Another Political Bestiary, Ep. III

The Climber (2018). Oil and acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Climber

Drawn to power, Climbers are rumored to have been present, in immaculately powdered wigs, at the opening of the very first Capitol chambers in D.C. The species has changed its appearance over time through the use of a chameleon-like talent for mirroring the prevailing sartorial and social trends of the era. Its intellectual ambivalence and moral flexibility allows it to use its greatest tool, the ability to ingratiate, with aplomb. Ever eager to please, the Climber portrays itself as selfless, perhaps to disguise the fact that it seeks only to further its own selfish agenda. Its life is a ceaseless effort to push itself up the political, social, or professional ladder on which it resides. Climbers have no sense of personal space or decorum, and can often be seen at the heels, or in the side offices, of some of the town’s most disreputable, yet powerful, people. They are so plentiful and adaptive that they, at times, may seem indistinguishable from their powerful superiors. However, around holidays, a strange penchant for costumes is often the trait that betrays the Climber and its well-known obsession for blending in. One easy tip for those interested in further study: find the staffer in the bunny costume at the White House Easter Egg Roll.


-Danny Grosso

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