What was President Trump thinking?

Donald Trump is his own worse enemy.  The recent disclosure by the Washington whistleblower is another example of Mr. Trump not using his brain before he speaks.

Think about this.  In the 2016 election the Russians and maybe others interfered in our presidential election.  And now President Trump is accused of asking the Ukraine government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.  If true how dumb is that?

The whistleblower’s nine-page account of President Trump’s telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine is certainly disturbing.  It gives fuel to the fire that democrats are looking for in their efforts to oust the president from office.  The last thing any politician should do is recklessly give his or her enemies more fuel to add to the fire.  Mr. Trump knows that the democrats are after him.  He knows that they will do anything to tarnish his presidency, justified or not.  Mr. Trump’s lack of experience in government and in dealing with the wolves in Congress are the main reasons he makes such bonehead mistakes.

High profile politicians should be aware that what they say and what they do will always be under the microscope.  In this day and age of high stakes, gotcha politics where neither the truth nor the facts interfere with a contrived story line, politicians must recognize that everything they do and say can be made to fit a twisted narrative.

President Trump knows that the goal of democrats from the first day of his presidency was to push him out of office, not at the ballot box but rather through impeachment.  Barring more incriminating evidence against the president, this impeachment effort will not succeed.  But from the standpoint of democrats it does not have to succeed in ousting Mr. Trump.  The hope is that enough dirt will be piled on that neither President Trump not any other republican will be able to win next year’s presidential election.

Here is the problem with that strategy.  It sets a very dangerous precedent.  After the next election the losing party will be on the hunt for anything, no matter how trivial, that could negatively impact the new president.  We will see for the next several election cycles the losing party doing everything it can to demean and humiliate the new president.  Accusations of Election Day scandals and campaign donation violations will be everyday news.  Washington will be at a standstill and nothing significant will get done.  The losers are the American people.  The winners are the politicians in Washington who are only in it for the power and the glory.

All of this said, and in all fairness, the whistleblowers memorandum is insufficient to move forward on impeachment.  The memo is secondhand information, hearsay in a court of law, and not reliable.  Yes, it does raise concerns and should be investigated.  The whistleblower needs to come forward, and the whistleblower needs to disclose where he got this information so that investigators and the American people can learn first-hand precisely what was said by President Trump and the president of Ukraine.  Of course, the best evidence of what was said is a recording of the telephone call itself.  Then and only then can the truth be discovered, and the American people can decide if President Trump indeed crossed the line and committed “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” which the Constitution says is the basis for the impeachment and removal from office of a president.  

The charges levied in the memo must be verified independently from the memo itself.  If democrats are sincerely wanting to protect our nation, they will produce any audio recording that may exist and the firsthand witnesses to the conversation Mr. Trump had with his counterpart in Ukraine.  Short of this the memo should be put aside.  Secondhand information while sufficient to start an investigation is not good enough to prove what actually happened.