once and potentially-future president displayed all the usual tics of his oratorical style. He spoke for two hours, about himself. He preened, he simpered, he attempted to project an aura of power and menace. It ought to be archived as a perfect specimen of full-bore—and, as it were, full-boor—lunacy:

“In 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice.’ Today I add, I am your warrior, I am your justice, and, for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution. I am your retribution.”

This, from a guy who recently declared that he wants to expand the use of the death penalty, including firing squads, and bring back mass executions. Hmmm…what do you suppose he really means?

We cannot help but wonder how this bizarre performance would strike a person who had never heard or seen this guy before? It’s impossible to know because he has been in the public eye—like some permanently-implanted grain of sand, or other noxious irritant—for some forty years. Laughter and revulsion, one would hope. Anything less would lead one to despair over the innate gullibility of our species.

And yet by using this style of blather, he has built a base. It may be slightly diminished, what with all the losing, in elections and in lawsuits. It is certainly tarnished, considering all the mayhem. Most shocking of all, it’s largely pilfered—and from what was once the Party  of Abraham Lincoln.

For all of that, though, it’s still hearty enough to have won him three times as many votes as Ron DeSantis, the runner-up in the CPAC straw poll. So, despite four ongoing criminal investigations, this grotesque buffoon is the presumptive Republican nominee.

We don’t mean to exacerbate anyone’s existential despair, but even if Attorney General Merrick Garland were suddenly to swoop onstage like some deus ex machina and personally serve McDonald’s biggest customer with a sheaf of warrants, it might not make all that much difference. On Wednesday ABC News reported that “there’s nothing in the Constitution disqualifying individuals convicted of crimes from running for or serving as president.” *

Be of good cheer, though, as Sean Hannity likes to say. Better yet, be like the irrepressible Ian Dury, and make a list of reasons to be cheerful.

Perhaps we cannot gloat over the immediate prospect of #45 in an orange jumpsuit. We can remind ourselves that he only made it to the Oval Office through the assistance of Rupert Murdoch. Therein lies all the schadenfreude one could want, thanks to the disarray in which his enablers now find themselves. Internal Fox documents revealed due to a $1.8 billion libel lawsuit show that—paraphrasing Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman—every word out of their mouths is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’

At 91, Rupert Murdoch cannot live long enough to fully expiate all his sins. Besides, in order to do that, first he’d have to repent—not a likely prospect. That’s OK. We’ll settle for his torment, watching Dominion pick over the bones of Fox News.

Fox had already been losing advertisers before its internal emails revealed that the whole operation is nothing but a cynical sham. The network doesn’t depend on advertising as heavily as its competitors, but reputable businesses are loathe to associate themselves with complete pariahs. That leaves Fox dependent on the pillow guy and big pharma.

Most of Fox’s revenue comes from inflated carriage fees, paid to Fox by cable providers. According to Media Matters for America, 60 percent of those contracts are coming up for renewal next year.

Will the law ever catch the worst waste of oxygen to ever escape from Queens? Maybe, or maybe not. It does looks like the market might punish his creator, though.

* Any good socialist knew that already, of course. Eugene V. Debs ran for President five times on the Socialist ticket, the fifth time from the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. He got nearly a million votes, too.

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