What’s The Truth?

What’s The Truth?


Leonard Zwelling

Perhaps nothing dominates the editorial pages like this question. What are we really seeing and hearing on TV, the Internet, and in our lives? What can we trust when we can no longer trust our senses, not because our hearing or vision is malfunctioning, but because the signals coming in are so garbled?

Believe it or not, this is not a new problem, given the use of the Big Lie in Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia, along with McCarthy, Nixon and now Trump? And that doesn’t mention PhotoShop and a myriad of ways to manipulate images on the Internet including the faces on rowers in college applications.

It’s the question raised by Peter Baker in The New York Times on December 9.

But the problem with Trump is not that he lies even though that has been documented well over 10,000 times since his inauguration. The problem is that he tells the truth about what he’s thinking and doing and as misguided as that might be, people follow him and cheer him on. There’s not a single ethical Republican who will say, “wait a minute. I don’t think we should impeach him but he is a lousy president.”

I get a lot of criticism of my criticism of President Trump from some blog readers. I suspect I have scared more than a few off by now. But the real concern that people in the middle like me have is not that Trump is Trump. He’s what he’s always been. The problem is his followers and more critically the lap dogs in the Republican Party who excuse his behavior as good for America and aver that the Democratic effort to impeach him has no basis. As anyone who has been listening to the testimony on Capitol Hill must know, the impeachment has a basis. Now we know that the Democrats will limit their articles to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (not even obstruction of justice). Adam Schiff made it clear why this is the tactic taken by the Democrats. They simply believe that unless he’s stopped, Donald Trump will cheat to win the election in 2020 and going through the courts to get the many missing witnesses to testify will simply take too long. The reason for only two articles is that the moderate Democrats in the House and some in the Senate running for re-election have to keep this focused on the Ukraine and not drift into Mueller time.

Let’s face it. The Trump team has played a skillful game of warding off impeachment. The GOP has held steady so that even when the articles get passed by the House and a trial ensues in the Senate, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Trump will be convicted. And even more true, the Democrats know they have a losing hand with their current slate of potential candidates and are hoping that somehow the process of impeachment and trial will sway enough people in toss-up purple states that went for Trump in 2016 to go their way in 2020.

Personally, I cannot see this happening barring a true bombshell coming out of the trial in the Senate, and given Trump’s transparency about what he has done, I don’t know where that bombshell will be even if John Bolten testifies that Trump told him to withhold the aid to the Ukraine. Trump supporters will think The Donald is just driving his usual hard deal. Whatever he does, they believe he’s right for America and nothing can change that until the Dems put up a similar messiah and Obama’s not eligible.

The truth is, as far as I can see, and given what I have said already you have no reason to believe me, I really can’t see how Trump loses. It looks like Pelosi out foxed Trump, but I think he out foxed her. They are in a game of two-handed stud poker and she’s got nothing in her hand and he’s got four aces—Dow, Jones, GDP and unemployment rate. He’s not going to fold. He never does. She’s not going to fold. She never does. So they’ll run up the pot, show their cards and she will lose—probably even her speakership.

This has all been a disaster for the Democrats, not because Trump is so clever, but because the Democrats have been so transparently clumsy. The only way you beat Trump is using the long game, patience and the courts. If you forego these steps, he will win. He will and the Dems have no one to blame but themselves. If all their base can muster is enthusiasm is for leftists, old guys, and inexperienced mayors, what the heck did the Dems expect? They won’t support the candidates who actually could make a difference—Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris. Maybe Mike Bloomberg can catch a Hail Mary, but do you really think a 77-year old short guy from New York can beat the Donald? Me, neither.

Impeachment, insmeachment. The Dems did it. They did it wrong. 2020 is probably over and it hasn’t even begun.

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