Our house is divided.
Despite Mr. Trump’s continued assault on Robert Mueller, and the investigation he is tasked with, one might be wondering where the Republican profiles in courage are these days. Why the near deafening silence, save the voices such as Senator Flake (R-AZ), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), or Lindsey Graham (R-SC), or the few others? Yes, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell publicly expressed his support for Mueller to complete his work, while criticizing Trump for congratulating Vladimir Putin on his “election,” yesterday, he believes it “not necessary” to protect Mueller legislatively.
Earlier this morning Trump resumed his assault by referencing himself in the “third-person” stating in a Tweet:
“Special Counsel is told to find crimes , whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be Special Counsel. I am still opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a Special Council appointed because (…) there was no probable cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice! So stated by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.”
Referring to the legal scholar’s op-ed in The Hill, Trump is cleverly attempting to lay the groundwork as the overwhelming majority of analysts agree, in advancing the same argument Dershowtiz makes: Supposedly, the Special Counsel should have never been appointed in the first place because “no evidence of a crime existed.”
While Dershowitz’s opinion is persuasive, he neglects to point out how it was George Papadopoulos who led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to commence investigating the Trump campaign, coupled with Michael Flynn’s voice, Trump’s then appointed National Security Advisor, being heard by our intelligence communities’ surveillance of Russian actors that expanded the investigation.
Instead, for Dershowitz, Mueller must find some guilt, lest the taxpayers go away unhappy all while reinforcing how correct it is for the citizenry to question the political motives of investigators all due to the hyperpartisanship existent in our nation. In other words, according to Dershowitz, the public cannot trust any public official due to that official’s political leaning.
With House Democrats seeking to insert a provision into the upcoming Omnibus Spending Bill ensuring Mueller’s investigation is protected, it appears Republicans want to have it both ways. That is, they express support in public for the investigation, but do not seem to have the fortitude to actually enact any legislation which could protect and preserve the Special Counsel’s work. Why?
“The president is, as you know — you’ve seen his numbers among the Republican base — it’s very strong. It’s more than strong, it’s tribal in nature,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who decided to retire when his second term concludes at year’s end, after periodically sparring with Trump.*
“People who tell me, who are out on trail, say, look, people don’t ask about issues anymore. They don’t care about issues. They want to know if you’re with Trump or not,” Corker added.”
Admittedly, Republicans “sponsored” legislation in the past, which would have submitted the firing of Mueller to a judicial process, serving as a means to protect his work, but according to Sargent, “these bills are stalled, and Republicans have no intention of changing that.” Again, why?
Looking closely at Corker’s statement provides each of us a clue: Republicans are apparently more concerned about Trump’s tribal base being loyal to him, versus them, should they openly afford Mueller the protection he and this nation need. As Sargent makes clear:
“At bottom, the GOP position is basically to beg Trump not to bring the issue to a head, without taking any action to prevent it — and without signaling what Republicans will do in response if he does.”
But banking on Trump is a risky if not a downright foolish proposition at best, especially given his proclivity to being unpredictable, the recent reporting of Trump’s confidence level, and his strong belief that his advisors are giving him bad advice. And, of course, it does not assist the cause in any way when Republicans are basically begging Trump, a man who revels in extorting the weaknesses of those he deems his opponents.
And it is against this backdrop that our house is divided.
But let’s be clear: This issue should not be one of partisanship. The Russians did interfere with our election, all with the intended desire of seeing Trump elected to office. Even Dershowitz concedes this point. Worse? Mueller has several indictments demonstrating the legitimacy of the investigation, with several of those indictments going to Trump’s inner circle. While Dershowitz refers to these indictments as “peripheral,” it might be good if he waited for the final report. Besides: While Dershowitz might agree with Trump, not all Americans do, and Dershowitz isn’t the person who has the final say here.
Robert Mueller does.
What is apparently lost in this debate is that our electoral process serves as the cornerstone of our democracy. The fact that we get to choose our elected officials without fear, intimidation, or outside influence, is what makes America exceptional. Yes, it is true that money has corrupted the political process in this nation, especially since the Citizens United ruling, but at least Americans have decided, up until this past presidential election who it was that we wanted in the Oval Office.
With voices being trotted out each day, and each side arguing the merits of the investigation, it is clear: Our house is divided. And a “house divided against itself cannot stand.”
This is America folks. This is our house. And, not a single one of us should be happy that a foreign entity intervened in our previous election. But one did; Russia. Mueller should be afforded the protection he needs to give each of us the answers we deserve.
What happened during the 2016 Presidential election? I for one, want the truth. Don’t you too?
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!