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The Republican Party: Two Frog Stories

The first frog story is one everyone knows.  Put a frog in a ten quartz sauce pan with slippery sides.  Pour in about two quarts of water.  The sides of the pan are too tall and steep for the frog to jump out, unless it’s absolutely desperate and panic-stricken; and then only just. But it won’t mind floating in tepid water. So the frog will stay put, initially.

Next, set the burner to simmer.  If it’s a high-end stove with a precise simmer function, it will take a long time for the water to heat up, and the temperature will increase very slowly. But, because it is a high-end stove, in time the water will reach 212 degrees, more or less.

The frog will boil to death; because of the imperceptible rise in temperature, he’ll never be perturbed enough to muster the heroic effort needed to jump out of the pot.

The connection to Congressional Republicans, and the slowly burgeoning Trump scandals, is obvious.

* * *

Almost as familiar is the fable of the frog and scorpion.

A scorpion, seeking greener pastures, was blocked by a river.  Spying a frog in the bull rushes, he made his pitch: “Dear frog, won’t you carry me across?  It will cost you nothing, and we can both enjoy the greener pastures on the other side.”

The frog was naturally suspicious: “My dear scorpion, your stinger is fearsome, and your irascibility is legendary.  How do I know you won’t sting me once we approach the other side?”

“Tut, tut, my dear frog.  If I stung you anywhere in the river, we would both drown, because I can’t swim at all. Why would I be so self-destructive?”

This made sense to the frog.  And in truth, the scorpion didn’t weigh much. Plus, credit was owed to the scorpion, since he was the one who came up with the idea of crossing the river to get to the plentiful green munchies on the other side—a project which hadn’t occurred to the frog.  That counted for something.

“Okay, hop on.”

Midway across the river, the frog felt a sharp pain.  Numbness began to spread through his limbs.  He barely had time to look back at the scorpion and croak, “Why?”

“It is my nature,” said the scorpion, with indifference, as both began to sink beneath the water.

The association to Trump, and the electoral bargain made by the Republican Party, is again too obvious to spell out.


  1. Modern science does not support the slow boil story. When it gets hot enough, the frog will jump out, same as you would reach for the air conditioner as soon as your room reached the point of discomfort. It wouldn’t matter how quickly or slowly the room heated up—you have your limit, and would act once it is reached.  Not convinced? Enter a string like frog, boil, slow, true into your favorite search engine.
  2. Many people think the frog and scorpion story is part of Aesop’s Fables. That does not appear to be the case.  Search Aesop’s Fables and decide for yourself.  Rather, this story appears to be a more recent construction.

Whoooh! So I guess the Republican Party is safe, eh?

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