NOTE: I’ve been thinking, and writing, about other things the last few days, having little to do with the ongoing political shit show we’re all either riveted to or trying our best not to watch. One or two of these pieces on other, nonpolitical, subjects should come as a refreshing relief to many of my select readers. I will post these pieces soon, in due time, such as time is ever truly due.
now, back to the political shit show:
The president, though apparently idolized by a solid, unshakeable 39% or so, is regarded by most Americans as, at best, a self-aggrandizing con-man. His lying is well-known, his lies are transparently false most of the time. Thousands of his lies have been documented and debunked while new ones are spouted virtually every time he speaks on any subject. He simply can’t help it. It’s kind of his thing.
At least 61% of Americans find it horrifying that the American president is a compulsive liar. One was impeached twenty years back for telling just a couple of lies that had nothing to do with the country’s well-being. When Clinton was impeached it his lying was posed as a stark moral question, a pure matter of character, a man who publicly lies, under OATH!, about having his dick sucked is not trustworthy nor fit to be the president. Trump’s supporters are more forgiving — OK, he lies sometimes, who hasn’t?, but the larger picture he has absolutely right.
Personally, I find it not always easy to write or speak about the man without getting angry. Trump represents everything I hate: a shallow, self-focused, covetous, entitled, grasping, lying bully who cheats and humiliates others in his obsession to prove he’s better than everybody else. Best of all, he’s always the victim, whenever he doesn’t get his way he screams and sprays his feces over everybody, huffing and crying like a confronted Brett Kavanaugh. This type always considers themselves the victim of an unfair system rigged against these supremely entitled best of the best. I see them as malignantly childish. Trump has never felt regret or remorse, never apologized for anything in his life of obscene and totally unearned privilege. On top of it, he revels in being cruel, as most bullies do.
The president stands accused, among many other serious lapses, improprieties, crimes and derelictions of duty, of holding up promised military aid to a beleaguered ally until their leader agreed to do him certain favors. Stunningly, one of these favors, as reported in an inexact transcript/summary of the call provided by the White House, involves the debunked and ridiculous conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the DNC server and Hillary Clinton’s supposedly missing private emails. (I wonder if he also believes the Ukrainians have the proof the hated woman also personally murdered those American heroes in Benghazi… or proof about that pizza place where she ran the pedophile dating service…) Trump’s other favor was a simple ask just like the one Mueller totally exonerated him of doing with Putin, asking a foreign leader for help with his domestic political campaign. He kept new Ukrainian president Zelensky on the hook for weeks as surrogates softened him up, before eventually calling to tell him to uncover dirt on Joe Biden and his son that he could use against Biden in his ongoing 2020 campaign.
Uncharacteristically, the president quickly released a partial sort of transcript of the hidden July 25th call, and the whistleblower’s complaint (after a bipartisan demand by Congress). He released the documents in an attempt to prove that he has nothing to hide, is completely and totally innocent of these terrible, spurious charges brought by his vicious, sick, dangerous enemies in an invalid and unconstitutional witch hunt investigation.
True, according to POTUS, the whistleblower was a fucking liar, and his or her cowardly hearsay complaint, based completely on lies, amounted to treason, and the report, found “credible” and “urgent” (you get what I did there? those marks mean “bullshit”, LOL!) by the office that “investigates” such “reports”, should never have been forwarded to Congress (the law that requires this is itself corrupt and arguably invalid) — but still, in the name of full transparency (on which Trump perversely prides himself), the White House released a non-verbatim summary transcript of the president’s perfect call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Trump the call with Zelensky was “perfect”. To anyone else who read the transcript, and the later-released whistleblower’s complaint, and followed the details of how records of that perfect call were removed from their normal place in the government filing system and concealed in a special top secret server reserved for password-protected national security secrets, that perfection was troubling.
The call as reported appears to show a direct quid pro quo, which means, in plain English: I’ll do this for you IF you do that for me. Zelensky says words to the effect of “we need those anti-tank missiles, Mr. President”, to which Trump replies: “I need a favor from you, though.” As so often, so much can hang on a single word. In this case, the telltale word “though”. I’ll do that, you need to do this, though.
The Democrats who are investigating Trump for impeachment on probably a dozen grounds, including the strong case for obstruction of justice laid out clearly in Mueller’s detailed, scrupulously nonjudgmental account (and ongoing since), the president’s shamelessly unethical monetizing of public office (“that depends on what your definition of ’emolument’ is”), his routine refusal to obey laws and court orders, suddenly have a clearly smoking gun, handed to them by Trump. The day after Trump felt the thrill of victory when Mueller, forced to testify, didn’t lay a finger on him in the eyes of the average American, he called another foreign leader to try to make a deal to advance his own narrow political/financial interests.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, gave a fiery statement underscoring the gist of what Mr. Trump’s impeachable offense was in the call to Ukrainian President Zelensky. This quid pro quo is easy to understand. It’s also easy to see that this “I help you if you help me” deal was offered not for the benefit of the nation Trump represents but for the benefit of a single political campaign, Trump’s. It is a clear shakedown easy enough for an unsophisticated person to follow and understand. The Democrats finally had a nice, plain, easy to understand smoking gun for impeachment.
And, by the way contrary to the White House mantra-like assertion that there was no quid pro quo, and the Acting Chief of Staff’s televised declaration that it was indeed that, there is no requirement, for purposes of impeachment, that there be a quid pro quo— that’s the John Roberts’ court’s new standard for criminal corruption by public officials. The quid pro quo would make this a criminal matter, presidents are held to a higher standard than simply not being a convictable felon. Another example of the lawless Trump and his lackeys moving the goalposts to try to gain any possible advantage, since everybody is against them in this clearly rigged game. Back to Adam Schiff.
Schiff, if he had it to do over again, would probably read directly from the transcript provided by the Trump White House. All the damning words are right there to be read aloud by anyone. The words on the page, as they say, speak for themselves. At the time of his public announcement, Schiff dramatized them slightly, characterizing them as the ominous words a mobster says to somebody at his mercy rather than the words the president of a powerful country says to the president of a besieged country that is at his mercy.
“Nice country you got here, shame if anything happened to it… now listen carefully, I’m only going to say this seven more times…” might be a pithy characterization of Trump’s chat with Zelensky, and not inaccurate, but strictly speaking, as a matter of straight up strategy, Schiff should have stuck to the script the president handed him.
Trump and his people, an ever smaller and more fanatical circle, are in an increasingly tight spot politically and legally. What do you do when the facts against you are damning and the courts, even judges you appointed, are unlikely to rule in your favor on any of your stalling legal “arguments” for your absolute right to prevent all testimony, hide compromising documents and obstruct legal investigations? Even in the friendliest court, you need to give the judge some legal basis for upholding an “argument”, sadly for POTUS. What to do?
Attack that fucking liar Schiff! He said words I never said! He was lying to America! Schiff is a liar! He hates America! He’s a shifty little Schitt! Attacking the “conflicted” Mueller — with his military service, all his decorations, long public service, reputation for probity, his famous Boy Scout “integrity” — worked, it was perfect! Attack this fucking treasonous California Communist!
Trump’s most loyal Congressmen obliged. House Republicans, led by their most extreme members, the “Freedom Caucus”, crafted a motion to censure the lying left wing traitor.
“These actions of Chairman Schiff misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber’s most solemn constitutional duties,” the three-page resolution said.
The House of Representatives is currently composed of 235 Democratic House members and 199 Republicans . The vote to defeat the motion to censure Schiff went along party lines, with the Republicans losing by a comfortable (or uncomfortable, if you love Donald Trump) margin.
Schiff tweeted minutes after the vote, “It will be said of House Republicans, When they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, They consoled themselves by attacking those who did.”
Shifty little bastard, idn’t he?
 I almost wrote “235 Democrats”, you know, members of the “Democrat” party, the party of the goddamned KKK, heh. This is a right wing meme that is now all but ubiquitous everywhere — “Democrat” senator, “Democrat” congress bitch. The idea appears to be not to let the “Democratic” party assume the mantle of being democratic as opposed to what the Republicans today are: Liberty-lovers and warriors for non-majoritarian democracy!