Poetic Justice: Those Cheering for the Assassination of Trump Cast Themselves as Shakespearean Villains

Apparently, those directing “Shakespeare” in the Dark felt that embarrassing the President of the United States by making a travesty of one of The Bard’s epic tragedies more or less added Shakespeare’s blessing to their political views. Taken at face value, the production is only cats dancing on a piano, but, on another level, the piano turns out to be electrified and the cats aren’t dancing, they’re frying. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was a conservative drama for its day, and today’s Marxists have hung themselves with their own triumphant ignorance.

First of all, any production that leads an audience to cheer for the assassination of Caesar via President Trump casts the audience as Shakespearean villains of epic proportions. The directors who have obscured Shakespeare’s vision of history cast themselves as the greedy, weak, and deceitful Cassius, while the deceived audience shows themselves to be the brutishly, foolish, and incompetent Brutus, the conspirator who is deceived by Cassius.

Along these lines, the title is, of course, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Caesar is the tragic hero. Yes, that means Caesar-Trump is the good guy. The villains of the play, the assassination conspiracy comprised of Judas-goats, try Caesar in absentia (Brutus Act II, scene 1) and find Caesar guilty of their own failings. They find him guilty of being greedy, corrupt, and ambitious. Furthermore, they are completely wrong about Shakespeare’s Caesar. Caesar’s flaw was not ambition. His tragic flaw is pride. Just so, the left has tried President Trump without evidence and have found him guilty of its own sins. President Trump is not the one who is guilty of corruptly colluding with Russian oligarchs. President Trump isn’t the one who sought high office to sell it to the highest bidder. If Trump has a tragic flaw, it is one Americans love because it’s a flaw no other politician has ever dared to have. Trump speaks everything that’s on his mind without regard to audience, tradition, or the potential for the dishonest to twist his words.

Shakespeare did not cheer Julius Caesar’s murder. Instead, like Marc Antony, Shakespeare would have us grieve for him. Shakespeare cast Julius Caesar as the great soul, the genius of his age. His tragic flaw was indeed hubris, not just pride but a pride that exalted itself against the gods. Caesar wouldn’t listen to the omens. He wouldn’t listen to his wife’s dream. His final words before the first knife struck, “I am constant as the Northern Star,” are tragic. They were a metaphor for his life’s work, to be honest and faithful, steady and right on. Despite a corrupt Roman world, despite being surrounded by people of unsound minds who wavered with words or with personal self-interest, Shakespeare’s Caesar kept his promises and his oaths. He kept his word to his soldiers and to his country, no matter how tough the going.

Julius Caesar’s last words, “et tu Brute” (preserved by the Mighty William from the Latin histories) are the most tragic of all. According to some historians, Brutus was like a son to Caesar. Caesar sought nothing but the best for him. That Caesar, struck by twenty-thousand daggers, lived to see this final tragic treachery from one he loved so dearly was, according to Shakespeare’s history, the death blow to the colossus of the age. Trump’s greatness …ah, I mean Caesar’s, was so complete, that the villains of the play confess that they peep about beneath his feet only to find dishonorable graves (Cassius: Act I; scene 2). Indeed the rest of the play shows that Shakespeare felt that full vengeance on the treacherous conspiracy of murders was completely justified.

Do those who cheered the fall of Caesar in New York’s Central Park this week sleep well? Shakespeare’s villains didn’t. Caesar’s ghost haunted them to their graves.

The wrath of Marc Antony on the villains of the play is final and complete. Acts III-V become a classic Hollywood vengeance flick. It’s quite ugly, but not as ugly as Caesar’s murderers, who, like the cheering audience to the “Shakespeare” in the Dark, having dabbed their hands in Caesar’s blood, run through the streets cheering and yelling “Liberty! Freedom! (Act III, scene i).”

Cassius is a bit materialistic, so he yells, “Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!” In modernized versions, Cassius should be running around yelling “Liberty, freedom, and free healthcare and cell phones!”

In “Shakespeare” in the Dark’s modern version, the Shakespearean villains are in the audience as well as on stage. While on stage they dip their hands in Caesar’s blood, in the audience they dip their hearts in hate.

Great Caesar’s ghost isn’t part of the play simply for the fun of it, (though it is great theater). No, Caesar’s ghost represents the idea of Caesar. Brutus wanted, more than anything, to defeat the idea of Caesar, the idea of a monarch who would reform Rome. Caesar’s ghost embodied the idea of a divinely appointed monarch, an idea whose time had come.

Yes, it’s shocking. William Shakespeare believed in monarchy, not democracy. Still, it’s hard to blame Shakespeare. The world had not seen a democratic republic for a thousand years, and the last one fell much as Shakespeare describes. It fell through avarice and partisanship and laws that didn’t apply to the strong.

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is renowned for its thematic development of the skill of oratory, the power of propaganda, and the gullibility of the mob. Much of this is catechism to today’s leftists. However, Marc Antony’s speech is a correction demagogues always fear. Mark Antony was the example of the simple soldier whose words triumph because he simply unloads the burden of the truth that weighs upon his heart. Marc Antony breaks all the rules and all the promises he’s made the conspiracy, but the truth triumphs, and lean and hungry, furious Justice is set loose upon the capital of the world.

Despite how our founders have proven Shakespeare’s world view wrong, the theme that you can’t defeat an idea through treacherous, lawless violence is as true today as it ever has been. Liberal Marxists would do well to take the tragedy seriously. Perhaps they might even consider reading the play.

Comey’s Incomplete Testimony and his Core Act of Perjury

Comey’s core act of perjury during the Comey Hearings may well be intertwined with his inaccurate, incomplete testimony about his leaks that, in turn, hid false testimony about why he leaked and lied about President Trump’s demand for his loyalty.

President Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz pointed out this potential for Comey’s foundational act of perjury regarding the loyalty memo:

“Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory.”

Yes, there are two leaks and Comey only testified about one of the leaks. On May 11, two days after Comey was fired, the first leak occurred. The New York Times reported that two Comey “associates” leaked information about a one-on-one dinner seven days after the inauguration. Then on May 15 Comey decides to leak the information in the memo in a second way, through Daniel Richman. This leaked memo appears in The Times on May 16.

This is the incomplete element of Comey’s testimony that may hide his perjury. Susan Collins did not follow up her questioning properly. She could have and should have also asked, “Did you speak with anyone besides the Justice Department about your discussions with the president?”

The horse sense of the issue is that if Comey leaked the same lies before the tweet, his claim that he only began to lie only after Trump’s tweet is a false testimony. The false testimony, then, forms the basis for Comey’s perjury about why he leaked his memos.

There was also some confusion in Comey’s testimony before Senator Susan Collins. Susan Collins of Oregon had asked about a memo, singular, but then she asks a question about all the memos. Comey remains focused only on the loyalty memo about the Trump dinner on January 27.

Susan Collins – Maine: And finally, did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the department of justice? (From the context: A.G. Sessions and Deputy A.G. Rosenstein.)

James Comey: Yes. I asked President tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there is not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation, might be a tape, my judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square and so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend of mine to do that.

Susan Collins – Maine: Was that Mr. Wittous (Benjamin Wittes, a reporter for the New York Times)?

James Comey: No.

Susan Collins – Maine: Who was that?

James Comey: A good friend of mine, professor at Columbia Law School.

Despite the confusion, how Comey claimed to have leaked still involves critical omissions. He claimed to have leaked the loyalty memo only by way of a single friend (Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman), but there are two leaks of the conversation included in this memo. Even though the leak of the information in this memo was accomplished in two different ways, both leaks are material to a full answer to Senator Collins’ question. Is Comey’s partial answer a simple oversight, or is he dodging the heart of her question? The answer hinges on a complete testimony by Comey concerning all of his leaks.

Both leaks involved people outside of the Justice Department, so both elements of the leak are germane to the answer Senator Collins sought: was there anyone who knew about the contents of this memo who was not authorized to know? If these conversations with the President were so serious that they constituted a law enforcement matter, how did this information get to the New York Times before it reached the Justice Department? Certainly, despite her shock at Comey’s admission, Senator Collins should have followed up her questions.

Nevertheless, it makes little difference as to whether Comey discussed the contents of his memo or emailed a copy of his memo; in both instances the contents of conversations Comey claims were critical law enforcement matters were leaked. Both go to his motivation for leaking.

Is Comey’s incomplete testimony is perjury? Did he purposely omitted a key portion of the answer to Collins’ question to obscure his motives for leaking? His motives for leaking on the 15th make little sense in light of his earlier leaks. Did Comey purposely misrepresent, by conscious omission,  how he leaked the loyalty memo, when he first leaked it, and why he leaked it?

Comey claimed that Trump’s response to his first leak on May 11th, this May 12th tweet, motivated him to leak the loyalty memo:

“James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,”

Because of Comey’s inaccuracies and omissions, other narratives are much equally plausible.

Perhaps, terrified that he was trapped by Trump’s “tape,” Comey raced to his lawyer friend in Columbia, a friend to whom he’d embellished off the record criticisms of the President before. Any lawyer would suggest that a “contemporaneous memo” would establish that even if the “tape” was different than Comey’s recollection, Comey hadn’t lied, he’d only misunderstood what Trump was saying.

Perhaps there never was a contemporaneous memo about any of President Trump’s conversations until after May 15. This would explain why Comey can’t produce originals of those memos as of this date.

It is also possible that Comey’s descriptions of what constitutes a “memo” is a bit subjective. Are the Comey memos simply notes for his ten million dollar book? Perhaps financial gain, not malignant bitterness is Comey’s motive for leaking these memos and for insisting on a public testimony before the Senate. No one can know without having this disgraced FBI official back under oath before a congressional committee.

Comey’s may have committed a core act of perjury that then poisoned his entire testimony. His lies about his motivation fed his pathetic excuses as to why he didn’t report his “disturbing and confusing” conversations with the president and why he has no memos to show for his conversations with Loretta Lynch. Whether Comey ever, in his entire career, made contemporaneous memos on “confusing and disturbing” conversations is now an open question.