There’s that 1969 classic song by Harry Nilsson that goes, “Everybody’s talkin’ at me, I don’t hear a word they’re saying…” - that could be applied to our country’s politics.
Everybody is talking, but nobody can hear a thing – ‘cause nobody’s listening.
It doesn’t mean much to Republicans that Democrats are plowing forward with their impeachment inquiry.
Most Republicans are acting like they don’t hear the constant drone of the president’s presidency grinding to a halt.
When’s the last time you even heard President Trump mention any significant legislation?
He only seems to enjoy talking about himself.
A boring topic.
People on the left aren’t really paying much attention to the objections by the president, and his assembled “yes-Trumpers,” as they dissemble his actions during that July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The president’s attorneys sent an eight-page letter to Congress explaining why Mr. Trump won’t be having any of that impeachment stuff.
“I write on behalf of President Donald J. Trump in response to your numerous, legally unsupported demands made as part of what you have labeled — contrary to the Constitution of the United States and all past bipartisan precedent — as an ‘impeachment inquiry,’” is the first sentence of a document I haven’t quite gotten around to finishing.
If I’m shipwrecked on a deserted island, I might give it go. In the meantime, count me as one of those folks, who’s just not listening.
Especially to people who throw the Constitution around like they’ve written it.
The part of the line in that first sentence, “Contrary to the Constitution of the United States,” indicates that somebody in the White House thinks there’s some special constitutional guideline that must be followed in order to conduct an impeachment inquiry.
Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution simply says, “The House of Representatives…shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”
There’s nothing in that sentence that resembles, “But the President of the United States can make up stuff, so he can avoid having his folks appear before an impeachment inquiry.”
So here we are.
Democrats and Republicans in a political tug-of-war for the ages.
But something happened last week that changed all of that.
All it took was a phone call between Trump and Turkey’s President Erdoğan, and many Republicans who’d been sitting on the sidelines while the impeachment inquiry had produced a political stalemate, have responded with outrage.
Unlike the simplicity of Trump’s call with Ukraine, the call with Erdoğan features a tangled web involving the Kurds, United States, Turkey, Syria, Russia and even Iran.
By Trump telling Erdoğan that he’d remove America’s troop support for the Kurds and that Erdoğan could move his forces into Northern Syria without any resistance from America’s troops, suddenly everybody’s (namely Republican and Democratic officeholders) talking. And, everybody’s listening.
It’s understandable that many American voters aren’t up to snuff on the complexities of those events in Syria.
Here’s a primer.
We live in a house called, let’s say, America.
We have neighbors down the street, let’s called them The Kurds family.
The Kurds family takes great care to protect our house from burglars, let’s just call them ISIS.
There’s another family that lives on the street called The Turkey family.
Turkey calls our house and says, “We know the Kurds protect you, but we’re planning to burglarize that family; then brutalize them.”
We tell Turkey, “O.K. They get on our nerves, anyway.”
That’s why Republicans are outraged by Trump’s approval of Turkey’s actions.
His closest congressional supporter, Sen. Lindsey Graham is among many Republicans who’re the most outraged.
And in recent days, Fox News has released a new poll that indicates that 56% of America’s registered voters approve of Trump being impeached and/or removed from office.
It’s as if many of the Republicans who bristled at the notion of Trump selling his influence to get dirt on Joe Biden, are now jumping on board the impeachment train over his selling our allies down the drain.
It’s gonna be a wild ride.
Edward A. Owens is a multi-Emmy Award winner, former reporter, and anchor for Entertainment Tonight and 20-year TV-news veteran. E-mail him at email@example.com.