I remember back in the days of Bill Clinton, when I cheered it on. To be sure, he deserved it—the man had, after all, whipped it out in front of Paula Jones years before and subsequently attempted to deny Jones her civil rights by lying about it under oath. Whether or not impeachment was politically wise for the Republicans, however—well, that’s another story, albeit one I did not want to hear in the heat of the moment. Short term, it probably did conservatives more harm than good, as the public clearly had no appetite for the spectacle. They tend to get that way with the President, particularly when times are good and nobody wants to rock the boat. Plus they’d rather see the best in the guy they elected, rather than the caricature drawn by a punch of political partisans.
Which brings us to now, and the announcement of yet another impeachment drama, this time starring Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi and—curiously enough—Joe Biden. Democrats contend that Trump threatened to withhold aid money from Ukraine unless their government helped dig up dirt on some shady business dealings involving Biden’s son Hunter. For some reason, they contend that such a thing qualifies as a high crimes and misdemeanor, even though strong-arming other countries to get concessions is pretty much standard operating procedure on the geopolitical stage—but never mind that. The Democrats’ own actions put the lie to the pile of bovine waste product they’re trying to foist on the public, now that the Mueller probe has fizzled and they’re left grasping for whatever pretext they can find to remove the President from office.
For instance, there’s this little gem as reported in the Washington Post:
[I]n May, CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake.
You don’t say.
Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”
In other words, “That’s some nice capacity you‘re building there. Be a shame if your funding got cut off.”
Of course, it only makes sense that poor Ukraine would be getting the old protection shakedown treatment—Bob Menendez is from Jersey, after all, and not unfamiliar with how corruption works— but it does seem rather bold of the Democrats to be considering impeachment of Donald Trump for exactly the same thing that two of their own Senators did. When psychologists observe that those who seek powerful positions often display psychopathic tendencies, this is probably what they mean.
And then there’s the matter of the Bidens. The whole reason Trump has supposedly been in the market for Ukrainian dirt is that Uncle Joe actually bragged about pressuring their government to fire the prosecutor who was looking into Hunter Biden’s allegedly corrupt ties to Burisma, an energy company run by a Russian oligarch. Threatening to withhold over a billion dollars in aid if Ukraine didn’t comply, Biden himself told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations just last year:
I looked at them and said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.
This was while Biden served as Vice-President of the United States.
It seems to me that this will go to the heart of any impeachment inquiry conducted against Trump—and considering that Joe Biden is currently the front runner for the Democrat nomination in 2020, it’s going to be awfully hard to justify the removal of one President for doing the exact same thing that that the guy they want to elect has admitted to doing. Do Dems really want to litigate this matter for the whole country to see? And if so, how can they be sure that the investigation might not go down some paths they would rather not travel—like Hillary Clinton’s own alleged collusion with Ukraine during the 2016 election?
Call me overly cautious, but I’d advise a little discretion here—especially as these things have the tendency to blow up in the Democrats’ faces.
Poor Ukraine has to be feeling like the town bicycle these days…