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Spinning the Quid-Pro-Quo Bottle

Spinning the Quid-Pro-Quo Bottle

The story is simple. The Dems are saying the US Prez pressured the Ukraine Prez to do what he (US) wanted or else he (Ukraine) would lose out on aide (get punished). Sound right?

There is confusion and complexity in the details which may (or may not) get sorted out in the weeks ahead. What we do know is that there is widespread disagreement among those who could be legitimate witnesses to what happened. That aside, the propaganda lesson here is that this argument can easily be used again and again on any US president. There are two big points to ponder.

1. All presidents can be accused of an implied quid pro quo in every conversation

This is a framework the anyone can use on any President. Think about it; isn’t there an implication in any phone call with the most powerful leader in the world that, “if you don’t behave there will be repercussions?” Does he really have to say anything quid-ish?

No president can escape that accusation; no matter what the situation, true? We need to appreciate this reality, because it shines light on the fictional finger-pointing we are enjoying as a nation today. So, wait, what is quid pro quo? It’s Latin for ‘this for that’ and largely a relates to contracts, and is aligned with consideration; or an exchange of value. This value can be as little as a dollar (real estate assignments often use this standard), but value must be exchanged for the contract event to happen.

In the case of the President, was there an exchange of value? Even the always-against Judge Napolitano admits there was no exchange:

"The Ukrainian president didn't ever feel pressured, and he got his money. Do we know if he turned over anything about Biden to the president?" Earhardt asked. When Napolitano said he didn't, Earhardt remarked, "That's not quid pro quo. "The delay is the quid pro quo," Napolitano answered back. "The delay of 55 days, knowing that the Russians are at the border.""  https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-judge-trump-delay-ukraine-aid-quid-pro-quo-1471758

Huh? Ignoring the fact that there is no evidence the Ukraine president knew about such a delay, there still was no actual exchange of either information (Ukraine) or a delay (US). One might try to spin it into a threat; but again, what conversation could anyone have with any US president that opponents couldn’t claim an implied threat? Every president from the past or the future can be accused of the same thing.

2. Everything any president does can be framed as ‘personal political gain’

Every photo-op, every trade deal, and every military threat can be seen as advancing a president’s standing politically, especially if they are up for reelection. The curious case of Hunter Biden (and Joe) is that the story suggests that if it had been a John Doe (and Joe) that were under the president’s concerned eye, then there would have been no ‘crime’ at all in play. Common sense says if something is wrong, then it is wrong. Changing the characters shouldn’t change anything. Oh, but it does, doesn’t it?

Much of this is the disgusting nature of politics and diplomacy, which is probably what Mulvaney was stumbling around to say. https://www.foxnews.com/media/mark-levin-blasts-media-says-mick-mulvaney-said-nothing-wrong-at-press-conference

When either party has a biased desire to take down an opponent, then looking for a scandal will always be easy work…if the attack is about implied consequences of crossing the US president, and if it helps his personal political cause. There is no way out of this spin except to see what is motivating those who are questioning others’ motives.

CNN’s notion of ‘facts first’ is a good one if followed, which the Democrats have ignored. In the law-and-order world this is highlighted with, “I have the criminal, now I just need a crime.” The same reversal is seen in the preaching world too, “I have a message, now I just need a Bible verse.”

Keep spin-checking!

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