Robert Mueller Trump Investigation

There Is a Partisan Benefit in Mueller Waiting to End His Investigation

Impeachment or winning 2020? Mueller's Russian investigation should be a non-factor


When it comes to President Donald Trump, a Democratic staffer on the Hill summed him up this way: “Don’t overanalyze him and don’t underestimate him.” We were talking about the “What’s next?” scenario following avoiding a government shutdown, a Senate vote on funding and Trump declaring a national emergency along the border. For those working for the president, the “national emergency” invariably involves stress and worry. It’s the eye rolls, shrugs, whispers and sighs that give it away. People who support the president are tired of him “and this stupid wall nobody wants.”

Those at a safe distance who love his policies and even his odd nature may still cheer wildly and attack reporters indiscriminately, but those closer to ground zero have had enough of the fireworks. It’s the national emergency scam, the lack of transparency on his annual check-up, the lack of public accountability and the lack of decision-making.

But more than all of that, if you ask anyone who claims to like the president, it’s about the tweets.

Everyone is tired of the president tweeting. Donald Trump, despite whatever is said publicly about the man, has privately worn out his welcome. “He doesn’t like dogs and dogs don’t like him,” one White House aide joked. “Ask anyone in Congress and there aren’t many privately who defend him even if they do so publicly.”

Trump campaigned on the backs of the common man while preaching his love for their causes. It handed him a victory in 2016 that he hopes to duplicate next year. But a lot of water has traveled under this bridge and some say the foundation of that bridge is starting to erode. The question remains. Will the GOP continue to hold its nose and support him? Moreover, will the Democrats continue to eat their own?
The Democrats will now soon have to decide whether to proceed by spending their energy on an impeachment campaign or on winning an election. Can they do both?
In this maelstrom of recent political activity, the Mueller investigation and Senate Intelligence Committee's report now become political chips to be played in the perennial D.C. poker game—as if the Mueller investigation ever was anything else. Does Mueller hold back the final report until just before the campaign season gets started in earnest? Does he wait until after the convention? After the next election? Will the report be released to the public? Will there be hearings?

The timing of its release and everything about it, whether he considers it political or not will be just another chip in the game. Mueller isn’t a man who strikes me as unaware of this reality. Any repercussions for skullduggery on the part of the president and his administration may well wait until after the campaign season to see if an election does—in a quicker fashion—what some think the Mueller report may ultimately do: lead to the removal of the president.

True, the Senate recently concluded there was no collusion between the president and the Russians, but the Senate report raised more questions than actually provided answers and election season is quickly upon us.
The irony is the Mueller investigation may ultimately have little national political consequence. “If we vote Trump out in 2020,” as even some of the GOP stalwarts privately speculate, “then he’ll be gone.” The Mueller investigation may pay other dividends and still contain personal consequences for Trump, but the left and the right are quickly reaching the same conclusion: the 2020 elections will probably come before any consequences from the Mueller probe.

The Democrats will now soon have to decide whether to proceed by spending their energy on an impeachment campaign or on winning an election. Can they do both? How will voters react to one or both simultaneous possibilities?

Democrats may not want to waste energy impeaching Trump when the cleanest method of removal is through the electoral process. That decision will have to be made soon and the Democrats may decide Trump’s vulnerability due to stumbling badly on the government shutdown is the golden ticket to recapturing the White House. But they also admit they cannot short change a man who has the survival instincts of a rabid sewer rat.
It’s disturbing because we are just at the beginning of the president’s re-election bid. He will continue to appeal to his base.
After all, Trump has rebounded before—and that may frighten the Democrats into proceeding with impeachment so they can have two chances of getting rid of him by next year. He is like the rubber punch clown you had when you were a kid—a vinyl plastic frame surrounding nothing but someone’s fetid breath and a base filled with sand. Every time you punched it, the aggravating piece of plastic hit the ground but sprang back. After some time you get bored and let all the air seep out before throwing the flattened husk in a shed to be forever forgotten.

What we have to look forward to between now and November 2020 will be vintage Trump before we file away his political husk or re-inflate the punching bag.

“The Trump rally is a Hell of a preview of what is to come,” Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted after this week’s Trump rally in El Paso. John Roberts from FOX News tweeted, “So - it finally happened. A journalist was attacked at a @RealDonaldTrump rally.”

An amped up supporter apparently attacked a BBC cameraman Monday and Trump made some mention of the dust up before moving on with other more important Trump issues than the latest round of WWF smackdown. Some speculated Trump probably enjoyed the drama. Trump may have, but others didn’t.

The White House, through Sarah Huckabee Sanders, issued a statement from the president denouncing the violence against reporters, after both the White House Correspondents' Association and the Maryland, Delaware District of Columbia Press Association called on the White House to do so.

"President Trump condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people - including members of the press. We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner. For questions around security at Trump campaign events please contact the campaign directly,” Sanders said.

Those who wish to be angry with the staff or doubt the sincerity of the statement from Sanders are misplacing their anger unless it is directed at the president. I believe many of the people who work for Trump would not advocate violence against reporters. But they work for a man who does—and while they may have a hard time rationalizing that fact, nonetheless it is a fact.

It’s disturbing because we are just at the beginning of the president’s re-election bid. He will continue to appeal to his base. He will continue to strike the same notes he did in his first campaign. “Fake Media” and “Crooked Hillary” as well as “Far left wingnuts” and “Only I can fix this problem,” and the ever faithful, “I’m the best,” will be sprinkled liberally throughout any public statement Trump makes between now and election day. Do not risk over analyzing him.
The Democrats have yet to prove they can beat Trump.
But also, as warned, do not underestimate Trump’s ability to survive. The Democrats have yet to prove they can beat Trump. Their process by which they choose an opponent to counter the president is just beginning. The Democrats are as fractured as always since their big tent includes voters who used to be Republicans, conservatives, moderates, liberals and the “Bernie bros”.

In 2016 they couldn’t come together to vanquish Trump. As the critic said, they ate their own while the GOP held their nose and elected Trump.

This has led to what many now believe is an international disaster—but don’t fool yourself. Even if members of the GOP loathe Trump, the number of conservative judges; the tax breaks to the rich; the lessening of environmental standards; and the military build-up have all been cheered by the GOP. Beating up reporters? Screwing the poor? Dumping transgender soldiers? A new nuclear arms race with Russia? Annoying our allies? Weakening NATO? Denying climate change? A skyrocketing national debt or deficit? Destroying any chance of universal healthcare? Many just don’t care.

But what they do care about is Trump is starting to look more and more like the neighbor who came over for the barbecue and won’t go home. Not only has he overstayed his welcome, but he’s starting to get on the nerves of those who were amused by him for a while. As we head into 2020, politicians on both sides of the aisle are looking at the “Trump fatigue factor” while trying not to overanalyze or underestimate Donald Trump.

“I know many who are just tired of dealing with him on a daily basis,” a White House staffer confided. “But there is no alternative. Jeff Flake? Paul Ryan? Ted Cruz? Seriously? Trump has proven one thing: he can win. That’s all we care about.”

That’s a reality that no one should overanalyze or underestimate . Getting the win. “Winning!” We’ve seen that tweet too.

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