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Mulligan Mike



Everyone hates a bad movie analogy, so I'll just go ahead and play with one anyway. Near the end of the greatest movie of all time, The Princess Bride, the protagonist is found to be "mostly dead" and needing a miracle. If you've seen The Princess Bride, you know the scene. The noble Westley is transported to the trusting skills of Miracle Max who, to his own surprise, conjures a method to return the "mostly dead" Westley back to his old fighting form. Westley is then able to finish his conquest of the evil Prince Humperdinck who has stolen his one true love, Buttercup, the Princess Bride.

Tuesday began the senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump. Mike Lee is in the senate chamber somehow not gagging at the defense that the Trump team erratically presented. If this trial were The Princess Bride, Trump would be pronounced not "mostly dead" but all the way dead. Nothing could save Trump if this were an actual trial.

But it's not. Unless a Miracle Max event occurs for the prosecution, Trump will not be held accountable for actions and words inciting the insurrection on Jan. 6. In Mike Lee World, it's not Trump who's "mostly dead," it's the U.S. Constitution, and Lee is there to save it, by God—no matter how many pocket Constitutions or variants of constitutional interpretation he can conjure.

Good thing Lee is there because Trump's lawyers aren't. Twitter trends and most newscasts have declared the Trump legal team to be comprised of morons, one charming and the other angry, but ultimately both morons. Neither can rise to the Miracle Max-level needed to save Trump from impeachment, but they don't need to. They just need to perform to a level satisfactory to Trump himself, who is surely watching on TV, reveling that there really are attorneys in the United States who are willing to make fools of themselves for the world to see. Those attorneys are as incapable of performing a miracle as is the noble Westley of telling a lie. Trump doesn't need a miracle anyway. He has Mike Lee.

Mike Lee is among 11 Senators who voted earlier to not even proceed with the trial at all. It is unconstitutional, they say. The more I hear Lee use any variant of the word "constitutional," the more I'm reminded of one of the most quotable of quotes from The Princess Bride. Remember when the conniving Vizzini keeps using the word "inconceivable" in reference to the unlikelihoods that keep happening before his eyes? Westley's boat rapidly closing in on Vizzini's. Inconceivable! The honorable fighter Inigo Montoya scaling the cliff. Inconceivable! At the top of the cliff, Vizzini looking down to the brave Westley climbing upward and exclaiming, "He didn't fall? Inconceivable!" to which Montoya replies, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." That's how it is with Mike Lee. I don't think he knows what the word "constitutional" means.

His version of the Constitution is barely more than random letters and words bound into a neat package, living in his breast pocket, easily extracted like a pack of Lucky Strikes, allowing him to make a bold gesture as to the kind of man he is. Lee likes to hold his pocket Constitution and wave it around. He likes to have us believe that in that space between his very narrow eyes, he alone has divined what the framers had in mind for the future of their new republic. Truth is, though, Lee isn't a fine tobacco. He's a puff of smoke.

The Constitution is just a prop for Mike Lee. Same as a golf tee. We all know our former president was fond of billing U.S. citizens for endless rounds of golf. To be fair, I can't recall Lee ever playing a round of golf with Trump. To be equally fair, I'll bet Lee a bottle of cheap tequila (for me) against a $25 Swig gift certificate (for him) that I could beat him in a round of golf tomorrow. I'm that confident despite surgery on three trigger fingers, both shoulders, both knees and a hip. I can't see him doing anything remotely athletic outside of quick drawing his pocket Constitution in the same manner as when a back-alley pervert makes his great reveal. I'd beat him straight up, no mulligans for me.

So, it surprises me that Mike Lee wants to give Trump a mulligan on his bald-faced attempt to upend the United States of America. In a recent TV interview (stop, Mike, just stop—you've embarrassed Utah enough!), Lee said that Trump should have a make-good, that people deserve second shots, second chances. It's not so much Lee made the statement, which is patently ludicrous, but that I also doubt Lee even knows what a mulligan is. If he did, he'd know one mulligan begets another until a mockery of rules and decorum means they no longer matter. Maybe he heard the word in a locker room because I can't imagine him actually golfing. Maybe he was just trying to fit in with Trump, same as on the day in Arizona when he compared him to Captain Moroni.

A football squad of 11 Republican Senators voted against the trial going forward. Lee is now forever married to Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, Roger Marshall, Tommy Tuberville and Bill Hagerty, opportunistic dunderheads all. Have any of them uttered anything but grievances? It's inconceivable they could do otherwise. They want us to rush ahead, to put Jan. 6 behind us. Can't do that, Mulligan Mike. Miracle Max says we shouldn't because, "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles." You've produced a rotten mulligan.

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