Cassidy Hutchinson shows courage and a middle finger to erstwhile intimidators ‘in high places’…
“Sleep well tonight … you have friends in high places.”
The words seem whispered with a greasy solicitude of a Sopranos wannabe. All that was missing were the credits. If Mark Meadows gave the wink, who gave the nod? The voice itself is rather unimportant — -taking orders is for chumps. The Boss is always three steps removed from exposure.
The words “sleep well tonight…” are not so comforting coming in a late-night unsolicited phone call. Imagine, The Boss telling his henchman to deliver the message, adding “Oh, ya, and don’t forget to let them ‘know they’re loved.’ The best response to intimidation is the one by Jane Austen, as Mr. Darcy gets about the same response in literature that Cassidy Hutchinson (may I call you ‘Hutch’) delivers to the Committee after her “friends” in high places are shaken:
“You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me? But I will not be alarmed though your sister does play so well. There is a stubbornness about me that can never bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”
— Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Elizabeth uses her best words, but Darcy gets the point. Same with Hutch. Trump misjudged the Jersey girl for a shrinking belle. Her testimony was a giant middle finger to their attempt to scare her into silence. Tough women seem to be all that stand between our democracy and fascism. Hutchinson is the latest in that line, including Liz Cheney and Nancy Pelosi. Male superheroes are few and far between in this saga, as we witness only ducking and jiving from administration officials like the aforementioned Mr. Meadows and the pussyfooting Mr. Cipollone. At the same time, there appear to be mostly geriatric beta males in the Democratic Party being pushed by less accommodating up-and-comers like Stacy Abrams and AOC. Far from a snitch, Hutch was the voice of Justice ungagged and unapologetic — a concept and terminology foreign to a derelict like Trump.
In the Trump lexicon of best words, his warnings are delivered third-hand by cronies, thinly veiled and menacing, spoken sotto voce- sort of mafia-speak for “BOO!” Like the bully down the street, the little man with little hands sent his henchmen to do his dirt. Cassidy Hutchinson, like the other brave women who have flipped off “his apprenticeship”, ignored the empty threats and imposed a threat of her own. Her courage rose with every attempt to intimidate her. Her testimony was far more threatening and not the least bit empty. Her description of the inner workings of Trump’s White House and the lack of character required for entry exposed the ex-president and his minions to fear. After her showing last week it is they who will sleep with one eye opened and watch their backs, as new witnesses were lining up to testify.
Speaking in antiphrasis, a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used in a sense contrary to its conventional meaning, the president’s goons thought they could persuade their victim to shade the truth, to protect them at the cost of her own integrity. It is a common device used by crime bosses -a “friend in high places” is not a friend at all and usually lives in the gutter. Hutchinson’s response to the threats presumably issued through her boss, Mark Meadows, was epic. She told on them! All their secrets, each of their private asides to the craziness around them. She knew them for what they were, frightened henchmen of a wicked prince, men who feared him more than they feared joining his long-awaited frog-march into oblivion.
I am sure that I am not the only one reminded, as Liz Cheney was reading the texts from “the friend in high places,” of the Garth Brooks classic “I Got Friends in Low Places.” Brooks’ rebuke to his ex as he musically crashes her “black-tie affair” describes pretty well Trump’s worldview. The FG, incapable of feeling embarrassment, is one.
Trump is more like the skunk at a picnic, a Charlie the tuna at a banquet. His brand of fascism didn’t sit well with voters last time — he was rejected. “Sorry, Donnie” voters seemed to say as they threw him back into the political backwater that spawned him. There he sits… lurking. A young woman with courage and a conscience has done her best to keep him there.
Originally published at https://www.dailykos.com on July 6, 2022.