All presidents who seek reelection wield their power in ways designed to improve their chances. If Trump went too far in that regard, we could look with disfavor on that while realizing that he would not be the first president to have done so. And if, alternatively, the president had a good reason for making a reciprocal commitment to Ukraine, that commitment would not become improper just because, collaterally, it happened to help Trump or harm Biden politically.

This is a good example of what David Hume called “the calm sunshine of the mind,” and I like to see it. I wish it were in evidence more broadly.

You won’t find that calm sunshine anywhere near the revving outrage machine of the anti-Trump media or the clown car precincts of the U.S. House of Representatives. Nope, for the next week or so, until it collapses on the miasma of its own fatuousness, expect screaming headlines and stories by Max Boot asking, “Is Trump finally finished?”

Stepping back for a moment from that snarling imbroglio, I do wonder whether the latest “Trump abused his powers, let’s impeach him!” gambit is not rather an impressive deployment of a rhetorical-political gambit known as the “preemptive tu quoque I-tagged-you-first” strategy. The media and anti-Trump commentariat is jumping up and down in unison saying, “Trump is leaning on a foreign power in order to gain a political advantage.”