Opinion DC Comment 04 Oct 2019 For now, Trump being ...

For now, Trump being put through the wringer

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 4, 2019, 12:02 am IST
Updated Oct 4, 2019, 12:02 am IST
There appears to be little doubt vis-a-vis the episode of his July 25 telephone call with the Ukranian President that Trump had acted dishonourably.
US President Donald Trump (Photo:AP)
 US President Donald Trump (Photo:AP)

Startled by the pace at which charges are piling up in the impeachment inquiry, the US President, Donald Trump, exploded in public in the presence of the President of Finland on Wednesday. His bluster and anger in taking on his Democratic accusers, chastising them in profane terms, and his stonewalling of the impeachment process do not hide the seriousness of the situation in which the president of the world's oldest and most prosperous democracy finds himself. There appears to be little doubt vis-a-vis the episode of his July 25 telephone call with the Ukranian President that Mr Trump had acted dishonourably. He had sought the help of the leader of a foreign power in putting down his political opponent Joe Biden through his son who had had business dealings in Ukraine. A series of events, beginning with the speculation over Russia interfering in the US presidential elections of 2016 to tilt it in Mr Trump’s favour through social media manipulation, had been leading to this point.

Given the complex equations of the political scenario in a democracy, these events may not lead to the impeachment motion reaching the Senate, which is in the control of the Republicans. History reveals that in the modern age when Presidents came close enough to being impeached, a guilty Richard Nixon resigned and Bill Clinton wriggled out. The fact that the process has been begun by the Democrats just a year and a month before the 2020 election is indictment enough of a cavalier personality more accustomed to the wheeler-dealer ways of a realty tycoon. Mr Trump’s cynical use of a US payment of $400 million to Ukraine as a quid pro quo in a telephone call, to which the then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was privy, makes the episode actionable. And that may well have impelled House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thus far holding back the Democrats’ impeachment move, to get down to it.

 

Mr Trump may be taking the defiant route, perhaps secure in the knowledge that his party’s Senate majority would inhibit his opponents from taking this all the way to a vote that would need a two-thirds majority to pass. Also, there may be enough people of his constituency who are mainly white and of the evangelical community for him to be a serious candidate for re-election, regardless of what the opinion polls may say a year to the polls. Also, the economy is doing well enough for people to think twice before they choose to condemn their President in what they will see right now only as a political move to discredit him. Of course, the impeachment inquiry could seriously expose Mr Trump’s dalliance with impropriety in many things he may have done as President with regard to dealings with foreign powers and their leaders. He may indeed have shamed the traditions of office of the man widely seen as the leader of the free world. But that is Donald Trump in a nutshell, a misfit for the office so far as heading a liberal democracy goes, and yet he beat the American electoral system to be in the White House.

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