I thought it went well, and time has not permitted a comprehensive reading of the pundits, so that I can find out what I am supposed to think. Moreover, I am not a theater critic, nor am I an expert in abnormal psychology, so I won’t opine about how it will be received by the various factions that make up our great Merican Nation. But I am cursed with a logical mind, so I will make just a few logical points.
Did the Democrats Prove the Core Offense?
More than sufficient evidence was adduced to prove that people who appeared to be speaking on Trump’s behalf told the president of Ukraine that military aid would be withheld unless the Ukrainian president publicly declared that his country would investigate alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and the alleged corruption of the Bidens.
That is to say, people speaking with apparent authority on behalf of the President of the United States engaged in bribery and extortion.
And, BTW, the Democrats showed that Trump’s own statements in the July 25 phone call corroborated the bribery and extortion.
What Was the Republicans’ Defense to the Core Offense?
That was the hound dog that did not bark in the night. They had nothing to disprove the core offense.
Bribery, or Just Attempted Bribery? Extortion, or Just Attempted Extortion?
Some of the Republicans argued that the aid was ultimately delivered, and the president of Ukraine ultimately did not conduct the investigations Trump demanded. Therefore, no harm, no foul.
These arguments imply that Trump was guilty of attempted bribery rather than successful bribery. That he was guilty of attempted extortion, not successful extortion.
No Direct Evidence! No Direct Evidence!
Trump has, of course, taken affirmative, vigorous, ruthless steps to keep Congress from receiving direct evidence of his own relevant direct communications.
As I said before, Republicans’ arguments are similar to killing your parents and pleading for mercy as an orphan.
Why Did Trump Relent on September 11 and Release the Military Aid?
Presumably, because, within a very few hours of Trump’s learning of the whistleblower report and the House inquiry, Trump realized that his goose was cooked if he went through with the extortion.
The Most Interesting Thing
I thought the most interesting point in the hearing came when Rep. Blabbidy Blabbidy suggested a new lie for Trump to tell: that he released the aid because, after initial suspicions of President Zelinsky, he was advised that a few months’ experience had shown Zelinsky was in fact an OK guy.
Note that this argument differs in quality from many of the Republicans’ other arguments. Most of the others are
- based on things that actually happened, but are wrenched out of context,
- based on things that actually happened, but are irrelevant to the proceedings, or
- based on things that are sort of like what actually happened, but are nevertheless irrelevant to the proceedings.
Jordan’s last argument was none of the above. It was a fairy tale. He just pulled it out of his ass.
But congrats, Jim, on the … ahem … creative lawyering.
And, a Concluding Shout Out to the Republicans for Showing Restraint
Even the most depraved, reality challenged among them could not bring themselves to trot out the story about the Clinton server hidden somewhere in Ukraine.
Nor did they attack the integrity of the witnesses.
Congratulations, Republican pols. You are defending a president who is even crazier than you can permit yourself to seem, as your argue for the continuation of his delusional reign.