Mueller? Mueller? Mueller?
March 25, 2019
Posted in Meta
In the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, teacher Ben Stein in a bored monotone is taking attendance and utters the classic line “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” The camera cuts to Bueller’s empty chair. There is nothing there. Upon hearing Attorney General William Barrs’s summary of the the Mueller Report, many may have felt the same way. The Mueller report has finally been concluded and it matters and it doesn’t. As I thought there is nothing in it to show that Trump committed any crimes, does little to support impeachment, and leaves our best option at getting rid of Trump as the 2020 election. Attorney General Barr and the Republican Senate will protect him against any legal or political repercussions. That doesn’t mean that the investigation has been a failure. It has led to many indictments, some criminals behind bars, and torn the veil off the corruption, arrogance and criminal activity of Trump’s inner circle. It shows conclusively that Russia wanted and worked towards the election of Trump and some in the Trump campaign were willing to listen to them. At the very least it makes one wonder why Russia was so anxious to have him elected that it played our electorate like a fiddle.
The real question is whether this will make any difference in the 2020 election. There are certainly die-hard Trump supporters for whom this will make no difference except perhaps to strengthen their support. They will argue that Mueller’s extensive investigation showed no actual collusion between Trump and Russia. There will be some people who supported Trump in 2016 who will have their support and trust shaken by the revelations. The 2018 elections show that these people exist in the withdrawal of support for him among white college educated women especially and in white suburbs overall. I doubt it will make much difference among his middle class and top 1% economically supporters. The middle class has too many other problems and worries to get into the intricacies and details of the report even if it is made public. For the 1% he is their “boy” and is pushing through the rollback of deregulation and the tax policies they want, so the report is irrelevant.
Although Trump’s economic policies have led to hardship among farmers, higher taxes for the middle class, and the loss of jobs in some industries, the economy as a whole is still doing well from the bump that Obama gave it and even those suffering may not link their troubles to Trump. The recession that will come from Trumponomics may or may not get here in time for the 2020 election though get here it will. The question I urge everyone to ask of any Trump supporters is “Has your life improved materially under Trump?” Narcissisticly if it has improved things for them then they have a reason to continue to vote for him, but if it has not then they should consider whether they will continue to support him. Although few of his supporters will turn on him and not support him in 2020, it may be enough to unseat him.
The Mueller Report has given fuel to those who oppose Trump though not as much as they had hoped. Aside from the bad taste that people like Manafort has left us with, the shenanigans, smugness, and disdain for law that Trump’s inner circle has shown, strengthens the case the opposition has for the corruption of our democracy that Trump and his enablers have brought about. This is not to say that it wasn’t already there among Republicans and Democrats alike, but that it has shown itself in all its naked greed in the report. If it inspires more people to vote against Trump, more people to work at the grassroots for candidates, and more support of progressive policies, then the report will have done some good. If it helps bring about a Republican minority in the Senate as well as the House it will have moved us forward.
Those hoping that the Mueller Report would unseat Trump do not despair. The legal cases will continue at the state level and indictments and arrests are sure to follow. For example New York’s investigation of Trump entities will continue and the Mueller revelations are just the tip of the iceberg. We may yet see his “team” and family behind bars.