“Let them eat crumbs…”
The Rotunda filled with awe-struck onlookers. The nominees for the open seat on the highest court in the land would soon begin answering questions from elected officials.
Among the many nominees, Yvette Williams sat among them and studied her nails. An outspoken critic of the previous administration, she harbored no illusions of today’s proceedings.
She came prepared for their questions. Nanny Pusan had made sure of it. Three hours prior, Yvette and Nanny had met in private to discuss the day’s event.
“Do you know what to expect today?”
“Yes, madam chair-person. Senators will check my knowledge of the law and analyze my answers as to how I would enforce the law as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”
“That’s right, Yvette. They’re going to try to trip you up and nail you to the floor with your mistakes.”
“What mistake would that be, Madam Chair-Person?”
“Your stupid Op-Eds for one. Expect to get dinged on it every time.”
Yvette Williams wore many hats. She’d been an environmental activist, an animal activist, a writer, and a Constitutional Lawyer. Her time as a lawyer saw her handle high-profile cases that often fell into the categories of her activism.
“My opinion should have nothing to do with my credentials to do the job, ma’am.” Yvette added the ‘ma’am’ to drive home her displeasure.
“Your opinion puts you at odds with the minority. Do not underestimate them. Especially Jack Thompson. He will eat you alive.”
“I’m not worried. You should go get tanked up prior to the review.”
“Yeah. Drunk. Everyone knows you hit the sauce prior to speaking with the press, or getting dressed, you know pound some whiskey. Do some blow. Whatever works for you.”
Nanny Pusan glared at the upstart woman who was several years her junior. “This arrogant, small woman. Who does she think she’s talking to?”
“I’ll see you in the Rotunda.”
“Sure thing, Nanny. I’ll be the woman kicking the butts off these lazy senators.”
Meanwhile, down the hall, Jack Thompson shrugged on his jacket and stared in the mirror. A veteran of two wars, he’d decided to run for the senate at the behest of his friends.
“Go to Washington, son. Get those two-faced jackals out of our face,” his constituents had said.
Jack’s victory had all but been sealed when he made his constituents this promise: “I’ll not add to the taxpayers burden. If something crosses my desk seeking to add more taxes, or harms the taxpayers in anyway, I’ll vote no every time.”
He’d won with over 98% of the vote. In the two years since, he had kept his word. He picked up his questions and looked them over. His aide had circled the name Yvette Williams. Jack looked over the profile of Yvette as he made his way to chambers.
Yvette Williams sat at a table with a glass of water on her right-hand side. Jack walked in and shook a few hands. He nodded hello to friends from the other side of the aisle and took a seat near the end.
Barbara Smith, a wizened senator of 40+ years, watched Jack closely. “How could someone with so much potential be so reckless,” she thought silently.
Nanny Pusan walked in, and everyone stood. She gave a small wave of her hand, and everyone sat back down.
“I bring this meeting to order. Today, Ms. Yvette Williams will answer questions of the Republican senators. Everyone has three minutes to ask your question. Mr. Hardtack get us started.”
Jack watched as senators asked their questions. Yvette answered boldly, without an ounce of fear, and time and time again they failed to trip her up.
“Senator Jack Thompson, you have three minutes,” Nanny Pusan said as she clicked the timer.
“Thanks, Madam Chair-Person. Ms. Williams, my colleagues have asked about your opinion editorials. You’ve hee-hawed around and not given a straight answer to any of them. You wrote these articles, correct?”
“Well, from one writer to the other. This is some fine writing, for partisan writing that is. Here’s my question: Could you please clarify your stance on allowing banks to bail out certain big companies, but not oil and gas?”
“Um, context,” Yvette mumbled. “Um, what I was saying…um…”
“Let me stop you. You said that bailing out department stores, banks, clothing manufacturers, strip clubs, was fine. Gas and oil companies though should not get a dime. What do you have against the oil companies?”
“You took my article out of context, senator.”
“Senator Thompson, your time is up.”
“Madam Chair, I yield my time to Senator Thompson.”
“Excuse me, Senator Cartwright?”
“I yield my time to him.”
“Fine. Continue Mr. Thompson.”
“You know the amazing thing about readers Ms. Williams? The fact that they can read the same exact thing as everyone else, but each reader gets something different. Let me tell you what I got out of your article.”
“Senator, I said you’re missing the context.”
“What I read Ms. Williams was, “let them eat crumbs. Shut down the gas and oil companies, regardless of how many people it puts out of work. Oh, they can’t afford a six-figure electric car. Let them walk. Give them bread to eat. Oh, they don’t live in an area where public transportation is available? Sucks to be them. You’re an elitist snob, and you care not one whit about your fellow man. Where’s the compassion your side claims to possess?”
The Rotunda grew silent. All television camera crews focused on Jack Thompson’s face as he stared down Yvette Williams. She said nothing in response to his question. You could hear a pin drop to the floor in those hallowed halls.
“Mr. Thompson, you’re time…”
“Yeah, I know. It’s not like this woman was going to answer me anyway.”
“Let them eat crumbs…”