Ukraine, Impeachment, and Life in Trump’s America

If you’d told people the story of Trump and the Ukraine in anonymous terms…

“President X held up relief to Country M in exchange for an agreement by Country M to investigate a political rival” and you rolled out the evidence that was adduced, including the refusal of President X to comply with subpoenas or permit staff to testify….

and I know it’s hard to imagine being able to find an audience with the discipline to accept such a hypothetical and maintain a neutral perspective….

I just cannot believe that the majority of the country wouldn’t come down on the side of guilt.

When the whole Bush v Gore nonsense was going down – and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I voted for Bush and wanted him to win – all I could think of was, “ stop counting votes!” because I knew if they kept counting, there was a good chance Gore would win.

There was no crisis. We had a president in office, and didn’t need the new one to step in until January 20. But those who understand how these things work knew that the only way to get Bush elected was to stop the counting. Through a series of legal maneuvers that smelled to high heaven, a bunch of lawyers convinced the 9 people in this country who should have known better that it didn’t matter whether or not every vote got counted.

And that’s how we ended up with W.

I knew the legal arguments asserted by Bush’s team were tenuous and weak (and I’m not that smart). I smelled the bullshit, but I chose to ignore it in favor of what I determined to be the “greater good” (and, hey, who knows what kind of President Al Gore would have been? God knows he sure said “lockbox” a whole lot).

My point is, when you suspect your arguments may be non-meritorious and that you are espousing them merely because you support the person who is advancing them, try this: Ask yourself, would I accept this argument if it were being made by someone I think is a large bag of dermatological waste?

A lot of people say President Trump’s behavior vis a vis the Ukraine scandal – and recall that he and most of his supporters have essentially admitted just about every fact that served as the basis for the articles of impeachment – was no big deal, was not criminal in nature, did not warrant impeachment or a Senate trial, and was well within his authority as Commander in Chief.

I wonder what they would say if President Obama had done the same thing? If a President Sanders or Warren or Klobuchar were to engage in the same behavior a few years from now?

This is politics, and people, at their most base, and I hate that this is what we have become as a nation. Trump and some who support him will take their victory laps and become even more emboldened to engage in behavior that we as a country used to collectively and tacitly agree was ugly and embarrassing.

It really doesn’t seem as though our country can sink much lower, I guess, unless we go back to a time when the only people with guaranteed rights are heterosexual White Christian Males of Northern European descent, and that scenario doesn’t seem all that unlikely these days.

We’re going under, quickly, and if you don’t believe it, listen to the tortuous explanations of 52 men and women who sit in the Senate and voted today to acquit a man of conduct they know in their hearts and have admitted in public to be morally wrong.

That’s where we are in 2020.

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