Thursday, December 19, 2019

For the Record: I was into impeachment before it went mainstream

Photo via Pasta Factory, Cape Town.

A constant theme on the Republican side of the impeachment debate was the idea that "Democrats have been wanting to impeach this president since the day he took office," as if to say the particular matter of the Ukraine case was just an excuse—the spaghetti strand that clung to the wall.

Of course it's projection, as my old friend Mikey says, because it's exactly what they'd been planning themselves  (see Steve M for lots of detail):
Nevertheless there's some truth to the suggestion that we'd have taken anything that worked, some of us: the Zelenskyy bribery case being the one that somehow grabbed the attention of those 30 "moderate" congressional Democrats and the big newspapers—though not to the corollary implication that Trump's not guilty in the others, from the corrupt use of the inauguration fund and the campaign finance violations for which Michael Cohen is in jail through all the bank fraud and tax fraud that may apply and the many sexual assault charges and the foreign and domestic emoluments to the big cases of the president bending foreign and national security policy for the personal benefits he may have received or be receiving from the leaderships of countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and above all Russia.

I was worried about this problem in the "marketing" of the narrow impeachment case from the start, that it would give Republicans a chance to insinuate that the Ukraine shakedown must be the only bad thing Trump had ever done as president, since it was the only bad thing Democrats had been able to find, and cast doubt on whether it was really so bad, because they'd be portraying it in isolation, rather than the context of Trump's all-round thug style of foreign policy. Indeed that's how the Republicans have been arguing, and yesterday they did it all day long, until I was moved to emit the following thread:

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