Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Squid Pro Quo: The Tentacles Are Complicated

Image result for NPC quid pro quo

With the Kabuki theatre scheduled to reopen tomorrow some program changes have been announced.

Image result for pelosi fake applause at state of the union

First, the lead role of “Whistleblower” will again be played by the understudy, Rep. Adam Schiff. The audience can expect more emotional “parody” performance art on his part.

Second, the allegation of “Quid Pro Quo” will be replaced with the terms “extortion” and “bribery” because, well it’s “complicated” and as Rep. Himes explained on one of the Interchangeable Sunday Morning Television Shows:

“Number one, when you're trying to persuade the American people of something that is really pretty simple, which is the that the president acted criminally and extorted in the way a mob boss would extort somebody, a vulnerable foreign country, it's probably best not to use Latin words to explain it.” 

Stand in terms - such as corruption, abuse of power, extortion and bribery - were focus grouped with potential audience members and the later two were found to invoke the greatest emotional response and hence were selected.

So I’m going to predict that you will enjoy the show as long as you keep a couple of caveats in mind:  1) Adam Schiff is a bad actor and 2) the concept of “extortion” and “bribery” only apply in cases where both parties are subject to a set of common, domestic laws which make them illegal. That does not apply in the arena of foreign relations where they do not.

Number 2, above, may be a non-starter for some critics, like Andrew McCarthy. He explains in “uncomplicated” terms that even Democrat partisan should be able to understand:

Foreign relations typically involve quid pro quo arrangements. Governments do not ordinarily assist each other out of fondness. Nations pursue their interests in the world. Where interests align, they assist each other. Where interests are opposed, they are adverse to each other. In any event, they bargain with each other to advance their interests. It is a matter of “We want you to do this; what do we need to do – whether for you or to you – to make you do it?”

I wonder if these same partisan hacks would object if President Trump conducted extortion in extracting a “quid pro quo” from Mexico in order to stem the flow of illegal drugs into our country. Or if he “extorted” Iran with threatened sanctions in order to get them to stop their drive to nuclear armament? (Technically I think we know the answer to that last one.)

Image result for calamari squid pro quoSometimes it’s a survival tactic

I believe that Stephen Green’s observation sums the upcoming hearings up best:

The impeachment mess would look less like a kangaroo court and an insult to the Constitution and congressional institutions if it weren’t such a kangaroo court and an insult to the Constitution and congressional institutions.