POSTNOTE, SATURDAY, JULY 27: If you read nothing else this weekend, read this. Then decide where you fit in, and take action. I will be offline from today through next week.
I am deliberately writing and posting this before the first official words are uttered at the long awaited Mueller appearance in Congress today.
It has already been said that everything anyone needs to know about the Mueller inquiry is already in writing within the report; that Mr. Mueller has already said what he plans to say; that the Justice Department has ordered him to say nothing outside the words on the printed pages of the report. And of course there is that Justice Department “policy”, apparently, that a sitting President cannot be indicted, written for some reason by somebody without thinking of the consequences of making it applicable to every situation, no matter how heinous. ETC, ad infinitum.
That the Republican minority will do everything it can to make today appear like a useless exercise is obvious.
Possibly I’ll watch at least part of the real-time deliberations. Today will be theater, albeit theater with a whole lot of substance. The report speaks abundantly for itself. I have a copy of the Mueller Report. I can read.
I do support the premise of the hearing, of bringing Mr. Mueller to the table even if the hearing itself may be far more for show than for substance. They already have the substance, in the Report….
My opinion: the current President is as close to a common criminal as we have ever had in the highest office in the land. It is his hope – and that of his fervent supporters – that he will beat the rap by running out the clock and then be reelected under patently false pretenses in 2020. Others can – and have already – gone to prison. Not him. Yet.
His supporters best be careful what they yearn for.
We are living in a time of false prosperity. This strong economy is a sham and everyone knows it. We are reliving the excesses of the post 9-11-01 era, when the advice was to “go shopping”, and the result was the closest call to economic disaster, in 2008, that we had had since the great Depression.
My most important (to me) mention of Trump in a blog was the one for December 17, 2017, the day of celebration for the huge tax cuts passed by a Republican Congress and signed immediately by Trump. I saw disaster ahead. The axe will fall…but not until after the next election. Till then, the giveaways to the right people will be the order of the day.
No matter, apparently. People like the illusion of free stuff.
Caveat emptor. Let the buyer, beware.
POSTNOTE: The magic of word find notes that I’ve used Trump’s name in a post 71 times in the 1470 posts that comprise the ten years of this blog. The first directly related to his coming presidency was one week before Trumps inauguration January 20, 2017. (The first to mention him at all was March 18, 2010, a reference to “you’re fired”).
POSTNOTE 2, 9:50 a.m. Wednesday July 24: Reference has frequently been made to the letter from 1000 prosecutors. I believe this is that letter.
POSTNOTE 3, 8:15 p.m., July 24: I watched the morning session in its entirety and found it very interesting. As I’ve said on previous occasions, for 27 years, my daily work was dealing with differences of opinion. The work was with law and lawyers, and in an often political environment. I’ll say only that I have an informed perspective.
POSTNOTE 4, 9:40 a.m. July 26: The Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel letter on indicting a sitting president is here.
AFTER YESTERDAY, 9:30 a.m. Thursday: It’s about 24 hours since yesterdays post, before the hearing. As I note in POSTNOTE 3, I watched the morning session, I’m not a stranger to the kind of scenario witnessed yesterday. (I have only one previous post about Mueller. You can read it here.)
It has been and will continue to be mentioned that Mr. Mueller is old – turning 75 in a couple of weeks. I’m 79. So he’s “just a kid”. On the other hand, you pick up some street smarts as you age, which our youth oriented “I want it now” society doesn’t particularly appreciate.
Previously, I said I feel both Mueller and Pelosi were handling things well. I still maintain that.
Of course, the postmortems are infinite and predictable. Pundits, analysts and all manner of experts opine about what they would have done differently – it’s probably still called “Monday morning quarterback”. People who didn’t have to do anything but witness, have all sorts of certain opinions about what should have been done, and wasn’t, and that, in their opinion, cost the game. Nobody knows….
I’m from the little leagues compared with Mueller, but for 27 years I did similar work, including being the guy in the bullseye (Mueller) in a room full of people with certain opinions, often in direct opposition to each other. I was the one who was supposed to bring clarity, or some “message from Garcia” or something. It is impossible. As I write. I can envision some scenarios I actually experienced in person, as Mueller, in effect. You do your best and you know you’ll be criticized regardless of what you do. In the audience were people who knew for sure that I didn’t know what I was doing, but were even more clueless than they thought I was. I wasn’t sure, myself, that my direction was correct. But they wouldn’t sit in the same chair as I. They had the right to criticize.
Ratchet that up thousands of times, and there sat Mueller in the hot seat, everything being analyzed. He knew this, of course. I think he also knew that he would have to do it, and he set the day up as much as possible with a meticulously prepared report and an insistence that he was not going to be fooled into going off in this or that direction.
I think the Democrats knew this too. But they also knew that the people actually had to see Mueller’s face and hear his words.
The Republicans did too, but their mission was singular: to do anything possible to destroy him as a witness to one of the awful chapters in American history.
Call it a game, or whatever, everybody knew the realities.
Now, it’s “we, the peoples” turn. If we choose to turn this into an armchair analysis of “The Apprentice”, we’re cooked. On the other hand, there is a “rule of law” which has more or less served our country well through our long history. Trump justifiably has a considerable fear of the rule of law, since the law for him has never been very troubling. Like rich people do, he has means to leverage “justice” to his ends. He’ll never say it, but I think he’s justifiably terrified that his goose is near cooked (he used much more colorful language to describe this some time ago).
Those who revere those MAGA hats better keep them for the aftermath, if Trump continues his reign. We’re digging ourselves a very deep hole, and we’ll need a lot of resolve to recover any semblance of our standing once the feel good days of wasteful tax cuts are replaced by the hard work of getting back on an even keel. The end game is a few years out, perhaps, at least till after the 2020 election, but watch your wallet. Sooner or later the piper is going to be paid for the tax cuts we didn’t need.
I’m just one of the little guys. But mark my words. We will regret continuing our trajectory down the slippery slope.
COMMENTS (more below in on-line section)
from Kathy: Exculpate, etc. defined.
Dick, responding to Hank (below), July 26: