Reagan column: Making a sham of impeachment
“Laws are like sausages,” Otto von Bismarck supposedly said. “It is better not to see them being made.”
Suffering through far too many hours of the House impeachment this week reminded me of the truth of that political quip.
Making laws is a dirty, smelly, partisan, often corrupt business, even in the best democratic republics.
Making foreign policy is just as messy, as the parade of witnesses from the state department who appeared before Adam Schiff’s intelligence committee proved again and again.
Ambassador Yovanovitch, Ambassador Volker, Col. Vindman, Kent, Taylor, Sondland, Williams, Hill…
Schiff’s carefully chosen cast of “fact witnesses” was called in this week in hopes of proving that President Trump should be impeached for allegedly holding up U.S. military assistance to Ukraine to benefit his personal political interests at home.
The witnesses offered different, often conflicting opinions about what Trump and the U.S. should or should not have done in Ukraine.
They testified for days about what they presumed the president wanted to happen in Ukraine, what they thought he said and what they heard secondhand or thirdhand that he had apparently said.
Of all the witnesses who testified, the only one who did the right thing in the confusion of Ukraine was Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
When he kept hearing different versions of what Trump wanted to see the Ukrainian government do or say about corruption before the hold on U.S. military aid was lifted, he dialed up the White House and asked the president directly what the heck he wanted.
That’s when Trump blurted his famous line, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.”
Schiff’s witnesses were supposed to make the case that President Trump was guilty of offering the president of Ukraine a quid pro quo – or guilty of bribery, or abuse of power, or obstructing Congress, or too many tweets, or any impeachable “crime” that works.
The quid-pro-quo charge was the most idiotic.
Getting “something for something” is how presidents, governors, mayors, kings, dictators and popes have dealt with each other forever in the real world.
For example, JFK got Khrushchev to pull the Soviet missiles out of Cuba by secretly agreeing to take our ICBMs out of Turkey – a presidential quid pro quo we didn’t learn about for decades.
FDR and Churchill traded a few quids for quos with Joe Stalin at Yalta that meant Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe became part of the Evil Empire for half a century.
And when President Obama made his botched nuclear deal with Iran it included air-mailing the mullahs $1.8 billion in cash as extra leverage ,’ another secret quid pro quo that was accidentally discovered.
If you don’t think those important quid pro quos benefited the domestic political fortunes of the presidents who made them, you’re living in the same fantasy world as the Democrats and the liberal media who think presidential history started this morning.
What Trump is accused of doing wrong in Ukraine is small potatoes to everyone but the desperate Democrats who are going to be real sorry they started down their Impeachment Highway to Nowhere.
There were no bombshells, no smoking guns, just lots of blown smoke.
The polls are already trending in favor of Trump. Independent voters are not buying Schiff’s Ukrainian impeachment sham.
The people who think Trump should be impeached today are the same ones who wanted him impeached on the day he was elected.
The good news today for all Americans is that the hearings are over and the House and the Senate are taking about 10 days off for Thanksgiving.
You might say the turkeys are leaving Washington so the rest of us can enjoy ours. Happy Thanksgiving.
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