I hate to pitch politics as just one side vs. the other because it ignores the fact that we’re all Americans (shout out to the guy in the MAGA hat that waved and cheered me on my morning run) and are lucky that we even have the luxury to debate issues and participate in a political process, however flawed it may be.
Here are the closing arguments of the impeachment trial. It’s instructive to place them side-by-side and compare style and substance.
Let’s see how things go over the next two days in the Q&A portion of the trial. Please focus on the facts, try and remain objective while the political winds swirl around us. Everyone is speaking to a camera.
While watching, I’ll be keeping these words from New Yorker columnist, Jia Tolentino in mind.
The early internet had been constructed around lines of affinity and openness. But when the internet moved to an organizing principle of opposition, much of what had formerly been surprising and rewarding and curious became tedious, noxious, and grim.
This shift partly reflects basic social physics. Having a mutual enemy is a quick way to make a friend—we learn this as early as elementary school—and politically, it’s much easier to organize people against something than it is to unite them in an affirmative vision. And, within the economy of attention, conflict always gets more people to look.
I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is ‘yes.’
In this surreal moment, at the same moment when they were talking about Trump on twitter, Trump tweeted and may have earned himself another article of impeachment for threatening a witness. Did he walk into a trap? Surreal.
Ambassador Taylor had to reach for his water before dropping this one.
Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about “the investigations.” Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.
Ambassador William B. Taylor, Opening Statement – 11-13-19
Imagine how loud the President must have been talking into his phone for someone sitting nearby to be able to overhear and recognize not only his voice but the words.