A long, long time ago, the courts of kings were awash with lovely ladies—mostly in waiting (who knows for what), minstrels who sang and strummed their way into royal favor, valiant knights desperately wanting to scratch themselves—but prevented by their chain-mail jockey shorts—and, of course, an assortment of nobles all seeking to advance their statuses in the realm. Have I missed one? Oh, yes, there's one more essential of every royal court.
We mustn't forget the jester—the man in the silly suit and floppy-horned hat who was given the ominous task of helping the king to forget the 300 men he lost in the day's battle. Although many things have changed since those days of castles and knights, we still turn, at the end of a hard day, to some buffoonery to buoy our sagging spirits.
Enter, Sen. Mike Lee. His recent Senate presentation about the Green New Deal and global warming was a misguided attempt to make other people look stupid. It was obvious that Lee believed himself clever, and that he had practiced his visual-aid-supported talk in front of his home shaving mirror—rehearsing his humble acceptance of the glowing accolades that would surely follow—even envisioning fellow senators and POTUS, giving him congratulatory slaps on the back. He could just hear their words: "Great job, Mike. Why don't you join us for a drink?" He had perhaps polished his response—a conspicuous, but polite, refusal. "As a fledgling god, I am an abstainer."
Lee's rehearsals had been perfect. But, oh, the best-laid plans of mice, men—and nitwits. In a slow-moving, deliberate, carefully paced spectacle, Lee started out with the claim that the Green New Deal sought to end air travel. Much in the footsteps of his beloved president, he bent the truth and then sought to substantiate it. His assistant placed posters on an easel, all done on precision cue, that illustrated what he was saying. Even the poor lady mounting the posters fluctuated between expressions of hero worship and nausea.
If you haven't seen it, it's worth going to YouTube. Lee's presentation included the following: 1. Ronald Reagan, firing his machine gun at the foes of American liberty—complete with a streaming, battle-torn Old Glory—from his perch on a winged dinosaur. 2. A furry white reptile-mammal movie creature carrying a passenger over the frozen Arctic tundra. 3. A Hawaiian riding a seahorse from Waikiki to Seattle and 4. A large bovine census chart showing how the implementation of the Green New Deal would make 94 million cattle disappear, leaving us forever hungry for hamburgers, and eliminating the fear that the striking of a match could set a methane-rich world on fire.
Lee had addressed the president as he began, mentioning, with a smile, that he might not be able to deliver his rant without breaking into laughter. He smiled a few times, beaming that he was as clever as Stephen Colbert—but he was the only one. No one else thought he was clever or even cute. And, had he been dressed in a jester's mask and hose, complete with bells on his toes, any self-respecting legitimate king would have sent him directly to the gallows. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime spectacles that everyone wished they'd missed.
As a mockery of the extreme weather caused by the global warming trend, Lee also showed a picture of Gov. Gary Herbert heroically fending off the sharks blowing through his office window. (I'm sure every Utahn who witnessed this show was inspired by the guv's fearlessness.)
And, as all great showmen do, Lee was careful to save the best for last—his own brilliant take on how to save a rapidly warming Earth. He gave a lengthy explanation, asserting that the solution is to be found "in churches, wedding chapels and maternity wards across the country and around the world ... falling in love, getting married and having kids."
I consider myself to be of, at least, average intelligence, but it was challenging to follow his logic. He expounded on how higher birth rates can save the planet. Hey, if plentiful babies are the key to a cooler world, perhaps the Chinese should be put in charge. Children certainly are a resource for the future, but Lee didn't have to act like a 2-year-old in order to make his point.
Lee's global warming diatribe was probably the worst political speech I've ever witnessed. Someone remarked afterward, "If Mike Lee can be a senator, anyone can." Senators on both sides of the aisle lambasted the presentation as a truly pathetic carnival show. Most Americans would rather endure the flatulence of 94 million cows than hear another word of Lee's unmitigated BS.
With the grace of an elephant in a tutu, Lee took a serious subject and turned it into a joke. Frankly, his popularity would probably soar if he simply forsook the podium, sullied his reputation with organized-crime buddies, grabbed a few pussies, and hired some sex workers for the simple joy of a golden shower. That would make Lee truly "presidential."
All I can say is, Mike, why don't you go out and create a big, juicy scandal for yourself. It would work better than what you're doing.
The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org