Hold your friends close, and your enemies closer
I know that some of you might have felt that this afternoon’s testimony may not receive a very high score from Rotten Tomatoes, but I found it fascinating, in a kind of pastoral way. A vague kind of shape for the Republican’s defense of Trump, at least for tomorrow, and if so, then I have a suggestion. If I were European Union Ambassador Sondland, I’d bring a shovel with that hearing tomorrow. Because if he doesn’t show up ready to absolutely bury Trump, then the GOP in that panel is going to try to recreate that famous scene from the movie Fargo. You know, the one with the wood chipper.
If the previous testimony to date was powerful because the witnesses showed all that is good about American civil service, dedication, honor, dignity, and honesty, then the testimony this afternoon was a cold slap in the face. Because the two witnesses this afternoon were a perfect example of what petty bureaucrats look like And if there’s one thing that bureaucrats learn how to do from day one, it’s how to cover their asses. And that’s exactly what we saw this afternoon. In A Clear And Present Danger, Tom Clancy’s corrupt, arrogant and venal president called it “The Potomac Two Step.” And if these two are going to survive, then somebody else is going to have to perish.
If I were Rudy Ghouliani, there are two things that I’d do immediately. The first thing is to dump His Lowness as a client, and the second is to get my affairs in order before a long vacation at Club Fed. While most of the previous witnesses treated Ghouliani with an almost casual disdain, they were people on the opposite side, and had little direct or even indirect contact. This afternoons witnesses, both closer to the administration, didn’t just throw Rudy G under the bus, they tied him to the tracks in front of the 5:17 to Philly. Both witnesses were not shy about dumping disdain and disgust on The Ghoul Man, and the GOP members of the panel did absolutely nothing to try to salvage Ghouliani’s reputation, or to rehabilitate him. And if the Trombies on the House panel weren’t interested in saving Ghouliani, I don’t see Tubby the Ewok working up a sweat to protect Ghouliani from the SDNY. Sic Transit Rudy.
But it was also a bright red flare to Gordon Sondland, clearly signalling rough seas ahead. For as much disdain in which they held Ghouliani, Sondland didn’t fare any better. Ambassador Kurt Volker even went so far several times as to refer to what he claimed that people involved with Ukraine foreign policy in the State Department were already calling “The Gordon Problem.” Volker stated repeatedly that he found Sondland’s shenanigans “inappropriate,” even though he raised no public or internal alarms at the time.
If this afternoons session was batting practice, then Sondland’s testimony tomorrow should be a hanging breaking ball over the middle for them. If Trump doesn’t tweet his outrage at the GOP’s scorched earth march over Ghouliani today, and I don’t think that he will, then the kid gloves will be off for Sondland tomorrow.
This may place the Democrats in an unusual position tomorrow. They already have Sondland for changing his testimony once with a revision, and they have him cold for withholding his lunchtime Kiev phone call with Trump, even in his revision testimony. They want to turn Sondland into the boots-on-the-ground personification of evil incarnate, and tie him to Glorious Bleater with barbed wire, But at the same time, they may be forced to repeatedly defend Sondland from the constant GOP assaults to his credibility, lest he be so disgraced that his testimony about Trump’s close personal interest in his activities is discounted out of hand.
Sondland is going to have one hope, and one hope only. Come out swinging for the fences, and turn Trump into a grand slam home run. If he buries Trump deeply enough, he maybe makes it worth the Democrats while to defend and rehabilitate him. If he equivocates in the slightest bit, then not only can the Democrats throw him to the GOP wolves, they can gleefully pile on, while continuing to tie him to Trump at every turn, just to show the kind of incompetent dipshits Trump surrounded himself with for such a delicate act of political corruption.
The important thing to remember is that Morrison and Volker were witnesses at the Republicans request. If their purpose was to tie somebody to the stake for the firing squad, we no longer need the hoods to be lifted to figure out who the condemned men are. tomorrow may well be the closest that these hearings come to being a Godsmack mosh pit, and I can’t wait.
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 Clockwork 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