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.
The video on this Twitter link is even more encouraging. https://twitter.com/gianabanan/status/1195361583238713344?s=21
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.
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 www.youtube.com
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.
We can do this.