With the way things are going, The White House soon will have more scandals than Quaker has oats.
The hearings alone are worth watching, if for no other reason than to see people enter a room as know-it-alls and magically morph into know-nothings.
It doesn’t matter what the topic is, the standard answer has become, “I don’t know.”
When Mr. Smith went to Washington he was naïve, but at least he had a little something upstairs.
These people have forgotten more than they ever knew.
Some of the people testifying are like a scratched CD stuck on the same refrain. You could ask them any question under the sun and they’d offer the same standard answer.
“Does your wife know you’re sleeping around?”
“I don’t know.”
“How’s your secret off-shore account doing?”
“I have no memory.”
“Have you always been this forgetful?”
“I’m not aware.”
The situation is reminiscent of the bad publicity Norfolk, Va., received a few years ago. The city discovered they had paid an employee salary and benefits for 12 years and the employee had never showed up for a single day of work.
“You do work for the government, right?”
“I don’t know.”
I keep waiting for someone’s parental instincts to kick in and fire back with, “Look, I never accepted ‘I don’t know’ from the kids, and I’m not going to accept it from you. If you don’t know, you’ve got five minutes to find out.”
The stone faces the witnesses hold are remarkable as well. It’s Oscar-quality acting. They must have prep sessions like the candidates do before the debates.
“OK, have a seat in that chair. Put your hands on the table; it conveys honesty. Now lean forward and try to look sincere. Now we want you to freeze every muscle in your face; pretend you’re Joan Rivers. We’ll break some bad news to you and see how your face responds.
“Your luxury sedan has just been towed from the parking lot.
“Not bad, but your right eye twitched. Let’s try another. Your retirement portfolio just tanked.
“Try not to sweat. Let’s try it again.
“Your legal counsel is in the hallway high-fiving because they just resigned.
“No, you can’t foam like that. You’ve got to stay calm. Take a few deep breaths and try to look more detached. That’s it. A little more lifeless. A little more. Excellent. Very convincing. Someone check him for a pulse!”
The only thing any of the witnesses is good with is numbers.
“I’ll take the fifth.”
It’s feature-length entertainment without the $12 ticket. What more could we hope for?
I don’t know.
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist.