It’s hard to be an informed citizen of our democracy these days. The national news is overwhelmed by hair-on-fire missives about the president and his machinations to justify, deny and tweet about his July 25 call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
It’s hard to keep up and it’s hard not to look.
President Trump’s request that a foreign power investigate his political rival violates his oath of office and the Constitution and is impeachable. So, then he reiterated his request in public last week, asking Ukraine and China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden (and Hillary Clinton too!). Is he hoping if he makes the request often enough, we’ll find it normal?
Then with a late-night tweet on Sunday, the president reports that U.S. troops are being withdrawn from northern Syria, which leads to Turkish troops massing on the border prepared to attack the Kurds on Wednesday. Is this an attempt to distract attention from his July 25 phone call or a real policy decision made in consultation with his military and foreign policy advisers?
Even more bizarre though was his tweet threatening Turkey should that nation attack the Kurds. “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done that before!)” (sic).
“In my great and unmatched wisdom?” That is terrifyingly close to “The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken!”
On Tuesday of this week, the White House sent a six-page letter to the House of Representatives reporting that the president and his administration had no intention of cooperating with the House investigation absent a formal vote to open an impeachment investigation. What is the likely impact of that? The House will formally vote to open an impeachment investigation.
Trump’s protestations to the contrary, the House does in fact have the authority to impeach him and, at this rate, is fairly likely to do so – especially once a formal investigation gets underway and his administration is required to turn over documents and make witnesses available.
It’s as if the spin machine is out of control and ideas, tweets, policy changes, counterarguments, plus everything and the kitchen sink are being thrown at the 24-hour news cycle. It’s hard to keep up.