This was a week of hope. The first week of Impeachment Hearings.​

This week, many things happened.

Yes, the terrible school shooting in Santa Clarita, California happened. The brutal Turkish dictator Erdogan was welcomed again to our White House, and, even as the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was testifying about the smears and intimidation she had received at the hands of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and Trump himself, the crude and lawless man in the White House attacked her again, forcing his presence into the 2nd Day Impeachment Hearing with a threatening and repulsive tweet.

But enough of that.

This all happened. Still, I saw hope ( And it wasn't because Roger Stone, in a trial that was part of Robert Mueller's investigation, was found guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including witness tampering and lying to Congress.)

First, despite the GOP attempt to “win the spin" and persuade Americans that the Hearings were “boring," a nation was riveted. According to a Reuters poll (Friday, November 15, 2019), 68% of Americans watched the Hearings.

A friend posted his plane trip on Twitter.

Thanks @EvanHandler

The video on this Twitter link is even more encouraging.

Second, thanks to the dignified, calm demeanor and prudent judgment of Chair, Representative Adam Schiff of California, and despite the dishonest shenanigans and disruptive style of the GOP Trump enablers (Gym Jordan, Elise Stefanik and others), the Hearings generally proceeded seriously, even with a gravitas appropriate to the situation we face - the Impeachment of an American President.

Third, the Hearings provided a platform for 3 career diplomats - each devoted, patriotic, expert, decent - to lay the foundation for the American public to understand Trump's corrupt intentions and actions.

One of these witnesses, Ambassador Taylor, even came with a booming voice that some likened to that of most famous and trusted 20th-century newsman, the late Walter Cronkite.

Each told the same story - an American President used taxpayer money for selfish, personal and political motives, an American President used taxpayer money to bribe foreign officials to interfere with our elections.

On the second day of the Hearings, the vilified and courageous former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch provided almost seven hours of testimony and experienced, in real time, and in the camera's eye, an additional and shocking Trump's assault.

Almost instantly and widely proclaimed a true America hero, Yovanovitch left the hearing room to a thunderous and spontaneous standing ovation.

Four, by Friday afternoon, following Trump's embarrassing as well as criminal tweet, we could see cracks, yes, very small cracks, begin to form in the GOP Wall.

We watched House GOP members going out of their way to praise Ambassador Yovanovitch. Was this shame? Did reality sink in? Or were these just desperate acts to limit their own liability?

Fox News commentators also began to break. Chris Wallace said, "If you are not moved by the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch today you don't have a pulse." The fanatic Bret Baier recognized that Trump broke the law in 'real time' committing an impeachable offense (witness intimidation) with his tweeted attack on Yovanovitch.

Even Peggy Noonan, apologist and sometime panderer/lackey for Reagan, the Bushes and even Donald Trump, watched and listened to Kent and Taylor, and recognized what she was witnessing. (WSJ, November 14, 2019):

"Republicans on the panel didn't know what to do. They know what this story is, and I believe ­they ab­so­lutely know the pres­i­dent mus­cled an ally, hold­ing pub­lic money over its head to get a per­sonal po­lit­i­cal fa­vor. But they're his party, they didn't want to look weak, they had to show the base they had his back. In their in­ter­rup­tions and chaos-strew­ing they at­tempted to do some of what the De­moc­rats did dur­ing the Ka­vanaugh hear­ings, only with­out the scream­ing meemies of Code Pink.

The De­moc­rats were dis­ciplined in their ques­tion­ing and not bul­ly­ing and the­atri­cal, which was a sur­prise and un­usual for them.

But the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the wit­nesses, the men of Amer­i­ca's diplo­matic class, with the sullen, squir­relly, off-point Re­pub­li­cans, was what gave the hear­ing shape.

William B. Tay­lor Jr., act­ing am­bas­sador to Ukraine, 72, was fifth in his class of 800 at West Point, where he was cadet bat­tal­ion com­man­der. Bronze Star, Viet­nam, 82nd Air­borne, 101st Air­borne, 506th In­fantry, Sec­ond Cav­alry. Af­ter that, gov­ern­ment work and diplomacy. He's known for his mod­esty. You couldn't be more im­pres­sive. Tes­ti­fy­ing along with him George P. Kent, younger and a dif­fer­ent sort—stud­ied Russ­ian his­tory and lit­er­a­ture at Har­vard and Johns Hop­kins, speaks Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian, 27 years in the for­eign ser­vice.

They seemed to have ca­pa­bility and in­tegrity. They weren't deep state; they were old school, old style, not some big dope of a po­lit­i­cal donor, as all ad­min­is­trations have among their am­bassadors, but the peo­ple who make it work, who main­tain the stan­dards, who keep it all up and run­ning.

This is what I saw: the old Amer­ica re­assert­ing it­self, un­der sub­poena. They were Amer­i­can diplo­mats, with stature and com­mand of their sub­ject mat­ter.

And the world was see­ing it, and maybe think­ing, "I re­member them." Older prime min­isters and pres­i­dents in for­eign cap­i­tals could be think­ing, "I re­mem­ber those pros, the bland Mid­west­ern tough guys who knew their stuff. Good that they still ex­ist."

Qui­etly, smoothly, brick by brick, they gave their tes­ti­mony and painted a pic­ture that sup­ports the charge that yes, Don­ald Trump mus­cled Ukraine."

Yes, she provided her usual partisan swipes (sample - "The De­moc­rats were dis­ciplined in their ques­tion­ing and not bul­ly­ing and the­atri­cal, which was a sur­prise and un­usual for them. "), but in the end even Peggy Noonan, decade long GOP polemicist, saw what she saw and admitted “they gave their tes­ti­mony and painted a pic­ture that sup­ports the charge that yes, Don­ald Trump mus­cled Ukraine."


I don't want to overstate what happened this week.

Republican arrogance, lies and alternate reality were omnipresent, inescapable and are perhaps unshakable.

We were exposed too to what might be memorialized as one of the rudest moments ever in seen in public life (discounting, of course, multiple com-parables by Trump himself.)

The moment, of course, was by Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, who who tried to shut down Ambassador Yovanovitch, with an ill-mannered and out-of-line, "You're done!"

You can watch it in my post script below.

But still, Adam Schiff and others were there to protect the Ambassador.

He did.

They did.

This week the American public watched decency, truth and commitment for many, many hours. They were hungry for it and watched.

So, as the week ends, what stays with me, and hopefully with you and many other Americans, was the grace and steadfastness of those who bravely testified under subpoena, ignoring the President's threat, and daring instead to speak truth.

All hail George Kent.

All hail Ambassador Taylor.

All hail Ambassador Yovanovitch.

They made us proud.

There was the grace too of their Democratic supporters.

And then there was the standing ovation.

And, last, yes, don't forget those teeny, tiny, minuscule breaks.





November 19, 2019

Voices4America Post Script One.

Expect more clarity and cracks next week, as the Impeachment Hearings continue.

Tues. 9 am: Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Pence for Europe and Russia; Lt. Colonel Vindman, the former National Security Council director for European affairs.

Tues. 2:30 pm: Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine; and Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trump's National Security Council, who recently left his post.

Wed. 9 am: Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Wed. 2:30 pm. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper. David Hale, a high-ranking official in the State Department

Thurs. 9:00 am. Former National Security Council official Fiona Hill.

Hey, one more good crack..the people of Louisiana on Saturday re-elected Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, despite the fact that a suppliant Trump visited the state multiple times for his opponent and twice in the last two weeks. Trump begged the state which had given him a 20 point win in 2016 for support in 2019.

As Politico reported, earlier this week, the president pleaded with rally-goers to dump Edwards."In two days, I really need you, but you really need you, to send a message to the corrupt Democrats in Washington," he said. "They are corrupt. They are crazy, crazy."

After the Kentucky defeat, the president added, much was riding on Louisiana. "So, Trump took a loss," the president said, referring to Bevin's defeat. "So you got to give me a big win, please. OK? OK?"

As Politico said, Louisiana, like Kentucky before it, gave Trump a “black eye."

I bet it is hurting not just him, but all his GOP enablers.

Post Script 2 as promised. Here is rude, rude Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio who tried to shut down Ambassador Yovanovitch, with an ill-mannered and out-of-line, "You're done!"

'You're Done': Rep. Turner Interrupts Yovanovitch While Answering His Question | NBC News

It is Turner who must be done, when he is up for re-election.

FYI, on Saturday, Tendra Cobb, running against GOP sycophant Elise Stefanik, went from 27,000 followers to 244,000 followers on Twitter. Cobb raised more than $1,000,000- yes, a million dollars.

Did I say Trump tweeted of Stefanik, “a new Republican star was born." How much did that help Tedra Cobb? Only her campaign manager knows for sure.


#ByeStefanik #ByeTrump

We can do this.


Show Comments ()


Follow Us On


On Social