Rising: November 23, 2020
Krystal Ball accuses Democrats of having 'zero moral authority' amid impeachment inquiry
Opinion by: Krystal Ball
Today former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch will testify as part of the public phase of the Democrat's impeachment inquiry. Wednesday we, of course, heard from State Department official George Kent and Ambassador William Taylor.
Other than our rising live coverage of course, the most exciting part of Wednesday's hearing came after the fact when democrats online argued about whether you were allowed to state the very obvious fact that the hearings were incredibly boring.
NBC's Jonathan Allen, in particular, got dragged for this news analysis piece stating that: "the first two witnesses called Wednesday testified to Trump's scheme, but lacked the pizazz necessary to capture public attention." How dare he be honest about the fact that the democrats attempt to create a dramatic watergate-esque moment collapsed into a ponderous recitation of bureaucratic infighting.
Remember the whole point of these hearings is supposed to be to change public opinion. They've been explicit that their strategy is to dramatize and bring to life the allegations against President Trump in a way that lands with regular folks. In the way that John Dean's "cancer on the presidency" resonated. This was supposed to be the moment when the tables turned and Republicans came to their senses and decided facing overwhelming public pressure that they did in fact want to remove Trump from office. The fact that nothing remotely resembling that occurred or is likely to occur is not meaningless optics, it actually speaks to the core reason why they are going through all of this. I mean, The Washington Post is currently selling an illustrated graphic novel version of the Mueller report based on the deeply held belief that if Trump's Russia and Ukraine exploits could just be dumbed down enough for the poor stupid public then finally everyone would share in the outrage over Ukrainian military aid that pours forth from cable news every day.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi must be delighted that a trial in the Senate will take Bernie and warren off the campaign trail for 6-8 weeks since we all know what she thinks of their politics. In an attempt to jazz up the interminable inquiry she held a press conference yesterday in which she accused the president of bribery. take a listen.
So in spite of upping the rhetorical ante, even democrats are conceding that these hearings aren't going to move the public one bit.
Congressman Jim Himes explained to CNN that: "abuse of power is not necessarily a concept that most Americans run around thinking about. the point is we are all working to try to make a fairly unusual concept to most Americans -- abuse of power -- understandable."
Actually congressman, the American people have zero trouble understanding abuse of power. why do you think that they've rejected the bipartisan soft corruption consensus so thoroughly? No, what all of this pizazz analysis misses is the real reason why most Americans are unmoved by Russiagate and now Ukrainegate. The reason why even voters in the Democratic primary never bring up impeachment or rank it at the top of their priorities. The reason why the candidates who most staked their presidential campaigns on Trump opposition have either exited the race completely or are flailing around somewhere in the low single digits.
It's not because voters are too dumb or not paying attention or racist or haven't watched enough Rachel Maddow. it's not because Nancy Pelosi hasn't said bribery enough or because George Kent wore a bow-tie.
Let's be honest. The reason that no one cares what Democrats have to say about corruption is because Democrats have zero moral authority. No one buys their outrage or believes that they are impartial actors here. After all, this whole Ukraine-gate issue revolves around a potential investigation into the actual soft corruption of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. Just this week, democratic elites pushed deval Patrick into the presidential race, a guy who parlayed his position at the DOJ helping to settle a massive racial discrimination settlement with Texaco into a high paying and prestigious job at Texaco. As saagar highlighted recently, ways and means chair Richard Neal recently presided over a centennial birthday party for AIG, a company taxpayers bailed out to the tune of $180 billion dollars. The guy who helped to write our so-called banking reform bill now sits on the board of a bank!
More broadly, these are the people who worked in concert with Republicans to ship jobs overseas, deregulate banks, crush unions, and allow corporate monopolies to gain control over nearly every aspect of our lives. only to be rewarded with cushy jobs, gala celebrations, and a permanent ticket into the ruling elite. Americans aren't impressed that Trump's behavior is so radically different than say Hillary Clinton's conduct at the State Department while her family foundation was sucking up massive overseas cash. And they certainly don't trust the democratic establishment to be the arbiters of moral behavior and good government. Not when they still can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that hunter Biden cashing in on daddy's name is hardly a noble act. Remember this?
See, people sit on board and they receive monetary payment. Allow me to save you the suspense here, the American people understand plenty. It's the democratic leadership that's a little slow on the uptake. Democrats want America to care deeply about these particular presidential norms and guardrails and the rule of law. But when we look around and see that the people who destroyed the economy were never held accountable and in fact are richer than ever. When we see how our elite institutions bent all the rules to protect Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, when we see Hunter Biden on a crack binge whilst making $50k per month on a corporate board meanwhile young black and brown men are locked in prison for life for the same offense under rules that Hunter's own daddy created, it makes all the moralizing about how no one's above the law ring a little hollow.
Perhaps, if I put it in graphic novel form it will be understandable enough for the democratic establishment to finally get it.