Although this week is not yet over (it’s only Wednesday as I write this), this is now the third week since all of the breathless reporting said that the Mueller report would be released. As usual, the only one who knows when that will happen is Robert Mueller.
Speaking of whom, if you didn’t get a chance to watch this past Sunday night’s Headliners installment on CNN, here is the You Tube link to it. (33m49s)
A Brief Review of Mueller’s Career
That Headliners segment does an in-depth look at the life and career of Robert Mueller. I urge you to watch it and to then consider how that most honorable man’s integrity has been ravaged by perhaps the man with the least amount of integrity in our lifetimes.
The contrast between Mueller and Trump could not be more stark. That contrast is beautifully encapsulated by one instance in particular.
- After graduating from Princeton in 1966 and then going on to earn a Master’s Degree in 1967, Mueller was so affected by the Vietnam war death of a respected Princeton classmate, David Hackett, that he decided to enlist in the Marines in 1968 knowing that he would be sent to Vietnam to actively fight in that war.
- During his time in Vietnam, he was a platoon leader and he received, among many other awards, both the bronze star with valor for his selfless, heroic actions, and was later wounded in battle for which he received the Purple Heart.
Donald Trump’s military career, or rather his active avoidance of it by any means necessary, is well documented and is rightfully disgraced in any type of comparison to Mueller.
While Mueller worked in private law practice briefly, he left that golden financial opportunity behind to become a ferocious public prosecutor, U.S. Attorney and Director of the FBI for an unprecedented 12 years (except for J. Edgar), under both Presidents Bush and Obama. He took office as FBI Director on Sept 4th, 2001 – just one week before the Sept 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
So where are we now?
Manafort has now been sentenced by judges in both the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and the District of Columbia. Thanks primarily to Judge Ellis in the EDVA case, the total amount of time Manafort was sentenced (7.5 years minus “good behavior” and time already served (9 months)) is generally considered to be egregiously light, especially in comparison with the sentences issued regularly to non-white criminals convicted of significantly less egregious crimes.
At least DC Judge Berman-Jackson verbally dressed Manafort down in her pre-sentencing comments, in clear contrast to Judge Ellis’s “otherwise blameless life” declaration in his own clueless and moronic pre-sentencing comments.
Since New York has now indicted Manafort on 16 more felony counts, we can hope that at least he is not spared from prison completely by any pardon from Trump.
- By the way, sorry to tell you Paul, but if you ever do get that pardon, it won’t be until after Trump knows he will no longer be President. Even then, personal loyalty is hardly a hallmark of Trump so I would be prepared at least for the possibility of serving your entire federal sentence, as light as that may be.
What about the Mueller Report?
I cannot imagine that after all of the hints in previous indictment filings, and all of the information that is publicly known, that there will not be any further indictments by Mueller before he issues the final report.
My candidates for further indictments, at the very least for lying to Congress, are Don Jr., Jared, Roger Stone and Erik Prince. I also have to believe that some persons will be indicted for Conspiracy Against the United States but it is anybody’s guess who will be named in that indictment, if it indeed is issued.
Whatever the findings of the report may be, I believe that Attorney General Barr will do everything in his power to release as little information from the report as is possible. There will be an epic struggle to get comprehensive information from that report released to Congress. My guess is that it may eventually have to be leaked. I strongly doubt that Mueller will do that but I think that someone who has worked with the Special Counsel will leak it.
To impeach or not to impeach?
Even if Mueller’s report contains the infamous “smoking gun” of conspiracy to work with the Russians to affect the 2016 Presidential campaign, there will still will be 35% of all Americans and 80-90% of all Republicans who would never agree to impeach him. Given that Republicans in the House and the Senate are scared to death of their Republican base, there is no way that an impeachment will ever succeed.
What can we expect in November of 2020?
First, I don’t see much of any way that Trump is not the Republican nominee.
Which Democrat will be running against him? Who will survive is just as much the question?
I don’t really see anyone coming completely out of the woods, meaning someone who has not already announced, or who is yet likely to announce such as Biden and O’Rourke.
I do think that one of the things, if not the thing, that will eventually set someone apart will be if/when someone forcefully calls out Trump and the Republicans for shamelessly equating anyone who supports selected Socialist policies with being a Communist. We have been down that road before and it was not a shining moment in American history. I think the person who will be perhaps the most effective in calling that out will be someone who has not positioned themselves so fully to the Progressive Left.
For example, if the candidate’s position is Medicare for All now and completely free college tuition now, it will be almost impossible for them to make that broad brush Socialism argument. But conversely, if the candidate is much more moderate, the argument that those policies are just simply not realistic, will fall entirely flat with the Democratic constituents whom they will need to win the Democratic nomination.
So I think that the person to break through will be someone who effectively claims the middle ground between a full-blown, old school Democratic moderate like Biden, and the unreservedly Progressive Left like Bernie or Elizabeth Warren. I think it will also be someone younger who may currently seem to be far Progressive Left, or someone who is currently more moderate, but is willing to move toward the Progressive middle.
It will be interesting to see how the early lead in the polls translates to Biden and Sanders in the early primaries. Their expected early strength may make some candidates decide to hang it up early. That may be shortsighted as I don’t see either of those two men eventually winning the nomination. I think that this year may finally end up with a divided Democratic Convention in Milwaukee where no candidate has enough delegates to clinch the nomination on the first ballot. The absence of super-delegates this time around, as well as the plethora of candidates, may very well guarantee that.
Important positions for any nominee to champion
- A position I think that has to be taken by the eventual nominee is that there is an easy start toward more financial responsibility by repealing those appalling tax cuts for the wealthy that immediately added over a trillion dollars to our national debt and which have gotten us nothing but that ballooning debt in return.
- Strengthening and improving/fixing, not gutting, Obamacare needs to be an immediate priority.
- Embrace and define the Green New Deal for what it really should be – a vitally important and aspirational beginning toward a goal … but not yet finished legislation in any sense of the word. Be prepared to intellectually belittle the hysterical claims by the Right that it will mean “no more hamburgers” and “planes falling from the sky“.
- A clear gun control policy is an absolute must – one that does not waste a lot of time and energy on background checks, and other legal tweaks, but which gets right to the heart of some real action – the immediate ban on the manufacture and sale of automatic weapons and on multiple ammunition magazines.
- A commitment to return to the world stage and to re-embrace our friends and historic allies, and to categorically reject authoritarianism, will be a necessity for any nominee.
I think that the eventual nominee almost inevitably will be a woman, given the precedent that was set in the 2018 elections.
Who will be the eventual Democratic nominee?
I envision the nominee to be someone younger, minority, female (or all three), and having started or having moved to the middle Progressive Left. My early prognostication as to the survivors in this elimination game as of right now are …
- Amy Klobuchar – ideologically positioned about right at the present but needing to further define herself to the general voting public.
- Kirsten Gillebrand – positioned about right but with a lot to prove
- Kamala Harris – needs to put some distance between herself, Sanders and Warren. The earlier California and South Carolina primaries may get her off to a very good start.
- Corey Booker – positioned about right and ready to step into the void if none of the women are able to break free from the pack.
- Julian Castro – positioned about right but first needing to separate himself from Corey Booker.
Maybe there’s a female/minority “Jimmy Carter” out there somewhere but I just don’t see it. There are plenty of Jimmy Carter wannabes, but they are all white at this point which is just not something that I think the voters will finally accept in their Democratic nominee.
Whomever is the Democratic nominee, I have to believe with every fiber of my being that once they become the nominee, while they no doubt will make some general election mistakes, they will be much more prepared to deal with Trump than was Hillary.
I can’t wait for the first debate between Trump and a woman when he inevitably tries to pull some of that macho, sophomoric, and often infantile, shit that he did with Hillary. There will be absolutely no excuse for the Democratic nominee to not be primed and ready for that, and to push it squarely back into his face.
Like I said in one my earlier editorials, regarding 2016 debate #3 between Trump and Hillary (Editorial # 017) …
Trump’s base may be unmovable, but they are nowhere near a majority. If the Democratic nominee stands up to him, I don’t think that there is any way this country gives that creep another term.
We just have to keep telling ourselves that until it becomes reality.