Does Anyone Actually Think Ukraine Will Change Anything?
Maybe I’m too jaded — but I also doubt that I’m alone.
We’ve been hearing about it for days, now: President Trump pressured the President of Ukraine to dig up political dirt on 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son, possibly in exchange for military aid that is being withheld.
Since the story broke four days ago, the headlines have been big, and pretty much nonstop:
“Here’s a timeline of Trump’s latest scandal. It’s damning.” — The Washington Post
“The Ukraine scandal makes a stronger case for impeachment than the Mueller probe did” — Vox
“We’ve Reached the Breaking Point” — The Atlantic
After Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday announcement that the House will be opening a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, we can probably expect the dramatic headlines to continue for a while.
But that’s pretty much the only thing I expect, anymore.
As I was listening to NPR’s Up First in the shower this morning, one particular exchange early on stood out to me:
Steve Inskeep: How are Ukrainians responding as more is known about Trump’s actions?
Lucian Kim: Well, unfortunately, Ukrainians are very used to corruption scandals and are also used to thier prosecutors doing almost nothing to go after corruption.
While the headlines rage on and political analysts claim “this changes everything”, I have to wonder — are we any different from the Ukrainians? How many regular Americans actually believe that this scandal, any Trump scandal, is going to change things? Corruption has become as normalized to the American public as it is to Ukraine (who, by the way, also elected a tv personality as President).
Democrats know that they lack the two-thirds majority in the Senate they would need to actually convict in an impeachment trial. This would require bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled upper chamber, and there is no sign of that happening. The Republicans have already vowed to squash any impeachment efforts.
Despite this, Zach Beauchamp argues in Vox that:
“It doesn’t actually matter so much that impeachment will invariably fail in the Senate. The very act of shining a light on Trump’s misbehavior would limit his freedom of action.”
Sure — I guess so. But so what?
There has been light on Trump’s actions from Day 1. None of this has stopped him or prevented him from escalating his corrupt behavior. He is here, today, attempting to get another foreign power to interfere in American elections despite all of the light shown on his previous actions.
Stormy Daniels, the Access Hollywood Tape, the Muslim Ban, Russia, the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, James Comey… I’m probably forgetting some. There has been no shortage of light shown on his misdeeds.
The Mueller Report was highly anticipated for the light it would shine. The day it finally came out, all work was put on hold while we scanned the tome for its most damning lines.
Yet, nothing changed.
When the report itself didn’t create change, Democrats awaited the “game-changing” testimony of Mueller himself.
Again, nothing changed.
As Anthony Scaramucci correctly predicted, “Six months from now, I don’t see this being anything other than a distant memory.”
So, I ask — does anyone actually think Ukraine will change anything?
I don’t claim to know what will force leaders to join together to fix our democracy, but I doubt it’s Ukraine — or whatever the next big Trump scandal will be six months from now.
I genuinely hope I’m wrong, though.
I hope I’ve just become too cynical and too jaded by the current partisan deadlock. I hope that this is the final straw for Senate Republicans that forces them to put their country first. I hope there are others out there still clinging to optimistic idealism and fighting for the change we need to heal our broken nation.
But I’m not holding my breath.