Another day passes, and the impeachment proceedings roll on. Or, they zip by: it’s going so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with every day’s alleged bombshells. It’s a blur of somber, grey-haired men, beautiful female foreign service employees, and medal-studded military staffers.
But all this is for little but display. There is no substance to it, for the end of the story is already written.
A Rapidly Changing Narrative
This impeachment started faster than any impeachment in history. Nixon’s impeachment inquiry was 599 days from the Watergate break-in to the beginning of the proceedings. Clinton’s took 260 days to begin. Trump’s has taken 11 days from the date of the whistle-blower subpoena. And along with that speed, the narrative has changed just as quickly.
First, it was the release of the Ukraine transcript. When I read it, I concluded that Trump is Trump: an open mouth which spills out all manner of random things. Democrats read the same, but concluded that Trump was demanding a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Zelensky. They concluded that when Trump asked Zelenksy for a “favor for us” and spoke of looking into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, that Trump meant for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
For a while the Democrats and their media allies stuck with “quid pro quo” narratives, endlessly repeating how this was it for Trump.
Then, about a week ago, they flipped… to “bribery.”
Putting on a “Broadway Musical”
Why bribery, of all things? Impeachment for a quid pro quo doesn’t carry any pizzazz; there’s nothing exciting about it. Jonathan Allen of NBC wrote the initial analysis, stating, “It was substantive, but it wasn’t dramatic.”
[A]t a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical.”
Democrats used focus-group testing to discover the most exciting ways to package impeachment. Rather than present an honest case, with the charges made in clear language, Democrats have decided to sell impeachment like cheap cologne. They hawk it like a miracle cure-all, so long as you don’t look too closely at it.
Form Over Substance
The witnesses called by Representative Adam Schiff, who is overseeing the impeachment inquiry, aren’t working as well as hoped.
Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor led the circus, stating that he didn’t really know anything. Taylor answered questions by saying he’d never met or spoken with Trump, attorney and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, or any other central player in this comic farce. After Taylor, many were left asking: why’s this guy saying anything at all?
Marie Yovanovitch, a former State Dept. official in Ukraine, was the sole witness on the second day. She led the way by being a woman who Trump tweeted at, saying she was terrible at her job. Democrats treated Yovanovitch with great sympathy. After all, it can’t be easy to be a bureaucrat who was fired by her elected boss. She added little, apart from saying that there was no bribery or any other criminal activity she was aware of.
Days three and four of the inquiry yielded little else of great importance. None of those witnesses who testified had direct knowledge of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. None had met or spoken with Trump directly. It was a series of government employees testifying against a boss they don’t like for doing things they don’t like. One writer put it well as the “revolt of the Ukraine Desk Bureaucrats.”
No End In Sight
We’ve now passed day five, as of this writing, with Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testifying all day. His testimony revealed one interesting bit. Sondland, on a call with Trump, asked the President what Trump wanted from Ukraine. Trump stated, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zellinsky [sic] to do the right thing.”
For the first time, we’ve had statement directly given by President Trump. That statement says Trump wants nothing from Ukraine.
The charade of an “inquiry” will continue for a little while longer. House Democrats will gleefully pass articles of impeachment. The Senate will serve it’s constitutional function as jury and not pass impeachment. But Democrats will still get what they want: another club to beat the orange ogre with as they desperately scrape power back into their own hands.