The Bully and the Good Ol’ Boy

The other day, while hanging out with business colleagues and friends at a local pub in Mordor on the Potomac, a man roughly about my age (he was in his mid-40’s) was standing at the bar. He was literally yelling obscenities at random D.C. bar patrons in a bar largely populated by low and mid-level bureaucrats (thirty-somethings). He drank beer and called women “c*nts” or men “bit**s.” According to the bartender, he came in every week and did the same thing – over and over. Most people ignored him. Most of the kids in the bar probably could not beat him; they were pencil necks. By admission, he just got out of prison.

I smelled exactly what he was: a bully. I despise a bully, most red-blooded men do too. Personally, I will toy with folks, but if I see my teasing is hurting, I will back off – and, I may even apologize. My goal is to have fun, not harm folks. Normal people get this and change course when they’ve determined that the other party has felt slighted.

But, this guy enjoyed his power over these urbanite numales, soyboys and reconstructed men. It was obviously because of the power he lacked in prison. As someone who has long straddled the fence of bureaucratic normative behavior and violent action, it was clear that the kids in this bar would never silence him. They feared for their jobs. They were so risk averse, that a simple punch puts them into jeopardy for their potential cabinet position, judicial appointment or even their next career at a law firm. The bully knew that. Thus, every time he opened his mouth, he assumed no one would do anything about it.

For the most part, I was content to leave him alone. He even threatened to shoot me at one point. But, he had a knife, not a gun – and, I knew that, thanks to the keen eyes of my friends and wife.

However, when he attacked a friend, he changed the game – especially when he reached for that knife. Now, it was time for lights out. He ran into the wrong mick. When the police came, I had so much blood on me, they thought I had been stabbed. My arms and fists were covered in his blood. Note: something did scratch me under the armpit, likely an attempt at my ribs.

Again, I watched as D.C. bureaucrats, who had been abused by this guy for months, ran like jack rabbits! That is Washington. They are so terrified of their own shadows, their own careers and their own carefully scripted lives that they fear the imposition of justice.

It reminds me of a film from the 80’s called Three O’Clock High. The film follows a redemption arc whereby the meek protagonist eventually stands up and battles an imposing bully-villain named Buddy Revell. Regardless of the ending, at one point in the film, after the protagonist has done everything imaginable to escape his physical confrontation with the antagonist (including pay-offs, escaping, ignoring and hiring a proxy fighter), Buddy says to the quivering and spineless lead, “You’re the biggest pussy I’ve ever seen in my life. Didn’t even try. How does that feel?

That is what you have to understand regarding every facet of Washington. That is why Kavanaugh is getting nailed, while Republicans sit idly by and watch. That is why they hate Trump’s bombast, despite its effectiveness. That is why they hate “absolute” statements. There is NOTHING cowboy or gutsy about Washington’s America; it is a litigious cesspool of betas coalescing to form a tribe of similarly soft individuals.

This guy did not expect to run smack dab into some good ol’ boys (my buddy wasn’t backing down, he’s a Carolina boy). The world is full of good ol’ boys and bullies.

Bullies do not react to bureaucratic discipline. They react to a punch in the mouth.