“Peace is a time to gather one’s forces.”— Lenin.
“How did we get here?” the very bright young lady who works for me asked Monday morning of last week, and for her I had no satisfactory answer beyond mumbling something about not knowing and not being able to recognize the country we live in, any more.
She, you see, had spent a normal person’s Easter weekend, with helping put on one daughter’s prom and helping to plan the wedding of another thrown into the holiday mix, and hence, was not up on the news surrounding release of the Mueller report.
She was, therefore, like the vast majority of the rest of the American people, a majority which likely includes you, the reader.
I asked if she had heard the Attorney General’s summation, interpretation of the report prior to its release, and when she applied in the affirmative, my getting her up to speed task was made easier by then being able to say, “well, then just understand that the report’s 400-plus pages sets out pretty much the exact opposite,” of what the country’s ostensibly highest law enforcement official had quite dishonorably told it.
The very existence of videotape is sufficient to ensure that history will not look kindly upon Attorney General William Barr.
But what is being largely overlooked by all the commentators and analysts telling us all what we need to “take” from the Mueller report (What we all, as Americans should do is read it for ourselves; it is written in plain enough English with only the necessary legalese.), save the most strategically inclined ones is this: We now have proof positive that the Russian government not only attempted, but succeeded in influencing the 2016 American presidential election in a number of ways designed to help defeat Hillary Clinton and thereby elect Donald Trump.
And they are still at it. And there is effectively nothing being done to stop them from doing it again.
News Flash: This just in—the Russians are not our friends. Russians only do what they think is in the best interest of Russians and from the entire second half of the 20th Century until today, what is in the best interest of Russians is almost never in the best interests of the United States.
The Russians not only tried, but to an extent still not fully understood, influenced the last presidential election in order to favor Trump. If that doesn’t tell you something, then you just don’t want to hear it.
And I think that something is something that every other American in this country needs to care about—a lot—because neither the President of the United States nor his henchmen care about much, at all. On one of the Sunday morning talk shows, Trump’s Cousin Vinny-like attorney and chief apologist Rudy Giuliani (Lo, how the mighty have fallen.) clearly spoke what I previously would have bet a lot was the unspeakable in American politics: “There is nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”
Say what? Really?
The American people know better than that. What does it say that their president’s lawyer doesn’t?
Mr. Barr’s down-the-rabbit-hole prequel press conference to his release of the Mueller report was designed to protect the president and deceive the people he was appointed and confirmed to serve and protect. It was shameful and damning to his professional and personal reputations, and for what? To “set the narrative?” So that Trump might strut around for three weeks proclaiming “total exoneration,” when Barr knew the report would state precisely the opposite?
Perhaps the Republican strategist Rick Wilson was correct when he titled his book “Everything Trump Touches Dies.”
The Mueller report concludes that he could not find enough evidence to establish the existence of a conspiracy between the folks on Trump’s campaign and the Russians, in some instances because the Trump crowd appeared too inept to so conspire.
But he also made clear that only a governing Justice Department opinion prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president constrained him from the get-go in presenting to a grand jury the considerable evidence he collected and set forth of this president’s efforts to interfere with and obstruct the investigation into this potential conspiracy.
And he specifically wrote that while Justice Department policy and fairness precluded his presenting an opinion of this president’s guilt of so obstructing justice, he most certainly would have done so had the evidence produced an opinion of his innocence.
And so the new political argument is over whether a Democratic House should bring Articles of Impeachment against Trump with a Republican Senate virtually certain not to convict and remove him. Sadly, the ethical truth is a much more evident one: he deserves to be.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.