Krystal Ball: Impeachment inquiry shows 'hallmarks of the overpromise, underdeliver strategy'

Opinion by: Krystal Ball

Well, we are now officially on Day 2 of the impeachment inquiry and it is going just as well as you would expect for a process led by the bumbling Democratic establishment and hyped by the media. This already has all the hallmarks of the overpromise, underdeliver strategy that worked out so well with the Mueller report, except this time, Democrats also get to defend the righteous principle that Hunter Biden is worth $50k a month purely based on his knowledge of the Ukrainian oil and gas industry. So where are we?

Yesterday, the rough transcript of Trump's call was released and I basically agree with what congresswoman Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE told us in our exclusive interview. It shows clearly unseemly conduct in which the president suggests he'd like to see Biden investigated. It's bad. Don't get me wrong. But honestly, it's also sort of incoherent, confused and indirect in the classically Trumpian style. Is this really the clearly impeachment-worthy act that we want to hang our hat on? Remember the standard that Democrats as a party already set. Bush literally lied us into a war where thousands of our men and women and thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed. His administration committed acts of torture under our name, but Bush's administration was never even fully investigated for these acts, let alone impeached. Is this call with Ukraine really worse than that?

Yet the media has already re-upped all their intelligence analysts, Watergate alums, and constitutional lawyers to create vast new expectations for a big reveal when we will learn the truly shocking thing that will finally end Trump. Since the actual rough transcript of the call was apparently not doing the job, now we are being told that the thing that will really blow the lid off is the full whistleblower complaint. Yesterday evening after a select group of members got to view that complaint, multiple news outlets, of course, ran stories about how disturbing the content was. Prepare for a much-anticipated reveal complete with many popcorn emoji tweets followed by underwhelming results after the Ukrainian equivalent of the pee tape fails to emerge. Not to mention the sure to be disappointing testimony of the acting DNI slated for today which will be parsed and hyped and ultimately fundamentally change nothing.

Meanwhile, just as I feared, Pelosi has decided to focus exclusively on the Ukraine incident as the center of the impeachment inquiry. This is a disastrous strategic blunder. In fact, it's hard to imagine weaker ground for Democrats to try to stand on. They have decided to rest their entire case on the proposition that Trump's corruption is impeachable, but Biden's is completely fine, noble even. It looks hypocritical because it is.

Now, I'm not saying that Trump's behavior is equivalent to the Biden's. It's not. But if you are so morally outraged over corruption that you would impeach a President for it, don't you kind of have to admit that it’s rather unseemly for Hunter Biden to cash in on his politically connected family? Just for a little bit of context here, Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter Biden $50,000 per month to sit on its board, supposedly to improve its governance. Hunter Biden isn't an expert in governance, isn't a transparency expert, has no expertise in energy or the Ukraine. The largest independent energy company in the world is, of course, Exxon mobile. On their board, they have corporate legends like Ursula Burns, former CEO and Chairman of Xerox, and Ken Fraser, current CEO and Chairman of Merck. Know how much each of these three were paid monthly for their board service to Exxon, including cash and stock? Less than $30,000 per month. You mean to tell me that Hunter Biden was more valuable than these people who led billion-dollar corporations successfully, just on his own merits? Are those Biden values? Is that what you learn growing up in Scranton? None of this is illegal, though honestly it should be. But it sure smacks of the incestuous, corrupt, self-dealing behavior that Americans have come to expect from their elites and for some insane reason, this is what Democrats want to fixate on over the next many months as we head into perhaps the most critical election of our lifetime.

So get ready for egregious conduct by the president to be magically turned into an actual win for him by Democratic bungling, media overhype, hero worship, and promised big reveals that turn out to fall short. We've even already got the new version of "no collusion" it's "no quid pro quo!" Meanwhile, Americans are going to be left wondering when Democrats will get around to caring as much about their health care, their wages and their crumbling communities as they care about protecting the Bidens.