In honor of America: 1776 – 2020
AN ABECEDARIUM OF COWARDICE
— for the Republican senators of the 116th Congress of The United States
A is for Acquiesce: In each instance, you chose to call your willingness to give in to a tyrant’s wishes a tactical retreat, even though you had no further tactics in mind.
B is for Back down. You made noise to signal you are considering defense of the constitution, but you backed down in the face of political threats.
C is for Cave: which is all that is left in the rubble when fortitude dies, a hovel, a place to hide.
D is for Disappoint: Although it was the appointed time, the right time; and the appointed place, the right place; you couldn’t bring yourself to do the right thing.
E is for Excuse: You wanted the money. You needed the votes. Don’t kid yourself.
F is for Falter: That’s the trouble with ideals: you have a standard no one can live up to, so falling short’s expected. Stumbling becomes endearing. Shrugs are required. Aw, shucks. Maybe next time.
G is for Gravitate: That pull you feel? That’s hell, hungry for you. You have become more delectable with every act of craven disregard for the truth. The devil is licking his chops.
H is for Hesitate: Wait. Call party headquarters; see what they want you to do.
I is for Imperil. Do not misread it Imperial. Put away your fiddles. Rome isn’t burning. California is.
J is for Jitters. Little shivers like after a good piss, but all the time: you know, like any other burglar, that any moment now you’ll be found out.
K is for Kneel, which you do so well you want to teach the rest of us.
L is for Lie — exactly what sleeping dogs like you are best at, and we let you.
M is for Meek — playing at power while cowering to backstage bullies.
N is for Normalize — including your “respect for the office,” your insistence on etiquette, the way you purse your thin lips as you shrug.
O is for Overlook — the way a dog, any dog, will chew the roast it’s thrown while the robbers plunder the premises.
Prevaricate — Once you have learned to stay calm before a microphone, the rest is easy. A couple of beta-blockers and half a dozen rhetorical moves and you’re out of there. No more questions. Thank you.
Q is for Quail — an almost-action, named for a bird that hides to survive.
R is for Retreat — nothing tactical about it: see “T” below.
S is for Shrink — the process by which you became this shrivelled thing.
T is for Turn tail — but be careful as you do because you need it to cover your ass.
U is for Undermine —the first verb in the job description written by your corporate employers.
V is for Vacillate — you call it seeing both sides. Go fluctuate yourselves.
W is for Whitewash — that was then, this is now. We must look to the future! A new day dawns! Etc.
X is for X-out — redact, redact. The truth is held captive in black.
Y is for Yield — If you show your neck to the tyrant and do as you’re told, you will get to stay. Stay. Roll over. Beg. Good boy.
Z is for Zone out — Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yadda yadda yadda. Blah, blah, blah.