What is a Quid Pro Quo?

1163519073I didn’t take Latin in school (and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). But there are still a few Latin terms I know:

E Pluribus Unum out of many, one (The country’s motto)

Tabula Rasa blank slate

Quid Pro Quo a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something

Ironically, I have used the term quid pro quo often over the years. It seems so appropriate in business and life. “I do for you, you do for me”

But now most Americans have now heard the term used often based on the actions of the President. His protestations to the contrary (“No quid pro quo. No quid pro quo”) it doesn’t pass the smell test.

In fact this past week Mick Mulvaney, the President’s acting chief of staff admitted President Trump held up US aid to Ukraine in exchange for a bogus investigation of the DNC server.

“Did he also mention to me the corruption in the past in the DNC server? Absolutely – no question about that. And that’s why we held up the money”

That’s the definition of quid pro quo—see above. Money was withheld because of the “investigation” of the DNC server. On Sunday Mulvaney tried to do “that’s not what I meant”—

“Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election. The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server.”

Huh? I can’t seem to find a resolution between—”absolutely—no question about it” and “The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server”. Only one of the statements can be true. If A, then not B. Or if B, then not A. Pick one.

The thing that Mulvaney said that was 100% true was this, “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy”.  He could have added domestic policy as well.

So, here’s the real question:  is this quid pro quo a big deal? Mulvaney obviously thinks it’s not, and that it happens all the time in politics. In reality most compromise in negotiation is based on give and take—granting a favor/advantage for one in return.

The point the Administration is trying to prove in this quid pro quo is two-fold:

1. Investigation that the DNC server was in Ukraine, and therefore Russia had nothing to do with influencing the 2016 election

2. Joe Biden’s actions as Vice President as his son was sitting on a board of a Ukrainian company (and being paid well to do so)

Both objectives are  highly politically motivated and directly related to our elections with the following objectives:

1. To undermine the overwhelming findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to try to help elect Trump. It did. Trump won. Maybe it helped. Can’t really tell. Can’t re-litigate it now anyhow. Talk about being a sore winner. Take your own advice “Get over it” You won!

2. To hurt Joe Biden. Joe Biden is a leading Democratic candidate, and one who would have a very strong chance of winning the Presidency if he were nominated. So the implications in our President’s asking for a favor is that he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden to influence the upcoming election and damage Biden.

Biden may or may not get the chance to gain the Democratic nomination. Some of the mud from the impeachment proceedings could stick to Biden. He surely is not certain to get the nomination in any event, and he may lose steam and Warren, Bernie, or one of 10 others could rise and win the nomination. That’s OK because that’s the process of nomination. But it’s not OK if Trump is trying to manufacture dirt and leaning into a foreign country to do so by with holding money.

In the end there is a quid pro quo and it is very stinky. We withheld foreign aid in order to try to get another country to do a bogus “investigation” to influence our forthcoming election. It is not convoluted and no smoke screen changes the facts.

Is it an impeachable offense? Yes, and very likely the President will be impeached in the coming months. Will he be convicted by 2/3 of the Senate? Not likely, since it will require almost ½ of Republican Senators to convict. That’s my prediction. But what do I know, as I thought the Yankees would be in the World Series this week. (Then again, I predicted the Washington Nationals as their opponent).

In any event, November 3, 2020 can’t come soon enough. Impeachment/conviction or not, the American people will decide.

More Strumings

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