“Mueller, Do You Realize What This Means?”
James J. O'Meara
Reflections on Brett Kavanaugh & the “Intergalactic Freakshow”
“There was absolutely no choice but to cut her adrift and hope her memory was fucked.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Bert Cooper: Mr. Campbell, who cares?
Pete Campbell: Mr. Cooper, he’s a fraud and a liar, a criminal even!
Bert Cooper: Even if this were true, who cares? This country was built and run by men with worse stories than whatever you’ve imagined here.
— Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 12, “Nixon vs. Kennedy”
Remember, kids, leading the neighborhood gang-rape gang may seem like fun, but if caught it will become a part of your permanent record, and haunt you for the rest of your life; it may even prevent you from getting a seat on the Supreme Court!
I tried to avoid the whole Kavanaugh shit-show. The rank and obvious hypocrisy of it – a man being persecuted for possibly committing the heinous crime of, as Ward Cleaver might say, heavy petting. This from a party that still worships Ted Kennedy, who, apart from anything else, drunkenly killed a young woman and tried to cover it up; Bill Clinton – ‘nuff said; and while actual girls are being raped throughout Europe by gangs of Holy Immigrants of the sort that Sen. Schumer and his colleagues want to welcome to our own country.
Kavanaugh’s surprisingly intense rebuttal came close, but failed to really articulate what needed to be said. I rather liked his Angry White Man routine, being one myself, but what was really needed was not so much anger as calmly pointing out to each Democrat on the committee The Reason They Suck:
No, Sen. Blumenthal, I never lied about my non-existent combat experience. No, Sen. Feinstein, I don’t have a Chinese spy on my payroll. No, Sen. Schumer, I didn’t rape my daughter’s best friend, who won’t be testifying because she already committed suicide.
Like most Catholics, Kavanaugh likely knows little about the Bible; he would have been better served by taking the advice of his party’s Evangelicals, and asking himself What Would Jesus Do. Less self-satisfying anger, more calmly writing their names in the dust until, one by one, they slink away.
But the speech, and Sen. Graham’s equally surprising follow-up – which did come close to what was needed – convinced me to take a look at Friday’s supposed vote. (I say supposed because it turned out to actually be the day to come in, give endless and pointless speeches, and generally just sit around whacking off, vote to postpone voting, and then scurry out of the room.)
That was a mistake, as I found myself gazing in horror at a collection of ghouls and goblins the likes of which haven’t been seen in daylight since the Navy dynamited the reefs off Innsmouth.
My God, the faces! I’d heard that “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people,” but this! It was as if I were Hunter Thompson confronting the Las Vegas crowd with a headful of ether, or his attorney taking in the sight of the collected pigs at the DA convention:
Raoul Duke: I suspect we could have done the whole thing on acid . . . except for some of the people; there were faces and bodies in that group who would have been absolutely unendurable on acid . . . They look like caricatures of used-car dealers from Dallas. But they’re real. And, sweet Jesus, there are a hell of a lot of them.
Dr. Gonzo: I saw these bastards in Easy Rider, but I didn’t believe they were real. Not like this, man, not hundreds of them.
Raoul Duke: They’re actually pretty nice people once you get to know them.
Dr. Gonzo: Know them? I know these people in my goddamn blood.
Raoul Duke: Don’t say that word around here. You’ll get them excited.
Feinstein! I knew she was old, but Great Caesar, what could explain bloodless, flattened face of hers?
Blumenthal, who seems like something that would haunt the dreams of David Icke, crossed with an outtake from Dr. Phibes Rises Again:
And Schumer! What’s with the bifocals, granddad? This is the twenty-first century, does the little Levantine creep think this makes him look like Ben Franklin?
All this reminded me of the sort of caricatures of “old Southern bigots” you used to see in the ‘60s; superannuated, white-suited flannel-mouths who actually remembered the Antebellum period. Now, the same ghastly revenants rule as our “progressive” betters. Meet the new corpse, same as the old corpse.
The Republicans are little better, especially Grassley, the phlegm-choking chairman who sounds like I imagine Poe’s M. Valdemar would, speaking from the beyond before collapsing into a “nearly liquid mass of loathsome – of detestable putrescence.”
Turning away in disgust, I sought to suppress these memories – as Dr. Ford supposedly did – but in my case by zipping through my newsfeed on Gab. But my nightmare pursued me, as a clever chap had spliced together a montage of Dr. Ford:
. . . with another recent disturbing image:
For I had already connected the second image to this one:
Duper’s delight! Double duper’s delight!
But the real significance, here – for me, and hopefully for you, Constant Reader – is more than the revelation of Dr. Duper. For the conjunction of Ford and Strzok caused a sudden moment of clarity, à la Will Graham. The little girl voice, the inappropriate smiling and smirking, the harping on the topic of supposedly repressed or forgotten memories, the obsessive repetition of “burning” things into her hippocampus, the overall fake and phony affect; all this was the result of CIA supervised MK-Ultra mind control, specifically “Sex Kitten” levels.
Now it becomes clear. Dr. Ford likely was sexually assaulted as a teen; like Dr. Fox Mulder’s sister, or Mrs. Iselin’s son, she was likely turned over to the Company by her own father for experimentation. Having vaguely known Brett Kavanaugh as a teen, she was a natural to be finally activated when needed, when his name was first floated in 2012, no doubt by some post-hypnotic trigger. If only some Senator had asked her if she wanted to play a game of solitaire.
So, in this meme, we have the perfect sigil for our time: victimizer and victim-turned-victimizer, the FBI and the CIA, and the whole “intelligence community” that we are supposed to think is looking out for our welfare – whether from half-witted, set-up “terrorists” or Russian troll farms.
Needless to say, the upshot of the whole proceeding was that a Senator with the Dickensian name of Flake (a character so hapless he chose not to even bother to run for reelection) extorted, as the price of his vote, yet another delay, for yet another investigation by . . . of course, the FBI. I can assure you that neither I nor any other sensible person (all half a dozen of us) will, at this point, believe anything the FBI comes up with.
And as I pointed out in my earlier essay:
While the FBI has, over the years, carefully crafted an image of itself as Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (The FBI) or the Hannibal-hunting Will Graham (Manhunter) and Clarice Starling (The Silence of the Lambs) or even nutty Dr. Fox Mulder (The X-Files), it appears that after eight years of Obama, the agency is being led by Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Evil Sheldon Cooper.
Now we can see that this image has undergone some development, in tune with the times. Zimbalist was a granite-jawed force of integrity who could stand up to those dirty hippies. Will Graham is a more touchy-feeling man of the ‘80s, while Clarice Starling – subtly introduced as someone who “grilled” her future boss while in college over “the FBI’s civil rights record under Hoover” – is an empowered woman of the ‘90s.
And so, inevitably, a team was created to handle the Bureau’s image: Scully and Mulder, of The X-Files, a TV series designed to attract the attention of an American public increasingly interested in “conspiracy theories” (a term invented by the CIA in the wake of public doubts about the Warren Commission), and whose overall “Mythology Arc” involving multiple alien forces battling each other would suggest to those sheeple viewers that the idea of real conspiracies is just as silly; or, if it is real, has little to do with ordinary human elite planners.
There’s a sense in which, indeed, there are no “secret” conspiracies, since they always show their hand; what Michael Hoffman II has called “The Revelation of the Method.” Like Bond villains ruthlessly expositing their plans, it’s just no fun unless you can tease the marks. And the best part – the cream of the jest – is making your story so ridiculous that no one believes it.
Just as they recently brought the show back, here we have the same team: Dr. Ford, meet Dr. Scully; weird and weird-named Strzok, meet weird and weird-named Fox Mulder—or is that Mueller?
Coincidence? Revelation? Synchronicity? Who – as Bubble would say – can say?
You’ll notice little bits of Mad Men floating around here. In yet another earlier essay, I turned from the distressing sight of that show’s view of Aryan male associations in the ad biz to the more reassuring one of . . . the US Senate, circa the same 1960s time period, as portrayed in Otto Preminger’s 1962 film, Advise and Consent, which was adapted from Allen Drury‘s 1959 bestseller and, according to Peter Bogdanovich, was “by far the best political movie ever made in this country.” Needless to say, it forms an even more stark contrast with today’s freakshow. IMDB provides an excellent synopsis, which you may wish to look over.
As I pointed out, the Senate of the film is entirely white and ninety-nine percent male. As today’s SJWs would guess, it certainly is a world of sexual promiscuity; back then, senators mostly lived in fancy hotels (like the one Al Gore, Jr. was born in) rather than dragging their families to DC. So the movie gives us Maj. Leader Robert Munson (Walter Pidgeon) having a long-term affair with Washington’s hostess with the mostest (Gene Tierney returns to the screen!), while in the first moments we’re introduced to Sen. Lafe Smith in a bathrobe, as a young woman in a fur coat exits the hotel room. Indeed, the only “normal” marriage we see is that of the bisexual Brig Anderson, and it will be destroyed – along with Anderson – by Van Ackerman’s blackmail.
Be that as it may, the point I was making about the film was that these white men naturally formed a Männerbund to conduct the nation’s business with honor. No political parties are named, because it doesn’t matter; actually, policies are mere details.
Van Ackerman is a Democratic Joe McCarthy (as Democrats would see the latter), who uses a team of FBI-ish men in black to “investigate” his perceived enemies (who are, of course, enemies of world peace); it’s easy to see him using Mueller or Comey and their gang, or even as Mueller or Comey himself.
But the Senate of the “bad old days” would have none of it. There’s no interest in exposing “Brig’s tired old sin, whatever it was”; as Bert Cooper of the similar ‘60s Männerbund of Sterling Cooper says, “Who cares?” There’s something more important than whatever act was committed by someone years ago; as the Majority Leader tells Van Ackerman:
We tolerate about anything here. Fanaticism, prejudice, demagoguery, anything. That’s what the Senate is for, to tolerate freedom. But you’ve dishonored us.
Today, of course, the Senate is for anything but freedom and tolerance; I suppose we are to imagine that it has “advanced” beyond such “negative freedom” and now, like the Jacobin fanatics, views itself as an engine to produce national virtue, at whatever the human – or national – cost.
Van Ackerman would be portrayed nowadays as the hero he imagines himself to be, shouting, “I did it for the good of the country!”
Except, of course that, “Brig’s tired old sin” was a homosexual encounter in the wartime Navy. For the time, that would be the ultimate disgrace, and Preminger still gets some praise for daring to present such subject matter on screen, positively or negatively. You can bet today that if someone one came forward with such “dirt” on a lib/prog/dem nominee, it would be rejected out of hand; if a conservative, it would be used to brand him – hypocritically – as a hypocrite. Being both conservative and apparently heterosexual, Kavanaugh is fair game.
It’s – ironic? Appropriate? Something – that after Kavanaugh’s bravura rebuttal, it was up to Sen. Lindsey Graham to deliver the rhetorical coup de grace, excoriating both sides and finally speaking truth to power. Graham, although also apparently heterosexual, has a rather effeminate presentation that has led to much sniggering among his enemies, who are legion and, until now, correct, as far as his McCain-inspired neoliberal policies. Has Graham finally come out – from under McCain’s shadow?
But Graham resembles not so much the closeted Sen. Brig Anderson as the meek, ineffectual, ignored Vice President, Harley Hudson. In my earlier essay, I discussed Harley as an example of what Jack Donovan has called “the runt,” a weak specimen that nevertheless can contribute some specialized expertise to the Männerbund. Here, Harley is a fundamentally decent man, “mild-mannered and misunderestimated” as The Times calls him, who upends the Capitol, and the movie, by refusing to “exercise his prerogative as President of the Senate,” casting the tie-breaking vote. He’s just learned that the President is dead, and he “would prefer to nominate his own man.”
Of course, tolerant, enlightened liberals might have another interpretation:
“You know what’s bad is this Trumpifying of people,” [Bill] Maher quipped. “Lindsey Graham needs the stabilizing influence of his dead boyfriend . . .”
Panelist Max Brooks [son of Mel and the Tribe] then added: “Lindsey Graham has always been the beta male,” adding “John McCain was the alpha. He was the sidekick and now he’s lost his protector. He’s lost his big brother, and he needs protection. So he’s always looking for Trump to protect him now because that’s how he’s always been.”
As always with the progs, it’s not principle, it’s Who/Whom; the PUA/HBD jargon, though, is a nice touch.
Harley is from “one of those small states,” presumably something like Rhode Island or Vermont, but Graham, from South Carolina, thus more closely resembles Sen. Cooley of South Carolina, who also executes an earlier third-act face-heel turn; in response to Sen. Anderson’s suicide – which he is largely responsible for setting in motion – Cooley delivers a mea culpa to the Senate and releases his pledged votes.
It’s particularly interesting – to me at least – that all these face-heel turns are associated with deaths; Sen. Anderson’s suicide, the President’s death (no cause given, in either the book or the film); in this real-world case, one would have to conclude that Sen. McCain’s death served as a similar release or wake-up call for Sen. Graham.
Perhaps, like the hero of Barton Fink’s play, “We’ll be hearing from that kid – and I don’t mean a postcard.”
 “Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) referred to the mess the Senate Judiciary Committee on which he sits had become as an ‘intergalactic freakshow.’” Scott McKay, “Notes from an Intergalactic Freakshow.”
 Of course, once you keep your nose clean and get on the Court, you can kiss the rules goodbye!
 Blumenthal, Feinstein, Schumer, and I can’t be bothered to count up more . . . just how many Norwegians are there in America?
 John 8:2-11. “It has been theorized that Jesus was writing in the dirt the secret sins that even the Pharisees were guilty of, which, the older ones would most likely be humble enough to recognize sooner than the younger. We are not sure. However, the point is, that, if we truly were to apply the full implications of the law, like the stoning of the woman for her transgression of the law, that would include us all as well.” (eBible.com)
 I’m reminded of nothing so much as an issue of the National Lampoon, devoted to either the South or racism in general, where Gahan Wilson has a series of cartoons involving Southern senators, saying things like “I heah they black all ovah, even undda they clothes” and the like. One – green and apparently long dead – was being held upright by his staff, who were stifling vomit as they moved his dead hand to sign a bill; he looked like a spring chicken next to Blumenthal.
 Or, of course, Lovecraft’s “Thing on the Doorstep.” Glub glub!
 I can’t remember or find it (was it a hallucination?); if you’re reading this, let me know so I can give you credit – if you don’t prefer to be anonymous, of course.
 Another Lovecraft connection, through Hippocampus Press.
 Coincidence? There are probably hundreds of sleepers like her in the Maryland area, which is infested with spooks, the way the Irish are “like ticks in the Southie Projects” (The Departed).
 “By the time the alarm goes off, I can be running full bore somewhere between Needles and Death Valley – jamming the accelerator through the floorboard and shaking my fist up at Efrem Zimbalist Jr. swooping down on me in his FBI/Screaming Eagle helicopter. YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE ( . . . warning to smack dealers seen on a bulletin board in Boulder, CO.) Fuck you, Efrem, that wisdom cuts both ways.” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
 Perhaps it goes back further: “The horror/sci-f genre can be viewed as a precursor to Operation Chaos, since chaos and fear have always been the main objective of science fiction. Nowhere is that more evident in Lovecraft’s writing. The whole point of his Cthulhu mythos is to show that the universe is ultimately irrational and ruled by incomprehensible monsters that exist in other dimensions and who are, at best, ambivalent toward the humans they created. To comprehend these horrific cosmic entities drives the human mind to insanity, so it’s best not to ask any big questions or pretend that there is ultimate truth. Of course, to really believe such a thing would make life almost impossible to cope with, at least not without serious doses of antidepressants and lots of material comforts to distract and dull the mind. And that’s exactly what the rulers want. They want to turn us away from asking serious questions about how the world operates, since we would then discover that it is, in fact, ruled by monsters that are completely ambivalent to the human race. Only, these monsters aren’t higher-dimensional, tentacled blobs of slime. They’re just other humans whose minds are sick enough to think up such offensive creatures.” See David Kasady and Leaf Garritt (get it?), “H. P. Lovecraft.”
 With typical Judaic indirection, during the 1960s Hannah Arendt argued that anti-war demonstrations couldn’t be the product of a secret conspiracy, since it would no longer be secret, the demos being public. It’s as if she thought secret conspiracies could only have secret effects, and public events only public causes. See her Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics, Civil Disobedience, On Violence, Thoughts on Politics and Revolution (New York: Harcourt, 1972).
 Or, since the committee seems to be living in an ‘80s teen movie, Buehler?
 The whole series is now collected as The End of an Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015).
 “A look behind the scenes at the wheeling and dealing that goes on in Washington to get things done. The dying President (Franchot Tone) nominates a controversial candidate (Henry Fonda as Robert A. Leffingwell) for Secretary of State. The film, based on real events, follows the public and private dealings as the Senate holds confirmation hearings on the nomination. Blackmail, smear tactics, political trade-offs and more highlight this movie. Senate majority leader Robert Munson of Michigan (Walter Pidgeon) tries to steer Leffingwell toward confirmation, with his initial roadblock being . . . Seabright ‘Seab’ Cooley-SC (Charles Laughton). But Munson bypasses overly-ambitious Wyoming senator Fred Van Ackerman (George Grizzard) to put Utah’s Brigham ‘Brig’ Anderson (Don Murray) in charge of the committee vetting of Leffingwell. Van Ackermann sics a team of blackmailers on the bisexual Anderson in an attempt to ensure the nomination, even though Anderson, Munson, and the president know Leffingwell has provided perjured testimony about his past. Anderson travels to New York and assaults his old army lover outside a gay bar, returning to the Capitol to slit his own throat in his Senate office. Chastened by Anderson’s suicide, Munson and Cooley agree to disagree in a ‘nice’ way, and the full Senate vote on Leffingwell’s nomination ends on a 47–47 tie since Munson has shamed Van Ackerman into walking out of the chamber before his name is called. Just as the voting ends, the Vice-president Harley Hudson (Lew Ayres) is informed [of] the President’s death. Knowing that Leffingwell has given false testimony under oath, Hudson refuses to honor his mentor’s dying wish, stating that as president-apparent, he’ll nominate his own choice for Secretary of State.”
 Uber-liberal Preminger wanted Martin Luther King as a Senator from Georgia, which mercifully never came to pass. On the other hand, Betty White (yes, Betty White) makes her film debut with a delightful cameo, based on Margaret Chase Smith of Maine.
 The Rhode Island Senator is based on JFK and played, wickedly enough, by Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Peter Lawford. His Flakey decision to change his vote to “No” at the last minute triggers the final third-act twist, and is likely a callback to or parody of all those “heroic” senators Kennedy (or his ghost-writer) wrote about in Profiles in Courage. (Flake needed no courage, as he’s already on his way out.)
 Comey’s self-serving book is entitled A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.
 This was the first movie to actually show a “gay bar,” although the actual presentation of New York City homosexual life is fairly stereotypical. Liberal civil rights enthusiast Frank Sinatra was willing to contribute an original song, to be played on the bar’s jukebox – but only one stanza, no more.
 The parallel, as Sherlock would say, is exact: A&C’s nominee, Leffingwell, is what they used to call a “liberal in a hurry,” who only seems like a Communist to old fossils like Sen. Cooley; in fact, the accusation is true, he did attend meetings of a Communist cell, and Leffingwell does commit perjury. A prog nominee who turns out to be secretly gay would be welcomed and afforded every courtesy, like Dr. Ford.
 “But if Brett Kavanaugh is elevated to the Supreme Court, it will be because, in his final appearance, he tore up the script assigned to him. He set aside his judicial demeanor to fight for his good name with the passion and righteous rage of the innocent and good man he believes himself to be. He turned an inquisition into his character and conduct as a teenager into a blazing indictment of the Democratic minority for what they were doing to his reputation and his family. Rather than play the role of penitent, Kavanaugh did what Clarence Thomas did 30 years before. He attacked the character, conduct and motives of his Democratic accusers.” Pat Buchanan, here.
 Everyone calls him “Harley,” except when formally addressing him as “Mr. President” (of the Senate).
 Played by the fundamentally decent Lew Ayres, the only person Joan Crawford ever regretted attacking.
 “What’s got into Harley?” asks a dumbfounded Senator.
 Flake, for example, who changed his yea vote after being cornered by two shrieking women, is clearly an alpha male. On HBD and Kavanaugh, War for Blair Mountain writes, “I want to stay a few things about ‘Alpha’ male Richard Spencer . . . whose tweets about this whole incident I have been reading. Just what exactly is an ‘Alpha’ male Richard? You seem to think that Working Class Women who have to work should submit to them in the workplace . . . Should their “Beta” husbands accept this? . . . or should they murder the so called “Alpha” males . . . correct if I am wrong about this . . . But this is what you are saying (they must submit . . . it’s the natural order of things!!!!) . . . And as an Alt Righter . . . I find this very creepy about you . . . To make a long story short . . . Spencer’s obsession with IQ test scores leads him to his creepy twitter tweets about Alpha and beta males and the Kavanaugh hearings . . . Was the Rockefeller Family the Alpha Male hierarchy ‘providentially’ ordained retroactively by IQ test score psychometrics? . . . Did Alpha Male Old Man Rockefeller have a divine right to murder all those beta working class White Males at Ludlow . . . ?” The article by John Derbyshire to which this comment is appended has interesting remarks on the generational shift in Senatorial civility and why it matters.
 Charles Laughton, in his last and perhaps most moving performance. See here, though the mea culpa is cut off. As you can see, he strongly suggests future Watergate TV star, Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolina. Laughton – perhaps like Graham – isn’t gay, he’s just British.
 In my earlier essay, and elsewhere, I discuss the idea of what I call “passing the buck,” a movie trope where protagonists manage to offload their karma on some other hapless character; compare Karma Houdini.