A Republican Senator’s Alternatives, or, Scylla Looks Pretty Bad, Guess I’ll Take Charybdis

Scylla and Charybdis

In other words, to avoid being eaten by Dear Leader Scylla, I guess I’ll just risk sinking in the Charybdis whirlpool of public disapproval.

That’s how the punditariat are reading all 53 Republican senators, and their predictions may well come true. But, actually, they do have some other choices—choices that may look bad, but are not unreasonable, if you step back and consider things rationally.

One, they could resign.

Two, they could announce that they will not run in the next election.

Three, for some of them, it might be feasible just to change parties. With the Democrats supporting them, along with ten percent of the Republicans, they might actually win the next election.

Four, they could just do the right thing, and hope for the best. I would argue, that’s far from an unreasonable choice, even for a cynical politician. Wargame it out. Whatever you do, Trump will be acquitted by the Senate. Trump will immediately begin to manifest far more depravity than he has shown to date. By the fall of 2020, with Trump’s increasing depravity, things are going to look pretty ugly for Trump and his bootlickers. And you are going to look like goddamn Nostradamus and Mother Theresa, rolled into one.

Not exactly a lead pipe cinch winner for you. But I have seen far, far worse bets.

So, dear Republican senators, here’s some really good advice:

Gamblin’ Man, or, Mike Pence, This Song’s for You

Aardvark gets by with a little help from his friends. I’m indebted to Vasari for this information about Lyndon Johnson:

LBJ didn’t like the Kennedys, but weighed the merits of the number-two job in relation to his own stalled but ferocious presidential aspirations. He even instructed his staff to look up how many presidents had died during their term since 1860 — five out of 18. Later, when asked why he took the offer, LBJ said, “I looked it up: one out of every four presidents has died in office. I’m a gamblin’ man, darlin’, and this is the only chance I got.”

Speaking of gambling, today Ross Douthat sagely observed, “Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it.”

Putting the thought yet another way, he who would sup with the devil must have a long spoon. And you Fausts have been supping with Donald Trump. And his spoon is a hell of a lot longer than your spoons.

So, inspired by Sara Palin, Aardvark poses this rhetorical question: how’s that Faustian bargain workin’ out for ya? Wink, wink, sneer, sneer.

There are signs in recent days that Mike Pence may be about to bail. Could be a good career move. But until you do, better keep those cards close to your chest.

Because, Mike, you gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

And so, Mr. Vice President, this here song is just for you. I hope you enjoy it. (This version comes from a leading Norwegian country music performer.)

And while you’re listening, you might pick up your well worn Bible, read Ecclesiastes chapter 3, and see whether it speaks to your heart.