Swamp creatures

Let me say at the outset that I do not intend any part of this Idlepost as a criticism of the inhabitants of swamps, whether reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, snakes, wild pigs, or even swamp wallabies. Likewise, I give swamp vegetation a pass, and the microbiota (with certain choice exceptions). These are all God’s creatures, it says here, and some of them are (apparently) edible.

No, I am referring to the politicians who occupy the original wetlands of the lower Potomac River, especially the Democrats. At the moment I’m thinking of Adam Schiff, as the lowest of the low, but could name a hundred others, plus a few Republicans to give an impression of objectivity. That so many of these came from California is noteworthy, should we wish to be empirical, yet one of the vilest is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Among the most successful swamp creatures, in evolutionary terms, he has amassed a magnificent fortune in forty-seven years of “public service.” The hard-drive of his son, Hunter — forgotten at some computer repair shop, perhaps because he was high on crack cocaine — gives us some insight into how this is done.

While creatures like Biden are among the most accomplished, and might seem special cases, the phenomenon is universal. National capitals everywhere attract such swamp creatures, and the bigger the country, the bigger the swamp. Also, the greater variety of wetlands. In principle, all offer a way to get rich entirely without honest labour; even on the municipal scale, through bye-laws. And, potentially, without the inconveniences of a life of crime, in the narrowly formal sense. Too, they offer costumage, in the phrase I quote too often from Measure for Measure. This is where Isabella describes apes playing God, and speaks of the “proud man, dress’d in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d.” And of his “glassy essence.”

(Act II, scene two, but read the whole play.)

For it is a little-appreciated fact that, while money is a great motivator of men, the worst sort prefer a fouler currency. It is power they really want, and while power is a reliable means to money, money is only sometimes needed for the road to power. Whether in the buying or the being bought, the proud man keeps his eye on the main prize: his own apotheosis.

What has impressed me about Trump — though I might not admire him for other reasons — is his bravery among the ‘gators and the ‘crocs. Supposing he is defeated in the upcoming election, he would retire from office, uniquely among presidents, poorer than when he went in. (His considerable assets having been trashed.) Too, he is among the tiny minority who ever tried to do what he promised: “Drain the swamp.”

But the swamp is yuge. And he has been battling its inhabitants, nearly single-handed. I never counted his chances very high, and am amazed that he has gotten this far.