A debate that’s totally beside the point
Every Trump accuser who has testified before the impeachment inquiry in the House has assumed that the government of Vladimir Putin deserves to be considered a mortal enemy of the United States, and that it is in American interests to side strongly with Ukraine in its military and territorial conflict with the Russia. Indeed, at times in the inquiry it has sounded like the president’s greatest impeachable transgression was his refusal to accept this consensus view of the establishment, along with his tendency to look at Ukraine and its elected government with suspicion.
That’s the story Republicans are really telling themselves about Trump and why he deserves to prevail in the impeachment fight. There’s obviously a lot of hyperbolic exaggeration and motivated reasoning going on in the account, and its blindness to Trump’s own corruption, which dwarfs anything previously seen in Washington, is almost total.
But it isn’t obviously absurd, and it isn’t simply a function of cynical manipulation of the masses. Growing numbers of Republican voters and office-holders believe large parts of its thoroughgoing indictment of the political establishment. And as long as they do, they will excuse just about everything Trump might do to tear down the dreaded leviathan.
Trump’s own corruption is why we need to block the whole stupid debate (which I didn’t know existed until the impeachment hearings) about whether it was Russia or Ukraine that stole the election for Trump.
The answer (although Russia has benefitted mightily from his election) is “neither.” We elected the rodomont, grobian, Sinon proditomaniac all by ourselves.