Trump dismisses Alexander Vindman, Yevgeny Vindman, and Gordon Sondland

ABBA's song "The Winner Takes It All" seems peculiarly appropriate for today's news: "The winner takes it all, The loser's standing small, Beside the victory, That's [his] destiny."

In this case, the winner was President Donald Trump, who emerged victorious from the Democrats' ill begotten impeachment debacle.  The losers left standing small — and destined to be removed from their positions — were Alexander  Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny, both of whom are out at the National Security Council, and ambassador (now former ambassador) to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

In normal times, dismissing these men from their positions would make perfect sense.  All three serve at the president's pleasure.  Under the Constitution, Trump is responsible for foreign policy and is commander in chief.  In the former role, he has wide latitude to choose and dismiss ambassadors.  In the latter role, thousands of years of military tradition hold that officers can be dismissed — or worse — for insubordination.

Sondland came across as merely weak, but Alexander Vindman is a genuine piece of work.  The fact that his commanding officer has a constitutional right (and duty) to set foreign policy did not weigh at all with him.  He felt that, as a decorated bureaucrat, his opinion matter more.

When the president ignored Vindman's opinion, the latter violated national security to complain about Trump's chosen policy approach.  (And note, please, that he did not protect himself by being an official whistleblower.  Instead, he whined to someone else.)  Then, when called before Congress, the man who wears a suit to work showed up in his uniform, evidently trying to put the military's imprimatur on his personal mutiny.

All three men learned the truth behind Ralph Waldo Emerson's reminder that "when you strike at a king, you must kill him."  Alexander Vindman, in addition, should be thanking his lucky stars that he hasn't been court-martialed (or at least hasn't yet been court-martialed).

Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie understands the dynamics:



As noted above, firing these men was normal and appropriate.  But not in Democrat land, a place in which everything Trump does is deemed abnormal and evil.

At the Democrat debate in New Hampshire, seven wannabe commanders-in-chief joined with Joe Biden in urging the audience to give a standing ovation to Alexander Vindman, insubordinate officer extraordinaire.

At the New York Times, it took four writers to report about the firings, and they opined in dire terms:

President Trump wasted little time on Friday opening a campaign of retribution against those he blames for his impeachment, firing two of the most prominent witnesses in the House inquiry against him barely 48 hours after being acquitted by the Senate.

Emboldened by his victory and determined to strike back.


The ousters of Mr. Sondland and Colonel Vindman — along with Mr. Vindman's brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an Army officer who also worked on the National Security Council staff — may only presage a broader effort to even accounts with the president's perceived enemies. ["Perceived"? They seemed pretty real as they worked to get him impeached.]


Even as he began purging administration officials who testified in the House impeachment inquiry ...

Nancy Pelosi was shocked, shocked, that an insubordinate officer who leaked like a sieve could be reassigned to a position where he could do no damage:

Rick Wilson, who thinks Trump-supporters are illiterate morons, practically hit the fainting couch:

Trump is a character, but in policy he functions as a conventional American president, operating within the constraints of the Constitution.  It's the Democrat party, which has drifted very far left, that has entirely lost its bearings and its sanity, something its members show in matters great (impeachment) and small (Vindmans).



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