In The Tempest, Shakespeare wrote “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” In recent years, that phrase has been reworded to “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” The literal meaning of the quote is that people with nothing in common may come together solely because of shared political interests.
Today’s new story about one of the most famous contemporary political couples, makes me think of that quote in a different context – what about a couple who are completely opposed to each other politically?
I’m not talking about one spouse voting Democrat while the other votes Republican, or mere political disagreements at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I’m talking about two people whose lives and careers are dedicated to competing causes or candidates – which really must make for interesting household conversation.
One famous political couple, James Carville & Mary Matalin, were long the model on how political opponents could remain happily married. But they don’t hold a candle to the pressures of today’s political power couple.
Yes, I’m talking about Kellyanne Conway (Counselor to President Trump) and her husband, prominent attorney and leading anti-Trumpite George Conway. While it’s not unusual to see them publicly disagree on key issues of the day, it’s on separate shows, and you never hear one talk about the other publicly.
But this week things took an interesting twist when Kellyanne defended Trump’s conduct with respect to Cohen, repeating Trump’s assertion that he never directed disgraced former attorney Michael Cohen to break the law. Husband George seems to have actually publicly fact-checked her by calling B.S. on that claim, asking:
“Given that Trump has repeatedly lied about the Daniels and McDougal payments—and given that he lies about virtually everything else, to the point that his own former personal lawyer described him as a “f****ing liar”—why should we take his word over that of federal prosecutors?”
In We Just Disagree, Dave Mason may as well have been singing about the Conways when he sang:
“So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye
There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy
There’s only you and me and we just disagree”
It’s never a good idea to pick a fight with one’s spouse, but doing so in public for all to see seems to me like asking for trouble. And should things come to a head, at least in Colorado the domestic relations judge would not even care who won that argument. Right vs wrong is meaningless in a no-fault state!