In June of 2008, Barack Obama used a rhetorical flourish that belies his character; “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” said the future President. At the time, the then-candidate was on a fundraising junket that I attended (full disclosure) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The phrase was a piece of dialogue he may have lifted from the movie the ‘Untouchables,’ more likely it was an appropriated lyric from rapper Jay-Z’s recording of ‘Takeover’ to whom the former President is known to be a fan.
Oh my, this set off a firestorm; you would have thought he had eaten a burger garnished with arugula, wearing a tan suit. Fox News equated him with a terrorist and assorted right-wing rag[s] lambasted his latent violent tendencies. A year later, in June of 2009, Glen Beck, then of Fox News, said the nation’s first black president had a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” No insult was too big, no resistance too far, no slur too grievous.
That little stroll down nostalgia lane of presidential opposition pales in the face of the Republican’s defense of real criminality. The current President, Donald Trump, attempted to extort and bribe the Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky. The Conservative Party tells us every chance they get, “read the transcript.” To that I say—yes, read the transcript and believe your eyes.
Imagine if these words had come from the mouth of Barack Obama and oh say—with Kenya attached…
President Zelensky: “We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.”
The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it…The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.
It would appear the old joke about The Nile (Denial) not just being a river in Egypt, should be amended to it being a swamp in Ukraine. If you think Ohio State University’s own Jim Jordan is yelling at the top of his lungs now, combat earplugs would have been mandatory for anyone within 10 miles of him had the former President been on the phone. So now we are listening to testimony being besmirched by Screaming Jim [Jordan] and One note [Devin] Nunes. Their first defense of Mr. Trump is that the witnesses are giving second, third and fourth-hand accounts. Now that we have heard from two witnesses who were listening in on the call between the American and Ukraine presidents, the story is now that they are mistaken or disloyal or are part of a Democratic cabal to oust the President. No Republican ever says Mr. Trump is innocent of the accusations.
Too often pundits, critics, and supporters of the President have smiled and repeated the infamous line, ad-nauseam, uttered by Mr. Trump,’ shoot someone on Fifth Avenue,’ blah, blah blah. The public is faced with two choices, either believe a decorated war hero, three Ambassadors with 25 or more years of experience or a man who has lied more in 3 years than most of us have hugged our loved ones in a lifetime. At some point, and for the sake of the country, I hope Republicans will admit if Mr. Trump shoots and misses, it is still a crime.
Vote in 2020 for Change.