Remember the popular TV comedy series, Seinfeld, where the cast of banal, vacuous characters go about their daily dysfunctional lives to the amusement of viewers? Well, it reminds us a bit of the Trump impeachment hearings. And here’s why.
In one of the episodes, Jerry tries to explain to Elaine the comic book concept of Bizarro World, where everything is opposite what it should be. Jerry explains thus…
Jerry: Yeah, like Bizarro Superman—Superman’s exact opposite, who lives in the backwards Bizarro world. Up is down; down is up. He says “Hello” when he leaves, “Goodbye” when he arrives.
Elaine: Shouldn’t he say “bad bye”? Isn’t that the opposite of goodbye?
Jerry: No, it’s still goodbye.
Elaine: Does he live underwater?
Elaine: Is he black?
Jerry: Look, just forget the whole thing. Alright?
Enter Adam Schiff and his crusade to impeach Donald Trump. In Schiff’s Bizarro World, Trump is guilty until proven innocent. Official transcripts, such as the one of the phone conversation between the president and his Ukrainian counterpart, are not evidence, but speculation and conjecture are. Only the accusers can call witnesses but the defense can’t. Questions are controlled only by the prosecutor. Any claim of innocence on the part of the accused is deemed a desperate attempt to hide obvious guilt.
Consider the implications if an upstanding soul such as this writer were accused by one of my many enemies.
- If I walk a confused old lady across a busy intersection, I’m guilty of attempted robbery since that’s what a rogue like me obviously had in mind upon reaching the other side.
- When it’s April 14th and I haven’t mailed my tax return yet, I’m guilty of conspiracy to commit tax fraud because someone like me never intended to file one in the first place.
- If I tell my side of the story, it’s a cover up and obstruction of justice
Recall that in the latest impeachment charges, Donald Trump is accused of demanding political favors from a foreign government in exchange for U.S. aid. And this, even though the actual record shows that no aid was withheld, no conditions were overtly attached to the receipt of such aid, and in fact the Trump administration had already drastically increased aid to the Ukraine. And he authorized it far in excess of that granted by any previous administration without favors of any kind in return. Then add in the facts that the president is constitutionally empowered to conduct foreign relations, and there is no law against asking for a favor. And anyway, all he actually asked for is an investigation of corruption, not dirt on an opponent. But all this is of no consequence in Bizarro World. All they have is the naked assumption by those unfriendly to the president that he probably—no DEFINITELY—intended nefarious things because, well…it’s Trump, isn’t it?
As you can see, in Schiff’s Bizarro World, the accused is presumed guilty, there is no right to confront your accuser (the “whistleblower”), there is no right to counsel, and unsubstantiated suppositions by Never-Trumpers about his intentions are conclusive evidence.
I’ll admit though that like Seinfeld, the process is amusing. Although for my money we’d be better served having Jerry, Elaine and Kramer running the inquiry rather than Goofy Adam Schiff. They’re more credible. And with the 2020 elections looming, let not the Democrats forget that Seinfeld is no longer on the air.