Wednesday, January 22, 2020

UPDATED: How Bad Is Schiff's Impeachment Theater?

I refuse to take the actual articles of impeachment seriously. So let's take a look at the theater aspect of it, which has always been what it's really about. And here is the depth to which our republic has descended.

What can you say about a liberal whom Politico feels called up to, er, correct?

Schiff may have mischaracterized Parnas evidence, documents show
Unredacted material shows he may have referred to the wrong "Mr. Z."
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump. 
Ya think?
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted. 
But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.

I assume Politico is trying to get out ahead of this story to make it "old news". You have to get to the bottom, through all the spin, to find out what GOPers are saying about this:

A Republican aide said the assumption that “mr Z” is a reference to Zelensky is sloppy oversight work at best. 
“The most charitable view of the situation is that [Schiff’s] staff committed the equivalent of Congressional malpractice by not looking more than an inch deep to determine the facts before foisting this erroneous information on his colleagues and the American public,” said one senior GOP aide. 
“But given the selective redactions and contextual clues, it seems as though Chairman Schiff sought to portray an innocuous meeting with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky as an insidious one with the President of Ukraine simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z.”

Yeah, I'd say that's the most charitable view--and I'm not particularly charitable. At this level of play, you don't get the benefit of the doubt for BS like this. "... simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z”? How about: Simply because they thought they could get away with it?

If you prefer to read something other than Politico's spin, Zerohedge has a full account: Adam Schiff Caught "Mischaracterizing" Evidence Day One Of Senate Impeachment Trial.

UPDATE 1: Probably even worse--Schiff had to intervene to shut down CNN reporter Manu Raju from asking Jerry Nadler about Nadler's tirade against Republican senators last night. Nadler:

“The President is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your oath to be an impartial juror? Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the President’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the President’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. An absolutely indefensible vote. Obviously, a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States. A real trial we know has witnesses. We urge you to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That’s elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth or you, and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate.”

Obviously pretty insulting stuff, coming from a clown like Nadler in particular. How do you think senators felt about that?

That's what Manu Raju wanted to know, and what Schiff didn't want CNN listeners to hear. Here's Raju's exchange with Schiff, who first refused to let Nadler speak for himself, then moved on to another reporter without answering Raju's question:

 RAJU: Mr. Nadler, the Republicans have been going — 
ADAM SCHIFF: I’m going to respond to the questions. 
RAJU: OK, well Mr. Nadler’s been criticized by Republicans, Mr. Schiff.

 What did GOP senators have to say? Judging from some tweets, Nadler scored an own goal:

Hawley says House severely alienated the jury.  
Murkowksi says she was offended. 
Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Nadler was “especially partisan” last night and that is “not helpful to their cause,” saying Rs “believe it was a partisan process coming out of the House and I think the tone yesterday in many respects reinforces that” 
“It was so insulting and outrageous it was a shock to all of us,” Cornyn said

UPDATE 2: I strongly suspect Rand Paul is exactly right:


  1. To put it simply, I see someone whose obsession has driven him into madness…

  2. PS. He does not know that he should have gotten off the stage an hour or so ago. He lapsed into rumination hours ago and just could not get himself out… I see that he just ended his two and a half hour diatribe..

  3. trending on Twitter - 60,000 tweets loving Schiff

    Like I said - he knows how to get 'em

    1. That's pathetic. Do you have any idea how many people live in this country?

  4. One thing is becoming crystal clear after Schiff's manifold lies and misrepresentations: the Senate isn't the audience for Dem Magical Fabricated Hoax Impeachment Theatrical Farce. The general voting population isn't even the target audience.

    The target audience is the same as it was when Pelosi launched this faux Impeachment farce: Dem base voters who are off the reservation after the disappointment of the Mueller probe failing to deliver the promise of Trump's head on a platter.

    That's the only audience that eats this up; everyone else if put off by the House managers and their lies.

    But the Dems have to win back their base in order to salvage as many Congressional seats, Govenorships, and legislative seats as possible in 2020 elections, and Impeachment Theater is raw meat for the Dem base voters.

    IOW, Dems have written off the WH in 2020. They know none of their candidates can beat Trump. It's all about avoiding a disaster down-ticket.

    1. But I don't think this will avoid a down-ticket disaster. They didn't win back the House by appealing to the base, they won it by fooling independents. All they're doing here is reminding independents how badly they were fooled, as polling shows. Fool me once ...

    2. Don't get me wrong; I don't think it will work, either. But it is the only strategy that appears to fit the circumstances and behavior of the House Impeachment Managers.

      I think it is the only card they have to play. And the base cannot save them -- except for select districts -- from the tsunami of backlash voters who will crawl over broken glass to vote these clowns out of office.

    3. What if it is as simple as it appears?

      The fix was in. Hillary was supposed to be president, period. The GOPe did their best to find candidates that would lose. Except Trump.

      McCain and Romney were not designed to win. Heck, Romney took took a clear dive during the debates, but the die was caste long before. Neither candidate would win, but the GOP would benefit as cuckholds to the Democrats.

      That is, if you are cynical.

      Which I am.

    4. I agree and think that a red tide will wash them out of power.

  5. What about the weaker aspects of their base, i.e. moderate liberals, who Dersh urges should unite with moderate conservatives (e.g., to make the SJWs tone down their bratiness?
    If a major number of these moderate liberals follow Dersh's lead, may we see the whole Dem ticket get creamed this fall, leading to a strong "moderate" third party?

    Were such a party to get traction, I'd guess that the least fanatical SJWs might consider breaking from the currently-dominant fanatics.

  6. On the first day, I got through ten minutes of Bullschiff's contrived blather before switching it off. Wasn't about to check out day 2 of what is, in reality, just the continuation of the Dem's "Trump-Russia" farce. I'm fairly certain that compelling anyone to listen to his inane, melodramatic nonsense violates the prohibition on torture. Hard to imagine being a senator essentially captive to this.

    While enduring those excruciating ten minutes that I'll never get back, it occurred to me that absolutely none of this would be transpiring if the FBI had done its job rather than being an accessory to the crime. It's far more likely that we would now be seeing televised hearings on the criminal conspiracy the FBI uncovered to rig the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton. Well, in a sane world anyway.

    Then, last night, I saw this from Eli Lake:

    1. I saw Lake a few days ago. He takes a long time, but essentially it boils down to "mistakes were made" rather than crimes were committed.

  7. There is no "Deep State" and "Mistakes were made" was exactly what I came away with. Thanks.