President Donald Trump, it now seems clear, pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden. He exerted this pressure by withholding military aid to Ukraine approved by Congress, and by calling Ukraine’s president and asking him for a “favor,” the said favor being the investigation of Biden and his son, Hunter. The White House apparently acted to “lock down” transcripts of the phone call, but a whistleblower came forward backed by an inspector general.
And my first reaction was: Can Trump be impeached for stupidity?
Joe Biden is a weak candidate for the presidency. It’s questionable whether he’ll win the nomination next year. Why bother going after him in such an egregiously illegal way when Biden is very likely to implode as a candidate on his own?
I can’t answer that question, but I can guess. Trump, to put it mildly, has never been a public servant, and I include his term as president in this statement. Trump is always about himself; the world revolves around him, or so he thinks. He has no conception of following laws simply because he believes he is above them. Furthermore, Biden may be a weak rival, but rival he is nonetheless. And Trump, operating from his experience in the take-no-prisoners world of New York real estate, casino management, and similar escapades, knows what to do with a rival: you search for any edge you can get, including pressuring those who are dependent on you to dig up dirt on said rival.
Put bluntly, in this case Trump simply did what he regularly does. The only difference is that a whistleblower wouldn’t play the game of “nothing to see here, move along.”
If only Trump had done what he promised as a candidate. If only he’d acted to drain the swamp; if only he’d worked hard to end America’s forever wars; if only he’d truly put America first by rebuilding our country’s infrastructure and cutting taxes for workers. Instead, he hired the swamp; he refueled those forever wars; he abandoned infrastructure along with meaningful tax cuts for workers.
Trump lacks integrity. In short, he’s just another self-interested politician. More than this, however, is Trump’s complete lack of respect for the law. It’s time for him to go.
A few comments in passing:
1. Investigating Trump, on credible charges, is not an example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
2. Saying that Biden is also corrupt, or that Democrats are corrupt, in no way exonerates Trump. For my money, let’s prosecute all corruption everywhere.
3. Often, the cover-up is worse than the crime. That may well be the case here.
4. Trump, as is his wont, is making matters worse, suggesting the whistleblower’s sources acted like spies and suggesting execution would be appropriate. (Please don’t say he was vague; we all know what he meant.)
5. Readers of this blog know that I voted third party in 2016. If you examine my articles, you’ll find I’m critical of both Democrats and Republicans.
6. Justice should not be partisan, even as it’s inevitably influenced by it.
7. I don’t care if the Republican-controlled Senate chooses not to convict Trump. Our lawmakers will have to go on the record, as they should, History will render the final verdict.
8. I don’t know if impeachment will make Trump stronger or weaker, and I don’t care. What it will do, assuming the evidence is sufficient, is to make justice in America stronger. No man should be above the law.