“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel.” This pithy (though weirdly constructed) tweet was brought to you by Roger Stone. The only thing that rescues it from being a completely idiotic form of self-immolating humor is the date stamp: 21 August, 2016. But only just.
I’m not superstitious but it seems to me that people who engage in, say, trolling people online about typographical errors had better do so – if they do it at all – with impeccable spelling. Otherwise it’s called “tempting fate.” Similarly, if you’re going to publicly imply that your political enemies may be headed for prison you’d better make damned sure that you’re not headed there first.
It all makes for sweet schadenfreude of a kind John Podesta admits he engaged in while watching Roger Stone’s arrest Monday night. Podesta confesses he indulged himself with a little smile. Can anyone blame him?
“I think he’s in a whole world of hurt,” Podesta told CNN. “I think that barrel that he finds himself in is about to go over Niagara Falls.” Nice turn of phrase there, John. Yes, let’s extend that “barrel” metaphor a bit.
For myself I waited in my car with the engine running, lingering outside the shop I was going to and listening to the BBC broadcast of Roger Stone’s post-arrest statement to the press. Not for Stone’s words, mind you. I didn’t give a crap what that odious weasel had to say. I was waiting for the angry crowd in the background to start chanting what I so deeply craved to hear them say. I didn’t have long to wait: LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP! I was reminded of the time I heard that chant used, with equal portions of schadenfreude, on its inventor Michael Flynn.
Those of us who have fought the good fight, and I think most of us have in our own various ways both large and small, deserve these occasional little guilt-free dollops of pleasure now and again. It isn’t wrong to rejoice and feel pleasure when evil is castigated. It reminds us now and then that there truly is something good and restorative and triumphant about this thing called justice.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.