The following is an excerpt from my article in The Hill.
Many will debate the substance of the public impeachment testimony against President Trump. To me, each of the Democrats’ witnesses of the past two weeks appeared to be well-intentioned and hard-working, and seemed genuinely to believe they know what’s best.
But a picture also emerged of U.S. diplomats who appear to believe they, rather than the U.S. president, have the ultimate authority to determine our foreign policy. And if the president doesn’t go along? He clearly must be wrong — in their view. Or, even worse, he’s a traitor. He’s to be obstructed. Taken down.
In an odd turnabout, they actually make the case for President Trump’s mantra that we need to “drain the swamp.”
One can first look at the language witnesses used as they vented about Trump’s tutelage in ways that veered far from relevance to the impeachment allegations. They conveyed hurt feelings, bruised egos and strong differences of opinion. At times, the testimony sounded a bit like a human resources conference or psychotherapy session.
The diplomats testified that they were “shocked and devastated” to learn that Trump and Ukraine’s new president did not have faith in them. They complained that, under Trump, “foreign service professionals are being denigrated and undermined” and the State Department isn’t getting the “attention and respect” it deserves. They expressed “disappointment” that Trump had the nerve to defy the federal agencies by not discussing “any of our interagency agreed-upon talking points” in Trump’s first call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. They were “embarrassed” in front of Ukrainians when they didn’t have answers about U.S. policy. (Continued...)
Read the rest of the article by clicking the link below:
Dear Ms. Attkinsson:
Thank you again for another well written article! As I watched the hearing (I watched about half of it) I too was struck by the sincerity and the seeming misunderstanding of the hierarchy in formulating foreign policy by the witnesses. I did understand some of the frustration. Working for a large corporation I was sometimes confused when my supervisor's comments in the meeting did not match his or her opinions prior to the meeting. But I did understand it wasn't my job to stick with the previous narrative but to adapt. I do have a comment: more quotes illustrating the points you brought up in the article about bureaucrats trying to set policy or adhere to policies changed by the elected officials (in this case the president) would have enhanced the article.
Thanks for allowing a spot to allow your readers to make comments.