One thing is certain about the Trump impeachment inquiry: Anything you say about it today is likely to be obsolete tomorrow. This fluidity certainly impacts any attempt to do a commentary about it, so I am trying a different approach. Monday October 7, I’m recording a log of impressions and reactions from the past couple of weeks.
Tuesday, September 24
One of my students excitedly told me that Speaker Pelosi was launching an impeachment inquiry. I had not followed the news that day so was glad to learn it from any source and especially a student. My reaction was: This feels different. Then I found out about Ukraine and President Trump’s reaction, which was: “Yes, I made that call and here’s what I said. What’s the big deal?” Earlier that day at the U.N. Trump had made a speech in which he said that the world must choose between “globalism and patriotism.” I thought: “Wait, how is that a binary choice?” and pondered Trump’s coopting the word “patriot.”
Wednesday, September 25
The quote of the day is from Trump: “It’s a hoax, folks.” I listened to Rush Limbaugh for today’s conservative talking points. They were: “The whistleblower is an anti-Trump partisan from the Deep State.” I told my students that today might be historic. I declined two local TV interviews but did tell one of the reporters that “Anyone who thinks they know what’s going on or how this is going to end is delusional.”
Friday, September 27
Trump calls the whistleblower a “spy.”
I had to take a holiday from then news over the weekend. Fortunately the Cardinals provided ample excitement.
Monday, September 30
The Ralph Waldo Emerson phrase “If you strike at the king you must kill him” kept running through my mind. Trump “wins” if he is not convicted by the Senate. Biden is trying to get Ralph Giuliani banned from network interviews. This is a mistake. I don’t know how they are going to keep the identity of the whistleblower secret. He/she is going to need witness protection. Students in my class who are willing to speak out about this are mostly Trump supporters.
Tuesday, October 1
Conservative talking points are: “Nothing to see here, but look over there at the Bidens, the Mueller investigation and Hillary’s emails.”
Wednesday, October 2
I listened to Trump’s monologue with the Finnish president sitting nearby. Trump’s mesmerizing sing song is unique and an important part of his appeal to his base. He is a pure entertainer and puts on a great show.
Friday, October 4
Yesterday Trump asked China to investigate the Bidens and in effect said “I double-dare you to impeach me.” Conservative talking point today: “This is a Deep State coup attempt.”
Monday, October 7
Sorry, but I can’t stop thinking about the president’s proposal to build moats at the southern border and fill them with alligators and snakes. He denies saying this, of course.
I’m also sorry that I am reduced to clichés: America holding its breath, America waiting for the next shoe to drop, hang onto your hat. I’ll do better next time.
Talking Politics is hosted by Sidney Steele.