By Tony Morrison
The Mueller Report was finally published in time (11:00 AM, April 18) for enjoyment over the Easter and Passover holidays. Of course, not many folks read it. It was 448 pages and so too long for Twitter, and Attorney General Barr had revealed all spoilers a few weeks before. Not that anything was really spoiled as pretty much all the conclusions (no collusion, no obstruction) have been known for at least a year.
The Democrat Party leadership claimed they did read it.
They had criticized Barr for taking several days to read and release a summary, and so they were ON IT. Social media influencer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, let fly a tweet only a few hours after the report (5:28 PM) saying she was boarding the Impeach Trump bullet train. But even she was outdone in the speed reading by Top Dems, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who released a statement on the report hours before it was released at 7:36 AM.
The mainstream media were slower out of the gate than the prescient Nancy/Chuck team but were ready at exactly 11 AM. Media Research Center conducted an in-depth analysis of the coverage (available on its Newsbusters site) for the 24 hours after the report’s release. You would think that “I’m sorry, we were totally wrong for two years” would have been prominent in the coverage. You would be wrong. “Impeachment” was the predominant theme – mentioned 363 times. For what? Well, that was left a little vague. What was more interesting was how the story morphed in concert when all started to refer to “The road to impeachment” from about 1 PM onwards. Yes, it’s not just an abstract thing, it’s actually going to happen.
So what is the real news?
First up is a President who’s reputation will definitely be sullied and is surprisingly (for Dems anyway) not Trump. The report makes it clear that Russia did try and cause serious mischief in the 2016 election. This was known by the Obama administration back in 2015 with the hacking of the DNC servers.
Immediately they sprang into action and mobilized all intelligence forces to conduct spying operations against …… the Trump campaign! The Russians were told just to “cut it out” (but to be fair Obama used a very stern voice) and no punishments were meted out to them until after the Trump victory in 2016.
Now a suspicious person would conclude that Obama was trying to keep the Russians onside due to the negotiations with their ally, Iran. The 4-D chess master was busy out-negotiating the mullahs by deviously offering $150 Billion in cash and all sanctions that were bankrupting them lifted for a promise not to be naughty (honest!) on the nuclear front. With such a deal so skewed in favour of the US he needed all the help he could get.
A more suspicious person would conclude that he was also using any excuse to actually spy on the Trump campaign because well, dirty campaign tricks. Obama didn’t seriously seem to believe that Trump would win as his frame of reference was Washington and not Wisconsin. But catching a Republican presidential nominee working with a foreign enemy would have been redemptive for a guy who during his tenure as President lost his party over 1,000 seats in local, state and federal elections. History will not be kind to a President that let a foreign enemy get a free pass for internal mischief in the hope that a rival party would take the bait.
Another victim of the report is Vladimir Putin.
Putin has long had a deserved reputation as the archetypal Bond villain, a holdover from his days in the KGB in the 1980s where he made his bones. But the report shows this particular bear is no longer feeling the roar and he has regressed to being merely Doctor Evil. In the 1980s the Russians spent $100 million a year attempting to influence western elections and were able to release fearsome biological weapons of doom such as the Greenham Common ladies. But now when Putin attempts the same thing he calls for (put a finger up to mouth!) ….. high school students skilled in Internet pranks!
The kids had some minor successes of course. They were able to hack the Democratic National Committee servers and release all its damaging content to Wikileaks. John Podesta, DNC chair, has opined that the Russians ran an unstoppable sophisticated cyber operation against the DNC designed to put Kremlin stooge Trump in power (fun fact – he also believes in UFOs). The reality is a little more pedestrian: Podesta himself responded to a phishing email.
And they created many Facebook pages showing Hillary Clinton as a demented entitled harridan who despised most Americans, and who’s only presidential platform was that it was her turn. This surprisingly benefited only Bernie Sanders in his bid to beat Clinton to the nomination. Potential Bernie supporters were the only folks in America stupid enough to have not reached that conclusion unaided by the fell plans of the St Petersburg Academy teenagers.
But fair dos, Putin did get one significant score on the board. When Hillary went looking for anti-Trump material, she used a dodgy Brit ex-agent who got his goodies from some equally dodgy Russians (but there was no collusion, oh no, that was right out). The infamous Steele dossier became the source of all the anti-Trump manoeuvres that have soiled the fruited plain since 2016, including the Mueller report itself. In hindsight, it would not be too far-fetched to speculate that the dodgy Russians sourcing the material were Putin’s teenagers, possibly disguised with false moustaches and deep voices. Only teenagers would have come up with the supposed “pee tape” undoubtedly sniggering as they did so about whether the tape would have been sourced by a Ms Ivana Utogetmeov. Mueller refers to this nonsense in a throwaway footnote as “unverified.”
The biggest fall, however, has been the eponymous author of the report.
Robert Mueller has been the star of Washington for the last two years. An ex-FBI Director, he ascended to Cop Superstar status once he was appointed to Special Counsel with a brief to check out Trump’s collusion with the Russians. His stern mien and unwavering gaze caused the men to wish they were him and the ladies to be with him. And the longer time went on the more his mystique grew. And it went on and on and on, even though it was very clear from congressional testimony in 2017 that there was no there there!
A little overlooked problem with the hero worship, however, was that Mueller’s powers were nothing like what was envisaged by the ever-slavering Dems. Instead of being an avenging angel able to single-handedly take down a President, he is really just a bureaucrat charged with writing a report. According to the regulations, introduced ironically by a Dem Administration (Clinton, Bill edition), the AG decides what to do with the report. AG Barr was dismissed by the assorted Libs and Dems as a Trump mouthpiece after his summary was published and he made it clear he was doing exactly zero point zero with it. But the hope remained that Mueller’s real findings were only being hidden by the now possibly treasonous Barr.
And then came April 18 and the sound of hideous screams as the Libs and Dems discovered their saviour had feet of clay. And the pushback on Mueller promises to be brutal.
In the last few days, he has been reduced to being doorstepped at his church while Easter Worshipping, and seeing op-eds in the New York Times suggesting he got it all wrong. He is now being called into the House Judiciary Committee to explain why he did not find Trump guilty on the specious grounds that he had no evidence. This committee armed with subpoenas, microphones and C-Span promises that their investigation will now be the real one.
And what about the actual subject of the report, the Orange Disruptor himself?
Trump has taken a hit in the court of public opinion already, and the Dems are trying to make sure the harm will continue till 2020. Whatever the report actually says, the Dems will make it seem like he is guilty of … something … They know full well that very few will read it, and social media clicks of Judiciary Committee folks yelling “ANSWER THE QUESTION” at all and sundry are what will linger in the mind. They are good at this too. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, for example, will always have a stain on his name because the Dems found just one person willing to lie for the cause on national TV.
Trump’s defence in 2020 can only be his achievements, which have been remarkable so far. An exploding economy with low unemployment and gradually rising wages are matched by a realistic foreign policy that is kicking, with big orange boots, the status quo nonsense of an out-of-date NATO, a subjugation to China, and a belief that peace can never be achieved in the most intractable of areas like the Middle East and Korea. And also on his side, he has the seething anger of many that a democratic election should be honoured, or what is the value of the rule of law?
Those willing to invest in the US have already answered. Two business days after the report was released the S&P 500 hit an all-time high.