Friday, May 19, 2017

West Coast Observer: Honoré de Balzac’s Unknown Masterpiece

The President and our Congressman

By William Silveira

Before his self-recusal from the Russian/Trump Campaign investigation, our California (22nd) District’s Congressman, Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee, made a surreptitious trip to the White House (no doubt at the bidding of the President) to collect information on what he and the President seemed to think was the burning issue before the Committee – information leaks. He did this without informing members of his own Committee. When what was obvious all along became blindingly obvious (that Nunes could not impartially lead an investigation into the issue of Russian [read Putin] meddling in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of the Trump Campaign Committee), Nunes recused himself from the investigation.
By Louis-Auguste Bisson,
Public Domain
    The President obviously had no problem throwing the loyal Devin under the bus in an attempt to divert attention from the issue at hand. The upshot: Devin was used, but to no good effect. Similarly, in The Unknown Masterpiece (1831), Honoré de Balzac tells how an aspiring young painter gives up his beautiful model (Gillette, with whom he is very much in love) to an older painter in order to further his career in art. Gillette loses her love, and her respect for the painter because of the way he has treated her. Alas, Gillette had more insight into what was happening than our Congressman seems to have had. However, since then he has noticeably stayed out of the glare of publicity. Constituents are calling for Devin to address all of this in a town hall meeting, but he is refusing to have one.
    Unfortunately, Devin shows no sign of having lost respect or affection for his President because of the way he was treated. In The Unknown Masterpiece, the young painter gives up Gillette in order to see the older painter’s masterpiece. What he is shown is but a jumble of color with only a foot sticking out. (Could this symbolize for us Gillette’s giving the young painter the boot he deserves?) And the young painter’s career is not advanced at all.
    Does Devin see that he too has sacrificed credibility for a jumble of color? Maybe we shouldn’t expect too much from someone who rejects the scientific evidence of climate change and biological evolution.
    And, of course, there’s the supreme irony of our great leader’s having now leaked crucial information to the Russians, information that may compromise our intelligence sources. Leaks are okay when the President does it???


Copyright © 2017 by William Silveira

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