Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, November 14, 2019

TWGB: Where is the Defense?

The funny old thing that wrecks the defense for President Trump is that the White House has not been forthcoming with access to the people who should be able to, reputedly, sort things out. We have the call summary, which is "THE TRANSCRIPT" that Trump has Tweeted that he would very much like us to read, the whistleblower complaint (which we were told is irrelevant since it contains so much hearsay), and the transcripts of the closed-door depositions of people who were very truly adjacent to the apparent extortionate goings-on. And now we have the beginning of the open hearings.

If Team Trump wants a good defense, they shouldn't be expending so much energy on what the whistle-blower knew and when he/she knew it (although the report gives a good accounting of that much), let alone who that person is, because it simply should not matter. We wouldn't suspend a criminal trial on the basis of not knowing who called 911, and we shouldn't hold up anything to do with the impeachment proceedings because we don't know who the whistleblower is. It's a waste of time. The problem is "what was the President of the US about when he apparently extorted the president of another country with aid that was already allotted in exchange for receipt of bad press/oppo research on a potential political opponent?" The whistleblower could be a socialist, a Dallas Cowboys fan, an enthusiastic kiwi fruit eater, a Scientologist--it just doesn't matter as much as what the principals in this matter did.

So, why aren't we hearing from Bolton, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Pence, Trump himself? It should be the case that, were the situation misconstrued and the actual situation wholly innocent, that the persons closest to it could most ably describe what really did occur? Would they not then be providing reams of documents, a surfeit of reasonings, to absolve them of their present dilemma? Why, instead, are the people who would be deemed most circumstantially culpable, like Mulvaney, just out there subpoena-dodging?

Could it be because, to use the vernacular, the defense ain't got shit? Because that is what it is starting to sound like.

Ambassador Taylor and George Kent were admirable witnesses because they were extremely professional and explained something that might be lost in all this: the sweep of history and the position that the United States has held with respects to developing post-Soviet nations, the desire to keep them independent and democratic. That is to say: to actually be responsible for exporting our values and recognizing the responsibility of our ideals regarding American exceptionalism. We are supposed to cradle nascent democracies. We aren't supposed to sell them out. We were supposed to have Ukraine's back once it had a democratically-elected leader properly in place. We were supposed to keep an honest watch regarding corruption, not start our own flavor of it. We weren't supposed to rely on them for conditions, we were supposed to be the transparent, honest representatives of what good government could be and should be. Supportive like a parent. Like a family. A family of free nations in the western world. The beautiful responsibility the leader of the free world (Trump, this dumbass Putin-influenced motherfucker) was supposed to implicitly understand and not violate let alone bend over in front of everyone for his good friend Putin to smile over?

Go ahead--"OK boomer" me for remembering the Cold war. Our mistake was always fucking up opportunities to let nations side with us (Vietnam) when it could have been easy, instead letting everything shake out badly. Our fullest support up front to developing nations would export our values far better than just sending money and weapons if we paired it with meaningful diplomacy. Words and deeds that imprinted the degree to which we believed our line of democratic talk would have promoted democracy far better than militancy. But we could have used our military for support of Democratic goals much quicker and more decisively, with short but meaningful objectives. Just to give space to other willing democracies. But that's just my own complaint.

Anyway, among the shocking things that we learned, we learned that Trump talks loudly on phone calls he should not have actually even had. That's a weird op-sec thing to think about, and should be considered impeachable all by itself because it means our president isn't learning. We should understand the world is watching this.

The opposition is influenced by conspiracy theories and is kind of stupid. It is stupid. If this is the president's best defense, it looks bad because it is bad.

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