What the hell is this? Who thought it was a good idea?
Right, I know: The same op-ed editors who thought it’d be a good idea to omit the detail in last week’s Kavanaugh “bombshell” about how his alleged victim doesn’t remember any assault.
The clip was inspired by David Leonhardt’s column a few days ago listing 40 or so separate grievances against Trump. The word “impeachment” is never used but in the context of the Ukraine news it’s Leonhardt’s stab at summarizing all the reasons Trump must go. Read through it and you’ll see immediately why Pelosi is inclined to focus the Democrats’ impeachment process narrowly on Ukraine instead of following Leonhardt’s omnibus approach. Some of what he lists, like the Ukraine business, is genuine impeachment-caliber material if the most damning allegations can be proved, but much of it falls under the broad heading of “Trump being a dick.” “He waved around his arms, while giving a speech, to ridicule a physically disabled person,” notes Leonhardt. “He made a joke about Pocahontas during a ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans.” He’s called particular women “a pig,” “a dog,” and “horseface.”
Said Nate Silver of Leonhardt’s and the Times’s laundry-list approach to Trump complaints, “This is like when you initially strike up a sympathetic conversation with the guy sitting next to you on the plane … and then he talks your ear off for the next 5 hours.” Pelosi’s worried that a similarly lengthy recitation in Democrats’ articles of impeachment would make the general public feel that way as well. It’s too easy to get lost in “embarrassing but not impeachable” offenses. If you want Americans to grasp that the Ukraine allegations are singularly grave, make them singular. Give them that and only that.
Presumably it was Leonhardt’s laundry-list take on Trump that reminded some bored NYT editor of the scroll at the beginning of “Star Wars.” The complaints roll past, one after another, just like the text that opens “A New Hope,” and this clip was the result. Maybe the Times staff was already under orders to keep an eye out for meme-able content that’s more likely to be shared on social media than a URL link to a boring ol’ opinion piece. (Reaction on social media to this clip was strongly negative, for what it’s worth. The second clip below sums it up well.) Or maybe the media is so invested in its romantic image as part of a rebel alliance that’s fighting to unseat the evil emperor that they couldn’t resist a “Star Wars” take now that Princess Nancy has sent fighters to try to blow up the Death Star. Notably lame, either way.
"The president has launched a fresh assault on fair elections." Unfortunately, this isn't happening a long time ago in a universe far, far away. pic.twitter.com/EUuAptsKJv
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) September 27, 2019
— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) September 27, 2019