No Comment — June 6, 2007, 9:35 am

Casting for the Brad Schlozman Story

Today Brad Schlozman, former interim U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, former senior political appointee in the Civil Rights Division, and currently a senior functionary in the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys (where he has supervisory responsibility for all U.S. attorneys) had his moment in the limelight. He was subjected to intense examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Schlozman didn’t come off well in the process. Indeed, he seemed to be working hard to validate every charge leveled against him – dishonest, evasive, unprofessional. His answers included subtle evasions, misrepresentations, lies and even some now-top-this-one whoppers (in the latter category, his response to a query about his opinion of ACORN was a sidesplitter).

But watching Brad Schlozman sent me thinking. No doubt about it, if Hollywood makes a feature out of the U.S. Attorney scandal, it shouldn’t be an “All the President’s Men” sort of thing. It should be an animated feature along the lines of “Madagascar.” And the rights have to go to Walt Disney. So, if Walt Disney, the master of the cartoon feature which captures the essence of human traits in zoomorphic forms, were to deal with Brad Schlozman, what, exactly, would he be? I submit this as a question to my loyal readership, inviting your responses by email.

And here are a couple of options to ponder. The flashing eyes in the face of stern questioners reflect a small furry mammal known for its flightiness – say a ferret (Rudy Giuliani’s favorite animal) or a weasel. But the tendency to lie, shamelessly and without remorse, and to dump everything that he did on his colleagues – now that’s reptilian – say something that slithers through an autumnal garden, a snake or a salamander, perhaps?

We all have our animal equivalents, I suppose. Some fifteen years back, I was working on a transaction out in Central Asia and I heard some of my local friends talking about me. They were referring to me as the “morž,” which was not at that point a word in my Russian vocabulary. A quick check of the dictionary, and I discovered that I was a walrus. I got the label for taking a shower in the dead of winter even when there was no hot water. That sat about right with me. I identify with walruses.

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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