In the classic Rorschach test, the psychoanalyst shows a patient a bunch of ink blots and asks what each looks like. The responses are supposed to help guide the psychoanalysis by offering insight into the patient’s idiosyncratic perspective. The test has its criticisms, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but it can offer a fascinating insight into the human mind. If every ink blot is perceived by the patient as another implement or accessory used in baseball, we may very well be dealing with a baseball fan. (As for Hermann Rorschach himself, he spent so much of his boyhood in Switzerland making inkblots that he was known as “Klex” or “Inkblot.” Go figure. So let your kids make a mess. They may be onto something.)
I have not been watching the “impeachment” hearings because (i) I have a life, (ii) I am busy, (iii) the little smidgeons I have caught at snack time have been boring, (iv) I am not going to let two charlatans like Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff dictate how I spend my time, and (v) I I access enough variegated news sources daily that I can get the gist of each day’s circus in a fraction of the time. If I want to know about Marie Yovanovitch, for example, I am not going to rely on Mourning Joe and Mika, on Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews. Instead, I do my own independent research.
By now it seems clear that the “impeachment” hearings are a Rorschach test, with Adam Schiff the most notable ink splotch. It is what you want to see. If you hate Trump, everything is impeachable. If you love Trump, everything is impeccable. And regardless of what your Trump feelings, everything is imperceptible.
So you get this joker named Gordon Sondland, who is America’s ambassador to a conglomeration of countries who populate a continent that matters only when they launch wars, invade, and start killing each other — and then need American boys to die in the hundreds of thousands in order to help them sort things out and to solve the mess they have created for themselves. Then, after Americans have done so, they do not pay their fair share of those very NATO defenses that guard their French derrières, replete with accent grave, expecting America to keep supporting them.
America saved them before there even was a NATO, and 116,456 Americans had to die during WWI. Then they messed up again for the next two decades because West Europeans are effete and so obsessed with their class manners and their rules of savoir faireand their socialist welfare states and their early retirements that they did not have the character to stand up to Hitler in the 1930s. Peace in our time. So the U.S. had to send another 405,399 Americans to die for them during World War II.
Presently they go by the name “European Union,” the successor to previous joint ventures of theirs like the “Common Market” and, before that, “World War II” / “The Great War” / “The Wars of the Roses” / “The Hundred Years War” / and other such Lilliputian endeavors.
So Sondland shows up with an opening statement, saying there was a “quid pro quo.” Suddenly, all of America is speaking Latin. They do not know what “E Pluribus Unum” means, what “Res Ipsa Loquitur” means, cannot spell “vice-versa” and invariably pronounce “et cetera” as “excedra” or “Excedrin.” They do not even know such basic Latin phrases as “am-scray uddy-bay.” But everyone suddenly now uses the term “quid pro quo,” just as the word “dossier” came into the everyday lexicon two years ago thanks to some British runt named Steele. So everyone talks about the “Steele Dossier” as if they actually know what a dossier is, even though no one ever calls anything else a “dossier” — not even a dossier of dossiers.
And here we have Sondland saying “quid pro quo” in his opening statement, and all of a sudden the country is on Red Alert. No need for the North Korean Doughboy to continue building nukes to wipe us out because Sondland has said “quid pro quo” which, for all we know, is the Korean name of some squiggly sea fish eaten alive in little rice wraps, braised in warmed sake.
All Wednesday morning, after Sondland said those three Latin words, the Corrupt Journalist Corps went into full celebration mode. “A bombshell!” CNN called it a “bombshell.” MSNBC experts called it a “bombshell.” Everywhere among the Corrupt Journalist Corps that same word was used: “Bombshell!” Over night, that word pierced into the lexicon threatening to supplant such predominant current terms as (i) “Steele Dossier,” (ii) “quid pro quo,” and (iii) the ubiquitous mantra of the Millennial set: “What-eh-ver!” (usually followed by eye-rolling and a snorting sound).
They have no clue what a real bomb shell is. Israel does.
And then came the afternoon. Sondland still at the table, still kibbitzing. And now Republicans asking him some questions. Like, uh, did you ever directly hear the President say there would be a “quid pro quo”?
Nope. He just assumed there was a quid pro quo. In fact, he made a phone call to President Trump on September 9 to find out what exactly the President wanted from Ukraine. Indeed, answering the Grand Inquisitor Schiff directly, Sondland testified:
But I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman. “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?” And it was a very short and abrupt conversation. He was not in a good mood. And he just said: “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.” . . . This is the final word that I heard from the President of the United States.
Bombshell! Boom! Gas masks! Shrapnel flying! Head for the bunkers!
That is the Sondland testimony directly to the Grand Inquisitor himself — and Schiff could not Torquemada what he just testified. (See and listen to the one minute on Youtube yourself.)
So Sondland assumed there was a quid pro quo. He said that everyone knew about the quid pro quo. But when Sondland actually asked the man in the Oval Office directly what exactly his marching orders were, Trump told him: “I want no quid pro quo.”
This “impeachment” nonsense truly is a Rorschach test. It is not a justice proceeding, aiming to determine truth. Rather, it is a psychoanalytical diagnostic for those suspected of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Those who see Trump as the incarnate of all evil discern in every word, every breath, a ground for impeachment. Suddenly they talk Latin. And those who blindly love Donald Trump, no matter what, believe he should be president even if he does commit treason or another high crime or misdemeanor. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the great middle of the bell curve just look at the ink blot and see . . . an ink blot. Not an impeachment.
Along the way, the Rorschach Impeachment actually is succeeding in helping us diagnose new cases of TDS among the general populace, infected wretches who urgently require additional professional observation and compassionate care. One example: David Holmes, the American embassy’s political counsel in Ukraine, testified the day after Sondland that he overheard a phone call between Trump and Sondland. Holmes asserted that he “could hear the president’s voice through the earpiece of [Sondland’s] phone,” needing to listen that way because the phone was not on “speakerphone” mode. After that highly dubious but possibly true claim, President Trump immediately tweeted his doubts:
I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!
Interesting. As for me, personally, I kind-of thought to myself: “Who knows? Could be. Maybe you can hear the voice of the other guy in a phone conversation through the earpiece. I dunno. Never gave it a thought.”
So, onto CNN, which has become an outright insane asylum. The acronym seems now to stand for Correspondents’ Neuroses Network. Out comes one inmate, a fellow named Chris Cuomo — and don’t call him “Fredo,” or they have to restrain him in a straitjacket — and he decides to prove to all America in a live, unrehearsed public demonstration that Trump is a liar and that everyone knows that a phone caller on-the-other-end can be heard distinctly by everyone near the receiving phone even when that phone is not set on “speaker” mode because the sound from the other end coming through the earpiece itself is quite discernible.
So, after mocking the President’s tweet, Cuomo dials his mother on live TV, sitting in the middle of a horsehoe-shaped table populated by avid CNN leftist “pundits” all listening eagerly, giggling with unabashed anticipation, all excited to prove the President wrong. Live un-rehearsed TV is so great. So Cuomo phones someone whom he tells us is his mother. A conversation begins. We hear Cuomo. And nobody at the table or viewing on TV, no matter how loud you turn the volume, can hear a wretched syllable from the person on the other end. It is all the evidence a family member needs to have him brought in for further professional observation.
You absolutely must pause reading this for just a moment and go to this link for the best two minutes of television.
Don’t you just love live television? All I could think of, after seeing Cuomo doing his Bob Newhart-style one-sided phone call, unintentionally proving that the person on the other end cannot be heard through the earpiece, was this 45-second airport scene from the 1971 Woody Allen classic, “Bananas,” with Cuomo standing in for the translator being pursued by the two medical personnel in white asylum outfits chasing after him with a butterfly net.
And thus the Rorschach Impeachment proceeds. Sometimes an ink blot is just an ink blot. And for some, I guess, sometimes it is a cigar.Time" speech subtitled (2015)