I was fortunate enough to have graduated from what then was one of the top 25 schools in the world in my major. Despite that I think I learned some of my most valuable lessons in life in sports. There is an old adage in baseball: Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. With that in mind let’s explore.
As I pen this the great debate is whether there will be witnesses in the impeachment trial. More specifically are there enough Republican Senators’ votes to call witnesses and if so in what manner. (The breaking news of the moment is that Midnight Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the votes to block witnesses.)
The key witness as of this moment is John Bolton. That is especially true after former Trump Chief-of-Staff John Kelly stated that in a credibility contest between Bolton and Trump he would believe Bolton. Bolton was a first hand, in-the-room witness and is therefore relevant.
One of the floated proposals is a one-for-one “trade”; the Republicans allow Bolton to testify and in exchange the Democrats allow Hunter Biden to testify. If Chuck Schumer and the Democrats make this deal they are fools!
Politics aside – as difficult as that may be for both me and the senators – Bolton is a relevant witness to the matter at hand; Biden is not.
Politically there are three possible outcomes to having Bolton testify, all of which are winners for the Democrats.
Scenario one: Bolton testifies and his testimony is so damning that 20 or more Republicans join the Democrats in removing Trump from office. That leaves us with a President Mike Pence which is certainly not good but it is difficult to imagine him or any other Republican presidential candidate winning in November under those circumstances and the Senate remains in play.
Scenario two: Bolton testifies and Trump remains in office. Bolton’s testimony will be so damning that voting to keep Trump in office can be used against the senators who cast that vote in November which should pretty much assure that the Democrats take back the Senate.
Scenario three: Enough Republican senators stay loyal to Trump that the motion to call Bolton as a witness fails to carry. In that case the vote not to call Bolton should be political poison for the senators who cast it and the Democrats should take back the Senate in November.
All three scenarios are based on the assumption that Bolton will be honest in his testimony which at this point looks to be a relatively safe assumption.
Any way I slice it the Republican Senators have to call Bolton to testify. Whether Trump somehow contests that is another story which they can do a Pontius Pilot on. At this point the Democrats don’t have to give anything up to get a winning scenario. To put it in baseball terms; don’t make the trade.
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