The 1964 movie Becket tells the story of two men: England’s King Henry II, a Norman, and his “loyal” compatriot, Thomas Becket, a Saxon—past sworn enemies. But now, Becket— appointed Lord Chancellor by the king—is his closest adviser in all matters.
In an attempt to vanquish all political/religious opposition and solidify power within his monarchy, King Donald, sorry, King Henry, appoints his friend, Becket, with little to no prior experience in these matters, as Archbishop of Canterbury. Sound familiar?
Soon it becomes apparent there is a complexity beyond the ability of Rudy Giuliani, the Don’s consigliere, to handle. Republican capos take heed! The punishment of ex-communication (impeachment?) on the guilty party is Becket’s edict. Finally, in retaliation, King Henry asks his “loyal” barons, “can no one rid me of these meddlesome priests (aka ‘these treasonous savages of the impeachment inquiry committees’)?”
Trump crossed many bridges in the last two and a half years in office, with little opposition from his own mob, despite flagrant disregard for existing statutes. This latest account now has him threatening “to make an offer that can’t be refused” to his “counterpart” in the Ukraine.
Like King Henry, Trump tried to stack the deck, but failed to understand that political expediency and disregard for the rule of law will eventually fail and erode his support. It is simply too high a price to pay, both politically and morally for our nation. “History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes,” said Mark Twain (Watergate and Richard Nixon, 1974). Many questions regarding this latest inquiry require answers. But these important questions still remain:
Will Congress find the courage, honor and integrity to decide which master it serves in this time of great peril to our democracy? Where are the Beckets willing to speak truth to this King?