Firelight flickered across Napoleon’s face, his horse frozen in time, rearing up as the Emperor pointed to the pathway over the Alps with his head turned back looking towards his unseen army. From my leather chair I took in the image in its totality. Not just Napoleon, but the gilded frame around the painting, the white mantle over the fireplace, and the small fire that constantly burned in the hearth… providing more atmosphere than light or warmth.
“Victory favors the audacious,” I said to myself in a lowered voice.
“Scheming with ghostly conspirators, Captain?”
I glanced up and saw the LTC standing next to me.
I chuckled at his suggestion. “No Colonel, talking to myself. I am afraid that my celestial companions consistently disregard my suggestions.”
The LTC sat down in the high-backed leather chair next to me and pulled out two cigars from his breast pocket. He raised one in question and I nodded my acceptance. As he began preparing the cigars, he continued our dialogue.
“The angels fear your advice, Captain. They suspect you have a hidden agenda.”
“Omniscient buggers. Makes it too hard for me to seduce them with rhetoric!”
The LTC chuckled and handed me a cigar and his lighter. I lit it and took several deep drags to ensure a proper ignition. “Thank you, my friend… I smoke too many of your cigars.”
“Nonsense, Captain, you compensate me with conversation.”
I laughed again… “Well, you listen to me, Colonel!”
“Indeed, I do. So, what should we talk about tonight?”
“Well, to be honest, Colonel, Napoleon up there has me thinking… actually less about him per se than about his contemporary, Talleyrand.”
“Ah… hence the conspiratorial nature of your dialogue with our angelic partners.”
“Yes. I am still trying to wrap my head around the need for State to go after President Trump with such full-throated vigor. If their goal is to eliminate him from the field of contenders, this is counterproductive. They know, or must know by now, every attempt to prosecute or persecute him has backfired tremendously. The presence of the specter of prosecution hanging over the Bidens, with no movement on that at all, casts a pallor over the whole business.”
“Indeed, it does. So, Captain, you and I are both aware that prosecutions don’t take place in a vacuum. What do you think is the real motivation?”
“Setting the stage to inoculate the Bidens.”
The LTC leaned forward in his chair and looked at me intently.
“The indictment has some legs and people are simultaneously sympathetic to the political persecution Trump is enduring, but also ready to move beyond Trump as a politician. His hardcore base notwithstanding, many are looking for a Moses to lead us out of the bondage that Pharaoh Biden has inflicted upon us. Biden is also aware of this. He may have always been aware of it. I suspect the Democratic Party is equally aware. So, I believe that sometime between this November and January, President Biden will need to step down. The reasons for the departure are immaterial; he will turn the reigns of power over to Vice President Harris. She will gladly accept the position as the first female president, and her reward for being a good soldier will be just that: a short but historic first female presidency.”
“Why short? You don’t think she will run again as an incumbent?”
“No, she knows that she could not win, and that, ironically, gives her a greater degree of flexibility. She will announce that our body politic has become too polarized, that we have devolved into cults of personality, that our fascination with political leaders has corrupted the republic. She will then pardon both Donald Trump and the Biden family. This will cause a vitriol of hate from both sides to reign down upon her and she will both acknowledge and accept this, believing that future historians will view her as the great redeemer of our national discourse.”
“So, if you are to be believed, this explains the frenetic tempo of Governor Newsom’s spreading the gospel of big government and Democrat control.”
“Yes, he is being groomed not for a run six years from now, but for a run right now.”
“Interesting. Do you think that Newsom has a chance of winning a general election?”
“No… but here is the variable that I don’t believe the party has anticipated: RFK Jr.”
The Colonel chuckled to himself, “Yes… I have been noticing him too. He does appear to be saying things that might move Independents, and even some Republicans, to his camp.”
“More than that, Colonel. I believe that a number of Republicans have more interest in voting against the powers of the Democratic Party than in voting in their Republican primaries. I can see many activists doing what Democrats have done for the last few election cycles… switching parties to vote against the establishment candidate.”
“How are your powers of prediction holding up… empirically, Captain?”
I laughed and leaned back in my chair. “Well, Colonel, you know my track record. If I say it is going to happen, smart money will bet the other way.”