The Octopus and the Shark

One spreads ink, the other smells blood.

In US Attorney General Merrick Garland America finds the antipode to Trump’s destructive madness.

How silly and predictable have been the liberal media hand wringers who, ready to blame AG Merrick Garland for forfeiting time in presumably not prosecuting Trump’s excesses, end up ceding the political moment to Trump’s audience of who’s and what’s loyal. (1)

Consider how each creature has evolved: the octopus defends by emitting ink, the shark, possessing a dorsal fin, adeptly ducks and attacks the underbelly of its prey.

Consider Trump, the octopus; Garland, the shark.

To the hand wringers, Garland has been unequivocal in stating that “he has bigger fish to fry.” The depths of Trump’s perfidy are like lures, multiple and evasive. The raid was not just to recover papers removed from the White House, but to track evidence of opening breaches of American security, be it in the form of ‘fake elector’ contacts or inventories of US nuclear readiness. The collateral damage, America’s institutions and security, is the tip of the ice berg:

More than we fear; less than where our imagination takes us. (2)

Consider Rep. Steven Scalise, Cassidy Hutchinson’s former boss, whose loyal subversion of fact shields the narrative of conspiracy.

Susan B. Glasser writes in The New Yorker, August 11:

The bizarre politics of the moment were best summed up in an exchange Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends,” when the co-host Steve Doocy — an anchor so well known for his Trump cheerleading that Trump once reportedly rated him a twelve out of ten on his personal loyalty scale — seemed astonished by how far Trump’s defenders were willing to go in attacking the F.B.I. on Trump’s behalf. What about death threats to F.B.I. agents, Doocy wondered, and over-the-top comments from House Republicans talking of the need to “destroy the F.B.I.” and “defund” it? “Whatever happened to the Republican Party backing the blue?” the Fox host asked Representative Steve Scalise, the House Republican Whip.

When Scalise responded by talking about agents who had gone “rogue,” Doocy challenged him again. “Steve, who went rogue? Who went rogue? They were following a search warrant.”

This is not party over politics. This is brand over party over politics — twice removed from kindergarten-level probity. These are not politicians. These are purveyors of Trump outrage. This is not a party, but — remind us again — a cultish mob.

Loyalty, not solidarity, counts. No political discourse, but pyramid loyalty schemes dotting the political landscape like a Mayan archaeological site.

“Are you in?”

‘Let’s wait and see’ becomes emblematic of where is your loyalty? Folks who traffic in punditry, and I am complicit in this art, forget that out of chaos emerges courage, and the courageous, if we are alert to their presence.

Mr. Garland qualifies.

We miss the forest for the trees.

We miss the army of insurrectionists for the “smoking gun.”

August 13–14


1-“Trapped in Trump, Trump, Trump,” Susan B. Glasser

2– “F.B.I. Search Ignited Violent Rhetoric on the Far Right,” Alan Feuer




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.