Forbid Them Not: A Hair-Raising Chase

Forbid Them Not: A Hair-Raising Chase December 28, 2018

Forbid Them Not, pp. 422-428

In the morning, Cooper heads off in his Jimmy to pick up Laura and Jody and take them to the Senate hearing. It’s October 18th, a Tuesday. Laura has presumably called in sick to the school where she teaches. We’re not told this, though. I think Cooper has forgotten that Laura works. Because women don’t work, in his world, and she’s now a man’s attache.

Farris tells us that Cooper is being followed. When he reaches Laura’s house, the car following him—a tan Ford Taurus—parks nearby. The man inside gets out his binoculars and places a call.

“Easler and another woman just got in the car with him. I think the woman was the one at the airport yesterday.”

“Don’t let them get here,” came the reply. The voice was husky and female, with a Hungarian accent.

“I understand.”

The voice on the phone, presumably, was Kadar. The Eastern European man has not been reading the tabloids, because he apparently never recognized Laura—bewilderingly—which is why he didn’t trace Jody to Laura’s house the night before. Cooper’s nonsensical gamble—that they wouldn’t recognize Laura—paid off. Until now, that is.

Cooper pulls onto the expressway. He doesn’t realize he’s being followed until after Laura and Jody tell him the happy news—that Jody accepted Christ. At just that moment, the Taurus cuts in front of them and they nearly crash into it. The Taurus slowed. Cooper remembers seeing a Taurus earlier, and starts freaking out. Cooper hits the gas, and as they pass the Taurus Jody and Laura recognize the man who followed them at the airport. Cooper guns it.

Before long, they were going ninety miles per hour and weaving through traffic. The Taurus was right on their tail.

It’s at this point that they finally do what they should have done a lot earlier.

“Laura, get my cell phone out of my jacket pocket and call 911,” he shouted, dodging an angry commuter as they headed under an overpass.

Laura leaned over and dug in his suit jacket frantically, as Cooper continued to dodge and swerve through traffic. Pulling it out, she dialed the number and hit “send.”

“Loundoun County Emergency,” said the female voice.

“We are being chased by a man who tired to run us over,” Laura blurted out breathlessly. “We have a former ambassador in our car. She is likely the target.”

If they were willing to call the police all along—and that willing to flash Jody’s former credentials—why didn’t they do this a lot earlier?!

Anyway, now they’re under fire, bullets cross the expressway. After giving their location over the phone, the local police arrange a bevy of sheriff cars a couple of miles up the highway. When they get there, Cooper pulls off to talk to the deputies while the Taurus hops the median and heads in the opposite direction, pursued by additional police cars.

“Someone is trying to stop Ambassador Easler there in the back from making it to the Senate this morning. She is supposed to testify in a hearing on the Supreme Court nomination that starts in an hour,” Cooper explained. “They tried to run us off the road and shot at us at least once. Look at my mirror there,” he said, pointing at it with his hand.

Why did Cooper think it was a good idea—if he thought he was being watched—for him to drive Jody to the Senate in his car? Why didn’t he have Laura drive her to the Senate? Or someone else entirely? Why didn’t she take a taxi under an assumed name? Do people actually tell taxi drivers their names, anyway?

The news comes over the radio that the Taurus has been apprehended.

“Hungarian diplomatic passport and a gun with empty casings in the chamber.”

I have a question. How has Kadar (apparently) managed to retain her position? Jody stated on television that Kadar told her to seduce Cooper in order to undermine him. Shouldn’t Kadar have been ousted for ethics violations? Shouldn’t she be under investigation? For that matter, why isn’t Jody being investigated for ethics violations? Certainly, she’d now be a cooperating witness, but she could have told Kadar no and she didn’t. She is guilty of a gross abuse of her position.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—nothing in this book makes sense. I mean, why does Kadar even care so much? Certainly, she’d like to see corporal punishment banned—but there are dozens of other countries party to the treaty that haven’t banned corporal punishment. Farris tells us through Jody that Kadar doesn’t actually care about children, she only cares about power. What power? The committee she heads isn’t particularly powerful.

Let’s say Kadar is successful in these court cases and gets the U.S. to ban spanking, regulate homeschooling, and bar certain forms of religious teaching. What power has she gained, exactly? The court cases at issue aren’t being brought by her, or by her committee—they’re being brought by private NGOs. No one has any reason at all to attach her name to these cases.

Being charitable, I would guess that Kadar gets off on making people do what she wants them to do—on manipulating people—and that she thinks that if she can get her committee’s interpretation of the treaty recognized as the law of the land via the supremacy clause, she can snap her fingers and watch Americans dance. On policy related to children, that is.

There’s no way to figure this that isn’t a bizarrely weird stretch. Besides, if Kadar was always after that kind of power—where she can snap her fingers and watch others dance—becoming a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was a weird kind of long game to play. That committee doesn’t have a whole lot of power. Those appointed to it tend to be individuals with a long history of work in children’s policy or family law, not power hungry climbers.

But. Back to the present. A deputy takes Cooper back to Leesburg to identify the Hungarian. This seems odd. Why not send Laura back? Since Laura wasn’t driving, she got a better look at the man than Cooper did, and she could also identify him as the man who was following them at the airport—and she doesn’t really need to be at the Senate hearing, while Cooper has a good reason to be there. But then, perhaps this does make sense, given that nothing in this book makes sense.

They arrange for another deputy to drive Laura and Jody to the Senate, with two other sheriff’s cruisers “to provide both a front and rear shield.” This is nice, but a bit late in coming.

Cooper handling this situation this way is yet another reason he should be fired by his clients. He’s putting himself and his fiancé in harm’s way for no apparent reason, and risking Jody’s life too—which seems to pertain to their case—playing amateur spy evader and getaway driver. This whole situation is just such a bad idea.

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