Streetwise Professor

November 15, 2019

High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Making an Ex-Ambassador Butt-hurt

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 4:33 pm

A few years ago, presumably because of all the torture United has inflicted on me over the years, I was bumped to business class on an Amsterdam-Chicago flight. A friend was sitting in coach, and during boarding some very agitated woman sat next to her, talking loudly on the phone: “They put me in coach! COACH! I had to do the walk of shame!”

Turns out this woman was the ex-US ambassador to the Netherlands, appointed (natch) by Obama. Well, it also turns out that I was sitting next to Bill Daley, and my former boss from that brief interval where I had a real job, another prominent Chicagoan. They and the humiliated ex-diplo had been in Amsterdam for a wedding.

Since I would have preferred to sit in a jump seat having a root canal for 10 hours instead of sitting with that lot, I gladly swapped seats with the ex-ambassador so I could sit with my friend, and she could sit with hers

Oh–miss high and mighty didn’t even say thank you for sparing her 10 hours slumming with the hoi polloi. She didn’t even acknowledge me.

This all came to mind when reading about, and watching a few excerpts from, the testimony of the ex-US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Just as United had offended the amour propre of the ex-ambassador on the plane, the President of the United States had grievously damaged the ego of Ms. Yovanovitch by unceremoniously axing her–and dissing her on Twitter. (That’s Yovanovitch with two”v’s”, not a “v” and a “b”. I checked to make sure.). How dare he fire her! How dare he insult her! Doesn’t he know who she is??????

And get this–this pampered creature of the US permanent bureaucracy compared her fate to that of Christopher Stevens. You know, the US ambassador to Libya who was sodomized, murdered, and burned to a crisp by rampaging jihadis in Benghazi on 9/11/2012 When Hillary Clinton–for whom it is metaphysically certain that Yovanovitch voted–was in charge of the State Department, and who (at the very least) lied shamelessly about the events leading up to Stevens’ gruesome death.

Yeah. Marie’s experience was totes the same. Totes!

All I can say is: who the fuck does she think she is? Who the fuck do all these people think they are?

But apparently the making Her Royal Highness Marie “Antoinette” Yovanovitch butt-hurt is a high crime and misdemeanor, worthy of impeachment. At least in the mind (being generous here!) behind Adam Schiff’s bulging eyes.

You could not make up this shit. I knew things were going to be crazy starting 8 November, 2016. But in my wildest imaginings I could have never figured they would be this crazy.

But maybe it’s all for the good. Outing these jumped up apparatchiks, and the coterie of DC journalists who slobber over them–including, I emphasize, from Fox News–may be the greatest public service that Trump has performed, or will ever perform. We can see them in all their petty vanity, overweening pride–and serial incompetence. It is not a pretty sight, but it is a damned instructive one.

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  1. She is fairly disgusting, and so are all of these useless “apparatchiks” that need to be fired.
    What do they do, anyway? Other than pursue their own agendas.

    Comment by Justmeena — November 15, 2019 @ 5:35 pm

  2. @Justmeena. Not a damned thing.

    Comment by cpirrong — November 15, 2019 @ 6:03 pm

  3. I’d read in early reports about Benghazi that Christopher Stevens had been violated after death. But that story disappeared and I never saw it mentioned again, to the point that I thought the early report was wrong.

    From what I understand of jihadis and of their contempt, and of the open secret of homosexuality (not to say pederasty) in Muslim societies, I’m ready to believe it.

    Large-scale Libyan weapons-flow into Syria was almost certainly a consequence of Hillary’s fun project of assassinating Qaddafi (who’d already been rendered harmless). On that we can lay the genocide of the Yazidis and the migrant stampede into Europe.

    Full investigation of all that was disgracefully avoided. Were the Navy Seals told to stand down, or not? Some Seals say yes.

    But none of that is important, because Trump.

    Comment by Pat Frank — November 15, 2019 @ 9:53 pm

  4. This should revive the argument that ambassadors appointed by a president of the opposite party have to be replaced as soon as the new president takes office. The argument that these people can perform their jobs without partisan prejudice is moot.

    Another way to handle this would be to have each ambassador come and perform obeisance to the new occupant in the White House, offering their best argument as to why they should even have a job left in the State Department. It would be a variation on what many corporations do today: force employees to justify why they are even needed.

    If there are too many such ambassadors, then cut down on the number by lumping countries together: one ambassador for BeNeLux, for example (who cares about Luxembourg, anyway?)

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — November 15, 2019 @ 11:59 pm

  5. Agreed, I don’t know all that much about the colonial system and your quaint ideas of independence requiring ambassadors.

    But I’m under the impression that career – ie, not political appointees but career State Dept employees – ambassadors are expected to have a 3 year-ish term. Ms. Yovanovitch served about a 3 year term to Ukraine.


    Comment by Tim Worstall — November 16, 2019 @ 4:27 am

  6. Ahh, Benghazi, all the old hits (next up, Pizzagate? You all know the words!). Some of the replies prompted genuine laugh-out-loud moments.

    “I’m ready to believe it”. Absolute classic! I bet you are. I guess you were one of the crowd who reacted with fury at those pics of Stevens being manhandled by the assembled mob, only for it to turn out they were actually trying to help him (or were they? Who really knows what happened, especially now that online army of armchair and bedsit conspiracy theorists have got to work on the ‘facts’?)

    “Have each ambassador come and perform obeisance to the new occupant”. You owe me a new Chromebook. Would it involve a Cuban cigar?

    Comment by David Mercer — November 16, 2019 @ 7:33 am

  7. @David. She brought it up. Stolen valor. It was appalling, so of course you have to try your standard misdirection bullshit. Pathetic.

    Comment by cpirrong — November 16, 2019 @ 8:19 am

  8. David M, as always, clueless – and projects it to others.
    “Who really knows what happened?” – not Hilarity, for sure – “and what difference, at this point, does it make?”
    But we do, David, we do and will never forget.

    Comment by Tatyana — November 16, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

  9. In unrelated news, a very good friend of Trump’s keeps insisting on using Russian anti-aircraft systems, strong objections from the Pentagon apparatchiks notwithstanding. Suck it up, The Blob! Or something.

    Comment by Ivan — November 16, 2019 @ 2:58 pm

  10. It should be noted that once he took office, Obama promptly fired all the ambassadors appointed by his predecessor, most likely with Hillary’s urging. It was all about the “Reset”.

    The fact that Trump did not perhaps bespeaks of a misplaced initial desire to work co-operatively within the given framework. Given that, his subsequent ire at the intransigence of The Swamp becomes perfectly understandable.

    Mass firings in Washington should be on his agenda. In fact, it would be good to completely close down several government departments, as they are redundancies of what individual states are already doing at the state level.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Education are the first ones that come to mind as deserving the heave-ho.

    What other departments and bureaus should get the boot?

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — November 16, 2019 @ 4:29 pm

  11. @Mercer. “‘Have each ambassador come and perform obeisance to the new occupant’. […] Would it involve a Cuban cigar?”

    I was thinking of genuflection, but if you’d prefer some kind of penetration, well then, to each his own.

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — November 16, 2019 @ 9:29 pm

  12. What’s particularly sweet and ironic is you all can’t see what’s happening here. I daren’t say any more in case I spoil the fun

    Comment by David Mercer — November 17, 2019 @ 3:10 am

  13. No, David M, you daren’t say anymore
    a) since you have nothing to say except “orange man bad”
    b) in fear you blow up like penetrated rubber doll, with your misplaced self-importance. [I.M. Pembroke, see what I did there?]
    David, you have been waiting for “something happening there” – i.e., getting rid of Trump – since he fist accepted nomination. And….and…not’n! Btw – notice how Pelosi carefully extricated herself from Shiff? She doesn’t pose for journos with him anymore. Let it be a lesson to you, poor deluded David M.

    Comment by Tatyana — November 17, 2019 @ 8:22 am

  14. I hate to trivialize a point I agree with entirely, but, the more direct point in my opinion, is, DO NOT piss off a United Airlines clerk or you will find yourself with the “unwashed”, not sitting next to your pal Billy. Apparently, bureaucracies, government and airlines, are jealous and guard their perquisites. I’m guessing Ms. ex-Amb. got snotty with someone at United and found herself in flying hell – or at least, purgatory from which you sprung her. This sounds like something from Milton or Dante or Machiavelli.

    Comment by Donald Wolfe — November 17, 2019 @ 8:24 am

  15. “I gladly swapped seats with the ex-ambassador”: I’m heartbroken to learn that an economist did that without charging for it. I can’t imagine that a lawyer would make that mistake.

    Comment by dearieme — November 17, 2019 @ 8:46 am

  16. What I’ve learned here is UAL has to really “up their game” to get on the better side of SWP—mere biz class upgrade ain’t enough. They’ll have to roll out an empty 787 ON-TIME!

    Comment by The Pilot — November 17, 2019 @ 4:10 pm

  17. “(That’s Yovanovitch with two”v’s”, not a “v” and a “b”. I checked to make sure.)”

    Just to really drive the puerility home (always good in limited doses), from what I recall from my very limited Russian (these days confined to understanding swearing), with two “b’s” and potentially a hyphen this could loosely be read as “fucking bitch”.

    Comment by unnamed — November 18, 2019 @ 12:46 am

  18. Cannot believe the stupor you guys must be in to write such rant. Even Yovanovitch said that it was entirely Trumps right to fire her. The only issue was the way it was done and accomponied with stupid remarks on the phone betweeen 2 presidents. And this ever-repeating of Hillary’s deeds in a ‘not me, her too’ mode starts to be really boring. If Trumpistas can only compare their hero with a failed secretery, that shows something. To come to the subject: Yovanovitch’s statements seemed quite professional – quite OK for a dimplomat – rather neutral – with the one exception of her reaction to Trump’s Twitter-insults. But what can you expect from him if not that.
    Other’s statements were clearer and showed that Trump and his amigos clearly misbehaved – clear even with the main subpoenas not being followed (which is at least borderline criminal). Overall, the situation seems factually clear. Whether this is ground enough for impeachment is another matter. In my opinion it is at least clear, that the current president is a disgrace to the US. Getting rid of him in a hurry but without raising that much fuss should be in anybodies interest, primarily in the interest of the GOP. That this party does not see it that way is the true tragedy to observe. GOP representatives in the enquiries seemed constantly to just make statements rather than ask questions. I guess that’s what you do if you don’t want an answer but instead only produce a soundbite for the friendly media.

    Comment by bro — November 30, 2019 @ 5:46 am

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