To win the 2020 presidential election and retain control of the House of Representatives the Democratic Party must stop the endless acrimony over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election loss and move on to offering solutions to real problems. If not, it will lose the 2020 presidential election and the House of Representatives. The nation is worn thin by the post 2016 rancor. Further continuation of a strategy of “resistance” is harmful to the nation and likely counter to future Democratic electoral success.
On May 17, 2017 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller in an “Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters.” Thirty-four indictments of individuals and three companies resulted. Thirteen Russians and two companies were indicted for social media trolling and twelve Russian military officers were indicted for hacking the Democratic National Committee Email servers. The remaining indictments and convictions were for peripheral violations of the law such as lying to the FBI or Congress or long-past crimes unrelated to the election.
On March 24, 2019 Attorney General William Barr provided the major findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report titled: “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Barr writes, “the Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US. presidential election.” Further, the Attorney General found that, “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
In 2017 a special counsel was demanded. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself as demanded. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein provided the Special Counsel with an extremely broad authority and scope. Mr. Mueller was unhindered by the White House or the Department of Justice in his investigation. Everything possible was done to accommodate those that demanded a full, fair and thorough investigation.
Immediately following the release of the Attorney General’s top-level summary Representative Maxine Waters said, “this is not the end of anything!” The Democratic Party follows her lead at its peril.
After the 2018 mid-term election Democratic committee chairs in the House of Representatives, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee began broad open-ended investigations to find something – anything – to damage Donald Trump in the 2020 election. There actions have nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election. They are using government power to persecute anyone who had anything to do with Donald Trump in the past – it is pure politics.
Much of the media made bank on stirring the “resistance” theme of a “stolen” election. They make money by increasing viewership. Inciting people is how they get them to watch. MSNBC viewership grew more than any other cable network in 2018 based on its obsession with Trump and the “Russian conspiracy” that did not exist. MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a pre-Trump decent show on Washington political intrigue, is insanely obsessed with Donald Trump. Much of the evening cable news commentariat is furious that Mueller concluded his work without a Trump indictment. Rachel Maddow said yesterday, “This is the start of something apparently, not the end of something.” Sean Hannity and others on Fox News also suffer because they get a boost countering MSNBC and CNN. They can’t let it go – it’s about ratings and money.
The print press is no better in many cases. The once vaunted New York Times has diminished itself with an opinion section that is ALL TRUMP ALL THE TIME. One would think that for two years nothing else happened in the world but Donald Trump and “Russian collusion.” The Times needs a complete revamp of its editorial staff and columnist line up.
Trump voters are under no illusions. They knew when he was elected that he was a scoundrel. His business past was one of a New York developer and reality TV host. Many do not like his Twitter habit. Most wish he was a better orator with a better grasp of history. They wish he were not a philanderer. They knew all of those personal foibles going in. It did not deter them voting for him. It will not prevent them from voting for him again in 2020 if not given an alternative intent on addressing their real concerns.
They voted for him because he was the first candidate to speak plainly about issues many people had asked Democrats and Republicans to address for decades that went ignored or were even made worse: federal court appointees were more social justice warriors than learned interpreters of the Constitution and the law; illegal immigration and the rule of law was being ignored; law enforcement was being placed at risk unjustifiably and unnecessarily; foreign interventions by past Republican and Democratic Administrations spent the blood and treasure of the nation without clear benefit; federal policies were emphasizing government dependence rather than the value of opportunity and work; the U.S. was carrying the burden of unfair trade practices and alliances; stultifying regulation and a business tax policy not competitive in the world market; K12 education is stagnating and higher education become a place of leftist indoctrination; a national obsession with identity politics was dividing more than uniting the nation despite having elected Barrack Obama (nearly 7 million who voted for him voted for Trump).
Trump voters see him substantively addressing these issues. They will vote for him again while fully aware of his foibles. Many center-right independent voters that did not vote for Trump in 2016 may well vote for him in 2020 if their alternative is far-left promises of “everything free in America.” Those center-right voters largely work and pay taxes. They know better. The last thing they want after twelve years of tumult and division is a socialist revolution. Candidates falling over each other to offer “free” benefit programs will fail miserably with this group. They know they will end up with the bills. The independent center-right will bite its tongue and vote for Trump because this group does not sit out elections.
If the Democratic Party hopes to replace Donald Trump in 2020 it would be well advised to put forth a candidate that offers effective and balanced solutions to those issues that put Trump in office and deliver and defend their solutions in a plain manner. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be smart to shut down Committee Chairs in her party before they put her out of a job in 2020. The path of “resistance” has failed. It is time to focus on real issues and get something done or pay the price.
My use of the word EXONERATED in the title of this blog post got some back channel criticism. Some in politics and the press are quoting Special Counsel Robert Mueller in saying with regard to the obstruction of justice question, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”ReplyDelete
Headlines are meant to spark interest, so I take some license in coming up with titles for my blog posts. But I also believe that words have meanings and one should be careful to choose them carefully.
I specifically chose “exonerate” to spark interest from both sides of the political spectrum. I also looked up its definition: (especially of an official body) absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing, especially after due consideration of the case.
The Special Counsel clearly stated in his report regarding collusion with Russia, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” So, on question one, collusion, an official body absolved someone of wrongdoing. Exonerated.
On the second question of obstruction of justice the Special Prosecutor did not use such clear language. The Special Counsel decided to not make a prosecutorial judgement stating, while this report does not conclude the President a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
There is much to criticize in the Special Prosecutor making such a statement. It is very similar to what former FBI Director James Comey did in 2016 by saying of Hillary Clinton, there is not evidence to recommend a prosecution, but I am going to lay out how horrible she is. Is this any different than you local police chief investigating you or someone in your family and holding a press conference to say, “there was inadequate evidence to even recommend a prosecution to the District Attorney, but this is person is guilty.” It is contrary to all procedure and morally wrong.
The fact is that an official body (the Special Counsel) chose to not prosecute a crime against someone (President Trump) of wrongdoing. But instead of stating that clearly he leaves open some question. The Special Counsel having chosen to not make a judgement, the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General did, stating that the evidence, “is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction of justice offense.” Again, an official body (DoJ), absolved someone (Trump) of wrongdoing. Exonerated.
It is important to also define absolve here: set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility. This word incorrectly creates a more subjective criteria in the minds of those who seek to see the president removed from office. The criteria for exoneration is really very straight forward in this case. It is not the difficult criteria of proving guilt. It is simply the confidence of a prosecutor that the evidence collected is sufficient to convince a Grand Jury to indict. That low bar was not met. Exonerated.
I feel comfortable using the word in the title, but wanted to revisit my thinking after it was questioned by a reader and I take all of their concerns seriously.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE LEFTReplyDelete
The President of the United States was accused of having colluded with a foreign power to corrupt the electoral process. Is there any higher crime? A rigorous and fair investigation reports such is not the case. The republic is secure. The electoral process intact. Thank God.
Is this not reason for the entire country to celebrate?
To view this report as anything other than a victory for our republic reveals one is more interested in settling a score over a lost election rather than protecting the sanctity of our electoral processes. It is warped and unhealthy and I hope my friends on the left will soon see this and release their emotion of disappointment and hatred to follow more healthy activities, such as productive debate of policy.
My friends on the left were disappointed in Hillary Clinton’s loss of the 2016 presidential election and horrified that Donald Trump beat her. I understand that. We have all been disappointed in election outcomes.
But this time the response was different. RESISTANCE was established as the strategy. Anything the new president proposed would be opposed regardless of its efficacy. He and his presidency would be delegitimized in any way. All effort would be focused on removing the President from office by any means (e.g. 25th Amendment, Special Counsel, Impeachment, belittling and intimidating those who voted for Trump, etc.). The means justify the end. The main stream media was fully on board to support this effort.
Could this be any clearer? An emotional response to the loss of an election and the hatred, yes hatred, of the winning candidate has been driving the left and the media for two years. They want the result they wanted and expected. They want reality changed. They want revenge and retribution. It must be exhausting. And it is not healthy. Let it go.