In war, two mistakes are not permitted Russian proverb
Well, as Maureen McGovern once sang, “There’s got to be a morning after,” and for Democrats, the morning after Mueller is here. Fortunately, it’s not the morning after in an apocalyptic movie, where the dazed survivors stand on the roof of the mall, staring out at the smoking wasteland surrounding them. But it’s also not the morning after in a Chris Columbus movie either, where the kids jump up and down on mom and dad’s bed, and everybody laughs their way downstairs for breakfast.
Robert Mueller was not monumental, but he was an effective tool when used properly. The intelligence committee was better, for a couple of reasons. First, with Mueller as a more than willing guide, they reintroduced, for the first time, America to the absurdity that there was “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. The seemingly endless litany of Trump campaign cronies, including the head cheese himself, who strove to gain financially from their ties between Russia and the campaign was jarring, mainly because Mueller could tie the evidence together in a linear package. Mueller also stated, for the first time for most viewers, that inconclusive evidence for an indictment didn’t mean evidence, and that some evidence was unavailable, and people lied to cover other evidence up. The intelligence committee put Russian interference, and the Trump campaign’s gleeful acceptance of it, back on the map again.
While a little rockier and schlockier than Intelligence, the Judiciary committee also got what they wanted. Although Mueller would not read from the report himself, they nonetheless got the majority of the pertinent information on the five strongest cases of obstruction out over the air, by reading it themselves, and allowing Mueller to confirm the authenticity. They also bookmarked Mueller effectively to the detriment of the GOP members. By thanking Mueller for his service, and highlighting his heroism in combat, and public service, they made the GOP members look like shits for throwing shit at Mueller, and by ending every round of questioning with “If anyone but the President did this, he would have been indicted,” they drove home the chasm between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.
The old saying is that “The third time is the charm,” and for the Democrats dreams of impeachment, I hope that’s true. because DAYUMN! have they wasted a lot of time!
The Democrats strategic error was placing all of their hopes in the devastating impact of the Mueller report, an event which Tubby the Ewok circumvented with his base treachery. Once witnesses had testified to Mueller, there was no reason not to call them to testify to congress, especially since the administration would have been hard pressed to deny them to congress if they were letting them testify to Mueller. Now they need to play catch up, and against administration obstruction.
It can be done, but the Democrats need to be fast, and they need to be effective. The Mueller hearing generated some buzz, but congress is going to adjourn for their summer recess next week The Democrats can’t afford to waste that time, they must use it to be filing and fighting their subpoenas in court, so that witnesses like McGahn, Donaldson, and Lewandowski can be brought in as early as possible once the recess is over. Strangely enough, the Democrats got an unintentional assist from the GOP on this. By agreeing to a budget and debt ceiling extension before the break, they eliminated a nasty floor fight in September that could have distracted attention from any Democratic hearings.
But the most important thing the Democrats can do to gin up support for impeachment is to use Trump’s most powerful tool against him, the media. What have been the three highest intensity events of the entire Trump-Russia scandal? James Comey’s testimony, Michael Cohen’s testimony, and Robert Mueller’s testimony. All three were covered extensively live by the media, and all three caused endless cycles of terrible coverage for Trump. Also, they drove him insane.
The Democrats need hearings, and lost of them, and they must be public. No more of this “closed session” shit. They don’t need to expose classified shit, they need to expose shit publicly. Here’s a perfect example. It was a terrible decision to let Hope Hicks testify behind closed doors. That hearing should have been held publicly, and broadcast. It’s one thing to hear or read that White house attorneys wouldn’t even let Hicks tell the panel where her office was located, it would be another thing entirely to sit there and watch that kind of nonsense live. Subpoena the witnesses if they have to, but get them in front of cameras. People will watch, and when they see the Barr and Trump administration obstruction play out time after time, they’ll begin to holler, and the impeachment needle will start to move when people see the depth to which Trump will go to hide the facts.
There is still time for impeachment, but what there no longer is time for is dicking around. Nadler said yesterday that House lawyers will be in court today petitioning the judge to release the grand jury transcripts, and also asking another judge to enforce their contempt citation against Don McGahn by ordering him to testify. Use the next week to issue subpoenas for people like Porter, Priebus, and Lewandowski for right after the recess is over, and be ready to go to court during the recess to enforce them as quickly after congress returns as possible. The Democrats can still make a serious play for impeachment if they want it. But, that’s the question isn’t it, how badly do they want it?