Saturday, November 23, 2019

Aaron Mate: Killer Post On The Sondland Testimony--"Impeachment Non-Bombshell"

Dunno about the "endangering Dems in 2020" bit...but what he says is exactly along the lines of what I've been thinking--which is, again, to some extent based on the better conservative analysis I've read: this is basically Russiagate 2.0:
   When questioning began, Sondland made clear that Trump never told him that the military funding was contingent on investigations. In fact, he said that Trump never mentioned that military funding at all. The idea that it was conditioned on the investigations did not come from Trump, but, as Sondland explained, from his own interpretation “in the absence of any credible explanation” for why the money had been frozen.
   Asked by Representative Adam Schiff whether “the military assistance was also being withheld pending Zelensky announcing these investigations,” Sondland replied: “That was my presumption. My personal presumption based on the facts at the time. Nothing was moving.” He then told Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman the same thing: “President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the meetings. The only thing we got directly from [Rudy] Guiliani was that the Burisma and 2016 elections were conditioned on the White House meeting. The aid was my own personal, you know, guess.” And yet again: “Nobody told me directly that the aid was tied to anything. I was presuming it was.”
None of it sounds good...but it's easy to make something sound bad on the basis of hypotheses predicated on blue-time-friendly views of Trump. Honestly, it all sounds like what I heard in the media and among my cohort about Russiagate: it's all so's what one would hypothesize based on my hatred of Trump and unreasonably low opinion of him...and so on. OTOH, I semi-share those views of Trump, and my gut says I shouldn't put any such thing past the guy.
   OTOOH: even if he's a bad guy, is he really incompetent enough to risk something like this to nuke a guy who may not even be the nominee, and who seems to be doing a pretty good job of nuking himself? I'm willing to believe Trump is awful...but is he really that devoid of tactical cunning? Not even cunning...but...something even less sophisticated than that?
   I dunno, man. I am not ruling this all out, but I'm also not buying it yet. It just seems like it's the same basic shit over and over again with the blue team these days--and I don't even mean that Ukrainegate is Russiagate part whatever-two-is-in-Rooskie. I mean: everything is racism...over and over and over again...even when it obviously isn't, even when it's clearly refuted. Hate crime hoaxes...over and over and over again...even when it's an obvious hoax...even when it's clearly proven to be. Argument by redefinition of words...over and over and over matter how loony... Maybe this is just too broad a conception of similarity. Even on a narrower conception: it's enough that it's always Trump must be impeached...over and over and over again. I was on that side for the first year-or-so of this administration. Now it all just seems pretty transparently kooky to me most of the time.


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