Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pulp Fiction

The Watergate hearings were long, tedious, and involved so many different witnesses, many of whom stone-walled the committee until Dean testified, some of whom stuck to their lies after he'd testified (G. Gordon Liddy always comes to mind here).  It was not a clear shining thread, even though the questioning was mostly conducted by lawyers, and it didn't do all that much to educate the public on the details of the malfeasance and illicit and illegal activities Nixon got up to.  Yes, the articles against him included "Obstruction of Justice," but what does that really mean?  What did he allegedly really do?

Most people watching then couldn't tell you.  Were they convinced Nixon should resign?  Yes.  Why?  Because they were convinced he was unfit for the office?  Why?  Because he was.  On what grounds, specifically?  Did it matter?

I mention this because the "Democrats screwed up another hearing" articles haven't yet begun (a patch of ice doth not a winter make), but will soon.  Yes, I still think the Democrats would be smarter to assign one committee the task of investigation, and to make it a rule of that committee that questions are asked first by lawyers for the committee, and then under controls, by members.  But Congressional hearings are not fora for Schoolhouse Rock or basic primers in law and democracy, and they will never be as "educational" as we could wish them to be.

Nor will the voters face a quiz at the end, or need to keep notes.

Besides, Trump is, as ever, determined to keep the spotlight on himself.

Which is a good way of reminding us all the IC IG found the whistleblower credible, as did the DNI this morning before the committee.  It also reminds us Trump has no defense, and keeps putting himself out there as the guy most likely to commit another crime without realizing what he's doing (and that is not a good look for the POTUS who supposedly runs the branch of government charged with enforcing our laws).

And his "supporters" aren't helping much, either:
Ah, if only reality were like pulp fiction, right Lindsay?  The jails would be empty but the streets would be full. (Besides, Trump had already held up the money.  The action and the threat don't have to be contemporaneous to be illegal.  Nor all that explicit, either.)

Can Trump never, ever talk about it?

What do you think?

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