THAT’S NOT FUNNY
The Scorpion And The Frog, An Impeachment Fable
The following is an adaption of the classic fable “The Scorpion and the Frog,” as retold in an abridged timeline of the second impeachment of Donald Trump. In the lead roles are Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from California, and Mitch McConnell, the Grim Reaper from Kentucky.
The scorpion asks for a lift
The scorpion approaches the lake but cannot swim across. “Carry me on your back,” the scorpion asks of a frog sitting nearby.
“But surely you’ll sting me. You’re a scorpion,” replies the frog.
“Now why would I do that?” asks the scorpion.
Nancy Pelosi: It’s now two days after the Capitol riot, and we need an emergency session to impeach President Donald Trump. His little orange hands are all over this incitement.
Mitch McConnell: Look, the Senate won’t reconvene until January 19 for any substantial business. A riot and impeachment hardly seem substantial, so I’ll make you an offer instead. On January 19, let’s appoint impeachment managers. On January 20, the House impeachment managers will exhibit articles. Then, no later than January 21, the Senate will proceed to consider the impeachment articles. Fair?
Pelosi: But that means the impeachment won’t begin until after President Trump has exited the White House. You look like a turtle, but I know you’ll pull a fast one. Probably claim something crazy like we can’t impeach an ex-president.
McConnell: Now, why would I do that?
Pelosi: Because it is in your nature. You totally did that when you rushed through the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett just a week before Election Day. But in 2016, you refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, reasoning that the American people deserved a voice in selecting their next justice since it was an election year. And that was eight months before the actual election. Hypocrite much?
McConnell: Let’s not dwell on the past. Look to our future — we can be totally bipartisan and stuff. We are now united against Trump!
Look, my memo, provided to The Washington Post notes that the “Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump’s term has expired; either one hour after its expiration on January 20 or twenty-five hours after its expiration on January 21.” I’m telling you that we can proceed after Trump is on the lam. I mean, flown to Mar-a-Lago. I think we have extradition rights with Florida.
Pelosi: Still, you’re a scorpion. You’ll probably come up with some technical reason to acquit Trump.
McConnell: Here’s something else from my memo. I literally state that we aren’t sure who might preside over the impeachment once Trump is no longer president. I totally even said the logistics were “unclear.” So, I ask you, Madam Speaker, if I’m already asking how the procedure might unfold, does that not tacitly infer impeachment of a former president is constitutional?
Pelosi: You make a valid argument, which is very logical.
The journey across the lake
“If I sting you, you’ll die,” says the scorpion. “Since I can’t swim, I’ll die too. It would be illogical for me to kill you.”
The frog thinks for a moment and agrees with the logic. She then begins the long swim across the lake with the scorpion on her back.
Pelosi: Ok, on January 13, I hand-delivered the impeachment articles, charging the current president, Trump, for his role in inciting the Capitol riot. Now, on January 15, the House has voted to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
McConnell: I see that. I bet you’re very proud of yourself. I especially liked that part when you said you “crossed a threshold in history.” So dramatic.
Pelosi: I sense sarcasm. Are you playing me? I feel like I’m being played.
McConnell: Now, why would I do that?
Pelosi: You were the only senator, literally, the only one in the room not to look at us as the articles were read.
McConnell: Did I not say that a “fair or serious trial” would be required and would conclude after Biden was sworn in?
Pelosi: Yes, but I could swear I heard a chuckle while you said the “fair and serious” part. It looks like your fingers were crossed, too.
McConnell: Poppycock. I’m just adjusting my mask.
A stinging sensation
Halfway across the pond, the frog feels a burning sensation and realizes the scorpion has stung her.
“You’ve stung me!” says the frog.
Pelosi: Mitch, what the actual eff? You said you were pleased with the impeachment, but now, on January 26, you voted to dismiss the trial. Why would you say one thing and then do the complete opposite?
McConnell: Because it’s in my nature. But go ahead, carry on with the trial. You have our undivided attention. That is, when we aren’t doodling or napping. Can we get some My Pillow’s in here for nap time?
Pelosi: Fine, we’re making our arguments now.
McConnell: Sorry, what did you say?
The final betrayal
As the frog’s body goes limp and begins to drown in the water, it utters one last question to the scorpion.
“Why would you sting me? Now you will die too!” she gasps with her last breath.
“Because I am a scorpion, and it’s in my nature.”
Pelosi: That’s a wrap; let’s take it to a vote.
McConnell: I’m voting against the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Pelosi: Wait. What?
McConnell: Get this — it turns out that Trump “is constitutionally not eligible for conviction” because — wait for it — he’s no longer President. My bad.
Pelosi: But last month, you said that wasn’t an issue. You put it in writing in that memo to the GOP.
McConnell: Yeah, but I used Comic Sans font, so it doesn’t count. And there was a smirky face emoji at the end.
Let’s not focus on the past. Didn’t you hear me say that Trump was “practically and morally responsible?”
Pelosi: That did not get you any brownie points with Trump. He called you “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” That’s what he used to call me. Well, everything except for the hack part. You’ve screwed us both. Isn’t that political suicide?
McConnell: Where did he say that? I know it wasn’t on Twitter. Hah! Look, I got my judges and my tax bills. I used up every last bit of that useful idiot. I don’t need him anymore. Besides, I totally threw you a bone and said Trump could be criminally prosecuted. Go get him! Let’s hug it out!
Pelosi: I feel like you’re going to use that against me. If Trump is charged criminally, you’ll call it a continuing witch hunt by Democrats; that it distracts from other substantial issues like economic relief, vaccination, and buying GameStop stock. I can already envision the attack ads in 2022 and 2024.
McConnell: Now why would I do that?
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