Devine: Democrats should eat a big serving of humble pie
By: Miranda Devine
It was ironic that Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland used the word “humble” to describe himself in his opening statement on the fourth day of public impeachment hearings.
This was a virtue he said his parents took care to instill in him, and kudos to him for recognizing its importance at least enough to mention it.
But humility is the one quality missing from this impeachment process and the one quality most essential to a functioning society.
Only a profound absence of humility on the part of the Democrats would have allowed them to follow up their three-year Russia-collusion failure with another shameless attempt to overturn the 2016 election for no reason other than that they are deranged with Trump hatred.
Humility would have caused a moment’s introspection after the Mueller probe flopped, remorse that lasting damage had been done to the nation on a pointless witch hunt, and a realization that what goes around comes around.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and his boss, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, certainly affect an air of humility, stifling glee at the trouble they’re causing President Trump and pretending they are “prayerful.” But they fool no one.
Humility would have Schiff understand that when witness after witness testifies to nothing that amounts to impeachable evidence against the president, it’s time to fold the tent and admit you’ve failed.
On Wednesday, for example, Sondland was supposed to be Schiff’s smoking gun. But he was a dead duck by 10:20 a.m.
Schiff had promised that Sondland would confirm Trump had demanded military aid be withheld from Ukraine until President Volodymyr Zelensky committed to investigating Ukrainian meddling in our 2016 election and corruption at Ukrainian company Burisma, including dodgy dealings of the Biden family.
But when Schiff asserted that Trump wanted Ukraine to perform investigations “that would help his re-election campaign,” Sondland replied, “I can’t characterize why he wanted them.”
Over and over, Sondland disappointed: “I never heard from President Trump that aid was conditioned on an announcement of an investigation.”
“Trump never told me directly … He did not ever have a conversation with me about the aid.”
“When I asked him, ‘What do you want from Ukraine,’ he said, ‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelinsky to do the right thing.’ ”
It was before noon and Trump knew he had won. On the South Lawn, before he jumped on Marine One, the president repeated Sondland’s words at a mocking press conference.
He knew Sondland’s testimony was a disaster for the Democratic project, not that you’d know it from Schiff’s triumphal bathroom break press conference, or the online headlines.
That’s what a lack of humility does: It destroys your judgment.
It also makes you pompous and preposterous, as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was Tuesday, another Democratic star who fizzled fast, despite his best efforts.
Vindman’s hubris was so great that he even chastised Republican ranking member Devin Nunes for addressing him as “Mr.” and not by his military title. The unnecessary act of dressing up in his uniform was another prideful act.
Vindman testified that he advised the Ukrainian administration to ignore the US president, and he overstated his importance in the chain of command, claiming he was the “principal adviser” to the president when he’d never even met him.
He admitted that he bypassed his boss to go straight to the lawyers with concerns that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky was “improper,” and he all but confirmed that it was he who tipped off the so-called whistleblower and set off the chain reaction that led to this impeachment hearing.
Vindman’s beef with Trump was that the president’s foreign policy was “undermining the consensus policy” of unelected bureaucrats like him.
The arrogance had to be seen to be believed, and yet people with no concept of humility fell over themselves to praise Vindman.
The corrosive absence of humility among Washington bureaucrats has been the hallmark of these hearings.
They “have never accepted President Trump as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style and his intrusion onto their ‘turf,’ ” said Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, in a letter submitted to the inquiry.
“They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office. It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile.”
Johnson isn’t speaking through his hat. He is integral to this story as he went to Ukraine, met with Zelensky and saw Vindman and most of the other witnesses in action, and was not impressed.
“American foreign policy is what the president determines it to be, not what the ‘consensus’ on unelected foreign-policy bureaucrats wants it to be.”
That is humility and it used to be a hallmark of the Washington establishment, those grand personages who wore bow ties without irony, the restrained men and women who never sought to exceed their power, whose wisdom helped keep the republic on course.
Humility has been the mainstay of Christian societies, and central to the Protestant ethic of the American Midwest of the last century that fueled the greatest period of prosperity the world has ever seen.
Humility was the core value of people who created the moral capital for generations to come.
Humility was what made America great, and without it we are lost.
Mayor’s cycle of madness
The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s Mayor Bill de Blasio in a nutshell.
After years of forcing the city to absorb unwanted bike lanes, which slow traffic, have done nothing to reduce cyclist fatalities or rule-breaking, and have probably contributed to a rise in pedestrian deaths, the mayor this week decided we need more of the same.
He signed a law requiring the Transportation Department to implement another 250 miles of protected bike lanes.
“All in a good day’s work,” he said.
Of course, de Blasio’s definition of “work” is different from most people’s. It’s the first time he’s signed anything since March because he’s been AWOL on his joke presidential bid.
But we were better off when he was goofing off.
Chick-fil-A chickens out
Now that Chick-fil-A has capitulated to the bullying of rainbow activists, it will learn that cowardice is a lose-lose proposition.
The chicken chain’s profits soared in the seven years since it was targeted over its boss’ comments opposing same-sex marriage. Its sales reportedly rose 12 percent, not because chicken lovers are homophobic but because no one likes a bully telling you what to believe.
Now the company has gone woke by announcing it won’t be “financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations,” which apparently means the Salvation Army and other Christian outfits with a traditional view of marriage.
Catholic writer Rod Dreher has a word for these craven chicken surrender merchants: “Cluckservatives.”
Silent Coup: The Frame Up of An Elected President
…Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with A light from above”…