Charles P. Pierce on yesterday’s testimony:
This moment, in the beginning.
VINDMAN: Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.
And this moment, in the middle.
VINDMAN: I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… It was probably an element of shock, that maybe in certain regards my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out and how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security.
And this moment, at the end of it.
VINDMAN: Because this is America. This is the country that I have served and defended,” he said, adding, “Here, right matters.
There will be spinning and slander now. The flying monkeys are in formation and will be descending on Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman for the next few days. Hell, the entire Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee did little all day on Tuesday except informal show prep for the next few weeks of the Hannity program.
(Rep. Jim Jordan, in particular, used his last five minutes to deliver a screed that more properly belonged between male-enhancement ads on a drive-time radio talk show. And does Jordan, the Sergeant Schultz of the Ohio State wrestling room, really want to criticize Vindman for not alerting the proper authorities in the proper way?)
But those three moments will stand, as stark as black marble obelisks rising from a reeking landfill. There’s enough room behind them to fit whatever hope we still have for competent, decent government in a competent, decent nation. There is room there to keep that hope safe, at least for a while.
(And, it should be noted that Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, also stood in fairly well on Tuesday. There was just enough in her testimony to make Pence nervous.)
The Republicans have abandoned all sense of legislative duty. For all Devin Nunes’s mooing about how the whole business is just a show, it is his side of the table that’s going through the elaborate motions of performative politics. If it’s not John Ratcliffe tying himself in semantic knots about how many times the secret word—”bribery”—has been said, it’s Jordan and Nunes, playing the roles designed for them by the implacable demands of modern conservative cosplay. Jordan’s peroration at the end, in which he described the vast Democratic-Deep-State-Resistance conspiracy that began in July of 2016—or, it should be said, right about the time the hacked DNC emails began appearing, but I’m sure this is entirely coincidental—was absolutely a scriptwriter’s McGuffin, and not a very compelling one.
There was one thing about which the Republicans were absolutely correct: the president* is going to be impeached by the House of Representatives. It’s hard to imagine anything short of an intercession by the president*’s vascular system that can stop that now. And if the only reason that it happens is that, here in America, right matters, that will be good enough.
The Army has placed Lt. Col. Vindman and his family under protection because of backlash from Trumpers and Trump himself. For that alone he should be run out office.