Impeachment is getting real

In the past I’ve said the leaders of the inquiry will have to satisfy the American people that they’re trying to be fair, and not just partisan fools. So far that score is mixed. Republicans charge with some justice that it’s been secretive, the process loaded and marked by partisan creepiness. If I were Adam Schiff now I wouldn’t be fair, I’d be generous—providing all materials, information, dully inviting the Republicans in. That would be a deadly move—to show respect and rob Republicans of a talking point.

It should be communicated to the president’s supporters that they must at some point ask themselves this question: Is it acceptable that an American president muscle an ally in this way for personal political gain? If that is OK then it’s OK in the future when there’s a Democratic president, right? Would your esteem for Franklin D. Roosevelt be lessened if it came to light through old telephone transcripts found in a box in a basement in Georgetown that he told Winston Churchill in 1940, “We’ll lend you the ships and the aid if you announce your government is investigating that ruffian Wendell Willkie”? You’d still respect him and tell the heroic old stories, right?…

There is John Bolton’s testimony, if he testifies. He’s not known as a shy man. He is a conservative who has made his career as a professional (worked for four presidents, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, head of the National Security Council), a foreign-affairs tough guy, a Fox News contributor. Some, perhaps many conservatives were heartened when he came aboard with the president in the spring of 2018.

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