I don’t think the title is entirely gratuitous.
I only got interested in the climate debate because it seemed that normal geographical stuff that happens all the time was starting to elicit reactions – first from the press, then from politicians, and finally from a mass movement financed by millionaires and inspired by a schoolgirl – which were hysterical and completely unjustified.
Now the hysteria seems to be everywhere. Was it always the case, and I just didn’t notice? Was it always normal to accuse a prime minister of being a liar and unfit for office because of something written on the side of a bus? Or to try and remove a US president from office … for asking another head of state to do him a favour?
Joe Biden boasted publicly before the
Atlantic Council Council on Foreign Relations about putting pressure on Ukraine to keep the prosecutor off his son’s activities. Leaving aside whether this was normal, or whether it was normal for Trump to want it investigated, was it normal for the Guardian to follow the NYT in calling this incontrovertible fact a “debunked conspiracy theory”? “Debunked”? “Conspiracy theory”? Haven’t we heard these terms before, over and over?
One of the accusations levelled at Trump was that he was exercising “political influence on foreign policy.” Witnesses from the State Department or one of the interdepartmental agencies (which seem to be more numerous than the departments themselves) kept referring to “our policy” or “our decisions.” Do they know who decides US foreign policy, according to the constitution? Had none of them noticed in the past three years that the elected president is someone who has his own ideas about things? That they are sometimes at odds with the opinions of his bureaucrats? That he can be somewhat … erratic?
All the fine detail combed over in public about who heard at second hand who say what, with what body language and with what interpretation put on it by the hearer at first or second hand – revealed … what? That Trump is not George Washington and that Rudy Giuliani is not Benjamin Franklin. But – High Crimes?
I fully expected some democrat congressman to say that eight out ten of the highest crimes in history have been committed in the past three years.
So the next time you’re told that some flood or drought or temperature is the biggest/hottest/worst since the last one, remember White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s classic comment about political influence on foreign policy:
“Get over it. It happens all the time.”
I yield to my colleagues on the committee.