Monday, April 25, 2022

Song Lyric of the Day (John Gay, on Larceny and Lawyers)

: “A fox may steal your hens, sir,
A whore your health and pence, sir,
Your daughter may rob your chest, sir,
Your wife may steal your rest, sir,
   A thief your goods and plate.
“But this is all but picking,
With rest, pence, chest, and chicken;
It ever was decreed, sir,
If Lawyer's hand is fee'd, sir,
   He steals your whole estate.”— English poet-dramatist John Gay (1685-1732), “A Fox May Steal Your Hens, Sir," from The Beggar's Opera (1728)
Gay had in mind financial chicanery when he penned these words nearly three centuries ago. But these days, here in the U.S., it’s become more and more apparent that attorneys have been at the center of a different kind of filching: the attempt to overturn the results of the Presidential election of 2020.
Lawyers were at the heart of efforts to create fraud where it didn’t exist and to wrest supervision of ballots from the normal observers of the process to legislatures dominated by members of their own party.
While the mastermind of the effort was John Eastman (with opera bouffe assistance from Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell—filers of 50 lawsuits contesting the results, and on the losing end of all of them), Republican members of the House of Representatives and the Senate pitched in to help, notably Senator Ted Cruz, as noted by Abigail Weinberg of Mother Jones.
A lawyer, Peachum notes, can steal “your whole estate.” Leave out the letter “e” in the last word of that quote and it reads just as accurately for the perilous state of American politics these last few years.

No comments: