Nobody Seems to Like Bob Mueller

The left hates him because they wanted him to run the President through a wood chipper and save them from taking the blame.

The right hates him because they didn’t want any investigation at all or, failing that, a conclusion that would propel Donald Trump directly to a pedestal.

Guess what did not happen? Either of those things.

In the land of immediate political gratification, which most Americans now believe is a “right,” not getting your way is grounds for outrage.

So most Americans are outraged and they are blaming the messenger for not giving them their way.

On the right, much is made of the “two-year, $30 million, 448-page report.” If those are the “wrong” amounts, what are the correct ones?

Seems to me we learned some useful things for that expenditure of time and effort. More importantly, the things we learned are generally accepted as facts. Agreement as to what happened in any political situation today is a rarity so facts have a value.

Here are several things we either learned or determined to be the case after suspecting they were.

Russia has a strong interest in mucking up our elections either to thumb the scale toward a preferred outcome or to make us distrust the process and pretty much everything else. Even if Donald Trump did not collude with Russia (which is not even a legal concept), it seems like a good thing to know.

Opposition research ordered up by Hillary Clinton’s campaign was the basis for government wiretapping and for the initial investigation itself. Again, it seems like a good thing to know just in case you might not want it done to you. Has “oppo” gotten out of hand?

The President is an asshole but that is not impeachable. Electing (or better yet not electing) assholes is the responsibility of the voters and they will get a do over in about a year and a half.

Nominating assholes, which both parties did in 2016, is another area ripe for further inquiry. In 2016, each political party had one job. They both failed. Yet, they get the same assignment again in 2020.

Truth has been a useful idea for several millennia and might well deserve a dusting off and revival. Is there any amount of lying in politics that becomes unacceptable?

Our political process seems to have achieved new levels of disgustingness even though, in this case, only one side’s disgustingness was under scrutiny. Maybe an overall reduction of political disgustingness would be salutary?

Whether or not the President obstructed justice, there might be some value to knowing if there is a line to be drawn and, if so, where it should be.

On the left, much is made of Mueller punting on indicting the President for obstruction of justice. If the left would like to impeach him, it seems like they need only follow the trail laid out in the report.

Mueller’s findings are like rolling a snowball down a hill. They are likely to gain size and momentum along the way. The Democrats control the House of Representatives and can vote to impeach if they like. Blaming Mueller for leaving political decisions up to politicians seems a bit cowardly.

I think he did his job. He was tasked with determining what happened and it appears he did exactly that. He was not tasked with making everyone happy with the outcome.

What about a permanent Mueller – better still squadrons of them – to investigate and publicize all disgraceful political behavior? Preferably on both sides.

Don’t hold your breath. A decision to clean up our elections and politics in general would be in the hands of those who would suffer the consequences.

We probably shouldn’t hold our breath hoping voters will avoid electing assholes either. That, of course, is good news for much of the House and Senate, whose members are among the most outraged by the Mueller report.




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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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  • A number of legal scholars including Alan Dershowitz are of the opinion
    that there was never a probable cause of a crime, and therefore the investigation should never have taken place. Many others are of the opinion that the investigation was politically motivated by James Comey, who with the help of his friend Rod Rosenstein at Justice engineered the investigation in an attempt to rid the country of what they regarded as an odious and illegitimate president (Hillary would have been legitimate.)

    But Trump was elected by the people, for better or worse, and has not been charged with any crime by Mueller. The Democrats are free to attempt to impeach Trump on various grounds, but the Democratic leadership is aware that this drilling will likely lead to a dry hole. Most people are fed up with the whole process, and would prefer to move on.

    As for permanent investigations, they would likely be used as political weapons against opposing political parties. Only a genuinely neutral party could ever be trusted to mount such investigations. But, how or how to locate such a party?

    How about Julian Assange?

    • Are we still describing Dersh as a legal scholar? Perhaps so, but along the lines of describing Paul Krugman as an economist. Trump was indeed elected by the people and you’ll not hear me making silly arguments about democracy (whimper whimper) vs the electoral college.

      Indeed, he might well get elected again especially in light of the internecine warfare among the Democrats.

      You are correct about the permanent investigator and possible misuse (perhaps near certain misuse).

      That said, are you keen to just have the corruption continue?

  • I doubt that any of you would have liked to be in Mueller’s shoes. How about a little applause for the man who did all the work!!!

    Elinor Felcher

    • Nice to hear from you Elinor. I thought I did give him some applause and, if the other comments are any guide, many disagreed with it. I am a huge Mueller fan and I was most impressed by his ability to keep his mouth shut, a rare quality in Washington today.

  • Haven,
    While Donald Trump may have multiple personality shortcomings, he did survive a 22 month colonoscopy by Mueller and his like-minded lawyers, while contemporaneously enacting a wide range of policies that very much please half the country – perhaps more if allowed to speak freely without fear of having their persons or cars “keyed”.

    Yes, we voters will have another chance in 2020. Would you care to wager a cup of fresh coffee, served with humility? I’ll take Donald Trump and you may have whomever emerges from the field.

    Your old friend who appreciates your work to keep us engaged…


    • I would not for a moment bet against Trump winning in 2020 especially given the massive lineup of those who will divide the D’s. To me, the whole thing is the problem. Nobody is trying to think through anything in a way that might actually solve anything. Pleasing the base is not a business strategy — for either side. It does seem to me the President would have an easier time accomplishing what you might like if he were less prone to making his opponents seek revenge against him.

  • Hi Haven

    I thought he was supposed to investigate Russian involvement in the election. He did so diligently where the president was concerned but kinda the ball on the investigation of Hillary ‘s side which had a long history of alleged sordid Russian involvement. Think C Foundation, Uranium One, and speaking fees.

    It looks from the facts I’ve seen quoted, that the Steele dossier, which started all this, was created for Hillary by Steele with Russian assistance. It appears from the facts, the FBI used this known to be false document to do all sorts of nefarious things including spying, third world like, on a presidential candidate, FISA court prevarication, and false testimony.
    Since it was a Russian document he should have looked at it, including within the FBI. It was as within his purview as some of his other inquiries.

    Perhaps Mr Mueller felt a bit conflicted about investigating or implicating his own house and family.
    Perhaps he imagined it would be bad for the nation if it lost confidence in one one of its stalwart institutions. Maybe he hadn’t heard it already had.

    He’s a good guy. He could have done so much better. He could have been grand. He could have moved the country forward.

    Im afraid, instead, he added credence to the intractable swamp theory. Too bad.

    • I share your view as to the swamp and its pernicious effect on governance. Hence the call for full time Mueller — lots of them

  • Haven, Good comments. Many stories swirling around. The one thats unfolding now might be the most interesting depending on where it lands!!

  • Haven, my friend, you have hit the nail(s) on the Head(s). Imagine what Ben Franklin would say today if he could view the mess we’ve created. Ol’ Ben wanted to make the turkey, not the eagle, our national bird. Maybe he was forecasting what Congress would become…

    • Thank you Phil. Appreciate the comment. One of the problems that troubles me is that they are clearly not trying. How is a country to be run of those in charge don’t even care?