July 28, 2019,
Hubris and I were very thankful that, earlier this week, the heat wave over New Mexico finally gave way to cooler temperatures with the possibility of rain in the forecast for the week few days ahead. We hope the same happens for the east coast and especially the Washington, D. C. area. It sure wouldn’t help if Congress had to hold the Mueller Hearings during a heat wave but I doubt that ‘cooler heads’ will prevail, no matter what the hearing room temperature, when his testimony and interrogations start on Wednesday morning. My guess is that Mueller will keep his ‘cool’ and quite a few politicians from both sides of the aisle will lose theirs. Unlike our paranoid President, Hubris and I are not afraid to tell you that we will be in front of our little TV set out in the barn long before breakfast tomorrow and we’ll ‘stay tuned’ as long as possible. I’ll bet that the Donald watches as long as his psychotic mind will allow before he is compelled to answer with his first Twitter blurb. I wonder, has Vegas put odds on how soon that will happen after Mueller starts to testify? If so, I’d take the ‘under one hour’ position. We’ll see—tomorrow!
Now we know what happens to those people who don’t want to read the book but want to wait for the movie version. As applied to the Mueller Report, the ‘movie’ (really the televised live time hearings) was a bit of a disappointment. I was correct, Mr. Mueller did keep his cool, but I was wrong on the other part of my ‘forecast’: only a few Republicans lost theirs. On the nonsense part of my forecast I won, big time! According to E. J. Dionne (whose writings and opinions I greatly admire) of the Washington Post, Trump made his first Twitter release 35 minutes after the hearings started. The Dems did their coordinated best to document their charges of ‘obstruction of justice’ and the Repubs did their ‘cheapshot’ best to demean Mueller’s credentials as a fair and impartial investigator—which made them look like cheap, low class, schoolyard bullies. I thought Mueller did a pretty good job of letting the report speak for itself. Unfortunately, the media was expecting a clown circus and missed the substance of the report: Russia interfered with our 2016 election and our President invited and welcomed their help in defeating Hillary Clinton. Our President lied repeatedly about his business contacts with the Russian Government during his election campaign and continues to lie about matters personal and governmental today. Trump did his best to obstruct justice and only failed to be indicted for a federal offence because of (Mueller’s interpretation of) the law that a sitting President can’t be indicted, and the Attorney General’s (William Barr) orders forbidding him to speak about issues not specifically contained in his report. I was a bit surprised that almost no attention was paid to the evidence proving that our money-grubbing President is using that office for his and his family’s personal gain. That Trump would do that was no surprise to me! Somehow, I had the idea that using that office for personal gain was against the law? For me, the defining moment of the hearing came in its last minutes when Adam Schiff, the Chairman, asked Mueller if he thought that lying, deceit, and Russia election-meddling by an enabling President had become the new ‘norm’ in American politics and Mueller replied, in a very tired, sad voice, in the affirmative—in total agreement! It looked to me like Chairman Schiff was about to tear-up. What a sad day for our country! That said it all!
My personal comeuppance came when I tried to sum up ‘how the Mueller Report defined President Trump’ for Hubris. I told him that the report proved that Trump was a: low life, incompetent, lying, greed driven, Russian enabling, money loving, totally un-American, horse’s ass! Hubris spun around in his stall and gave me a double hind-footed kick that knocked me half way across the barn. I should have watched my words more carefully. I had no idea that Hubris had such a strong view of the beauty and high character of his backside.
Now we get a few days of media regurgitation of the Mueller report and its implication for our fragile democracy before the next round of Democratic self-nominee debate contests begins.
All bets seem to be on Elizabeth Warren with Kamala Harris coming on strong, Uncle Joe Biden fading fast and Bernie Sanders riding the same three legged horse along the rail not far behind the front runners but slipping slowly into the political past. Not too far behind— since it’s still early in the race—are Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg. AOC is still making more noise than sense and the rest of the bunch are in a contest to see which of them can throw the largest pile of free dollars at every member of the electorate or every member of a distant future electorate.
I expect a few significant surprises in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s debates. I hope the DNC has improved the structure and control of these ‘contests’ enough that they don’t become off-subject shouting matches again. My hope for civility in our political discourse springs eternal but my expectations of that happening are about the same as an ice-cube-in-hell’s chance of remaining frozen. Hang on tight! The Democrat contest has a long way to go and the possibility that the Republicans will have to find a few new candidates for an un-planned-for contest looks more possible every day. It’s a nice, almost cool, Sunday evening so I’ve saddled up Hubris (who isn’t talking to me) and, with a hearty shout of Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay! we are off for our Sunday evening ride along the ditch banks. I’m keeping a tight rein as I suspect Hubris will try to throw me—if I give him the chance!
Copyright, July 28, 2019, Louis J. Christen