In the last couple of months, every man, woman and child in America has learned the meaning of the Latin term “quid pro quo.” Unfortunately, because the left has accused President Trump of it, the implication is that a quid pro quo is vulgar or nefarious. The truth is that most foreign policy is conducted on a quid pro quo basis.
In fact, Grabien editor Tom Elliott has compiled clips of five or six of the current 2020 Democratic presidential candidates explaining how they plan to use quid pro quo to advance their foreign policy agendas.
Bernie Sanders tells a crowd that Israel receives $3.8 billion a year in U.S. aid. If elected, he will inform Israel’s leaders they will have to fundamentally change their relationship to the people of Gaza if they would like it to continue.
Sanders is asked by a journalist if he would ever use aid to Israel to get them to act differently. His answer? “Absolutely.”
Cory Booker explains to a journalist, “So, this is not just rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, which I will do right away, it’s actually using every lever of foreign policy we have for foreign countries making it contingent on climate action.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper asks Julian Castro if he would use U.S. aid to Israel to push his policies. Castro hesitates and says, “Well, that would not be my first move. I’m not saying that would never happen.”
And Mayor Pete Buttigieg tells an audience, “We need to make sure that any such cooperation and funding is going to things that are compatible with U.S. objectives and with U.S. law.”
Elizabeth Warren says, “Everything is on the table” as far as a two-state solution with Israel and the video ends with Joe Biden’s now infamous boast about leveraging $1 billion in U.S. aid to get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 8, 2019
Quid pro quo is a fact of life. Nearly every arrangement from a trip to the grocery store to a marriage is based on this concept.
For years, I stayed at home raising my children. And the unspoken principal at work was that I would take care of the children and the house and my husband would bring home the paycheck to keep it all moving forward.
If I were to decide to shirk my responsibilities, even for a day or two, I would have soon heard about it. And if that paycheck were to suddenly stop, my husband would have heard about it.
This for that. Quid pro quo.
Perhaps recognizing that the world runs on quid pro quo, a group of 33 writers penned a letter to the editor of the New York Times “urging” them to stop using the term “quid pro quo” in connection with the impeachment inquiry. Here is their message:
Most people don’t understand what it means, and in any case it doesn’t refer only to a crime. Asking for a favor is not a criminal act; we frequently demand things from foreign countries before giving them aid, like asking them to improve their human rights record.
That is not a crime; the crime is President Trump’s demand for something that will benefit him personally. But using this neutral phrase — which means simply “this for that” — as synonymous with criminality is confusing to the public. It makes the case more complicated, more open to question and more difficult to plead.
Please use words that refer only to criminal behavior here. Use “bribery” or “extortion” to describe Mr. Trump’s demand to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, making it very clear that this is a crime. The more we hear words that carry moral imputations, the more we understand the criminal nature of the act.
Please also stop using the phrase “dig up dirt.” This slang has unsavory connotations. Instead, please use the more formal, direct and powerful phrase “create false evidence,” or “find incriminating evidence” or the simpler “tell lies about.”
Words make a difference.
These are parlous times, and we look to public voices for dignity, intelligence and gravitas. Please use precise and forceful language that reveals the struggle in which we now find ourselves. It’s a matter of survival.
President Trump was himself the victim of a crime. He was the target of a coordinated campaign by law enforcement and intelligence community officials at the highest levels of the Obama Administration. And much of this effort either originated in Ukraine, involved Ukrainian officials or U.S. intelligence officials at the American embassy in Kiev.
Why is it a crime for Trump to investigate the most comprehensive political operation conducted against a presidential candidate in U.S. history? A crime that has crippled his presidency with never ending investigations and humiliating attacks on the legitimacy of his victory.
Why is no one willing to look at the most unmistakable example of a top government official leveraging U.S. aid for personal gain, the case of Joe Biden, who has not only admitted it, but has bragged about it?
The evidence of this crime is stacking up. It’s not only smoking, it’s on fire.
The Durham team doesn’t leak as the Mueller team did and as the House Democrats do, but the perpetrators know very well that the jig is almost up. The announcement that the Durham investigation had turned criminal sent shock waves throughout the Washington establishment. Ukrainegate is simply a last, desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable.
And, although bluster is certainly not unusual for President Trump, his comments to the press lately seem to convey a new assuredness. He surely knows what’s going on with Durham and with Horowitz.
The President told reporters, “You know what I did? A big favor…I caught the swamp, I caught ’em all…Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on.”
He says, “I caught the swamp,” not “I will catch the swamp.”
President Trump: “You know what I did? A big favor…I caught the swamp, I caught 'em all.”
“Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on." pic.twitter.com/1MIgh0sY22
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) November 8, 2019
Perhaps even more telling is the following tweet from Trump’s Communications Director Dan Scavino.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) November 7, 2019
Tick tock, Dems!