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Since the announcement that a whistleblower said Trump had a conversation with the Ukrainian president in which something might have been said about Joe Biden, the punditsphere has been full of speculation about what it would mean “if true.”
Actually, the Dems rarely add that phrase—they just assume the worst is true and keep going—so I’m really talking about the sane Right here.
“If true, impeachment would be warranted.”
“If true, it proves what I’ve said about Trump all along.”
“If Lucy lets me kick the football this time, I’ll kick it through the goal posts.”
It reminds me of the National Review writer who, right after CNN accused the Covington Catholic boys of harassing the “Native American elder,” said, if true, it was like they spit on the Cross. After the rest of the story came out, NR pulled down his article and said, “Uh, never mind.” I was waiting for him to write an article about how he should have known better than to assume CNN was telling the truth without further evidence.
I’m still waiting.
Well, here it comes again. A “whistleblower,” a leaked transcript, an impeachable offense in which the sitting president, if true, did something like what the last sitting vice president bragged about doing in a speech. (It’s cute when Biden does it.)
If Trump called the president of Ukraine and coerced him into disrupting the Democratic primary, that would require one set of actions. If the president of Ukraine called Trump and said, “I’m just giving you a heads-up that I’m going to be investigating the company the former US vice president told us not to investigate,” that would be a different set of actions. More likely something else happened, and the required actions for the whole range of possibilities is infinite.
But starting a sentence about one set of circumstances with “if true” and going into details about what those ramifications should be gives weight and heft to the hypothetical situation the pundit is speculating on.
“If true” disappears on the wind, and the Covington kids looked more guilty because the NR writer said they spit on the Cross.
We’ve been deceived, jerked around, and lied to for the past three years. And the right-leaning pundits still say, “If true….”
Why not speculate on a different hypothetical situation? “The whistleblower says the Ukrainian president gave President Trump his grandmother’s recipe for pierogi. If true, that would be cultural appropriation.” At least it’s creative. Much better than trying to strain bites of truth from the sewage of the Democrat media reports.
When will our pundits stop and say, “Hmm. That’s interesting. I’ll wait for evidence before I jump on this”? (I’ve heard some say that, but not all.) The price will be that they don’t get their half-baked speculation published at the same time the Democrat-media complex do. But is that a problem? Trump is not the Covington Catholic kids (obviously), but is it necessary to pile on assumptions of guilt to his reputation before the facts come out?
If it turns out that he has done whatever he’s accused of this week, there will be time for the pundits to stroke their collective chins and say what should be done.
Much better than finding themselves lying flat on their backs while Lucy takes the football away, laughing.
Update: As I put the final edits into this piece, transcripts of the president’s conversation with the president of Ukraine have hit the Internet. (Hint: there’s nothing about pierogis in it.) Have at it. Make your case for or against impeachment. You don’t need to include the phrase “if true,” because now we know what’s true.