I have to say, after watching the Impeachment Hearings over the last couple of days, that I am uncomfortable with the idea that President Trump was trying to use White House Office visits and/or the release of an aid package already approved by Congress to obtain a political favor from a foreign ally. I’m a Republican and I have to say that this behavior is “wrong”- period. Full stop. So let’s start with that. I believe most Americans agree that it shouldn’t have happened, and it calls into question several things, not the least of which is the President’s judgement.
At the same time, something that is “wrong” or “indiscrete” or “odious” or “amiss” or even “immoral” does not an impeachment make. Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached for having an affair. He wasn’t even impeached for having an affair and lying about it. He was impeached for having an affair and lying about it under oath, which IS a crime. And as we all know, he was not removed from office even then, because a Democratic majority in the Senate, voting exactly along party lines, voted to find him Not Guilty – and so he remained in his office.
The standard to remove a President from office is extremely high, as it should be. To throw over a duly elected President of the United States ignores the will of the people in a democracy. The high bar for removal wasn’t reached in Bill Clinton’s case, even when he had already been shown to be guilty of a crime, and it won’t be achieved this time, when there has been no crime committed. Folly is not an impeachable offense, though my Democratic friends clearly want it to be.
The democrats know this. That’s why they are using every trick in the book to paint the actions of the President not just as something “wrong” but as something far worse. One of these attack vectors comes in the form of the accusation, repeated many times yesterday and today by Democrats on the show-trial-committee-to-impeach, that “people died” in Ukraine while they were waiting for the aide that Congress had appropriated.
Wow. If there was Nobel prize for Hypocrisy, the democrats would certainly have earned it over the past couple of days for all their Johnny-come-lately support for the Ukrainians. Where was all this anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian support during the 8 years of the Obama administration? Oh, that’s right, it was nowhere to be found. Let me repeat that. IT WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
Put simply, none of the Democrats gave a crap about Ukraine during the Obama years, especially President Obama himself. Were people not dying from Russian aggression during those years? Of course, they were. Will the democrats’ newfound support for Ukrainian freedom fighters mean that they will re-evaluate Obama’s legacy in light of how often he was played for a fool by Putin during his presidency and how he failed to provide aide to Ukraine during such a critical juncture? You’ll die holding your breath waiting for that to happen.
Some history. If you are student of politics at all, you’ll remember the moment in the 2012 election debate, where President Obama famously mocked his opponent, Mitt Romney, over his contention that Russia was our biggest strategic enemy. Obama famously quipped, “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back”.
Here’s a link to that exchange if you’re a democrat and you’ve conveniently forgotten about it.
This shows exactly how Obama thought about the Russians in 2012, just two years before the Russians, who, according to Obama were no longer our enemy, invaded Crimea.
Also, here is a link to a Politico article from 2016 that makes it clear how feckless Obama’s foreign policy was with respect to Ukraine and Russia.
Here’s a quote from the Politico article:
“But even as he warily partners with Putin on a cease-fire for Syria, Obama has not shaken the Russian leader’s support for the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has killed nearly 10,000 people and stunted the country’s political and economic progress.”
Here’s a link to a 2017 article from the Atlantic by Krishadev Clamur, titled , “Was Obama Too Soft on Russia?” https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/02/trump-obama-russia-crimea/516777/
The article makes it clear how Obama and Hillary Clinton demonstrated total incompetence when it comes to Russia. Here is part of the what the article has to say:
“Obama’s response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea in March 2014, and Moscow’s subsequent support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine was economic sanctions. Although the measures had an impact on the Russian economy, they were seen as woefully inadequate by some Republican lawmakers in Congress. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a harsh critic of Obama’s foreign policy, wanted the U.S. to send arms to Ukraine. But Obama viewed the Ukraine conflict through another lens. As Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote in the Obama Doctrine: “Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one…”
My point here is not that Trump did nothing wrong this summer. It certainly looks like he tied a White House visit to the announcement of an investigation into Burisma, at a minimum. And that’s wrong. He’s going to be impeached for his actions. That is inevitable given the nature of Democratic politics today. Whether he ends up getting convicted in the Senate remains to be seen. My personal opinion is that he should not be removed from office. He should, instead, get a strong Censure and we should move on and then let the voters decide who will win the Presidency in less than a year. But that’s not in the Democrat’s play book. They intend to impeach Trump and have him tried, publicly, in a way that will further divide an already dangerously divided county.
Just know this. The Democrats in Congress will be looking for every possible way to paint his actions as worse than the were. They will continue to repeat the line that people died waiting for the aide that Trump held up for 55 days this summer – something that’s patently unprovable. But it’s petty certain that it wouldn’t hold a candle to the more than 10,000 Ukrainians who died while Obama stood by and did, essentially, nothing for Ukraine in 2014 during the Russian Crimean aggression.
And the democrats will continue to wax on about our great Ukrainian ally and how it is a key bulwark against Russian aggression. Just know that when they are making that argument, they’ll be painting themselves dirty at the same time. One will be left to wonder how many brave Ukrainian lives would have been saved if Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton hadn’t been foolishly duped into trying to push a Russian reset button. One wonders if we would have had a President in place in 2012-2014 who had telegraphed to Putin that we wouldn’t be putting up with an attack on Ukraine if maybe Putin wouldn’t have done it. And, surely, more people died in the years between 2014 and 2016, when the Russians attacked Ukraine and annexed Crimea, while Obama was pushing back with “sanctions” and warm blankets, than in the 55 days this summer when the Trump administration held up Ukrainian military aide that was, for years, denied under the Obama administration.
But hey, I guess I’m glad to see that the Democrats have finally decided that Russia is our enemy. It’s just too bad that Russian aggression on Ukraine in 2014 wasn’t what made them decide that Russia was our strategic enemy. Nope. It took the idea that the Russians may have played a role in defeating Hillary Clinton before the Democrats allowed themselves to become awakened to the truth that Putin can’t be trusted and Russia is a strategic enemy. That’s what really gets them going. People dying? Clearly not a big deal while your own guy is President. So hey, Adam Schiff , the 1980s are calling and they want their foreign policy back.
Mike Blaylock, November 21, 2019