By William Jones Source: CGTN Published: 2019-11-27
The United States was subjected to a week of hearings in the House of Representatives by the House Intelligence Committee attempting to make the point that President Donald Trump was unfit for office and should be impeached.
The issue was an alleged attempt by the president to use promised military aid as a "wedge" to get the newly elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate the role of Hunter Biden, the son of one of his Democratic challengers in the 2020 election, in alleged payoffs from the Ukrainian firm Burisma.
To raise the issue to an impeachable level, this still-to-be-proven "quid pro quo" was to be labeled "bribery," one of the categories of crimes that are explicitly mentioned as impeachable in the U.S. Constitution.
Not all Democrats were prepared to go so far as to initiate impeachment hearings on this matter, but the lackluster showing of the gaggle of Democratic candidates no doubt sent a message that President Trump would probably be re-elected unless something else was done to stop him. So, finally, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who had been resisting this push for impeachment, conceded, and the process began.
It was micromanaged by Representative Adam Schiff, who choreographed the entire proceedings in order to give credibility to the claims and to eliminate any witnesses that might detract from them, including refusing to call the unnamed but not-so-anonymous "whistleblower," who had raised the accusation against Trump in the first place.
After years of investigations of the Russiagate scandal which led nowhere, Democrats then hit upon the Ukrainian "quid pro quo" gambit and had a whole cast of Trump critics in live hearings in order to create a big public display. How many people, aside from that group of political "wonks" that love Washington scandals, actually watched the hearings is another question.
But the entire procedure was solely Kabuki theater. Trump will not be impeached. While the House may well call for an impeachment trial, the Republican majority in the Senate will remain unmoved by the dodgy arguments presented by the so-called "witnesses."
In addition, they may call witnesses of their own, including those who may attest to the successful attempts by the Democratic administration in 2013 to unseat the duly elected leader of Ukraine, an operation that was conducted under the alleged auspices of then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joseph Biden.
Democrats know that impeachment will never fly, but they hope that the flurry of accusations presented during the process will influence the electorate, giving whoever becomes the Democratic candidate a chance to win in 2020. But they are playing a very risky game.
Their fervor in attempting to get rid of Trump ever since he was elected president is more and more being viewed as an obsessive attempt to undo the results of the election. In this, Trump may well be viewed more as a victim than a perpetrator. And initial polls taken in Wisconsin and Michigan recently indicate that he has not lost the support he had garnered in winning those states from these hearings.
But the underlying cause of the hysterical opposition to Trump remains the same – the absolute fear that Trump wants to change the role of the United States as "world policeman." His attempts to end the U.S. involvement in Syria and to create a working relationship with leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin have not been viewed kindly by many in the "military-industrial complex," who still view themselves as the "rule-makers" in the world.
The Democratic Party grossly misjudged the feeling among American voters in 2016. And they seem to be doing it again. Trump's continued strong support from ordinary Americans indicates that American people do not take well to the role of "imperial overlord."
While Washington "wonks" may enjoy the game of "ruling the world," people out in the hustings are not. And the growing popularity of Democratic candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, another maverick like Trump who would like to see an end to the attempts of the United States to serve as a "world policeman," indicates that there is a general weariness among American populations with "ruling the world."
William Jones is the Washington Bureau Chief for Executive Intelligence Review and a non-resident senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.