On his Fox News show last night, Tucker Carlson blasted the Ukraine scandal as a “ludicrous, unbelievably dumb story.” Yet three hours later, he published a column saying there is no good way for Republicans to spin it.
On the Tucker Carlson Tonight show last night, Carlson debated Democrat Richard Goodstein about the Ukraine scandal, which prompted Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry.
Carlson agreed with Goodstein that Republicans who led the impeachment against Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal would now call it a mistake. “All of them would express regret,” Carlson dubiously asserted. (If you’ve heard any of them express regret, let me know.)
But Carlson moved on to suggest that Trump’s Ukraine is even more of a nothingburger than Clinton’s Lewinsky:
CARLSON: That's absolutely right. If you were to ask Republicans in Washington now, including the Republican in Washington who led the impeachment charge, of course the then-Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who we just talked to about this - all of them would tell you it was a mistake, all of them would express regret.
All of them, you know, they don't like Clinton, but that was not a good idea. So I just wonder, like, if -- since you brought that up, two years from now, are Democrats really going to say it was a wise idea to make up this ludicrous, unbelievably dumb story about Ukraine?
No one even has their heart in it. No one really believes anything bad -- the impeachable happened. Do you really think in two years, Democrats would say that was really smart to do that?
Three hours later, a column co-authored by Carlson was published in which he characterized the Ukraine scandal essentially as an abuse of power that just didn’t rise to the level of meriting impeachment.
Donald Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea. Like a lot of things Trump does, it was pretty over-the-top. Our leaders’ official actions should not be about politics. Those two things need to remain separate. Once those in control of our government use it to advance their political goals, we become just another of the world’s many corrupt countries. America is better than that.
So, either Carlson had a sudden change of heart after his show ended at 8 PM, then hastily co-wrote the column that was published at 11:19 PM, or he has brought new meaning to the term two-faced.
As I wrote in my post, my view is that Carlson is looking to distance himself from Trump and laying groundwork in case he should go down – but Carlson wants to have his Fox News cake without letting on that he’s eating it, too.
You can watch Carlson's discussion with Goodstein below, from the October 3, 2019 Tucker Carlson Tonight, and decide for yourself.
I’m sensing that the Pence WH (HT to Kevin) and the faithful spokes-people on Fox(not)News may be ready to jump ship (aka vote for impeachment) so that Pence can be President long enough to bring some reassuring calm back into the government, e.g. by doing things by the book and staying off Twitter. Part of me would love to see what Trump would do in that case but the other part of me has had quite enough of the psychotic drama.
A less un-presidential President might just be enough to convince some of the Dear Leader’s faithful that a Senate vote for impeachment was necessary to save the country from whatever bogeyman Pence et. al. may choose to create. That scares the rest of us in the world.
It’s frankly spectacular to hear Right Wing pundits try to play this card about somehow “regretting” having done that impeachment. They didn’t face any consequences – they actually were able to finesse their way into the White House two years later.
If Right Wingers could impeach Bill Clinton again, they’d do it every day of the week – and twice on Sundays.