Saturday, October 5, 2019
A Small Slice Of Reasoning On Trump v The Ds On Impeachment
L., I know you think the whole thing is bad performance art and a bore, lagging in interest behind pro rasslin.’ But still, I wonder if you have any thoughts on why Trump just recently made a purposeful point in what he asked China.
My own inchoate sense is that he’s doing it for among a few reasons:
one is that it’s a calculated confrontational, in-your-face posture in taking it to the Ds and raising the issues to a high pitch;
that calculation rests on a rationale that what he did vis a vis Ukraine is within his prerogative and so, therefore, is what he recapitulated with his China ask, that, in a nutshell, the impeachment theory is watery.
the rationale includes assuming that as a practical matter in a worst case in the House, he has the Senate—2/3ds needed to convict—quite well tucked away;
and, too, he’s calculated that he wins politically by the Ds hanging themselves by proceeding and by overplaying their hand.
My sense of his reasoning for the legitimacy of his actions is that no real case can be made for a quid pro quo in his dealings with Zelensky.
That gone, the Ds have shifted their theory to it being impeachable for Trump to lever the power of his office to gain oppo information against his political opponents, namely Biden, no quid pro quo needed.
Trump’s answer to that is he’s facilitating the investigation of high US corruption, namely the Bidens’, both of them, doings in Ukraine and China. And, in that, that Biden J happens to be his potential presidential opponent is coincidental and incidental to that facilitation.
The pattern of those doings presumptively raises conflict of interest issues and raises the spectre of Biden J substantively tilting his actions to assist the enrichment of Biden H.
That being so, Trump calculates he stands on firm ground in asking, leader to leader, for such assistance. Trump figures too, I think, he gets support from past leveraging by others in or seeking high office for oppo research from Russian and Ukraine without the umbrella of presumptive wrongdoing. He can persuasively ask, “Why is it wrong for a US president to lever US power, its conferral of aid and the like to get help from other countries that serves US interests.
In the meantime, he’s killing an already weakening Biden, so many nails in his waiting coffin.
There’s more, no doubt, in Trump’s and his team’s calculating but this is what on the spot occurs to me.
Yeah, I'm not following the details here because they seem just like the details of hundreds of similar brouhahas before -- feels too much like what used to be called a mug's game to get immersed in it. But I heard indirectly his China request and just shrugged it off as unsurprising -- a) because, as you say, it seemed simply a direct and mocking response to the Dems feverish excitement over Ukraine ("Watch, I'll now ask China to do the same"), b) because foreign-sourcing so-called oppo research is something all campaigns do, just not as overtly, and in fact was something the Clinton campaign did to him in 2016, and c) because other countries, not being stupid, don't really need an explicit bribe to investigate corruption. These aren't necessarily mutually consistent, but they fit with a Trump who is, as usual, just more open about the sort of shenanigans that everyone's involved in, and that have frequently targeted himself.