November 18, 2019

The Derp State

“If President Trump is impeached sometime in the coming months — and the incomplete-yet-incredibly-damaging notes from his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky suggest this is all but a certainty — you can probably thank Joe Biden’s polling numbers. As we learn more about what nudged President Trump down the path of fresh impeachable conduct and slapdash criming, all roads lead back to his visceral insecurity and thin-skinned inability to cope with dozens of head-to-head surveys showing the former vice president obliterating Trump by double digits in next year’s general election. His refusal to countenance a fair fight with Biden led the president to reportedly assemble a goon squad full of the stupidest spies in human history to blackmail the president of Ukraine. And it may be his undoing.

In Trumpworld, the ends of self-preservation justify any and all means, even ones which are obviously illegal. And so the president, in cahoots with his febrile lawyer, an obviously-in-cognitive-decline Rudy Giuliani, decided to take Biden down the way gangsters enlist new members in their protection rackets. They would put the squeeze on the incoming Ukrainian government: investigate the Bidens or your aid goes poof. The new president in Kiev, after all, is a fellow entertainer with no government experience. To carry out this scheme, they had to bypass the hated foreign policy apparatus, including the State Department and the National Security Council — what right-wing fever swampers now derisively call “the deep state.” You might think of the parallel system they created for their amateurish gooning as the Derp State, and it all went about as well as you would expect from this crew.

The details of the still-unfolding story, as reported last night in The Washington Post, are incredible, even by the straight-to-video standards of this administration. Shortly after Attorney General William Barr released the Mueller Report on April 18 and Zelensky was elected on April 22, Giuliani was apparently assigned some kind of open-ended dirty trickster role in Ukraine, a bizarre mashup of Special Envoy, Coen Brothers hit man, and senile conspiracy theorist whose sole purpose was to get the new Ukrainian administration to investigate the story of Hunter Biden’s time on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma and Joe Biden’s role in getting a prosecutor fired. There is, of course, nothing to this story. As multiple outlets have noted, when Biden pressured Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, it was because he wasn’t pursuing investigations against various oligarchs and made it more likely that Burisma would be probed.”

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