Mark Streeter sums up the Mueller Report rather well, including that there was plenty of circumstantial evidence but nothing that absolutely tied the President into the Russian interference, except as a beneficiary.
He’s right, and, while there is sentiment for getting Mueller in front of Congress to testify, I’m not hearing a lot of credible calls to subpoena the President.
Clinton testified and Nixon didn’t but both were in their second terms and the relevant question is not necessarily whether the headaches would be worth it but, rather, whether anything beyond lawsuits and delay would happen before the 2020 elections.
Ditto with impeachment: Is a major show trial worth the effort, given that there is a GOP majority in the Senate and the elections will likely be here before you could work through the process?
But the impression I’m getting from social media is that release of the report has amplified conversations that were once confined to sophomore dormitories late at night, mostly among passionate people who hadn’t actually done the assigned reading.
Release of the report shouldn’t mean the conversation is over, whatever you’re hearing from conservative voices. As David Fitzsimmons puts it, Barr’s breezy dismissal of it and Trump’s triumphant announcement of what it means hasn’t convinced everyone.
And, despite Bob Gorrell‘s insistence that we don’t want to hear anymore about it, polls indicate that that is wishful thinking among the Trump loyalists and that the American public indeed does not trust the Official Gummint Analysis.
Lord knows, as John Deering notes, there are plenty of colorful eggs scattered around the White House lawn this Easter, despite the chief resident’s insistence that it’s time to stop looking.
And, as Dave Granlund points out, we now know from the report that Sarah Sanders was flat out lying to the press and, hence, to the American people.
She admitted it to the Mueller committee: She wasn’t spinning the facts. She was simply making them up. She was lying, at the behest of the President.
Part of the challenge of the Mueller report is not that there’s nothing in it but that there’s almost too much in it. And while the sophomore dorm lawyers are furious that Mueller didn’t overreach his mandate and demand impeachment, there’s plenty in there to start it up.
But there’s also so much that it’s kind of overwhelming, and, if you try to bring up every piece of the evidence therein, it’s hard not to come across simply as a Trump hater.
Robert Ariail may cast it as a sort of dead heat in which people take meaningless positions, but, once you set aside the hardcore partisans on each side, there is a substantial and substantive difference between their arguments.
And note the bartender in this cartoon because …
… if you read the report and not just the Barr gloss, it’s like that rare moment, as a kid, when you bit into a chocolate bunny and were stunned to find that, while it was, indeed, huge, it was also solid and thus a lot more candy than you thought you’d be getting.
Walt Handelsman‘s summary of the initial response aside, it’s not at all hollow, despite what the GOP loyalists insist.
And here’s the funny part: The one thing we all thought would blow the roof off the White House, that Trump Tower meeting, did turn out to be a nothingburger, the only takeaway being that the Russians were playing Don Jr and the rest of the Trump crew as easily manipulated nincompoops.
Don Jr was gullible enough to be tricked into convening the meeting, but even he quickly saw that there was nothing of substance being offered and he walked out early.
It’s all the other stuff that adds up, and all those dormitory lawyers are going to do the one thing that clever sophomores hate the most: They’re going to have to actually sit down and do the reading.
Life is so unfair.
Though there’s this bit of consolation: People have been gasping that it’s 480 pages, but if you skip the footnotes, it’s only about 240 pages. And if you don’t count the redacted parts, you begin to lose excuses for running your mouth in class about the assigned reading you haven’t actually done.
The other consolation being that, on social media, you can keep confidently running your mouth anyway. There is no stern professor to rap on the table and demand you back it up with facts.
And on a related note, Joe Heller points out that, if Trump wants to send undocumented aliens out into the countryside, the countryside would appreciate the extra help.
It would be a whole lot easier to solve the issue of illegal aliens, instead of trying to grab them all one by one, to enforce the laws against hiring them, and I don’t know what it would cost to send people around to the various farms and orchards and slaughterhouses, not to check the workers for green cards but to check the owners for proof of compliance.
Auditors, not cops.
A few well-placed, substantial fines would focus not only those employers but their competitors.
I also know this: The chief motivator for looking the other way is knowing that your competitors are looking the other way. There is a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude in our food chain that is based on the premise that you can’t compete if you don’t cheat.
Meanwhile, conservative cartoonists have continued to draw cartoons showing mayors of sanctuary cities being horrified by Trump’s threat, but I have not seen one such case, and, in fact, there have been many cases of mayors saying they’d welcome the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Which means that those cartoons are not simply the prideful, unsubstantiated theoretical spin of those late-night sessions in the sophomore dorm but actual, verifiable lies.
That’s not patriotism. It is, in fact, pretty much the opposite.
There’s a reason the junior class is smaller than the sophomore class, but, unfortunately for us, the real world isn’t so well-regulated.