21 May 2014

Inside Karl

The official diagnosis was a blood clot. Rove told the conference near LA Thursday, “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Rove repeated the claim a number of times to the audience.
-New York Post

What lies beyond doesn't worry me.
Suppose you break this world to bits, another may arise.
My joy springs from this earth,
this sun shines on my sorrows.
When I leave here, let come what must.
What do I care about it now, if hereafter
men hate or love, or if in those other spheres
there be an Above or a Below?
-Faust, Goethe

Karl scrubbed a handful of cold cream onto his cheeks, wiping away the streaks of blush.  Television lights were bright and harsh, particularly on a panel show with a large set, like Fox News Sunday, and the cosmetics had kept him from looking pasty onscreen.  He was comfortable with how he looked, but he didn't want to distract from his message.  Wiping his face with a damp towel, he leaned forward and stared into the vanity mirror.  Handsome, pale blue eyes stared back.  He tried a smile, but it didn't take.

How strange it had been!

They had laughed at him.  Not cruel laughter, or even unfriendly laughter.  The panel were all good people, and he'd actually mostly had a good time.  He'd gotten the message out about Hillary, kept it going for another cycle, and it was pretty much a win.  And he'd be back on the air tomorrow, and he'd get the chance to keep spinning.  The idea - "maybe she's brain-damaged" - was out there in the wild, and no one would forget it.  And what could anyone get upset about?  Was she sacrosanct?  Was it wrong to talk about a candidate's health, all of a sudden?

But they'd laughed.

Karl wasn't stupid.  He knew about his image.  South Carolina might have put him in the White House, but the Party would never forget it.  And a lot of the fringe just flat-out hated him.  But George had always been right, at least when it came to your public image: you just had to have the guts to do what was right.  They might hate you, they might smear you.  But history would know better.  God would know better.

He lifted his thumb and pressed it into the mirror, leaving a big greasy print.

The laughter had only been for a moment.  Chris had raised his eyebrows and put just a bit of humorous edge into his voice as he'd interrupted Karl's explanation.  "So this was concern for her?" Chris had asked.  And immediately they'd all laughed.  Chris had laughed, Juan had belted out a full guffaw, and even Brit and Kirsten had both chuckled.

Okay, so he obviously didn't want Hillary to run, and he definitely didn't want her to win.  The Democrat Party had already done their best to drive the country into the ground, taxing and spending whenever they could.  Obamacare had taken over a full sixth of the economy - after the hell they'd given George about his attempts at reforms! - and the queers were sticking it in your face on every station now.

Hell, none of them really wanted her to run (even Juan, who'd been on NPR!).  Some of it was good sense (Chris had finally signed on to Benghazi, after all these months) but it would also be too boring.  They'd bring up Whitewater and the old stuff, and they had some new things, but Hillary was too much a known quantity.  They'd been talking about her for twenty years, and there wasn't any juice left in it.  Compared to the wide-open primary without her?  No contest, even for Kirsten.

But it was not, in his opinion, completely ridiculous that Karl might actually have been worried about her health.  She was a creature of God, and it would be better for every single person on the planet if she stayed out, and that included her, damn it!  The economy might recover from the Democratic attacks, the country might regain some credibility in the eyes of the world (a few good missiles to some facility outside of Tehran would do it), and Hillary would find retirement a lot less stressful than the big chair.

He swiped his hand across the thumbprint, smearing it into a long streak, and stood up.  He put the smile on, and this time it stayed.  Karl knew he was good, after all.  He knew in his bones, where it counted.  In his gut.  He was doing the right thing.  Sometimes you had to get out the knife and cut a little, that was all.  Cut until they bled.  And when they'd bled enough that they had to quit, then your guys won - the good guys won - because they were the only ones left standing.

Let the fuckers laugh.  Karl had blood on his hands, but every good warrior had felt the warm grip. He was good and right and rich. And someday they would thank him.

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