If the current pattern continues, this is going to be a long, painful impeachment for the GOP. If you liked the OJ trial, then you’re gonna love these open impeachment hearings. They are educational if for no other reason than to show what a steaming pile of shit most television courtroom dramas are. On TV, there is a breathtaking, bombshell revelation from the stand preceding every commercial break, to milk interest. In real life, as both the OJ trial as well as these hearings are showing, actual trials or hearings are dry affairs, with controlled questions and dry, scripted answers flying back and forth.
That is not to say that there were no revelations in today’s first open hearing. So far, as they revolve into the 5 minute cameo session, the biggest revelation I’ve seen so far is that Ambassador Taylor testified that on the day after the Trump-Zelensky phone call, EU Ambassador Sondland, during lunch at a Kiev restaurant, had a personal phone call with President Trump, on his open cell phone. Taylor expressed astonishment that any US Ambassador would have an open channel directly to the President, as opposed to having to go through the normal State Department channels. He also expressed concern that Sondland was such a moron that he held a diplomatic phone call with the president over a personal, open channel cell phone, subject to signal interception. Not a bad tidbit for the opening day.
The Democrats are sticking to the plan. It is now obvious why the Democrats released the transcripts, and in the order that they did. They took a 10 day period when congress was off, and let the media hit all of the high points in their deposition testimony. And now, they are calling the witnesses, and rather than have everyone trying to key on shocking new details, they are asking questions that everybody who is paying attention to the media already knows, and letting the viewers instead spend more time noting the probity, earnestness and sincerity of the witnesses. In other words, letting the viewers come to know and trust the witnesses. And so far, so good, in my opinion.
The Republicans on the other hand, are replaying the Conspiracy Theory Band’s greatest hits on their golden oldie network. And just as it appears happened in their questioning in the deposition hearings, they keep stepping on their crank over and over again. To open his 45 minutes, Ranking Wienie Devin Nunes went off on an extended pissy fit about low level Ukrainian embassy staff working with the Clinton campaign to trash Trump, Ukrainian officials from the previous administration flaming Trump’s ass on social media, and ending with a righteous rant about how Trump was totally justified in wanting to have the Ukraine investigate this obvious corrupt behavior. Nunes is missing one simple point. Trump fucking won! Who cares what the Ukrainians did or didn’t do, it didn’t work! This is like a football coach bitching about a missed holding call in a 45-0 win.
The GOP’s staff legal beagle picked up on this in his questioning. He hammered away at the Ukrainian treachery in opposing Trump, up until Taylor related a statement from Trump during the campaign, saying how the people of Crimea really wanted to be a part of Russia, and if elected, he might let them go. Taylor related how inflammatory this statement would be to any Ukrainian, and would likely engender negative feelings toward the person making the statement. Ouch! The staff lawyer then went on to hammer at the set up for the July 25th phone call between Zelensky and Trump, and dropping the bombshell that it was amazing to him that Trump would have a phone call with Zelensky, and nobody in the White House got input from Ambassador Taylor first. Devastating stuff, until Mr Kent answered the question by stating that normal protocol would be for the National Security Adviser would contact Kent himself on the setup, which they did. This time they stepped on their crank with golf cleats. And they keep on doing this over and over again.
The Democrats are handling the 5 minute session beautifully. The GOP howler monkeys are flinging their shit ball desperately, and yielding time to “He groped me Coach!” Jordan, who rants at top speed like a loud drunk. It isn’t working. Ambassador Taylor is holding his ground, which is totally pissing them off, as well as throwing stupid facts into their fantasies. The Democrats are yielding time as necessary back to Adam Schiff, who is tearing the GOP apart. Jordan just spent 5 minutes ranting about how Zelensky made at least 4 different public appearances on television, and in each stating that his relationship with Trump was fine, and there had never been any pressure from Trump on any subject. Schiff took all of two minutes to ask Taylor if a Ukrainian President, totally dependent on US goodwill to survive, would be likely to make a public statement contradicting Trump about a quid pro quo if he wanted to continue to receive US aid. Taylor freely admitted that this course of action would be suicidal. So much for Jordan’s point.
Just a couple of points about the coverage. FOX seems to be on their best behavior today. But it’s funny. When Schiff took a 5 minute break after the Democrats direct questioning, both CNN and MSNBC went directly back to the studio for discussion. FUX went into a full commercial break, to allow them time to get their shit together. Chris Wallace admitted that the two witnesses were both totally credible, sincere, and well versed on their subject matter. Dana Perino pointed out that this was only halftime, and we still had to see how they would hold up under the cross examination from the GOP flunkies. It will be interesting to see how she spins the hysterical inquisition the GOP tried to subject the witnesses to, as well as their calm and measured responses.
One more thing that I noticed. I don’t know whom on the MSNBC staff was responsible for booking the expert commentators for their coverage today, but that person deserves a huge raise, right on the spot. When dealing with a tissue paper skinned egomaniac like Trump, who better could you manage to find to opine on the testimony of the day than George fucking Conway?!? If you wanted to twist Trump’s tail, who better to have do it than the combative, Never Trump husband of one of his closest advisers? That was freakin’ diabloical!
To know the future, look to the past. before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen