The Absentee Cat

The Absentee Cat

I really do not have a predilection for cats. In fact I am not crazy about most members of the animal kingdom. But there are a few really great metaphoric uses for cats. While I have already written about the Cat and our lost curiosity, this essay will focus on the cat who apparently shirked his duty, allowing the mice to run the castle. I am alluding to the adage while the cat’s away the mice will play.

This metaphor also has special meaning for me. While my daughter is a highly-acclaimed theatre actress and now director in St. Louis, I have been in only one production my whole life. It was the very last school play in my eight years at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, New York. I was excited because I had my first speaking role. I played Mr. Gable a husband with a finger-pointing wife who kept him in line. Of my six lines, my favorite was while the cat is away the mice will play. It is one of the oldest and most famous idioms in the English language. With President Joe Biden at the United States helm, it bears an earnest revisit.

Like the absentee cat, the president gives us the sense that no one is in charge here and that his statements are as meaningful as Artificial Intelligence, programed by an adolescent. When he makes a speech, one is tempted to look above the podium for puppeteers, pulling his strings. Comments about his mental health, his cognitive abilities and so on have been in question since early in his administration. 

I am certain I am not the only American voter who painfully looks at our president stumble across the stage, mumble the words in front of him and have as much vitality and enthusiasm as a ten-year-old at the Ballet. Biden has been an empty vessel most of his political career. But now one wants to knock on his skull and say: Is anybody home?

When his only real Democratic opposition, the trim and muscular Robert Kennedy, Jr. revealed that 12 years ago, he was diagnosed with a worm, which had eaten some of his brain, one is tempted to ask if this is germane to all Democrats, especially the president. 

The cat idiom is also a perfect segue for a recent column, written by the most incisive writer at the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger. Entitled A Democratic Menshevik Moment it resonates with a deep meaning for the American condition at this pivotal time in its history.

Henninger’s capture of the thinking that has led us to this point in our history is as accurate as it is upsetting. He deftly observes, while these demonstrating students, who seem to know little or anything about the forces at work in the Middle East, appear to be experts in Communist praxis, given the extent to which Marxist thought and liberation movements have been taught on elite campuses the past twenty-five years. He also is willing to wager that they know a good deal about the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks.

Henninger is not suggesting that the United States is on the brink of a civil war, such as the one that broke out in Russia after the fall of the Czar in 1917.The historical reality, he relates, is that the Mensheviks believed themselves to be the ‘moderate’ wing of the revolution, at times committed even to legal norms. It took little time before the smash-and grab Bolsheviks had pushed out the Mensheviks, who faded into history or worse.

Is this the same kind of internecine conflict that has befallen the Democratic Party of Joe Biden, its titular leader? The Democratic Party of Obama and his trusted Sancho Panza bears little resemblance to that of Hubert Humphrey and Tip O’Neill. These Democrats seem more intent on destroying the vestiges of the liberal thinking of those long-abandoned years. According to Henninger, the Democratic left’s most aggressive, often consciously destructive strategies are over-whelming attacks on liberal cities and institutions, such as New York City and its revered Museum of Natural History and the New York Public Library.

On a different level the demonstrations have revealed that the Left, like a crazed animal, often eats its own. University professors, especially at the Ivies, who thought they were preparing a progressive vanguard to transform America, are themselves now the targets of the revolution. The sight of these old men struggling to prove that they still are viable seems to have leaped from the pages of Russian historians Robert Conquest and Richard Pipes. 

This statement evoked serious reflections on one of the many nuggets of truth and reason my father bestowed on me when I was barely able to understand the depth and the reality of his thinking. He believed that when and if the Communists ever took over America, the first thing they would do is line up all the liberals at a wall and shoot them. 

At that time in his life Communism was boiling over much of the post-war world. Most of our leaders denounced such thinking as my father’s as deranged McCarthyism. To paraphrase the Bible, prophets are seldom recognized or respected in their own times. It may have taken 68 years or so, but my paternal respect just jumped several levels on the scales.

Henninger efficiently carries his thesis to the progressive prosecutor movement, long believed to have been promoted and financed by the foundations of American nemesis George Soros. The Left targeted soft cities such as two of my hometowns, New York and St. Louis as well as Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Portland. 

Though he did not mention it, I will add my third city home, Atlanta where the embattled Soros-funded, Fani Willis has led the charge against former President Trump with her ridiculous conspiracy theories that have tainted virtually anyone who ever ran an errand for the 2020 candidate. The fact that all these cities have suffered the destabilization of their criminal justice systems are a direct result of what our most prolific columnist recently christened the Soros Effect.

Most of these progressive ideas have emanated from the law schools of Columbia, Yale and Michigan. Their main targets include the decriminalization of many laws, especially the ones on drugs and shoplifting. The legalization of drug use in Portland, Oregon resulted in its major streets being lined with thousands of drug addicts, living in tents and clearly visible to the city’s residents. Their annoying and even dangerous presence became so threatening to the city’s stability, that the state wisely repealed the enabling laws. As for shoplifting, by raising the felony threshold to $900, this has resulted in several large food, drug and clothing chains closing their doors in many of the targeted cities’ vulnerable neighborhoods because they had to witness their shelves being looted by hordes of shoppers. The Left and its media portrayed these as a benign alternative to policing and incarceration. As Henninger reports, the real victims of these protests were the owners of the looted shops in one blue city after another. Millions of Americans watched the dire results in abject horror, most nights on the national news or on their cell phones.

While a few cities in red states have quickly recalled some of the Soros prosecutors, many others have had deleterious effects on several of the aforementioned cities with their determined campaigns to defund the police. According to Henninger, Defunding the Police, turns out to not be primarily about rationalizing prosecution but weakening and undermining the ability of cities to monitor or stop militant groups’ activities.

One example cited was the Cop City, an establishment designed to train police and fire officers. It is just on the outskirts of Atlanta, about 20 miles from me. This is a long-running and even violent confrontation, fueled by many Leftist groups, who have been trying to stop its completion. The local population seems to be divided on this issue.

Defunding the police has taken center stage since the George Floyd protests in 2020. Many police officers around the country reason that the goal in many blue municipalities was to handicap or maybe even eliminate traditional police enforcement altogether and replace them with the ridiculous idea of dialoguing social workers. 

Many of the rock-throwing, police taunting rioters on New York Cities college campuses have claimed that they were victims of police brutality, a hackneyed phrase from the sixties. Soros-funded, New York District Attorney, Letitia James quickly filed an excessive force suit against New York’s Finest. 

This brings Chicago center stage because it hosts the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Many people still remember the turmoil that draft and war protestors caused 56 years ago. The Vegas odds are that we should not expect any profound condemnation of antisemitism or the behavior of students at many of the so-called elite colleges and universities. More than likely the people will get more damning speeches of Israel and its fight for survival and some pious concern for the suffering Gazans who need only look to Hamas for relief and change.

Henninger has pathos in his writing voice when he surmises that one might think liberal Democrats must understand that something sinister is at work here beyond mere progressive ideology. Or have they been so hardened by the many lies they have been parroting since the onset of the Trump phenomenon in 2015? By this I believe he is talking about the unseen damage, our Absentee Cat has done by being AWOL from the battle front when a triumvirate of antagonists coalesce in Moscow, Beijing and Teheran to discuss what just might be the final destruction of the West. This aptly named mischief of nuclear mice have nothing but malice in their rodent hearts. 

Arguably, the flag of the Democratic Party has morphed from the red, white and blue to the black, white, green and red of the Palestinian flag that had momentarily replaced Old Glory on some college campuses. Henninger goes out on a limb when he says that the latter flag is attempting to take over and ruin liberal universities and cities.

And while all of the above goes on, our sleepy-eyed president worries about abortion rights and protecting the transgendered demands of biological males to use the restrooms, locker rooms and showers with our daughters. Biden has become the paragon of confusion in his pronouncements and declarations, uttering nonsense he must have found on ChatGPT.  

The times are ripe for an even more dangerous and damaging threat to our political democracy. On top of the legion of politically-motivated Trump trials, many people think our revered system of government and its institutions may not survive the expected Summer of Chaos. America needs much more than a large clowder of cats to ferret out and destroy this powerful mischief of politically furious mice. Perhaps a parliament of owls could get the job done, since they love to eat mice and spit out their bones.   

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Written by
William Borst