Looking Back

Nathan Robinson, in The Guardian:

What a time-wasting farce this has all been. Robert Mueller’s confused, lethargic testimony before Congress this week confirmed how foolish Democrats have been to hope Mueller would “bring down” Donald Trump. For years, people have hoped that Mueller would swoop in like a “deus ex machina” with blockbuster charges against the president. For years, it has also been obvious that this would not happen, and that defeating Trump would require the traditional hard work of political organizing. Now that Mueller has conclusively showed that the Russia investigation was a pitiful sideshow, perhaps Democrats can finally get back to the issues that Americans actually care about.

It’s embarrassing to recall just how absurdly some people elevated Mueller, and how much faith was placed in him. Memes compared Mueller to Superman, or portrayed him as a top cop who was secretly fitting Trump for an orange jumpsuit. He appeared on votive candles and earrings. SNL sang him a Christmas carol. There was an action figure.

It took a great deal of wishful thinking to envision Mueller as a caped crusader. Looking back, it’s quite obvious that people were simply seeing something that wasn’t there

I wonder if the Guardian is about to pivot again. Assange was a whistleblowing hero until he was a narcissistic rapist. Sanders was a flakey spoiler until he was the obvious alternative who coulda, shoulda won.

Two and a half years ago the Gray Lady published a „declassified“ US government report on how Vladimir Putin had subverted the 2016 US elections. The report included evidence such as Russia Today being critical of the state of democracy in the US, citing shows and personalities that had been off the air for some time. This stuff was obvious boilerplate which had been taken down from the shelf and dusted off. Mueller and Pelosi have now been just on the verge of bringing down the Golem for two years. Smart, well-read acquaintances of mine have lapped and regurgitated the pablum for two years. This January, even after release of a contentless The Report relatives talked in confident tones of „Mother“ and Schumer methodically executing on a secret plan. In recent weeks – and this is the thing, these people have lived the delusion right up until now – another relative crowed about proudly carrying around her marked-up color-coded copy of a carefully read The Mueller Report.

And now, and now looking back „it’s quite obvious“. I remember the mid-1970s, and finding out that pretty much everyone around me had always known Nixon was a crook and Vietnam „a mistake“. That vitriol expressed against acid, amnesty and abortion voters? The social studies teacher examining the lining of my camera case because my political views suggested I might be dealing drugs in junior high school? That was other people, not us. We always knew. Just like we always knew now. On to 2020. There is a wide variety of candidates to choose from, tough choices to be made, The Russians trying to subvert the election. And there’s the secret grand jury material: we really need to see the grand jury material backing Mueller’s report.

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