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May 25, 2015

The Post-Thanksgiving Judiciary Committee Gobbledy-Glock | Madisonville

The Post Thanksgiving Judiciary Committee Gobbledy Glock | MadisonvilleThe House Judiciary Committee this week sounded like the living room after Thanksgiving dinner. After loading up on turkey and stuffing, family members moved to the comfortable chairs and fell into familiar roles.  Americans travel far for the once-a-year chance to hear deranged in-laws and peculiar cousins vent. Judiciary decided the country wanted more of it in the week after Thanksgiving.

Republicans and Democrats tried beforehand to rein things in by promising to discuss the president’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. But Uncle Robert W. Goodlatte, the GOP host from Virginia, dropped any pretense of even-handedness by immediately telling everybody the president not only wasn’t executing the laws, he was personally leading the gang breaking them.

The Post Thanksgiving Judiciary Committee Gobbledy Glock | Madisonville

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Uncle Bob cited Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” and Federalist Paper 47. He brought some neighbors in to back him up, and, in an upping of the Thanksgiving ante, put them under oath. The four neighbors’ collective publications and appearances on TV must have added up to thousands. So Uncle Bob thought he had conquered the living room right there.

Grandpa John [Conyers] Jr., possibly fatigued by his trip back from Michigan, mumbled something about court cases to remind Uncle Bob that he wasn’t the only one who could cite obscure texts.

The neighbors, by the way, cottoned on to the family game quickly and outdid even the most eccentric members. When Rep. Steve King, one of the uncomfortable in-laws from Iowa, said he couldn’t say aloud the awful word that would stop the presidential law-breaking, one neighbor volunteered it: impeach.

The Post Thanksgiving Judiciary Committee Gobbledy Glock | Madisonville

Rep. Trent Franks, left, confers with King at the Judiciary Committee hearing. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(The legal profession is reported to be in crisis. One sign must be a capital-area law professor urging House Republicans to convince Senate Democrats to convict a Democratic president for not deporting Hispanic kids and for offering health care. This may have constitutional logic, but it is legal advice perhaps best given from an unassailable academic fortress where nothing depends on the client winning.)

The Post Thanksgiving Judiciary Committee Gobbledy Glock | Madisonville

Jonathan Turley, professor at George Washington University Law School, left, and Nicholas Rosenkranz, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, were at the hearing. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Aunt Sheila [Jackson Lee] from Texas didn’t like one bit what Uncle Bob was doing to her day. Aunt Sheila is a rock of predictability at these gatherings. She starts out in high dudgeon and shifts up several gears.  Sports cars go from zero to 60 in a few seconds. Aunt Sheila starts at 100 and moves to 300 in the same amount of time, and then turns on the cruise control. It all ended when she crashed into the word “gobbledy-glock.”

Uncle Bob let Cousin Trey [Gowdy] sit in his chair for a while. Cousin Trey brings an air of South Carolina glamour to the family. He might even cut his own hair. Two or three styles compete for space on the same head. The effect is mesmerizing.

Cousin Trey dreams of greater things and is constantly auditioning to play Matlock.  He asks the same question at every event. Is it or is it not correct that white meat is preferable to dark meat? If anyone suggests it might be a question of taste, Cousin Trey impatiently cuts him off.

You could call it a gobbledy-glocking.

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