I have not written anything in this blog for over a week because I have been watching the hearings in the House and trying to make some sense out of what the witnesses have said. What it comes down to is simple. The career service people in the State Department all seem to believe that President Trump did something so heinous that he should be immediately removed from office and drawn and quartered. Those appointed by the President seem to have a different take on the matter. No surprises here.
First, I think I am on safe ground when I say that the vast majority of career government workers would not be categorized as Trump supporters and many of them would fall into the camp of full out opposition to his Presidency. They have been paraded before the Committee by Chairman Adam Schiff and parroted what he wanted to hear. Of course, each side took bits and pieces from each witness and spun it to what politically benefitted them. Gordon Sondland, the current ambassador to the European Union, gave some testimony that only highlights the point I am making. In the morning he said that in his opinion everyone seemed to believe that there was a “quid pro quo” linking the foreign aid to Ukraine and the investigation of the Biden family and their business interests in Ukraine. In the afternoon when questioned he firmly stated that the President never directly told him that the foreign aid was linked to the Ukrainian’s doing the investigation.
Now I believe that Trump wanted the Ukrainians to investigate why Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Biden, was named to the board of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company, and what expertise he brought. I think any reasonable person understood that Burisma was using Hunter Biden to curry favor with the Vice President and with the Obama Administration. He did not speak Ukrainian (the language of Ukraine) and had no experience or knowledge of the energy industry. And when his father, the Vice President of the United States, demanded that a prosecutor (alleged to be corrupt) that was investigating Burisma for possible corruption on their part, be removed or the U.S. would withhold foreign aid, not a single career State Department employee spoke up about the possible linkage. When Vice President Biden boasted that he told them they had six hours to comply with his demand and they did there was no outcry from Foggy Bottom.
In the end, I think everyone knows that the House will file Articles of Impeachment and the House will vote sometime before the first of the year to impeach President Trump. There will be some Democrats who will be given a pass because voting to impeach will not endear them to the voters in their districts. Already two have indicated their vote by opposing the resolution to move forward with the investigation. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Colin Peterson (D-MN) both come from districts that are more conservative than the rest of the Democrat majority and they want the Congress to focus on issues affecting the American public and quit spending every waking moment on investigating the administration. There are about 20 Democrats who won seats in the last election but hale from districts that Trump won. They are very nervous about casting a vote for impeachment. But when Speaker Pelosi brings the issue to the floor for a vote, she will know that she has the requisite votes and those that need to be given a pass for political reasons will be given that nod.
The issue will then move to the Senate and most political observers believe that it will die a slow death. To convict you will need 67 Senators to vote in the affirmative and that is a tall order with the Republicans having the majority. In fact, they have 53 seats and the Democrats have 47 so that means about 20 Republicans would have to break ranks and vote to convict. With the current information available that is simply not going to happen. There is no clear smoking gun.
There are two more lesser issues in the news this week that I would like to touch on.
The first deals with the aforementioned Ambassador Sondland. He is a hotel owner and businessman from Seattle. The left has been organizing a campaign to boycott his businesses and to go to his hotels and cause disruptions. This is simply unacceptable in our society, but the far left seems to think this tactic is fair game in politics today. They have been urged on by far-left politicians including some members of Congress. So, what will happen when some liberal businessman enters a Democrat administration and some of the right copy this tactic and start to harass the business interests of a legitimate business simply because of the politics of the owner? Will these same progressive politicians cry foul? I can assure you they will scream it loud and call the perpetrators right-wing crazies and all sorts of names. Neither side should be engaging in this activity and politicians on both sides should be denouncing anyone that does it in the strongest terms.
The second issue deals with how the media covers stories. Earlier this week a U.N. employee, Manfred Nowak, who leads a U.N Global Study on the detention of children jumped to the front pages of almost every major newspaper and was a story in the television media with his claim that the United States still has more than 100,000 children of migrants detained. Politicians on the left were quick to denounce the Trump administration for this cruel and inhumane behavior. But by the next day, Mr. Nowak had to correct himself and state that the statistics he was citing were from 2015 during the Obama Administration. He also has to clarify that this was a cumulative total. By that I mean if a child was held overnight and then released it became part of the 100,000. But where was the outrage by the media when it was made clear that this “inhumane” action was actually conducted by the Obama Administration? They dropped the story like a hot potato. It no longer fits their narrative, so they quit reporting on it. Reminds me of the time they posted the photo of children in a cage and denounced the Trump administration only to find out that the photo was taken during the Obama administration. They dropped that story immediately. When they do things like this, they open themselves up to being called biased in their coverage. I blame some of this on the 24-hour news cycle and the pressure to get ahead of a story and so these “journalists” forget to check the facts and make sure they get it right. They only want to be first.
I am thinking of moving this blog to a Facebook page which would make it easier to leave comments. The page is already set up. Interested in the readers opinions on that move.