Republicans are delighted by the end of the Mueller investigation. Democrats are despondent or infuriated. Both are demonstrating stupidity.
First, and most obvious, is the fact that the Mueller report has not been seen by anyone outside the Department of Justice. Those who fought Barr’s rise to the position of Attorney General because they felt he was untrustworthy are now accepting that his summary is completely lacking in any deception.
Our own PoliticalWaif was quick to point out yesterday that the summary addresses charges which were not at the crux of the investigation regarding Trump. It specifically mentions two successful actions by the Russians, the disinformation campaign by the Internet Research Agency and the computer hacking into the DNC. It does not address any other action which Trump officials might have taken, which means that the Barr summary can be explained as follows:
If Trump officials attempted to coordinate with Russian operatives but there was no trail of evidence leading from those operatives to other Russian agencies which saw success, Barr feels they aren’t worth mentioning.
This is a valid concern… but I’m going to step away from Waif’s position now for two issues with it.
First, there were some people on the Democrat side who were convinced that Trump actively directed the theft of the DNC e-mails. Despite never being directly alleged by news reports, many Democrats extrapolated that and have been forwarding that idea in forms like memes. They are furious at Mueller, convinced he was bought off or threatened, because the Barr summary does not validate their illogical assumptions.
Two, while Barr may be duplicitous with his letter, he may not. He may simply and honestly be attempting to summarize the idea behind the primary thrusts of the investigation. There is no way to know until the Mueller report is released.
That is another point of grave foolishness. The Barr summary was released yesterday – not the Mueller report. The two may be alike, but they may be wildly different. For those who wonder what I mean, I’ll provide a quick example:
A thief steals jewelry belonging to the head of state and passes it to an associate. That associate convinces some friends to take a cross-country journey, dodging highly experienced law enforcement bent on capturing him and reclaiming the stolen merchandise. In the end, the thief is forced to abandon the jewelry rather than be caught.
I’ve just summarized The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. While technically accurate, I expect most people would notice that some key points have been left out. This is why people reasonably want to see the Mueller report, not just the Barr summary.
Then comes the notion of the political aftermath. One of the happiest people on Capitol Hill today is Nancy Pelosi. She has no desire to pursue impeachment charges. Had she any such desire, there are multiple existing reasons for her to do so. The challenge for the Mueller report, for her, is that it might present irrefutable evidence of a high crime, at which point her hand would be forced. By using the Barr summary as cover, she does not have to do so. Instead, she is able to focus on the many other points of criminal activity which have been exposed – many of which have been revealed independently of the Mueller investigation – and attack Trump and the Republicans with a political death of a thousand cuts.
Right now the Democrats have the whip hand, and they know it. This is not to say they are guaranteed to win in the 2020 elections; as they embrace the hard left, they drive themselves further from the mainstream of the country’s thought. But extensive corruption on the Republican side helps them far more than being bogged down in a partisan attempt to take down a sitting President.
Unsurprisingly, some pundits who are allied with Pelosi are embracing the Barr summary and claiming that Trump is vindicated. This is because they’re focusing forward at a situation which bodes well for Democrats… and they’re also able to claim a degree of consistency, as they embraced the same dubious claims of innocence with events such as Benghazi, the IRS investigations and the Lynch/Clinton tarmac meeting.
I’m also going to claim some ground for consistency. I wanted a full accounting of what happened in Benghazi, the IRS investigations and the Lynch/Clinton tarmac meeting. I want a full release of the Mueller report. I viewed the other activities with skepticism because some key aspects went unreleased to the public. Skepticism, not denial, because reflexive denial is what leads people into crazy conspiracies.
Meanwhile, I also recognize that I’m unlikely to get the Mueller report released. If Barr has misrepresented it, releasing the full report would be devastating to the Republicans. Even if he has not, details will only muddy the message they want to promote, which is that Trump is completely innocent of all criminal allegations, including those unrelated to the report for which he’s being investigated or has already been proven guilty. The Democrats will say they want it released, and they will want it released to the House members so that they have points of attack, but they will not be helped if the evidence gathered makes Trump look guilty to a level just shy of prosecution. With both parties standing to gain by the report not being released, I’m not expecting the full contents of the report to see the light of day any time soon.
The summary is good for Trump… not the Republicans in general. It’s good for Pelosi and the Democrats… but not the meme-forwarding ranks of Democrats who believed that the Mueller report was going to trigger impeachment hearings. And, judging by the responses I’m seeing from many members of both parties, it’s been a very good way to expose stupidity throughout the country.