Quid Pro What?

I confess to being baffled by the Democrats’ impeachment proceeding. They are laboring manfully, as Paul described yesterday, to show a quid pro quo in the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. The “quid” was military aid that Ukraine wanted, but the Obama administration had been unwilling to provide, and about which many were concerned because of Ukraine’s history of endemic corruption. The “quo,” allegedly, was Ukraine’s undertaking to investigate the apparent $3 million bribe paid by the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma to the Biden family.

I would like to see Ukraine investigate corruption involving the Obama/Biden administration, and I see nothing wrong with leaning on the current Ukrainian government (different from the one that was in power when the bribe was paid) to do so. The fact that Joe Biden is now a presidential candidate is irrelevant; that does not put him above the law.

However: despite the fact that military aid was held up for a matter of weeks between July and September (during some of which time, the Ukrainian government reportedly didn’t know it had been delayed, which obviously negates the existence of a quid pro quo during that time), such aid was soon provided even though the Ukrainian government had NOT issued a statement on Burisma corruption, and had NOT, as far as we know, commenced a Burisma/Biden investigation. So, what is the point? Evidently, provision of military aid was NOT made contingent on a Burisma investigation; there was no investigation, but the aid was provided anyway. So the impeachment proceeding is an effort to read President Trump’s mind during the days in which aid was briefly delayed.

To which my response is: are you kidding me? The idea that there is an impeachable offense buried somewhere in this story is, I think, ridiculous. What is really going on here was described by Mark Zaid, lawyer for the whistleblower Democratic Party activist who triggered the impeachment farce, in January 2017: an attempted coup.

The impeachment process, as Zaid said, is merely the implementation of the coup. I don’t see any reason why it should be taken seriously, and, happily, I think most voters agree.