“Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that he’s disagreed with President Trump . . . but he’s always brought up his concerns privately — rather than publicly criticize the president. Cornyn is the latest Republican senator to distance himself from Trump amid fears of a potential electoral blowout.” – Axios

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I am Second Murderer. I lied for Macbeth. I killed for Macbeth. And now that Malcolm’s and Macduff’s armies are closing in to take this castle, I want everyone to know that I often privately disagreed with the bloody tyrant. I know, I know — I assassinated innocents to entrench Macbeth’s power, and I trumpeted my role in plunging the country into a violent crisis — but balanced against that, there were many times when I quietly confided to my fellow killers a secret disapproval of Macbeth’s approach to governance.

Listen here, Malcolm, I had naught to do with your father’s death. And I want you to know that I broke with Macbeth’s policies quietly even before he was King. One midnight, after he and Lady Macbeth had murdered your father King Duncan in his sleep, they woke me to help wash the blood from their garments. As I scrubbed their crimson raiment over a washboard, I whispered in disgust to the porter beside me that Scotland’s global standing would be forever stained by Macbeth’s ruthless cuts to the military, all to build a useless southern barricade, when everyone knows invaders arrive by sea, from the East.

Hear me now, young soldiers who fight in Banquo’s memory. It is true that Macbeth told me to slay Banquo, who trusted him like a brother. And that I slayed Banquo, per my orders. But that evening, when the King retired to yet another of his extravagant feasts, I boiled with rage and told my kinsman privately that Scotland would never be free of sin until we put a stop to Macbeth’s profligate spending on dinner parties. My kinsman assassin — who also serves Macbeth with private reservations — will confirm this account, and has himself complained in whispers that Macbeth makes us lodge at his derelict golf estates.

Listen please, Macduff, I can see you are roaming these grounds furiously in search of vengeance. And yes, I personally attacked your family, but you don’t have the full context. The King had just met with three witches. He spent seven hours a day obsessing over their prophecies, as if they would somehow validate his need to be someone he was not. At his command, I ambushed your home and cut the throats of your wife and all your children and servants. But what they didn’t tell you, Macduff, is that just after the massacre, the other sellswords and I made a promise. We agreed right then and there to confront the King and tell him never again to waste the day with prophecies, when he could instead accomplish so much more by entrenching the rule of nobility over the serfdom.

Oh — hello there, King Macbeth. I am glad to see you take the field against Macduff. Do not mistake me, your Grace. Though I differ on the finer points of statecraft, I am no traitor. My allegiance to you will outlive your very life, and nothing shall ever—

Good god, Macduff! Is that Macbeth’s severed head you’re holding up? Well then, good riddance, he was a coward and a liar. Did I ever tell you that he disparaged our soldiers at their graves? And what a terrible family role model he made by neglecting his Queen’s illness. I will gladly give legal testimony about how Macbeth hosted a priest infected with Black Death. And for a speaking fee of five shillings, I’ll unfold to you a tale of such wicked ideas I overheard in his discourse, such outrageous proposals — for example, to lay a new tax against the land of his own gentry, to build a hospice for commoners, to purchase Greenland even — what a fool!

Hail, King Malcolm! Long Live the King!