The Impeachment: Politics as lunacy
There's plenty that is shocking concerning Impeachment 2019, but perhaps the most appalling element is the sheer ineptness of the thing. Viewing the effort objectively calls to mind nothing less than a particularly pungent observation of my youth that can best be euphemized as "mismanaging a nocturnal emission."
A presidential impeachment is a serious and dangerous endeavor. It has been attempted only three times previously and has never been totally successful. It requires preparations and execution on the level of a massive military operation. The Democrats began gibbering about impeachment as soon as the 2016 election returns appeared. They had nearly three years to prepare. But instead of an overwhelming and unstoppable D-Day operation, we instead have a political Anzio, marked by incompetence, mixed signals, bad timing, delusory behavior, and wish fulfillment.
Take a look at what has transpired this first week:
- No media preparation. Those who remember Watergate will recall the months of head-scratching and chin-rubbing by major media figures before the all-out attack against Richard M. Nixon. In this case, it appears to have been entrusted to the obscure blog Lawfare, a dweeb site known mainly to political junkies.
- Nancy Pelosi, in what must have seemed a good idea at the time, refused to go for a formal impeachment inquiry with a full House vote, but instead attempted a half-effort under her own personal imprimatur as speaker.
- The supposed victim of the Orange Tyrant's brutality, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, totally contradicted the Dem narrative, without a word of pushback.
- Trump undercut the entire effort by releasing the phone transcript. The Dems had no riposte except vague claims among the Kosonauts that the transcript was "fake" or "incomplete."
- Adam Schiff has apparently been chosen as impeachment manager. This new Machiavelli opened proceedings by blatantly lying from the Intelligence Committee chair.
- It was revealed that government whistleblower regulations were changed, without anyone being informed, to fit the circumstances of this case and no other. This is called a "Bill of Attainder" and is unconstitutional.
- The "whistleblower's" complaint was no such thing, but rather a legal brief (including footnotes!), clearly written by a team of lawyers and intended to set the parameters of the impeachment effort rather than to report an incident.
- Testimony from U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, widely anticipated as the "smoking gun," instead completely supported the president's story. Little Orphan Adam had evidently made a rookie attorney's mistake, asking questions to which he didn't know the answers.
- A series of subpoenas to the White House, President Trump, and Vice President Pence were brusquely rejected with no sign of a follow-up or alternate tactic from the Dems.
A week in, and the great impeachment campaign is in a state of collapse. Jerry Nadler, who has been bellowing for impeachment for the past two years, has been all but invisible. Little Sandy is, like, bored, y'know? And Nancy herself has kept a low profile, saying a lot less about one of the benchmark efforts of her speakership than anyone might have anticipated.
The bulk of the effort has been left to Adam Schiff, with results not unexpected. Consider only his opening statement at the House Intelligence Committee hearings. In a move that will go into political legend, Schiff, instead of quoting the conversation directly, made one up that was equal parts Goodfellas and The Godfather. Schiff's nonsensical performance mystified everybody until it dawned on observers that he was reading a piece prepared before the actual transcript was released. That is, Schiff and his crew had been operating under the expectation that the transcript either would not appear or would be caught up in some sort of "redacting" process that would delay it. Instead, in as pure a Trumpian gesture as you will ever see, the president released the transcript immediately and in full.
And what did Schiff do? Well, he went on with his original plan, exactly as if Trump's move hadn't blown his strategy out of the water. He and his staff had no Plan B and, not being particularly light on their feet, couldn't come up with one in the two or three days before the hearings. So Little Adam kept plodding on, straight over the edge of the cliff.
Really, these people can't manage anything. And yet they yearn to run a country, a society, an economy?
It's hard to see where it goes from here. Pelosi's heart isn't in it, the Squad has noticed a shiny object and is in pursuit, and Adam Schiff can scarcely navigate his way down an empty sidewalk. Clearly, the only alternative is for them to try to inch their way out of the minefield that they themselves planted before it all goes off.
Once this is over and the wreckage is cleared, the Trump impeachment will be studied for generations as a textbook example of how things aren't done.