Every day?? I said you have to check in every hour.
And you know I wasn't exaggerating. No, something newsworthy doesn't always happen every hour. But it's still a good idea to check in then just to be sure this isn't one of those days when it does.
Take Thursday, for instance.
You had Trump admitting he committed an impeachable offense by asking a foreign nation to get involved in the U.S. elections by investigating a political opponent.
Just 10 seconds later, you had Trump once again committing an impeachable offense asking again, in essence, as he did with Russia, "China, if you're listening..." for a foreign adversary to get involved in the U.S. elections by investigating a political opponent.
At the same time, you had Trump admitting he committed an impeachable offense by offering a quid pro quo deal to China as part of his trying to negotiate a trade agreement with them by telling the world that he had other options than dealing directly with China and making clear that he wanted that foreign nation to get involved in the U.S. elections by investigating a political opponent, or he might take up those other options.
(Fun fact: while Trump thought this was great, tough negotiating, it was actually incredibly stupid, because he allowed China the upper hand by being able to say, "Oh, so that's what you want is it? Well, okay, this is what we want or you won't get that.")
And then later in the day, you had the Vice President telling reporters that he supposedly didn't read the briefing he was given before meeting with the president of the Ukraine, didn't read the transcript of Trump's phone call with the president of the Ukraine he was apparently given before having the meeting, and didn't talk to his own National Security Advisor who was on the phone call with Trump and the president of Ukraine before Pence went to meet with the president of Ukraine.
And then later in the day after that you had the news that two high-ranking U.S. ambassadors drafted a letter to give to the president of Ukraine where they wanted him to specifically name publicly the Trump opponent that Ukraine would be investigating -- though the Ukraine president to his credit knew that was too awful and backed off. And they made clear in their memos that this all was, indeed, part of a quid pro quo -- not that that is required for an impeachable act.
And then later in the day still, you had the news that Trump told the president of China that in order to get a trade deal -- in order to save himself from the hole he's dug himself with the disastrous tariff war -- he was willing to ignore defending human rights of the Chinese protesters in Hong Kong.
And...and...and... -- okay, I know you get the point. But again, remember: this was ALL YESTERDAY. Within hours of each other. Some of it within seconds.
However, here's an added, even bigger issue about all this which isn't getting too much attention, though it's gotten some, and is absolutely critical to putting everything in perspective of the importance of Trump's actions, I think.
We hear a lot from Republicans saying that the president shouldn't have to reveal his phone conversations with foreign leaders. And it's a valid point -- under normal conditions. The problem is that when the phone call concerns an impeachable offence (and we know this phone call does, because the White House released a summary memo of the conversation, and because Trump Told Us), it's absolutely critical that that conversation in full be made public because otherwise it leaves the president open to blackmail.
Consider: Trump committed an impeachable offense by asking a foreign leader to help him hurt a political opponent in a U.S. election. It's not unreasonable to think that the foreign leader and his advisors would know it was an impeachable offense (or at the very least a deeply problematic one) -- all they would have to do is read a U.S. newspaper, which I think is a reasonable assumption that they do. And knowing this, and if Trump kept the call a secret, which he clearly tried to do -- going so far as putting a transcript of the call in a top secret, code level vault -- then the foreign leader could use that to gain total influence. "Sir, this is what we would like and insist on, or we will make our transcript of the phone call -- where you committed an impeachable offense -- public."
Fortunately, there was a whistleblower, and the Trump administration felt compelled to at least release a partial memo of the phone conversation and Trump himself admitted it. So, the level of blackmail possibility plummeted. But it's still only a partial memo. We still don't know what the full 30-minute conversation was. Or what Mike Pence's conversation with the president of Ukraine was. Is there any more? Anything worse?
I'm not suggesting Ukraine would have blackmailed Trump. Or that any other foreign nation would have -- like China. Or Russia. Or Saudi Arabia. Or North Korea. Or -- fill in the blank. The point is that when you commit an impeachable offense and hide the phone call of it, you leave the door wide open for that risk.
Unlike the manic, meaningless chant at his rallies during the 2016 campaign, Trump actually does really put us all at risk.
And the elected members of the Republican Party are silent about all this, even to the point of some denying knowledge of much of it, and they enable Trump and are complicit.