One of the consequences of modern civilization is that change can happen with unexpected speed. Since the election of Donald J Trump to the White House, Americans who follow politics have become accustomed to witnessing events they never thought would happen. But during the last ten days, events have cascaded with such rapidity that one wishes there were a slow-motion button like on a movie camera.
And yet, through all of this, the same phalanx of ‘experts’ is paraded in front of the television cameras. Learned contributions by famous historians and law professors alternate with sophisticated analyses by often Black, often young, and mostly female contributors. MSNBC being the most ‘progressive’ (sic), it’s the one I usually watch, alternating with France 24 in order to know what’s going on in the rest of the world, channel hoping to CNN, and as of recently, Fox News. (And No one thought that channel would ever turn against Trump, but in the last two days it has all but thrown in the towel, its star anchors sermoning the president for his in-your-face unconstitutional behavior.)
One of the reasons why the Democrats have hesitated to set off an impeachment process against Trump was the fact that religious bigot Vice-President Pence would take his place until the next election. Now it has been revealed that Pence also participated in Trump’s attempts to blackmail Ukraine President Zelensky into investigating his presumptive rival, Obama’s former Vice President, Joe Biden, suggest that he will probably be impeached as well. In fact, it turns out that almost the entire cabinet has played along with Trump’s efforts to ‘dig up dirt’ on his presumed opponent. This includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose demeanor changes overnight from ‘you don’t want to mess with me’ to a demur ‘milquetoast’ — and back. (As the government was melting down, his presence was required in such vital countries as North Macedonia and Montenegro, after a stop in Rome that enabled him to tour the Vatican Museum and meet with the Pope. From a safe abroad he is refusing to allow the State Department to hand over documents legally requested by Congress’s investigative committees that are preparing the upcoming vote to initiate impeachment proceedings.
Every day, the list of people shown to have been involved in Trump’s attempt to shake-down the new president of Ukraine grows longer, and Washington lawyers are the beneficiaries. In a desperate attempt to rewrite the Zelensky scenario that has been in the open for more than a week, from the White House lawn, as a helicopter revved up for take-off to one of his golf clubs, and almost without prompting, the president indulged in a twenty-three minute long stream of consciousness for the usual gaggle of White House reporters, about the propriety of asking China and Ukraine to look into Joe Biden and his son. He claimed this was all about his determination of wipe out corruption, but voters are likely to remember all those cabinet appointees who had to resign for outrageously ‘swampy’ behavior.
As for the press, consumed with guilt for having given Trump wall to wall coverage during his campaign, it now declares that even his rants are literally, crimes, having lost sight of the difference between impeachable and criminal behavior. We can hardly expect even its most knowledgable analysts to point out the fact that if Ukrainians colluded with Hillary Clinton to frame Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for bolstering the image of their then pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovitch, it was because Clinton was openly calling for war with Russia
Deena Stryker is a US-born international expert, author and journalist that lived in Eastern and Western Europe and has been writing about the big picture for 50 years. Over the years she penned a number of books, including Russia’s Americans. Her essays can also be found at Otherjones. Especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.