TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: For the last week or so, some of the more cynical among us have dismissed the impeachment trial underway in the senate as a hollow political stunt. It’s like something a network entertainment division cooked up, they say. It’s a bad reality show. We’re traditionalists, so we’ve resisted that view. What this is really about, as we told you last night, is Ukraine — that noble, windswept, Eastern European nation that is our single greatest ally on the world stage. If Ukraine wants it, we provide it. That’s the rule. All decent Americans stand with Ukraine. For a moment, president Trump seemed to falter in his moral duty to stand with Ukraine. For that, he is being impeached.
So impeachment is a very serious thing. Ukraine depends on it. That was our conclusion yesterday. But then we saw this. It’s an exchange between the president’s lawyer, eminent Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, and a pair of little-known but clearly accomplished Democratic lawmakers: Senator Goldberg of New Jersey, and Senator Behar of New York. We don’t want to belittle the process here but, honestly, what you’re about to see does seem a shade theatrical for something as serous as an impeachment trial. But judge for yourself:
BEHAR: According to what I’m reading, you’re the only constitutional scholar who goes with that line. Not one other agrees with you. Not one
DERSHOWITZ: Let me be clear In 1867 the dean of the Columbia Law School –
WHOOPI: Wait, wait, wait Alan. In 1492, Columbus sailed the seas of blue, but listen, I need us to move on.
DERSHOWITZ: You're not gonna get me to move on until I make this point.
WHOOPI: Here’s the thing, Alan, you’re not going to get any time because you’ve got four people trying to ask questions. So I’m asking you to move faster.
Dershowitz was backed into a corner with nowhere to go. Even bringing up Abraham Lincoln was useless:
DERSHOWITZ: In my talk to the senate, I quoted Abraham Lincoln –
WHOOPI: Oh God!
DERSHOWITZ: You have to go back in history. Impeachment doesn’t change since the time of the constitution.
Wait. How did Senator Goldberg wind up on Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue? Columbus never even went to Ukraine, so far as we know. From there, she attacked Lincoln. Suddenly we seemed to have lost the thread. The reasoning was getting hard to follow. Into this roiling bouillabaisse of confusion jumped Senator Hostin of the Upper West Side, a lawmaker justly famous for the windowpane-clarity of her legal analysis. Watch her reframe the debate:
HOSTIN: Let me ask you this very quickly just for giggles. What if the president spent the year vacationing in Moscow, changed the language of this country perhaps to Russian or decided to stop doing his job entirely and perhaps golf all day?
BEHAR: He does that now.
HOSTIN: Are you saying we have no grounds to impeach him because none of that is a crime either?
And so the list of charges grew longer. Not only did the president ask unauthorized questions how Hunter Biden makes a living, which isn’t allowed, he’s also apparently living in Putin’s Russia, and planning on switching our nation’s alphabet to Cyrillic. Some of those letters don’t even seem real. They look like astrological signs. This is a major development. But are those impeachable offenses? Oh, you bet they are. And speaking of betting, that’s how the hearing ended, with a high-stakes wager:
HOSTIN: The GAO, an independent watchdog said last week that withholding the aid to Ukraine was illegal, a crime.
DERSHOWITZ: No, They didn’t say that. No, no, no.
HOSTIN: Yes they did.
HOSTIN: Yes, they did.
DERSHOWITZ: Sunny, I’ll tell you what…
HOSTIN: Let’s assume that I’m right and you’re wrong and they said that they did. Would that be enough for you?
DERSHOWITZ: Let’s bet $1,000 to be contributed to the peace of Israel and Palestine…
HOSTIN: Let’s just hypothetically say I’m right.
DERSHOWITZ: Please let me finish.
We’ve got to pause here for a quick correction. Apparently there was some sort of unfortunate mixup in our tape library before the show. Some of the video you just saw — OK, I guess all of it, our producers are saying — was not in fact from today’s senate impeachment trial. Those are not actual U.S. senators, though of course they easily could be. They are instead hosts on a daytime chat show over on ABC called, The View. Clearly they despise the president. They seemed entirely sincere about that. But like so many of the people who are running and commenting on this impeachment trial, they seemed to have no idea what it’s actually about. They don’t understand the charges. They know nothing about the historical precedent. Facts and details are irrelevant to them. They didn’t even bother to read the GAO report that they introduced as evidence. They got it backwards. Not that it slowed them down, or ever does. They are lazy and silly and wrong. But at the same time, they are utterly certain they’re on the morally-correct side of history. They know they’re good people — excellent people, really — unlike that horrible old orange man who speaks Russian, and the racist rubes who voted for him. They know all that for certain. So, in their view, they’ve got the big things right, and that’s all that matters. In that way, it really could have been the impeachment trial. It’s basically the same thing.