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Name: Sam
Gender: Male
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Current location: Aix-en-Provence
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 16,873

About Me

Moved to France in September of 2018 after buying our apartment in 2017 after the debacle of the election. We're glad to be here, but we continue to be involved with what's happening in the US.

Journal Archives

Mueller was Ginger Rogers, dancing backwards in heels, teaching the committee what to do

Found this on Facebook and thought that it was a brilliant analysis.

It's a long read and totally worth it. The bolding is mine.

I've started to follow him. He's good.

As I watched the hearings today, I couldn't help but think of how Ginger Rogers had to do everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels, while teaching Fred through rehearsal after rehearsal how to lead her correctly to get to the performance they both wanted.

I know many of you came into this today with certain preconceived notions, and from what I am seeing on my feed, you are mostly sticking to your guns on the way out. I humbly suggest you take a moment, if you haven't already, to challenge your own assumptions and meditate on the meaning of the phrase "wag the dog".

This is what I saw.

Mueller was a masterful Ginger Rogers. He let everyone know in advance with complete clarity what the rules of engagement would be. As the world's foremost authority on what those rules of engagement are and need to be in order for him to complete his mission and hand it off to the next player, he is fully aware that the moment he breaks those rules and steps out of the "four corners" of that specifically defined engagement, then everything he has said or will say will be subject to invalidation and dismissal. He stayed inside the lines masterfully. He spent the day being absolutely clear and resolute in his commitment to stick to that.

He wouldn't even read from his own script/report, requiring that the questioners show up with their own copy of it, further establishing his vernacular as the assumed rules of engagement, raising the bar like nobody else ever has, requiring THEM to read his words back to HIM. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

He refused to answer certain questions and rejected implied assumptions, but any careful review of how he did so reveals exactly why. He spent the entire day training everyone in the room exactly HOW to ask WHAT questions to get the best answers they could given the narrow lane within which he had to work.

To mix metaphors yet again, the Democrats showed up to play checkers. Mueller spent the day teaching them three-dimensional chess. The Republicans couldn't mature past Go Fish.

And it worked. By the end of Act 2, they got it. One by one, the background dancers "fell into line" with Mueller ("I can do this all day" - Captain fucking America), asking the right questions in the right way to collectively bring focus to the real narrative that really matters, gaining momentum, speed and synchronicity.

By the time there were only 4 speakers left, Welch beautifully set it up for the big finale. His line of questions, and Mueller's staccato answers in the affirmative confirming the narrative one damning assumption after another, built up to a crescendo. You could see Mueller's relief that they had finally figured it out. The catalog of irrefutable facts and connecting logic they wove together was (entirely on its own) damning enough to completely validate the need for the 2 year investigation.

Nunes, the clumsy villainous henchman of today's story, knew he was handily beaten in this dance-off, that resorting to his earlier bellicose nonsense would not serve him well, and had to resign himself to just sheepishly, clumsily and insincerely repeating the same career accolades with which his democratic counterparts had so much more authentically lauded Mueller throughout the day.

Schiff, in one of the finest performances I've ever witnessed in any hearing in my lifetime, then re-frames the narrative completely, rejecting the petty squabbles to date with a quick quarter turn to the left ("Let's open the aperture" - brilliant!) flowing into a graceful cross-body-lead (nod to Tish Laemmle), aggregating all of the dance lessons of the day masterfully in one final routine.

Step by step, he choreographs a winning narrative and powers through the climax, with Mueller's Rogers gleefully spinning, skipping and dipping to Schiff's Astaire with a slightly mischievous smile and just a bit of flourish, making it look like it was all Adam (Bless you, Ginger).

After clearly reminding us all that Sheriff Mueller had to play by the rules (in ways that won't make him popular to the rubes today but will establish him as the torch bearer of justice in the history books), Schiff then provided a denouement worthy of Aaron Sorkin (or to keep the metaphor going, Dwight Taylor and Mark Sandrich) by none-too-subtley following up the assumptive close with a clear list of actions we can expect to see in a series of sequels.

And all I could think of while listening to the closing argument was "Speaker of the House Schiff, President Schiff, Supreme Court Justice Schiff - or is there time for all three?"

Ok, your turn to now flood me with your weak, pathetic arguments. Be sure that I will defend to the death your right to be so wrong. But please, be "en pointe."

Added on edit - I've been asked to add a link and name - Efraim Wyeth - https://www.facebook.com/efraim.wyeth/posts/10157132868380042
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