Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Mueller Report: Now What?

For almost the entire past two years most of the media and many elected Democrats were on the verge of orgasm about the imminent release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, telling anyone who would listen or watch that this report would prove that President Trump and/or his campaign colluded with Russian individuals in and out of government in order to defeat Hillary Clinton and steal the 2016 election. 

MSNBC led the charge, with virtually all of its analysis or news programs being devoted to breathlessly listing everything they thought Mueller must have been doing. "Sources say this" or "Reports claim that" were the most common phrases heard on these programs as DC insiders and parasites competed to show us how much they were in the know. The media told us that Mueller was beyond reproach. His conclusions must be trusted, the media told us. The media invited a number of former intelligence industry personnel, people known to be well, liars, to tell us what they thought Mueller was going to find.To a man or woman, they were all certain that Mueller was going to finally get the goods on the treasonous Trump. 

Dissidents from this narrative were not welcomed in the media, particularly not on MSNBC.  In fact anyone who had questions was dismissed as a Russian useful idiot, a bot, or worse a Russian sympathizer. Well Mueller finally released his report, though it has not yet been made public. But we do know that Mueller isn't going to be seeking any more indictments, most especially not any indictments against President Trump and his family. According to Attorney General Barr:

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated” with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 elections, according to Attorney General William Barr’s summary to Congress delivered Sunday.

Barr’s four-page letter outlines the “principal conclusions” of the nearly two-year special counsel probe, reiterating that the Russian government sought to interfere in US politics but that the investigation did not establish that Trump associates aided them in their efforts.

His summary also took up the other major element of Mueller’s investigation: whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Here, Barr cites language from Mueller’s report, noting that the special counsel’s office did not draw a definite conclusion as to whether the president committed a crime, but also that the report “did not exonerate him.”

This was all just too much for MSNBC host Joy Reid. Apparently on the verge of a crackup Reid spluttered that the whole thing had the seeds of a coverup. Of course Reid didn't bother to provide any evidence for her new conspiracy hypothesis. I guess Mueller is not her most favorite person in the world any more.

Hack hosts of dumb shows aside, it's worth pointing out that all the so-called experts, all the self-righteous twitter warriors, all the holier than thou media hosts, and all the intelligence bosses were wrong. The people who had doubts and questions, the people who didn't like the spectacle of the FBI opening an investigation on the President because he fired their boss, the people who wondered if this was all a waste of time, energy and money: those people were right. Of course the fallback position of the people who were positive that Mueller was going to get Trump is to point out that the full 300 page Mueller report has not been released so we should wait to see it because oh boy then we'll have that orange cheeto SOB right where we want him.

Well maybe. But maybe not. We should indeed see the entire report, but that doesn't change the fact that the DOJ has long held that a sitting President can not be indicted. And as far as we know at this time Mueller hasn't found enough evidence to suggest that Trump did anything rising to the level of an indictable offense. We shall see. But all of this is small potatoes.

It bears repeating. Trump won for a number of different reasons. Some of them were that he provided a sort of swaggering performance masculinity to people weary of attacks on masculinity. Some of it was racism. Some of it was economic anxiety. Some of it was unabashed nationalism. And so on. But the most relevant reason that Trump won was because he successfully targeted the Upper Midwest. If Democrats want to beat Trump they will need to find and nominate someone who can go toe to toe with Trump in that region.

It's that simple. Special prosecutors, courts and impeachment won't do the trick. The longer Democrats put their faith in someone outside of the electoral process "saving" them from Trump, the more likely he is to win re-election.
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