Tuesday, March 26, 2019


If you know me, you know what I think about our current President. If you don’t, you can read about it here. Or, if you don’t feel like reading that, I can summarize:

To call our current President a sack of shit does an injustice to sacks of shit, many of which are upstanding members of our society that do the important work of fertilizing our crops. To say that his Presidency has already harmed our nation isn’t enough; his candidacy alone, and the legitimacy conferred by the media and the political establishment upon its bigotry and ignorance and fraudulence, would have harmed our country even if he hadn’t won the Electoral College. He’s reprehensible, toxic human garbage, most of the major players in his administration are even worse, and every day they’re in power is part of an accruing disaster for our country and the world. I would also point out that he’s riotously incompetent, except that his incompetence may well be the only aspect of his administration that has saved us up to this point.

This, though mildly expressed, is what I think about our current President. So please remember that this is the context in which I want to urge my fellow Trump opponents to knock it off with the petulant disappointment about the Mueller Report.

While I thought, and still think, that the Special Counsel’s investigation was essential, from the start I haven’t been comfortable with the attitude of many Trump opponents toward it; waiting for it like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, naively convinced that it would be a magic spell that would make the bad man go away. No matter what the report shows—and at this writing that still isn’t public—it was never going to lead promptly to the President’s removal from office.

No matter how compelling the speculations extrapolated from the indictments and guilty pleas the investigation has already produced, there were always several possibilities about the final report with regard to the President. One was that, however improbable it might seem, it would exonerate him from colluding with a foreign power. Another was that it would show that he participated in or knew about or covered up sleazy unethical crap, but that this didn’t rise to the level of criminality. A third was that it would suggest that yeah, he probably committed crimes, but that the investigation wasn’t able to prove it to a degree required for prosecution.

What all of these possibilities have in common is that they wouldn’t bounce this scumbag out of office. That probably wouldn’t happen even if the report conclusively showed that he did collude, because the Senate is in Republican control, and there’s nothing to indicate that the Republican leadership would take action against the President even if, well, you know, even if he stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot someone. As things now stand, the report won’t even embarrass him—whatever’s in it, he’ll just claim it’s a pack of lies, and his diehard supporters, shamefully, don’t really care if he colluded with Russia or not.

So there’s always been something unrealistic about the salivating impatience of the President’s opponents for the report, and there’s also something unseemly about it. If the report truly shows that the President didn’t collude, or didn’t knowingly collude, with Russia…well, I hate to sound like a civics-class Pollyanna, but that’s a good thing, and a relief. If we’re people of good faith, we shouldn’t want our enemies to be worse than they are.

But if, as seems more probable, the report shows that he’s a lowlife who cozied up to a vile foreign power for campaign help but didn’t quite cross the line into criminality, or didn’t do so provably, let’s not throw a tantrum because this isn’t what we asked Santa for. The report, though it may turn out to be enormously important, was never going to be a quick easy solution to the immediate problem of this administration. Most outrageous of all, and I’ve already heard a little of this, is suddenly impugning the integrity of Mueller or his team, after casting them, for the last couple of years, as white knights riding to our rescue. I understand being tired of having this President and his toadies and cronies and puppeteers pollute the White House every day with their presence, but this report was never going to be a silver bullet.

And the thing is…I’m not sure it should be. While I don’t necessarily doubt that, regardless of what’s in the Mueller Report, the President may be deserving of impeachment, I’m also not sure that impeachment would be the healthiest way for us to get rid of him. I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better for voters to run his ass out of office on a rail in the next election, along with, almost more importantly, as many of his revolting enablers as possible.

I’m not sure I’m right about this. For one thing, it means enduring this administration for, at a minimum, more than another year and a half. And I see no remote guarantee that my party won’t blow another election, if dilatory, candy-ass Democrats once again fail to vote for whoever the nominee is, because he or she somehow fails to conform sufficiently to our delicate ideological sensibilities, or just because we don’t think he or she is cool enough.

But overall, I think that focusing on voting him out is the better way because, first of all, it’s a natural reproach on the part of the electorate to everything he stands for. If he got thrown out of office, he and his followers could always whine that it was a cheat, that the “deep state” or whatever pushed him out, over the wishes of the people. They’ll claim that anyway, of course, if he loses the election, but it will be far less convincing.

Second of all, we should make voting him out our goal because, once again, at some level the Mueller Report is moot, for the moment, no matter what its conclusions. This President was never going to be impeached, at least not in his first term. Working toward voting him out as soon as possible is preferable to daydreaming about impeachment, because it means engaging with the process ourselves, doing the hard work of protecting our beloved country’s institutions and forwarding the agendas we want. It was the complacent lack of this commitment, more than anything else, that brought us our current President, whether he got a boost from Russia or not.

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