No really, comes as no surprise to me at all, in fact I am almost nonchalant about it, I almost surprise myself.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regularly held taxpayer-funded, 500-guest formal dinners — and President Trump reportedly knew nothing about them. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Pompeo often invited hundreds of guests to the U.S. State Department for his "Madison Dinners," referring to how former President James Madison often met with foreign diplomats over a meal. But unlike Madison, Pompeo invited more than just diplomats to his dinners, and sent the bill for food, entertainment, and goody bags to the U.S. government, NBC News reports. Pompeo held about two dozen Madison dinners since he took office in 2018, and they were scheduled through October until the coronavirus hit, NBC News reports via dinner guest lists and State Department calendars. About 30 percent of invitees worked in politics, another 29 percent came from corporate backgrounds, a quarter were in media and entertainment, and just 14 percent were actually involved in foreign policy. Some of those less diplomatic invitees included Reba McEntire, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, and they all enjoyed harp music and embossed Madison Dinner pens and journals to take home.
You gotta love this. Reba, for all my love for her art (I consider Fancy to be one of the greatest songs ever written, in any genre), I am not sure what she, or, for that matter, Dale can really contribute to a discussion of the US foreign policy, especially in a Madisonian sense of a discussion. Not that the United States States needs a recognition as an independent nation, right? James Madison, while writing (under Publius moniker) Federalist #10 and being fourth POTUS, exhibited a political and intellectual finesse of a highest order. But then again, I have to agree with Senator Kennedy that: US was founded by geniuses and is being run now by a bunch of idiots. Here is Kennedy verbatim:
So, putting names of James Madison and Mike Pompeo in the same sentence, is an affront to America's founding, same as it would be bringing a beautiful thoroughbred to the stable for jackasses. You see, the lipstick on the pig trope did not appear out of nowhere, same as expression that you can take a girl out of the village, but you cannot take village out of the girl. Pompeo, of course, may try, for the next Madison Dinner to add, to harp, a harpsichord with French horn, to increase the sense of enlightenment of his guests, or even ask them to dress in 18th Century clothes for further refinement of the occasion. The only thing what I would have done, in the goody bags distributed to those guests I would put US Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers, for attendees to refer to after enjoying a fancy meal. Otherwise this:
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called the dinners "a world-class opportunity to discuss the mission of the State Department and the complex foreign policy matters facing our exceptional nation," saying each guest "has a stake in America and its leadership in the world."
May come across as an exhibit A of a kitsch, lowbrow, tasteless attempt to substitute real intellect and ethics in foreign policy with shiny objects and dim people like Pompeo. But then again, what do I understand about "a world-class". In a world where country-music star, race driver and Mike Pompeo discuss "complex foreign policy matters facing an exceptional nation", one has to conclude, that, apart from stinking ethically to heaven, those Pompeo Dinners exhibit an exceptional idiocy and lack of class persisting among America's "elites" who still think that they are running Rome at the height of her might, not noticing that their imagined Rome is turning, fast at that, into Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. I will abstain from commenting here on "leadership", because that requires a whole PhD. thesis to describe a level of delusion.