Impeachment and the Hamlet Conundrum

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Everybody is talking about it. Well, around it: vacillating, cogitating, salivating, fluctuating, aspirating, constipating, meditating, figure-eighting, and to prove they’re serious, polling. We’re referring, of course, to the “I” word; Impeachment. Methinks they doth protest too much.

And when we say everybody, we mean EVERYBODY. Talk-show pundits. Gesticulating anchors. Brooding Danes. The only people not talking about it are the vast majority of the 21 Democratic nomination wannabees who are ignoring the question to concentrate on more important issues, like fund-raising. Should the chief of state be held responsible for possible high crimes and misdemeanors? After all, everyone agrees: something is rotten in Denmark.

To impeach or not to impeach. That is the question. Whether tis nobler in voters’ minds to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous leadership or to take arms against a sea of treason and by opposing, end him.

Elizabeth Warren was first to walk out on Elsinore’s foggy balustrade and sound the alarm proclaiming it our constitutional duty to catch the conscience of a king. Kamala Harris seconded the motion but the rest of the players are following Hamlet and Nancy Pelosi’s lead of exercising caution. Any more cautious and they’d be walking backwards. There are more things in heaven and earth, N. Pelosi, than in your philosophy.

Must give her pause to think back to the trap that ensnared Republicans after impeaching Bill Clinton; who then suffering disastrously in the 1998 midterms. Visiting the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no Party returns. For a couple of election cycles at least. No one can say she doesn’t know a hawk from a handsaw.

When not changing the subject, the candidates are thrusting lick’d fingers into the air to see which way the wind blows. But you don’t need a weatherman to tell you Donald Trump is not going down without his trademark bluster. Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. He can’t help it. To thine own self be true.

Says he plans to fight impeachment in the courts. But see, that’s part of the problem because the process doesn’t work that way. The House of Representatives impeaches, which is like an indictment resulting in a trial over which the Senate presides. The play’s the thing.

Ay, there’s the rub. Not just every Democrat but 20 Republican Senators would have to vote to convict and the chances of that happening are about the same as the Islamic Brotherhood scheduling a barbecue rib cook-off in a strip joint on the outskirts of Kronborg.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Thus the complicated calculus begins. Do the seekers of the nomination risk backlash from centrists if they do come out in favor of impeachment or annoy the base if they don’t. Do they bear these ills they have or fly to others they not know of? To sleep, perchance to dream.

Especially when the slightest of slipups will act as the whips and scorns of time causing them to shuffle off this mortal coil and dropping from the grown up debate table to the kids table?

So expect calls for patience and further investigations, and the native hue of resolution to be sicklie’d over with the pale cast of thought, which in the end, will, like conscience, make cowards of us all. Exeunt.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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As the sacred cows set themselves up for slaughter each night at six, America cries out for a man with the aim, strength and style to swat the partisan political piñatas upside their heads. Will Durst is that man. Sweeping both sides of the aisle with a quiver full of barbs sharpened by a keen wit and dipped into the same ink as the day's headlines, Durst transcends political ties, performing at events featuring Vice President Al Gore and former President George H.W. Bush, also speaking at the Governors Conference and the Mayors Convention cementing his claim as the nation's ultimate equal opportunity offender. Outraged and outrageous, Durst may mock and scoff and taunt, but he does it with taste.

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media-induced identity crisis, Durst has been called "a modern day Will Rogers" by The L.A. Times while the S. F. Chronicle hails him as "heir apparent to Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory." The Chicago Tribune argues he's a "hysterical hybrid of Hunter Thompson and Charles Osgood," although The Washington Post portrays him as "the dark Prince of doubt." All agree Durst is America's premier political comic.

As American as a bottomless cup of coffee, this former Milwaukeean is cherished by critics and audiences alike for the common sense he brings to his surgical skewering of the hype and hypocrisies engulfing us on a daily basis. Busier than a blind squirrel neck deep in an almond sorting warehouse, Durst writes a weekly column, was a contributing editor to both National Lampoon and George magazines and continues to pen frequent contributions to various periodicals such as The New York Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle.

This five-time Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the ongoing award winning PBS series "Livelyhood" is also a regular commentator on NPR and CNN, and has appeared on every comedy show featuring a brick wall including Letterman, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime, receiving 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year. Hobbies include the never-ending search for the perfect cheeseburger, while his heroes remain the same from when he was twelve: Thomas Jefferson and Bugs Bunny.

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