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Elections

Ukraine: The Poorly Written Hoax Sequel

The deep state needs new writers because this story isn’t selling.


- October 14th, 2019
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“By any metric,” Megan McArdle contends in her Washington Post column, “Trump is in trouble.” The headline of McArdle’s piece warns: “Poll by sinking poll, Trump inches toward impeachment. How much longer, she asks, can a president survive a “53.4 percent disapproval rating”? As she notes, “In January 1974, well into the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon’s poll numbers on impeachment were better than Trump’s.”

McArdle’s column foretells an imminent fall for the Bad Orange Man, suggesting Trump’s ouster may be months or weeks away. If only there were a way to look into the future to see how her predictions might play out.

As it happens, there is. McCardle made those predictions on August 31 . . . in 2018. Spoiler alert! Thirteen months later, President Trump remains in office, not impeached.

But memories are short. McArdle returned the topic of impeachment in another column published late last month. She now sees the get-Trump forces succumbing to hypocrisy: “The irony of investigating a political rival for a grubbier and more explicit version of what you yourself are doing will be much-remarked in coming weeks . . . It’s fair to chuckle at Democratic expense, but after all, life is full of such ironies.”

Oh, how jaded the true believer has become!

“So far,” McArdle continues, “conservatives have been saved from this fate by the #Resistance rushes to judgment . . . . With Trump, by contrast, the left followed a variation on the strategy of Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’”

If the Ukraine farce were a legitimate scandal, the Democrats would be using a fair and transparent process so that they could build confidence in their bipartisan audience.

The Ukraine farce and the Russia-collusion hoax share one key characteristic: Both “scandals” lumbered on long after an early revelation destroyed the theories behind them.

Fumbles Aplenty

McArdle is also likely frustrated. With anti-Trump partisans’ near-monopoly on expressed viewpoints in academia, television, print media, and entertainment, it must be really frustrating to see Trump’s disapproval today holding steady around 53 percent. Because here’s a really fun fact: On October 9, 2011, almost at exactly the same point in Barack Obama’s administration, American disapproval of the 44th president was . . . 53 percent.

The Ukraine farce, led by Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (why, exactly?), annoyed Trump initially. But the president has since turned the story to his advantage because of the conspirators’ many fumbles.

Trump’s rallies now feature lacerating sarcasm at Schiff’s expense. In contrast, the plotters have had to stretch and distort their original story to bridge the gap that emerged after the release of the Trump/Ukraine call transcript.

“Never drop the con. Die with the lie.” Nicky Spurgeon once said. So, even though we can easily see the magically disappearing rabbit slithering out of his pant-leg, Schiff continues to pretend we need even more whistleblowers to tell us what’s in a publicly available transcript. We can read exactly what was said during the call.

Why does Schiff insist on dropping more hints about a secret that has already been revealed? The answer, of course, is that the Schiff script calls for a calculated series of drip-drip-drips to keep his face on television in the hope that perhaps you will believe the spin instead of your lying eyes.

Like the amateur screenwriter he is, Schiff evidently coached the “whistleblower” before sending him to the intelligence community’s inspector general. Reciting his lines with near perfection, the whistleblower nevertheless forgot to disclose that he and Schiff had already met to strategize how best to leverage the complaint into an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. Well, maybe the whistleblower didn’t forget because Schiff then lied about having any contact with the “whistleblower.”

For that claim, the Washington Post awarded Schiff four Pinocchios. People who have good facts are careful with them. That’s the lesson taught by the fable of “the boy who cried wolf.” Schiff is not careful with his facts and should never again be in charge of hunting wolves. Oh, and now it turns out that the “whistleblower,” worked for former Vice President Joe Biden and traveled to Ukraine with him.

The transcript of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not provide evidence of a crime or abuse of power. Without a “crime” to report, this is just a CIA employee’s leak of a confidential diplomatic communication to meddle in next year’s election—which is a clear abuse of power. I’m trying to remember the last story I read about the CIA that didn’t involve leaking to meddle in U.S. domestic politics. A spy agency using its secrets to interfere with domestic elections: That’s the road to tyranny.

Schiff has compounded his lying and underhanded plotting by running a kangaroo proceeding that compares unfavorably to the due process of the Salem Witch Trials. Secret proceedings, secret even from the accused president’s attorneys, allow Schiff to spoon-feed selective leaks to the colluding media. House Resolution 803 authorizing the impeachment investigation of President Nixon passed 410-4. Schiff’s “impeachment inquiry” defies three House votes not to impeach President Trump.

Lame Narratives Live On

The Ukraine farce and the Russia-collusion hoax share one key characteristic: Both “scandals” lumbered on long after an early revelation destroyed the theories behind them.

Ask yourself, in all the time we labored under carpet-bombing coverage of the Russia collusion hoax, did the media ever clearly explain what the president supposedly did to collude with the Russians? That explanation was supposed to be, “He directed his personal attorney Michael Cohen to pay the DNC server hackers.” But Cohen inconveniently produced his passport showing an ironclad alibi proving the meeting never happened.

Similarly, the Ukraine farce whistleblower made several guesses about the phone call that turned out not to be true. Yet the Ukraine story continues incoherently.

Is it a matter of public interest that Hunter Biden received suspicious payments from an energy company that may have benefitted from Joe Biden’s demand to fire a prosecutor? I would want to know more facts if the same could be said of Donald Trump and his son. Let’s be honest: Trump is being attacked for not observing the entitled privilege the Bidens’ elite status confers. The same thing happened when Trump fired James Comey and dared to call for a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Ukraine is a poorly written sequel to the Russia-collusion flop. The same 53 percent of Americans who disapproved of Donald Trump in August 2018 probably still disapprove of him today. The deep state needs new writers because this story isn’t selling.

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