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Four conclusions from the end of the Mueller Era

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Here are four takeaways, based on what we now know.

  1. Mueller may well have turned over a bombshell to Barr, replete with evidence that Trump colluded, obstructed, etc. But Mueller may also have concluded he doesn’t have the power to indict a sitting president.
  2. The Report, on the other hand, may be vanilla: Trump walked to the edge of illegality, but never crossed the line. If so, then
  3. The politics of this will play out in the Court of Public Opinion, making it all the more urgent that the full Report be made public.
  4. There’s always the Southern District, which looks to have some very solid cases.

From everything we’ve seen over the last two years, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner (among others) did some very bad things, for which they must be punished. The punishment will be either juridical or political or both. I don’t think Democrats much care which, as long as the truth is known and the punishment is inflicted.

This wasn’t a good day for Democrats; we have to acknowledge that. But this struggle against Trump and Trumpism has always been a case of good days and bad days. Both sides have had both; that’s the way life is. What matters is not who had a bad day or a good day, but who wins in the end. We won’t know that until Election Day next year, which brings me to my second point:

If Democratic voters don’t get their shit together, stop fighting with each other over trivialities, and agree to 100% support whomever the nominees for President and Vice President are, we’re going to lose in 2020.

I’m seeing early and extraordinarily troubling signs of the same dysfunction that struck the party in 2016. Back then, of course, the Bernie bro’s refused to support Hillary out of resentment their guy didn’t win. Hillary haters voted for third-party candidates who didn’t have a chance. Intra-party anger ran high, with liberals and progressives fighting other liberals and progressives. It was a real mess.

You’d think we would have learned a lesson from that fiasco, but apparently, we’re having a repeat of the same thing. In just the last few days, on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve heard Democrats complaining about the most ridiculous things, and threatening to bolt if they don’t get their way. For instance, a women “friend” on Facebook said that if a woman isn’t at the top of the ticket, she won’t vote for any Democrat. I mean, she eliminated 50% of the population of America from consideration as a presidential candidate! Another woman I know said that, if Biden gets the nomination and he picks Stacey Abrams for veep, she won’t vote for him because Abrams isn’t experienced enough. Someone else said that Biden is too old. Then there’s the crowd who says Beto isn’t liberal enough, while some Black Democrats say they’d consider voting for a third party candidate, or not voting at all, if both nominees are White.

I ask all these people, What is wrong with you? How about letting the nomination process unfold normally, and then supporting the eventual candidates? The great strength of the Republican Party at this point is that they are completely, totally united behind Trump. Nothing will divide them. Trump is thus assured of no intramural bickering to interfere in fundraising. He will not suffer a decline in morale among his supporters. Republicans will go into the election with a strong sense of enthusiasm for their candidate and the feeling they can pull this off despite Trump’s dismal record and abysmal conduct.

And Democrats? If 2016 repeats itself, Dems will go into the election nursing grievances. That is not the way to win. And winning is everything: we can’t afford four more years of Republican thuggery and demolition of our liberal American values.

So I beg Democrats: Please, just relax. Don’t whine. Don’t threaten. Don’t get mad. If every Democrat in every State voted in every election, America would never again have a Republican President—which is precisely why Republicans work so hard at voter suppression. Don’t help them out. Don’t suppress yourself!

Politics is the art of compromise. Nobody gets everything they want. Work your tail off for the candidate/s you prefer, but pledge to support the eventual ticket. Any Democratic ticket is better than a Trump-Pence ticket. Surely Democrats know that! If people are going to be pissed off because the ticket isn’t exactly the one they want, we’re going to end up with Trump-Pence.

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    Many excellent points.
    “a women “friend” on Facebook said that if a woman isn’t at the top of the ticket, she won’t vote for any Democrat.”
    That kind of thinking is what elected Trump, and will elect him again if it continues.

  2. Bob Rossi, that’s why it’s so important to have these discussions with fellow Democrats. But we have to be respectful with them. They’re very touchy, and are easily offended if they feel they’re being disrespectful.

  3. Bob Henry says:

    “I’m seeing early and extraordinarily troubling signs of the same dysfunction that struck the [Democratic] party in 2016. Back then, of course, the Bernie bro’s refused to support Hillary out of resentment their guy didn’t win. Hillary haters voted for third-party candidates who didn’t have a chance. Intra-party anger ran high, with liberals and progressives fighting other liberals and progressives. It was a real mess.”

    I have a general personal policy against discussing politics: you can’t change the opinions of others . . . so why bother?

    The Democratic Party dysfunction that Steve alludes to is exactly the reason I am non-partisan. Why I declined to elect party affiliation when I signed up to vote on my 18th birthday. And take pride in the fact that our progressive state of California allows registered voters to cross the divide and vote for whomever they prefer . . . indifferent to political party affiliation.

    The citizenship duty to participate in our representative democracy trumps (no pun intended) political party affiliation.

    Exercise your critical thinking skills and be an informed voter.

    Don’t be a knee-jerk Democrat or Republican who reflexively votes the “party line.”

    Vote for the candidate who espouses views most in alignment with your own.

    And if that means defecting from your party and supporting a third-party candidate or an independent candidate . . . well, that’s representative democracy.

    Our Founding Fathers never anticipated a duopoly of political parties. [*]

    As for this statement . . .

    “I ask all these people [Democrats], What is wrong with you? How about letting the nomination process unfold normally . . .”

    . . . not to be a grandstander, nor someone who revels in a “gotcha” moment, but in previous comments left here I counseled Steve to let the Mueller investigation process run its course as an exercise in constitutional democracy before leaping to conclusions.

    [*For those who subscribe to The Wall Street Journal or are resourceful enough to bypass its paywall, I give you this quote from a 2010 “Opinion” page piece:

    “Like other founders, [George] Washington prayed that the country would be spared the bane of political parties . . .”

    Excerpt from:

    “The Feuding Fathers;
    Americans lament the partisan venom of today’s politics, but for sheer verbal savagery, the country’s founders were in a league of their own. Ron Chernow on the Revolutionary origins of divisive discourse.”

    URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704911704575326891123551892 ]

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