When I was a little kid back in the 1960s, I remember going to see the Disney movie "Song of the South." This movie, which debuted in 1946, is so politically incorrect by today’s standards that you will never see it again. Set in the Old South during Reconstruction, it depicts an elderly black man, Uncle Remus, telling folk tales to a white child on the plantation where he was once a slave.
One of the tales Uncle Remus told was “The Tar-Baby.” The tar-baby was a doll used by Br’er Fox to trap Br’er Rabbit, who had always outsmarted him. Think of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner if you have never heard the tale of the tar-baby. Br’er Rabbit was just smarter than Br’er Fox, and it frustrated the poor old fox to no end.
The fox, in true Wile E. Coyote fashion, crafts the tar-baby out of tar and turpentine and puts it in the road. Do you remember the coyote and his ACME catalog? It’s kind of the same thing. The tar-baby accomplishes Br’er Fox’s mission of catching the gregarious Br’er Rabbit, who can’t tolerate it that the tar-baby won’t return his greeting. The greedy, and very hungry, fox then commits one of life’s classic blunders — he converses with his captive and gets outsmarted yet again.
Br’er Rabbit says it is fine to cook him and eat him, just don’t throw him into the briar patch. After two or three iterations of this plea, Br’er Fox, thinking he is being crafty and doing the worst thing possible, throws Br’er Rabbit to the briars. The last thing Br’er Fox hears is Br’er Rabbit laughing and telling him that he was born in the briar patch.
Poor Br’er Fox and, I might add, poor Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party. You may have already guessed that Pelosi and her comrades are Br’er Fox in this illustrative tale and President Donald Trump is Br’er Rabbit.
I really don’t like our president very much, but I will give him credit for this crafty move. He is smarter than Pelosi and the Democrats who are trying to impeach him. They have put so many traps out there trying to snare the man that it has become pitiful in the kind of way that causes us Southerners to say things like, “God bless their sweet little hearts.”
It makes me feel sorry for them in the same way I feel sorry for Br’er Fox. Ol’ Br’er Rabbit was the most arrogant creature in the forest, and you just can’t like him. Of course, Br’er Fox is a fox and cannot himself be trusted. As an observer, it is pretty tough to like either character.
Finally, Pelosi set out her tar-baby and Trump seemed to fall right into the trap. He punched it, punched it again, kicked it a couple of times and finally head-butted it. Trump seemed to be completely stuck. Little did Pelosi know that Trump was playing her. She thought she had finally given the arrogant old rabbit enough rope to hang himself with.
Tsk, tsk, tsk, poor Nancy. She had no idea that she was playing right into his hands. Trump wanted nothing more than to gin up enough of a controversy to get Pelosi to finally try to impeach him.
What Br’er Fox never realized until it was too late was that Br’er Rabbit was born in the briar patch and was right at home among the thorns and thistles. When Br’er Fox tossed Br’er Rabbit in, he thought he had finally won. Poor old Br’er Fox and poor old Nancy Pelosi — God bless their sweet little hearts — they just don’t have a clue.
I’m not sure Trump could stand on his record and win re-election; however, Pelosi beginning impeachment proceedings gives the crafty old rabbit a great deal of fodder to use against her and the Democratic Party. It creates the perfect briar patch into which Pelosi has cast him. And Trump is reveling it.
One realizes quickly that the briar patch is Trump’s happy place. Normal people don’t like to play in those sticky places, but Trump is not your normal person. He thrives among the barbs. He knows how to maneuver to avoid being poked while anyone pursuing him gets skewered.
Maybe Pelosi never saw the "Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour" on Saturday mornings. Maybe she never heard of the "Song of the South" or of Uncle Remus and the tar-baby.
I wonder if she is perusing the ACME catalog right now trying to find the appropriate anvil to drop on Trump. Little does she know that those things just never work out; they are guaranteed to backfire. Maybe someone should tap her on the shoulder and tell her to look up because the shadow of that falling anvil is getting bigger by the second.
Gary Cosby Jr. is photo editor of The Tuscaloosa News. Readers can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.