Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a show. If you need proof, feast on this: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney informed the House of Representatives that he would not appear for his impeachment inquiry hearing just one minute before the hearing was supposed to begin.
Of course, nobody expected Mulvaney to comply with the subpoena. Historically, legal doctrine grants the president’s close advisors immunity from being compelled to testify before Congress. Further, Trump’s lawyers have asserted “absolute immunity,” which apparently extends Trump’s umbrella of non-cooperation to infinity. The courts will likely be, uhm, disinclined to acquiesce to that interpretation.
President Trump keeps tweeting “Read the transcript!” as if that settles everything, when in fact the memorialized reconstruction of his conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky is merely the apotheosis of months of twisted, unhinged pressure for Ukraine to do some public show on how it’s looking closely at Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings, along with somehow producing the DNC server and proving CrowdStrike somehow hid evidence…of something.
It’s all too twisty and conspiratorial to be useful for anything except bad television, which is what we’re seeing. The evidence is overwhelming: Trump had his personal lawyer (!) work with foreign service appointees (!) to back channel a message to Ukrainian officials that some $400 million in aid would be contingent on the above-referenced dog-and-pony show. Then Trump himself mentioned it to Zelensky on the call.
Now Trump apologists are left to cover for The Boss by saying there’s nothing wrong with a little quid-pro-quo, since he was rooting out corruption, you know. But it’s not corrupt for a president to use that cover story to paper over finding dirt on a political opponent, which just might happen in the course of looking into conspiracies without evidence.
And the Democrats want to impeach Trump for this….circus. Sure, if they could. But they really want to put on their own circus, to bolster Democrats in ultra-blue districts who are scared of being primaried by bluer candidates who would really go after Trump if they were in the driver’s seat. And at the same time, they want to rake muck for Trump in an election year.
The problem is, the country is bone tired of the muck raking, and all but rabid Trump haters are not really in favor of removing Trump from office by impeachment.
Asked whether the Senate should convict Trump and remove him from office if the House impeaches him, Americans split along lines nearly identical to their feelings about a House impeachment vote, with 45% saying Trump should be removed, 28% saying he should not be and 28% saying they are unsure or that it’s too soon to say, the poll found.
This is about the same proportion as those who would be pleased to see Trump lose the election.
In the current poll, for example, a majority of respondents, 52%, say they would be unhappy if Trump were reelected, and just 30% say they would be happy. While 40% say they would be “completely unhappy,” about half of that number say they would be “completely happy.” And 18% sit in the middle.
Absent some major revelation of malfeasance beyond the circus of stupidity before our eyes, these numbers won’t really change. We will therefore find ourselves continually treated to more and more bad television.
The only possible blockbuster would be for the whistleblower to testify. That would bring in the viewers like the final episode of Game of Thrones, with likely the same angry reaction. It’s going to be a big, fat nothingburger. Bad television with great ratings.
Just like Russia, the facts are plain in front of us. Trump did a quid-pro-quo, the Ukrainians didn’t do their end (Do what? There’s nothing to see), the aid money was released, and Trump got his message out that Hunter Biden is a nobody who benefited from his famous dad’s name and position. Everything else is bad television.
You can now return to your better television (or YouTube), no more enlightened than you were.
In a few years, the story will be how badly Democrats damaged American jurisprudence in pursuit of blocking Trump’s executive orders, attacking his cracked legal doctrines of immunity, going after his tax returns, and generally abusing the legal system to combat his trolling. I think we’ll find it’s pretty extensive. But real life legal dramas also make terrible television.