It No Longer Matters What Happened. It’s Only Whether Anyone Cares

It No Longer Matters What Happened. It’s Only Whether Anyone Cares


Leonard Zwelling

The grinding hearing before the House Intelligence Committee was anything but must-see TV. It was a bore. I’m glad it’s over, if it’s over. There are many left worth questioning, but they are all among the unwilling. Pompeo, Bolten, Pence and Trump himself all need to answer for what they have done or have been alleged to have done. If they are guiltless, why wouldn’t they want to testify?

The hearings were a grinding bore because at this point it is quite clear what happened with regard to Ukraine and its new leadership and that leadership’s desire for $391 million in desperately needed military aid and an Oval Office meeting for its president. Mr. Trump made it clear to anyone who would listen that he mistrusted the Ukrainians, thought that they were all corrupt, that they, not the Russians, tried to undermine the 2016 election, and until they agreed to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and that purported role of the Ukrainians in the 2016 American election, the Ukrainians would not get what they needed and wanted from the U.S. So as Gordon Sondland has testified, everyone was in the loop on the quid pro quo.

Trump charged ex-NYC Mayor Giuliani with spearheading this effort and everyone was working through Rudi. That’s what happened.

Is this an impeachable offense?

First, it is if the House says it is. Second, the Senate will never vote to convict although swinging four votes from the GOP to convict would be a majority to convict and create a good talking point for the Dems. Third, has any of this gotten us anywhere?

It has if anyone is listening or cares.

Even a casual observer knows that when the leader, especially one as transparent as Mr. Trump, wants something, getting him what he wants is the mission. Trump was using extraordinary means to get what he wanted in employing his own attorney instead of the Department of State as the major go-between with Ukraine. This was all highly irregular for most White Houses, but not, perhaps, for this one. Everybody got the gist of their marching orders and they were that the new Ukrainian leadership would have to pay a ransom for its money and its access. That price was an investigation of the Bidens. Now the question is does the American voter choose to listen to these hearings and will it affect the way that America votes in 2020?

Despite the cable channels being filled with the hearing, I cannot imagine that most of the busy people in America are paying any attention. Why should they? In one sense, they have no say in the outcome of this trial. In another, they have the final word next November. My guess is that most Americans will assess their choice of whether or not to back Mr. Trump for a second term once they have heard his arguments and once they have heard those of his opponent, whose identity we are no closer to knowing.

As I read recently, Nobody can lose to Donald Trump. Now the Democrats just have to find Nobody.

The Republican attempts to exonerate Mr. Trump don’t pass the smell test. Trump is a control freak. No one does anything of note without his clearing it. He had charged Rudy with getting what he wanted from the Ukrainians and everyone else fell in line, not because it was their job to do so, but because their job depended on doing so.

What Ambassador Sondland was basically saying was that working through Rudy to get the Ukrainians what they needed was the only way it was going to happen, as irregular as that might be. Now, do the American people care?

I honestly don’t know.

Many may feel that this is the way things work in Washington. Trump is the boss and he gets to decide what the policy is and how it will be implemented. If that is not through the channels used by prior administrations, well all the better. Trump was elected because the people who voted for him wanted something new. They thought they had gotten it with Barack Obama, but were disappointed. So they tried the next new thing.

They may well try again, or not.

If the Democrats don’t nominate a middle of the road, heterosexual male as their standard bearer, I fear that Trump will not lose to that Somebody who is not a Nobody. This reflects remarks I have heard from many voters. They don’t like it. I don’t like it, but the consensus is that America is not ready for a “different” president, even as Barack Obama proved that to be wrong. An African-American president–maybe. A woman or non-straight man–not yet.

But the real question is, do enough Americans feel disgusted by the manner in which Mr. Trump has run the government? Is being the Mafia on the Potomac what America wants? That’s the question. Does anyone care about what has gone down in the past few days in the House or is Trump going to escape again?

Let’s see if Americans really care about America and what they believe America has become.

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