Trump’s Bribery and the Moral and/or Intellectual Bankruptcy of His Defenders, Part 2

Hello Vlad, this is Nancy, just calling to congratulate you on your amazing leadership. Listen, I know there are some tensions between our two countries, but I really think we can be good friends. In fact, as a token of that friendship, I’m happy to tell you that we in the U.S. Congress are probably going to be lifting the economic sanctions against Russia. That was a terrible and reckless thing the last Congress did to you, but as Speaker of the House, I can get us to move in a new direction now. And I’m very willing to do that, because that’s the kind of genuine friendship I envision having with you—not just a friendship of words, like so many of your other so-called friendships are, but one of real benefits. And we realize that you will never be able to fully reciprocate those benefits for us, but hey, that’s okay.

I would like you to do us a favor, though. You know what a bad guy our President is. I mean, the Mueller investigation didn’t find any direct evidence of a conspiracy with you, so you’re in the clear, but still, we’ve heard some horrible things about him. Really, really horrible. Like that business with Russian prostitutes, and how there’s maybe a “pee tape” about that somewhere in your country. That definitely needs to be looked into, so we’d just like you to open an official investigation for us. Okay, so we’ll look forward to hearing an announcement from you about that, to show us you understand the benefits of working together as friends. Congratulations again, and have a great day!


The preceding is obviously a totally imaginary phone conversation between Nancy Pelosi and Vladimir Putin. It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario even remotely similar to this ever happening between these two people. But what if it did? Would we not all consider it a total outrage and embarrassment that a representative of the U.S. government would speak like this and use her official position to try to leverage another country into announcing an investigation to serve her own political interests? Would there be a single Republican in the U.S. House or Senate who wouldn’t roundly condemn it?

I think my point is obvious. Compare this imaginary interaction with Putin to Trump’s real interaction with the President of Ukraine, and draw your own conclusion about the blatant hypocrisy of the Republicans in Congress who are defending the real one as a perfectly legitimate form of diplomacy. Whether the crime merits a punishment as severe as removal from office or not may be a debatable issue, but regardless of your position on that, I say there is really no reasonable way whatsoever to defend Trump’s behavior as perfectly legitimate.

This page copyright © 2019 Edward A. Morris.  Created December 19, 2019.  Last updated December 19, 2019.

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