The talking heads are not being delicate about it anymore; the right is spouting nonsense that makes no argument for Donald Trump. They have run out of talking points, and after this week, they will have even fewer.
The no-first-person defense alleges that all of this is hearsay, and that we have yet to hear from anyone who was actually in the room at the time of the alleged crime. We think that argument will disappear this week.
The no-harm argument is one that reaches below the level that Republicans have gone before this point. This sad little crime got started and immediately hit the news. There was very little time for anyone to do anything except release the funds. So what if Donny tried to commit a crime? No harm was done.
The everyone-else-did-it argument holds that this is how government works, and that Donny was not doing anything that was different from any other negotiation with a foreign government
The harmless-idiot defense must really have the White House cringing. Republicans argue that Donny is a nice guy, he just made a tiny mistake. Bribery and extortion become a tiny mistake? What do you have to do to get convicted in Washington? Don’t answer that.
The most comical is the he-did-more-than-Obama defense. The story goes that Donny gave weapons to Ukraine, and that is more than Barack Obama ever did. We really don’t understand what that has to do with bribery and extortion, but when it comes out of the mouth of Jim Jordan, we are sure that somewhere out there, devoted Trump followers are high-fiving this as complete justification and exoneration.
The impeachment inquiry is about using the power of the government to gain an advantage over a political rival. That is what it appears that Donald Trump did. You can make all kinds of excuses for this action, but you cannot make it right. We don’t do that in this country.
Roger Stone has been found guilty on all seven counts. Will Donald Trump suddenly forget him? He does that a lot, especially when one of his accomplices gets caught doing something underhanded, like lying to Congress.
What about a pardon? Do all of these people that the President does not know get pardons when he leaves office? Does it depend on whether they stay silent about what the boss did? What they overheard him saying? What they did for him?
Will Michael Cohen get the same treatment as some of the troops that never said anything? Does Paul Manafort have a better chance of walking? What about Flynn?
Or will Donald Trump walk away from all of them? We already know he likes heroes who don’t get caught. I wonder what Roger thinks about that?
Woody Allen used the poor handwriting of a novice bank robber to make a joke about his villain/hero, who presents a note to a bank teller that she cannot read.
I wonder if anyone is reading the notes that Adam Schiff and the Impeachment Inquiry are sending out to the viewers of the much hyped hearings? Is anyone getting this? The talking heads are. They see a clear path to impeachment. We are not so sure.
Is there a smoking gub? Yes, but will it change anything? Probably not. The nation’s minds seem to be made up. Even if Rep. Schiff found a recording of the President shaking down the Ukranian President for juicy dirt on the Biden’s, we doubt whether anyone would give a damn.
And that is bad news for the Democrats. After Mueller, things will look pretty bad if they lose another round of hearings in the House. Face it, the economy is still roaring. Perhaps not for the average Joe, but he seems to be thinking that good times are just around the corner for him. Why risk that for a so-called illegal phone call?
This is not Watergate. Times have changed. The idea of a populist in the White House is not so scary to many citizens anymore. Many think that Donald Trump is doing okay, even if he screws up now and then. Yes, he lies a lot, but these are venal sins when unemployment is the best in fifty years.
That is disgusting to the many decent public servants who have had to suffer under the relentless attacks of a man they neither respect nor want in office, and to the journalists who are hated by his followers. No matter.
Republicans in the Senate will probably not convict him. Their excuses may be thin, but they believe the same of the allegations. After three years of defending this President, they see no downside to staying with him on this one.
That seems to be where we are.
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Michael Bloomberg stuck his toe in the 2020 waters. Is he concerned about the center of the party, about Biden’s sinking fortunes, about the hard left threatening to sink the ship?
Donald Trump is still a powerful force in electoral college politics. He may lose by six million popular votes, but he could weasel out a win in the electoral college. Imagine four more years of conman bull-sh*t. Invest in antacids and liquor stores if this comes true.
Bloomberg is solid center of the road, democrat-style, and that soothes the undecided. No medicare for all. No nanny-state socialism. But no hard turn to the left either. One wonders what the difference will be. It will be steady leadership, not rule by whimsy. That is how he will sell himself, a younger more balanced leader.
And well he should. You see, Matt decided that his gubernatorial win in Kentucky was a mandate from the people to do all the crappy things that a Republican talks about when he wins office.
Trouble is, Matt did not have that mandate. Republicans talk a good game about the evils of socialism and the nanny state, but in most cases, they are referring to the other guy, not themselves. Matt forgot the first rule of governing; my perks are okay, thanks.
So, Matt decided that he was elected to eradicate socialist healthcare. And he tried. Real hard. And all those people who call themselves free market capitalists started to have kittens.
Kentucky is not a roaring economy. There are lots of struggling people who have lost good jobs with healthcare, and are now facing min-wage jobs with no healthcare, and that really sucks when you are used to going to the doctor, and occasionally to a movie. Did Matt not realize that? Well in case he didn’t, the voters responded by sending him home.
Matt can’t believe this has happened. He thinks some awful deep state trick has been played on him. Not true. He was an unpopular governor who forgot that he was an elected official. By a narrow margin that he created with his attacks on programs like Medicaid, he built a strong following. For the other guy. He did not lose by much, but he lost, and it was his fault.
Will other politicians succumb to this form of self annihilation? Is Mitch McConnell listening? He is another politician who has been forging ahead at the expense of his constituents. He’s not well liked right now. And Rand Paul? Hey, how did Kentucky end up with this pair?
Now Trump’s defenders have adopted a new talking point: It was a quid pro quo, but not a corrupt quid pro quo.
“Quid Pro Quo? I am so sorry. I thought you said Squid Pro Quo! I can categorically state that there was no discussion about trading squid for dirt on the Bidens. “
Gordon Sondland is a wealthy contributor to Donald Trump, a solid Republican, Ambassador to the EU, and no fool. When he began to get involved in the Trump dealings, he assumed that whatever was happening was no big deal, and that he could play this right along with the boss. So, what suddenly changed his mind?
It could be that he has skin in the game, that he did not realize the gravity of the situation he was in, and was not willing to take one for Donny. He has seen what comes of men who do.
Rand Paul has succumbed to the same disease as Lindsey Graham, a collapse of morals in the face of The Donald, a melting away of all the libertarian jive, the Ayn Randian individualism, the curly-haired rebel of the Senate. He now crawls on his belly to the beast, in the hopes that said beast will allow him yet another term in office. He plays the whistleblower card like Donny tells him, and stands before the public, his master looking on approvingly, but not like Gary Cooper, no, not even close. This is Ellsworth Toohey, leading the conservative mediocrity to perdition.
Likewise chicken hawk Lindsey, ‘Little Lindsey’ as Donny so often referred to him on the campaign trail, once all piss and vinegar about matters military, now just another weenie in the Senate bowing to his master. The strong man is now Rudy the second, making foolish claims about nothing, to please his new BFF.
We are watching men lower themselves to the level of Donald Trump. It is sad, and it is embarrassing.
Sure, they talk tough, and fold on demand. They play games with the press, making comments about how they disagree with the President on this or that, but when the rubber hits the road, they are the wheels on the shiny red Trump wagon.
What caused this betrayal of everything they both held sacred? Math. It does not matter how well you are loved in your district. Donny firmly holds his dirty thirty percent, and without them, there is no way to win. Alienate them and they will primary you, hate you, or worse, just not vote for you.
This is the quandary Republicans face right now. They only need to piss off one man, and the future becomes exceedingly bleak for them. And they are all in this together, and all in this alone. They face the President as individuals, and there is no way to band together and fight him. They may play as a team, but each one stands at the plate alone. Even the two little warriors, who war no more.