A Somewhat Hopeless Short Note on Impeachment
If you lived like a hermit in the middle of a deep forest, you could not escape the talk about the impeachment of Donald Trump. Forget the rest of the world — the rockets from Gaza, the fires in Australia, the recent Canadian elections, Honk Kong, Bogota. Forget what’s going on elsewhere in the USA. We have impeachment for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack!
I came to the US from Eastern Europe during the cold war years and, with regard to politicians, I have a healthy doze of cynicism permanently inoculated in me. When Clinton wagged his long index finger at his TV audience and famously said ‘I did not have sex with that woman,’ I didn’t know what to think. I thought ‘yes’. I thought ‘no’. I thought I don’t trust politicians, because I know how they roll.
This time, the impeachment process is a different story. To begin with, there is no comparison between an extra marital sexual encounter and extorting dirt on a political opponent from a foreign power, in exchange for taxpayer funded military assistance, which that foreign power desperately needs. The Clinton impeachment was triggered by a sad personal matter. Trump betrayed our national trust. Clinton lied under oath. Didn’t Trump lie? How many times? Does it have to be under oath?
And here is the other point. With Trump, I do know. I don’t have to ask myself if Trump did it or not. It’s obvious. It’s in his character and there can be no doubt. We’ve read it in all the books about him and “authored” by him, we’ve heard it for the last three years, and we see it right now, every day, on TV. We read it in his tweets.
He got caught and he doubles down. It fits the narrative perfectly. You know that thing about the duck. You know it in your gut. On one hand, I see these excellent, non-partisan diplomats and public servants, all eloquent, impressive, courageous and as straight as arrows testifying to congress under oath, and on the other Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump are blocking the investigations, avoiding subpoenas, withholding documents.
I watched hours and hours of public hearings. I was very impressed by the people who came forward, obeying the law. Every time the republicans spoke, I felt they were advancing false theories and twisting the facts. Attacking the messengers, because they had nothing better to offer. It was disappointing, to say the least, that they would not rise in defense of the constitution. Again, this was not a partisan debate, based on ideas. This was a presentation of facts. Do we believe that the Ukrainians and not the Russians have meddled in the 2016 elections? Really? How dumb do they think we are?
I watched CNN at the conclusion of each day. A few times I watched Fox News. I couldn’t do it for long. They preached to a choir that didn’t know how to sing. They squirmed.
There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t been said.
What kills me is that Trump’s defenders argue that the democrats have vilified this president since day one. As if that would be a defense. Do they forget when, during the election campaign, they were saying his behavior would change? He’d become presidential? Well, he never did. He continued to be the same after he was sworn into the office. Therefore I believe that when he had the opportunity to withhold military aid to an ally in need in exchange for help in his re-election campaign he did it in a hurry. He didn’t think twice. Because that’s who he is!
Unfortunately, this will go on and on…
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