Reagan column: The impeachment follies
The Democrats’ big dream of impeaching President Trump is going nowhere.
Act I of the pathetic Trump impeachment hearings they are staging in the House for the next week was not just an obvious sham, it was a political bust that is going to backfire badly on the Democrats.
There were no fireworks, no bombshells. Just boring-as-hell TV.
The president’s bigger-than-Nixon crime, claim the Democrats and liberal media, was an alleged quid-pro-quo deal that he tried to pull off with Ukrainian President Zelensky – what the deluded Democrats now prefer to call an act of “bribery” – for his own political gain.
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The president’s fictitious deal involved withholding U.S military aid to Ukraine until Zelensky publicly investigated Hunter Biden, who became a highly paid board member of a corrupt Ukrainian gas company while his father Joe just happened to be in charge of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
It doesn’t matter to the Democrats that the U.S. military aid to Ukraine was not withheld, and that the investigation of the son of Trump’s potential 2020 political opponent by Zelensky’s government never happened.
Those important facts, like so many others, are irrelevant to serial liar Adam Schiff and his Housemates who are still desperately searching for an actual high crime to hang their fading Trump impeachment dream on.
The Democrats’ lead-off “star witnesses” on Wednesday were two supposedly nonpartisan State Department diplomats stationed in Ukraine.
CNN and most of the liberal media – who couldn’t stop calling them patriots – think the testimony of these bureaucrats proved beyond a doubt that Trump was close to being a war criminal.
But all we really got from the stuffy diplomatic duo were several hours of “he-said, they-said, I-heard-that, I-overhead-this” hearsay and complaints that their boss, President Trump, was not conducting foreign policy the way they wanted him to.
You’d never know it from the liberal media’s historical ignorance and biased coverage, but Trump isn’t the first president to have differences with his own state department or use non-state department personnel to perform foreign policy work.
State departments are staffed by career diplomats and bureaucrats who never leave, never seem to die and often end up working for many presidents of both parties.
All state department employees have their own opinions about what our foreign policy should or should not be, but their job is not to form it or even like it.
Their job is basically to shut up and implement the foreign policy of whatever president is elected.
For good and bad, that’s how it works and always has – the president is the chief executive and gets the final say when it comes to foreign policy.
For example, in 1983, when my father was president, the Organization of American States asked him if he’d send U.S. troops to Grenada to free the hostages there.
My dad called a group of nine others into the Oval Office to discuss the idea. The Senate, the House, the intelligence community and the State Department were all represented.
After discussing what the U.S. should do, if anything, the group decided to put it to a vote.
As my father later told me, the vote was 7-3 not to intervene in Grenada. But 48 hours later what happened? We were in Grenada.
One of the senators who had been at the meeting reached out the next day to my father.
“Mr. President,” he said. “We voted 7-3 not to go into Grenada. You were part of the three, not part of the seven. You lost the vote.”
“Yes, that’s right,” my dad said. “But I’m the president of the United States and my one vote trumps your seven.”
When it comes to foreign policy, the president – whoever he is -can always trump the vote of the secretary of state, theambassador to China or a third- or fourth-level bureaucrat.
This week we saw two unelected career diplomats testifying against the president in an impeachment proceeding.
Neither of them had any firsthand information about what President Trump said to President Zelensky.
All they had were their opinions and complaints about the direction or back-channel operations of Trump’s foreign policy.
Sorry gents, your “votes” don’t count. What counts is winning presidential elections.
And if the rest of the House’s impeachment hearings are as embarrassing as Wednesday’s, the Democrats will make sure they won’t win the next one.
Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.
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