Updated: Jun 12, 2019
A while back, when Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (and even ate some it) to a meeting that William Barr refused to attend, everyone had a good chuckle. The ceramic chicken that came along for the ride was a nice touch, as was Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., grabbing a piece of KFC and eating it on the dais. (Hunter Thompson wrote about fear and loathing; how much more fun would he have had with fun and games?)
You see, Barr was too chicken to attend the meeting and so the chicken was...well...symbolic of a, well, of a chicken I guess. Believe me, the whole trope works remarkably well if you're five years old and not dealing with a Constitutional crisis and the attendant disasters that appear daily.
That bucket of extra-crispy presaged a good day for William Barr, and an embarrassment for every Democrat who realizes the seriousness of what's roiling around us. Next to Cohen's foolishness, the Republican rebranding natural gas as "freedom gas" sounds like something from the Algonquin Round Table.
But one thing about Democrats, they have a keen sense of the ludicrous and know where to find it, and so, yesterday—six days after D-Day—was Dean-Day. I'm searching for an analogy here as to what effect John Dean's testimony will have on the youthful voters interested in Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg. It would be like me getting ready to make an important political decision in the 80s and having the Democrats drag Oveta Culp-Hobby into Congress to win me over. You don't remember her? Really? The first Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare? Eisenhower administration? Nothing?
No offense to the memory of Oveta Culp-Hobby, but yes, nothing. John Dean to most Americans not yet retired is someone their parents talked about, or more likely, didn't talk about.
Though Mr. Dean may enjoy an exalted position among Nixon-haters and may have acted nobly during the Watergate scandal; that was nearly a half-century ago. Listening to him was like listening to anyone with a good story to tell and the credibility to make it stick. In that respect maybe he gets a soundbite on the evening news and keeps the idea of impeachment afloat among Trump's base, but to me it all seemed more desperate than convincing.
As a lifelong Democrat, I must of course try to mine something worthwhile from all this. Maybe the judicial committee has concocted some sort of diabolical plan to get Trump to testify, one that involves John Dean, CNN, the Duchess of Sussex, and the removal of the tariff on avocados. And then impeachment!
Or maybe the Democrats put everything they had into that bucket of chicken, and everything from here on in is just slaw.