Tuesday, November 12, 2019

From Berlioz to Bolton

A short while ago, Rachel Maddow showed -- not for the first time -- a clip from an old NBC video of the Watergate hearings. Specifically, she showed the title sequence. On an earlier occasion, she asked if anyone could identify the music; Rachel seemed very impressed when members of her audience recognized it as the opening of the fourth movement ("March to the scaffold") from the Symphonie Fantastique, by Hector Berlioz.

Actually, naming that tune is no great feat. Every classical music aficionado knows this piece very well. The Symphonie Fantastique, composed in 1830, is one of those works that -- like Beethoven's Ninth and Le Sacre du Printemps -- always seems new.

You know what would be a really impressive trick? Naming the conductor of the performance used by NBC back in 1973. I thought I recognized it as the '67 recording that Seiji Ozawa did for Deutsche Grammophone (the record that introduced me to Berlioz) but I'm not sure. It's definitely not the recording Stokowski did on Phase 4. (That one has really deep bells in the last movement. I love those bells.) Frankly, it sounds like the famous Colin Davis version released by Phillips in '74 -- but that record came out after the hearings started.

So...I'm stumped.

You know what also has me stumped? Mick Mulvaney.

Do you have a workable "Theory of Mulvaney"? I don't. I have no idea why he has done the things he has recently done. Is it true that he considers himself "un-sackable" because he knows too much about Trump's dirty laundry? That seems very possible, since we now have reason to believe that he originally halted Ukraine aid on the grounds that it would irk Russia. (Which is a bit like FDR halting the Lend-Lease program on the grounds that it might annoy Germany.)

Above all, I want to know this: Why did Mulvaney try to attach himself to that Bolton suit?

For that matter, why does the Bolton suit even exist? I mean, John Bolton is a private citizen: He can testify to Congress if he wants to. So why the pretense?

I've read a couple dozen stories about the Mulvaney/Bolton mystery, or mysteries. Nobody has a proper answer.

Elsewhere: We now know from the Roger Stone trial that Stone did indeed talk about Wikileaks with Trump. In his written responses to Mueller, Trump said that he did not have any such conversation -- but he covered his ass by using the famous weasel words "I do not recall." (I believe Nixon is on record as counseling his comrades to say that phrase.)

And that's why Trump provided written responses, heavily lawyered. Imagine if Mueller had interviewed him directly...!

Obviously, Trump -- who claims to have one of the world's great memories -- lied. Obviously, he damn well would have remembered a thing like that.

Here's the thing: Impeachment is not a court of law. The charges against Andrew Johnson included issues that went well beyond actual legal infractions. Weasel words be damned: The House can impeach Trump for lying to Mueller.

On the Chris Hayes show earlier this evening, Hayes seemed genuinely mystified by Stone's motive for lying about Randy Credico. I wonder what Hayes would think about my "Enigma" theory?

This tweet from Marcy may also speak to my little theory.

1 comment:

joseph said...

I can tell you why Mulvaney wanted to join the Cooperman (not Bolton, though he said he would abide by that Court's ruling) lawsuit. He wanted to have the opportunity to appeal and thus delay the effect of the Court's ruling. If he was part of the suit and the Judge ruled that Cooperman should testify, Cooperman could choose not to appeal and just testify. If Mulvaney was part of that suit and the Court ruled that Cooperman and Mulvaney should testify, Mulvaney could appeal and ask for a stay thus delaying any testimony.