wetting the beak

It’s like this. Remember when young Vito Corleone is driving his delivery truck down the street in Little Italy, just trying to make semi-honest living, and suddenly Don Fanucci of the Black Hand swings aboard? And Vito looks at him like “Dude, what the actual fuck are you doing, swinging aboard my goddamn truck? I’m working here.”

Newbie gangster can’t even drive a damn truck without some Black Hand mobster in a white suit slotting in and giving him a ration of shit.

Then Don Fanucci explains. He says:

“Young man, I hear you and your friends are stealing goods. But you don’t even send a dress to my house. No respect! You know I’ve got three daughters. This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little… Tell your friends I don’t want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak.”

That’s basically what Comrade Trump did during his phone call with the newly-elected president of Ukraine. But he wasn’t looking for dresses for Ivanka. He was looking for dirt on Joe Biden. And, like Don Fanucci, he didn’t care how President Zelensky came by the dirt — or even if the dirt was true. He just wanted the dirt. According to the ‘transcript’ the White House released to the public, Trump says:

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot… I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation… I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.”

If anything, Comrade Trump was nastier than Don Fanucci. Imagine if Fanucci had said, “Vito, paisan, you got a new baby, you got a nice apartment with a toilet you don’t have to share with neighbors. You want to keep those things, you should wet my beak, capiche?” That’s basically what Trump said in his chat with Zelensky.

Zelensky needed some Javelin missiles — these are portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles — to keep the Russian Army from seizing more Ukrainian territory. Trump basically told him, “Look, you guys got Russians at your gate. You need missiles. I got missiles. You can have those missiles. I’d love to give you those missiles. But first you got to wet my beak.”

Comrade Trump is not your daddy’s mafia don. He’s a cheap imitation, made in China, shoddy construction.

But here’s the thing. In the old mafia movies, they play up the concept of omertà. The Sicilian Mafia code of silence. You don’t rat. Ever. You get caught, you stay quiet. It’s a matter of honor, of discipline, of loyalty. You don’t rat.

Comrade Trump is no mafia don. He has no honor, he has no discipline, he doesn’t inspire loyalty. The Trump administration is comprised entirely of rats-in-waiting. His people aren’t soldati. They’re not made men. They’re sycophants. They’ll turn on Trump in a New York minute to save their own asses.

And like Don Fanucci, Trump will eventually get what’s coming to him. Okay, I admit the analogy breaks down here. Nobody is going to drop Trump the way Vito did Fanucci, and nobody would really want that. But right now the House Judiciary Committee is wrapping a metaphorical towel around a metaphorical revolver and is waiting for a metaphorical Feast of Saint Rocco.

6 thoughts on “wetting the beak

    • I have SO MANY bad feelings about this. It’s entirely possible that Comrade Trump could (through voter suppression, interference by foreign nations, and the gerrymandered Electoral College) actually get re-elected. But I still sincerely believe that impeachment will happen, and that even if the Senate refuses to convict him, Trump and the Republican party will be so wounded by the process that they’ll fail to hold power.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What it the mood in Iowa right now? Are the nice people of the state going to vote for Trump in 2020 (assuming he is on the ticket) or will they do like 2008 and 2012 and vote blue for president?


    • The mood in Iowa, like the mood almost everywhere, depends a lot on where you live. Like everywhere, urban folks tend to be more liberal than rural folks. Only about a third of Iowans live in small towns and farms, but since the vast majority of the state is rural that means the vast majority of voting precincts are also rural. Trump won 92 of Iowa’s 99 counties, but only won the popular vote by about 150 thousand votes.

      Trump is still popular in rural areas, though not nearly as much as he was in 2016. The trade war is causing trouble for him; some farms are going bankrupt. Since family farming is becoming more difficult, young folks are moving to the cities — which means the farming population is getting older. On the other hand, there’s a big increase in farms operated by women — and women tend to be more liberal than men.

      None of this really answers your question, does it. The thing is, the political climate is pretty volatile right now, and I think most Iowans are looking for stability. Which doesn’t work in Trump’s favor. But I wouldn’t bet much money on how folks here will vote in the caucus, let alone in the actual election. Too much can change too quickly.


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