Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Impeachment. Take #238.

I put that take #238 in the title, because in a more rational world Trump would have been impeached for umpteen times already.  Maybe not 238, but a lot. His apparent "unimpeachability" has been a thorn festering on the side of our ailing democracy*.

We shall see if this most recent revelation makes any difference:

President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials.

Trump on Monday repeated his denial of doing anything improper and insisted that his July 25 conversation with Zelensky was “a perfect phone call.” He also hinted that he may release a transcript of it.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said late Monday that the allegations were false. “But because the media wants this story to be true so badly, they’ll once again manufacture a frenzy and drive ignorant, fake stories to attack this president,” Gidley said.
It appears the Ukrainian leader came away from the discussion with a different impression. Murphy, who spoke with Zelensky during an early September visit to Ukraine, said Monday that the Ukrainian president “directly” expressed concerns at their meeting that “the aid that was being cut off to Ukraine by the president was a consequence” of his unwillingness to launch an investigation into the Bidens.
The bolds are mine.

* If this president (who is determined to piss on all the rules and principles of democracy and also on the laws he doesn't like) is not impeached, why would any future president ever fear impeachment?   If the evidence in the second part of the Mueller report (which showed many counts of Trump obstructing justice) was insufficient for acting, then what evidence ever will be sufficient? The precedent this would create gives a bad prognosis for that ailing patient, our puny democracy.

I get that the Republicans have the power to keep Trump in power, and I also get that when/if the impeachment effort fails, Trump will use that failure as proof of his innocence.  I even get that to predict the possible electoral consequences of the dreadful choices the Democrats in the Congress face is extremely hard, and for those reasons I'm glad that making that choice is not my job.

But democracy is worth preserving, and with great power should come great responsibilities.  Trump treats his job as if it's for his own benefit alone and tweets about it as if he was still a reality television star.