Reflecting on Current Political Matters

Photo by John Bakator on Unsplash

As I woke up this morning and scanned through my Twitter feed, one of the first things I saw was a tweet from Senator Todd Young from Indiana. As one who lives in Indiana, he is supposed to represent the people of this state, which has been a Republican stronghold for some time.

If you were to look at the voting history of Indiana, you would see that only twice has Indiana been a blue state since the days of FDR — once for Johnson in 1964 (a landslide victory across the U.S.) and once Obama in 2008 (and to be fair, Obama won with 49.9% of the vote compared to McCain’s 48.9%, and so he didn’t even get a majority while winning the state).

In this morning’s tweet from Senator Young, he claims “the far-left has been desperate to get rid of President Trump from day one.” This has caused me to enter into a time of reflection on current events in the country, and this is where I am right now.

First off, let’s address the content of the tweet that started all of this. Is the “far-left desperate” to get rid of President Trump? Well… yes.

Let’s face it: there’s a lot of people who don’t want Trump in the Oval Office. You may even remember that there were a lot of Republicans in the same position just three years ago. In fact, you can argue that a majority of Americans didn’t want him in office in the first place. Don’t forget: Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million.

Not long after the investigations into the events in Ukraine started, I remember seeing a release from VP Pence’s office, which accused the Democrats of simply trying to undermine the will of millions of Americans who voted for Trump.

Forget the fact that his election went against the will of millions of Americans in the first place. This is the Democrat strategy: try to remove him from office in an election year. Can we take a step back from our partisan squabbles for just a moment and reflect on how ridiculous that is in the first place?

If I remember correctly, Pelosi was against impeaching Trump simply because they had the votes. At least publicly, she was the one holding back the voices that were calling for impeachment based on the Mueller Report. If she simply wanted to impeach Trump because the vote totals were on her side, she could have done it at the beginning of the year. She didn’t. I got the sense that she didn’t want to do it because it would give Trump something else to grab onto so he could play the victim all the more. After all, there’s no bigger victim than a 70-year old white billionaire, right? <insert eyeroll here>

So, while the so-called “far left” did want to get rid of Trump, they weren’t the ones in charge of starting the impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, if Trump really wanted to make his reelection easy, he just needed to sit back, keep his nose clean, and let the Democrats argue among themselves.

But he didn’t. Because he can’t just leave his Twitter account alone, stop obsessing over what’s going on at Fox News, and do his job.

After a long investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, during which Trump was able to constantly hone his persecution complex by decrying the “witch hunt,” the report into Russian interference in the 2016 election was submitted to the Attorney General, who then redacted significant portions of the report over the next month before the Department of Justice finally made it public.

Mueller was careful not to accuse the President of any crimes (even though several people are currently spending time on the state’s dime for their various roles), he also famously says that he cannot exonerate the president either. It’s the classic “I can neither confirm nor deny…” which always confirms whatever has just been asked.

Not happy to have dodged one significant political water balloon, President Trump then started having all kinds of issues in Ukraine.

Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash

The reporting has been vast and piecemeal when it comes to the dealings in Ukraine. Frankly, I don’t have the means of putting everything together in a neat little package right now. There’s just that much going on. But the bottom line is that none of it is good, and none of it reflects well on President Trump, or those who surround him.

Basically everything started with a whistle-blower complaint that was filed regarding aid that was supposed to be released to Ukraine, but for some reason was held up by the Oval Office. From what I have gathered, it seems as though the aid was held up until the president learned of the complaint before it went public.

There was, of course, the public push to name the whistle-blower, which seems to go against all manner of whistle-blower protection laws. Some outlets have gone so far as to put the name out there. Honestly, you could probably Google it right now and find out. I’m not going to do that… and neither should you as a matter of integrity.

What this report did, however, was force a couple of hands. First off, it forced the president to go ahead and release the aid (which should have been done in the first place, as a non-partisan group recently concluded). Secondly, the public nature of this complaint forced Pelosi’s hand, who then announced the impeachment inquiry that I think she was trying to avoid all along.

Now, the ironic thing in all of this is that the president claims he was trying to get the Ukrainian president to investigate corruption regarding Hunter Biden’s position at a company in Ukraine, but in order to do so, he decided to use corrupt means. Here’s an easy tip: you don’t investigate corruption by corrupt methods. That’s just stupid.

First off, why Biden’s position with this Ukrainian company matters is something I have yet to hear any significant reporting. Sure, if he got a cushy job because his dad was the VP of the United States at the time, it smells funny, but if we want to complain about elected officials getting jobs for their kids, we are going to have a whole mess on our hands. Let’s not forget the number of times the current children of the White House have lined their pockets because of Daddy’s position. Look, nobody likes nepotism, but let’s not complain about a previous person’s potential nepotism when it is a currently reality as well.

The second part of this is that it makes President Trump look really weak. Forget the legality of what he is doing for just a minute. Is he really so scared of potentially facing off against Joe Biden in the election that he need to dig up some dirt on his kid (and maybe he’ll get Joe in the process)? If he’s truly not worried about his political opponents, let them fight it out and deal with whoever is the last one standing.

But he can’t. He can’t even stop himself from commenting on the ones who are dropping out of the race. He can’t even stop himself from taking cheap shots during the debates. He can’t because the spotlight is on somebody else for half a minute.

Let’s say it all goes through as planned. Somehow, Trump gets what he wants, nobody blows any whistles, and there’s an investigation into Hunter Biden’s position and Trump ends up getting some dirt on Joe. What then? Does it bring it up if he faces Biden in the election? How does he do that without drawing some questions as to how he got that information in the first place? As Claire says at the end of the first episode of Modern Family, “What’s the plan, Phil?!”

So, the impeachment inquiry happens. It’s all very quiet. Not much is getting out… except for the fact that the White House is not cooperating (surprise, surprise!). The House wants to subpoena witnesses, but the White House is refusing to comply. Try that sometime. Next time you get a subpoena, just toss it in the trash. See where that takes you.

And yet… AND YET… what is the complaint?

“We aren’t being allowed to tell our side of the story!” You can’t disregard subpoenas for information and then complain that you aren’t getting a fair trial. Are they? Probably not. Is it the Democrats fault? Absolutely not!

The Senate will be voting soon whether or not to hear witnesses during the trial. If they don’t, it’s the most idiotic, blatantly corrupt thing they could do. Bring in the witnesses. Bring all of them in. Let’s hear from the people who were in the room when the phone call was happening. Let’s hear from the people who were listening in. Let’s hear from the diplomats, the State Department, the fixers, let the President stand up and declare his own innocence in more coherent words than “hoax,” “witch hunt,” and “read the transcript.”

But that’s probably not going to happen.

I’ve never heard of an innocent person not wanting to cooperate to clear their name. I’ve heard of a lot of guilty people trying suppress witness testimony. Take that for what you will.

What has really bothered me through all of this is the Republican talking points. Have you noticed that nobody is saying the president didn’t do these things?

We’ve heard them say over and over again that this is just a sham being put on by the Democrats. We’ve heard them say that this is just a partisan move on the part of the Democrats. By the way, I hate to point out the obvious here, but it takes two sides to make something partisan.

Yes, no House Republican voted in favor of impeachment.

Also, no House Republican voted in favor of impeachment… that’s just as partisan as everyone voting for it being Democrats.

In fact, you could argue that it was more partisan on the part of the Republicans. After all, two Democrats voted against it, and one Independent voted for it. It wasn’t going to matter if 3 or 4 Republicans voted in favor of it, but they didn’t. They all voted together.

What I haven’t heard through all of this is anybody say that what the president did was okay. Nobody is coming to his defense by addressing the charges, proving them to be false, or refuting the facts that have been laid out before us. All they are doing is talking about how the whole thing is a sham.

THEN PROVE THEM WRONG!

But they haven’t. Maybe because they can’t.

So, what’s going to happen next? The Senate will acquit. No matter what damning evidence is shown (and it seems like there has been a lot more of it in the last couple of day even), there will not be enough Republicans who will vote to remove President Trump from office. They have been calling this a hoax. McConnell doesn’t even want to go through the process in the first place. I imagine there are a lot of Republicans who just want to shut it all down before more evidence comes out. Why go through a rigged trial in the first place?

Unfortunately, there won’t be enough Republicans with the moral fortitude to risk their own political future to do the right thing. And that’s what a vote to remove him from office would be — political suicide. I guess they’ll just have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Now we see why so many Republicans are retiring. At least they had the sense to get out before their integrity got stained by this whole thing.

Once again, though, allow me to point out the obvious. Let’s say the unexpected does happen and President Trump is removed from office. Who’s next in line? Vice President Pence. Honestly, if I’m a Republican senator, who would I rather see in the Oval Office: Trump or Pence? Give me Pence any day of the week. Twice the Republican at a tenth of the headache. It’s quite a deal!

Of course, there are some indications that Pence knew about all of this as well. But do the Democrats go after him too? Are they going to try to impeach the Vice President (or, well, I guess he would be the President then)? In an election year? Probably not. They will probably feel pretty good about their chances of beating Pence — especially if they feel like they can beat Trump now.

We’ll see what happens. I could be wrong. One way or another, though, we’re going to be hearing about this for a long time. You can bet that Trump will continue trying to play the victim in all of this, and it may play to his advantage in the long run.

Just some guy who is looking to make my pocket of the world a better place. Life is a journey; let’s walk together and help each other along the way.

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