Charles P. Pierce on yesterday’s first day of the public hearing on impeaching Trump.
If the hearings on Tuesday were a criminal trial, the jury wouldn’t have been out long enough to order lunch. The President* of the United States ran a cheap-assed, third-rate shakedown of the new president of an embattled ally for the purpose of enlisting the new president of the embattled ally in the ratfcking of the 2020 election. Both of those are crimes. Putting them together is a third crime.
The Republican defense was aimed at defending Fox News talking points, or giving your drunk uncle arguments to raise over the cranberry salad in a couple of weeks, or defending the right of the president* to make policy based on whatever conspiracy theory most recently got snagged on the stalagmites of his mind. It certainly wasn’t based on defending the president*’s actions as regards the transaction he tried to force on poor Volodymyr Zelensky. Because, as was obvious from every second of the minority’s participation in Tuesday’s hearings, there simply is no defense for what the president* did.
Being old enough to remember the Watergate hearings as an adult, I know that when it comes to defending the indefensible, the Republicans do it by turning up their outrage to 11 and pretending that rules and procedures that have nothing to do with the moment at hand are important. It’s like saying that your guy hit a home run because the outfielder that caught it was icing the puck.
The sad fact is that no matter how many witnesses are produced and how many slam-dunk revelations come forward, brought by witnesses who are testifying about events that Trump or Giuliani have bragged about on Fox News, getting the Republicans to roll on him is not going to happen. They’re already coming up with schemes to drag out the Senate trial for the sole purpose of screwing up the Democratic primaries, once again trying to interfere with the election. But that’s how corrupt politicians operate. As George Kent noted in his testimony yesterday, “[Y]ou can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people.”