An eerie silence cloaked the political landscape this lovely fall weekend as the soldiers in this (so far) administrative civil war scrambled for position in the next round of skirmishes. Rep. Adam Schiff fell back on the preposterous idea that he might not produce his “whistleblower” witness at all in the (so far) hypothetical impeachment proceeding. He put that one out after running a similarly absurd idea up the flagpole: that his “whistleblower” might just testify by answering written questions. I was waiting for him to offer up testimony by Morse code, carrier pigeon or smoke signals.
Of course, the effort to “protect” the “whistleblower” has been a juke all along. For one thing, he-she-it is not a “whistleblower” at all; was only labeled that via legalistic legerdemain to avoid revealing the origin of this affair as a CIA cover-your-ass operation. Did Schiff actually think he could conceal this figure’s identity in a Senate impeachment trial, when it came to that — for what else is impeachment aimed at? Anonymous sources are not admissible under American due process of law. Schiff must have missed that class in law school.
All of this hocus-pocus suggests to me that there is no “whistleblower,” that it is a phantom confabulation of gossip threads that unraveled the moment Trump released the transcript of his phone call to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, aborting Schiff’s game plan. The ensuing weeks of congressional Keystone Kops buffoonery since then appears to conceal a futile effort by Schiff and his confederates to find some fall guy willing to pretend that he-she-it is the “whistleblower.” He might as well ask for a volunteer to gargle with Gillette Blue Blades on NBC’s Meet the Press.