Former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was the star witness served up by the Democrats in the show trial that is to preface their adoption of impeachment articles against President Trump. The Democrats are bound and determined to impeach Trump over something. The Russia hoax was foiled. Although it is not invented out of whole cloth, the Democrats’ current impeachment production looks to me like Russia hoax 2.0.
Ambassador Yovanovitch gave an opening statement that set forth her background and paid tribute to herself. The whole thing has been posted online by the Democrats’ media adjunct, necessarily including the New York Times (with video for full effect).
Everyone seems to have been duly impressed. The acclaim for Yovanovitch is nigh on universal. Even Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee mostly joined in Yovanovitch’s celebration of herself.
I confess, however, that she rubbed me the wrong way. I thought she represented everything the average American used to hate about the State Department and perhaps still does. She knows better than we do what is good for us and she means to give it to us good and hard.
She was unceremoniously relieved of her responsibilities in Ukraine by President Trump, or State Department officers acting at his behest. Perhaps he should have treated her better — I wish he had — if only so we could be spared her tale of woe.
Her exit was undignified. She was treated almost as shabbily as James Comey! The State Department continues to employ Yovanovitch as a high-level officer, now as the department’s senior fellow at the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Nobody knows the trouble she’s seen.
For me the clock struck 13 when she associated herself with the hostages taken by Iran in 1979 — by acolytes of the regime that Obama’s State Department appeased, humored, empowered, and paid off — gratuitous. I found her association of herself with the heroes of Benghazi — the victims of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s negligence and incompetence — sickening.
As a student of rhetoric, I appreciated Yovanovitch’s use of anaphora. Yovanovitch put it to work on her own behalf toward the end of her statement:
We are the fifty-two Americans who forty years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture and captivity in Teheran.
We are the dozens of Americans stationed at our embassy in Cuba and consulates in China, who mysteriously and dangerously—and in some cases perhaps permanently—were injured in attacks from unknown sources several years ago.
And we are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty—people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation’s foreign policy interests in Libya, eight years ago.
We honor these individuals. They represent each one of you here—and every American. These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America.
As Tonto asked the Lone Ranger when he announced that “We’re surrounded” (by Indians), “What you mean ‘we,’ kemosabe?”
By the same token, I thought, Yovanovitch might have observed:
We are Alger Hiss, who used his State Department post to serve the Soviet Union at great risk to his own career. He had the stubborn courage to lie about it to the end of his life.
We are Julian Wadleigh, Laurence Duggan, and Noel Field, who also spied for the Soviet Union from inside the State Department.
We are former State Department officer Kendall Myers, who continued the tradition in a later generation by giving highly sensitive diplomatic secrets to Cuba.
The Republicans on the committee were obviously constrained in their questioning of Yovanovitch. They didn’t want to make her cry. As it is, the Democrats thought it highly relevant that President Trump hurt her feelings when he removed her from her post as they continue to seek new frontiers in impeachable presidential conduct.