By now, we’ve all heard about the anonymous whistleblower who revealed Trump’s grossly illegal call to the Ukrainian President– one in which the President threatened to withhold military aid unless the President gave him dirt on Joe Biden.
After hesitating to do so following the Mueller investigation into Trump’s dealings with the Russians, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally announced formal impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment Fever Fall is in full swing.
I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG https://t.co/DXWEskcFqx
— theodora (@teddylake) September 24, 2019
But maybe we haven’t heard as much from his defenders. Fox News can never admit that the President is wrong– but this is gonna be a tough one to spin.
Fox hosts realizing what they're going to have to defend todaypic.twitter.com/J1DSOutKAd
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) September 25, 2019
Pundits like Sean Hannity are saying that Biden pushed for the Ukrainian AG, who was investigating Biden’s son Hunter (then an employee of a Ukrainian company) to be fired.
Incredibly, they’re trying to shift the scrutiny onto Biden, saying these revelations will be devastating for the Democratic Party.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2019
Trump voiced these “facts” after a U.N. meeting, and MSNBC reporter Nicole Wallace cut into his speech to let viewers know he’s lying. These corruption charges had already been looked into and thoroughly debunked.
Biden was not pushing for the AG’s ouster to benefit his son, but rather on behalf of the IMF, who knew this guy was corrupt.
If you’re gonna put Trump’s lies on air, you should make sure to tell viewers exactly what they are. Fox, of course, showed the full press conference, without fact-checking. But it’s not just Fox News who are sticking by Trump. It’s also the Republicans in Congress.
Senator Lindsey Graham (booooo), didn’t promulgate the ridiculous Biden corruption charges but rather told colleagues that the White House had learned its lesson. “I think they’ve got the message.” He also noted,
“If you are listening in the Ukraine on C-SPAN, you’re gonna get the money.”
So not so much a defense as a “this won’t happen again.” Oklahoma Senator Lanksford said the delay was due to Trump’s “due diligence.”
He asserted, “It was entirely reasonable that the United States spend a couple of months getting to know him [Ukrainian President Zelensky], his administration and to figure out if he was going to be pro-Russian or pro-West. Because no one knew which direction Zelensky was going to go.”
But in the phone call (or what Trump has been calling a “PERFECT CONVERSATION” on Twitter), it’s clear that Trump didn’t care too much about that. What he cared about most was– as always– himself.
Other Republicans are trying to discredit the story itself. Rep. Devin Nunes (California) argued, “Once again, the Democrats, their media mouthpieces and a cabal of leakers are ginning up a fake story with no regard to the monumental damage they’re causing to our public institutions and to trust in government — and without acknowledging all the false stories they propagated in the past.”
Ok, but there’s a phone call– one that we have the transcript for. That’s not “fake news.” That’s evidence. (And what “false stories” in the past?)
Dispiritingly, but not surprisingly, it seems that many Republicans will remain as loyal to their President as ever. NC Rep. Mark Meadows said, “I took a long walk around the [House] floor tonight, talking to dozens of members, and I haven’t seen this level of intensity of support for the president since the 2016 campaign.” He concluded:
“We’re with him and ready to go.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe these impeachment proceedings will cause Republicans to go to battle, to rally around the President. Probably too much to ask for them to stand up and be decent and say that the President was wrong.