The summary report that Attorney General William Barr wrote on Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump colluded/conspired with Russia in order to be elected Mr. Trump of the United States of America was a devastating gut punch to Democrats, justice, and the rule of law. This summary to a great degree cleared Mr. Trump of any wrongdoing, especially in the eyes of the public, and gave him a head start on spinning the results of the investigation in a way that will be of maximum benefit to him and allow him to control the narrative. Of course, Mr. Trump says that this summary means that the investigation totally exonerates him: and at this point, neither congress nor the public even knows how many pages are in the actual investigation report let alone what the report itself says or what kind of documentation was gathered to support its findings.
It is extremely hard to accept Attorney General Barr’s summary of what was revealed in the investigation and his conclusions as a result of having read the full report. One of the reasons that make it hard to accept his summary and conclusions as fair and unbiased is, in no small part, due to the way in which he became Mr. Trump’s pick to be Attorney General in the first place. Both Mr. Barr and Matthew Whitaker, the man that Mr. Trump picked to precede Mr. Barr, auditioned for the job by writing a memo and Op-ed, respectively. Both the memo and the Op-ed heavily favored Mr. Trump and were critical of the Robert Mueller investigation. The selection of these two men makes Mr. Trump’s public and loudly trumpeted declaration of his innocence of any crimes or collusion/conspiracy with Russia based on Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller investigation report suspect.
The summary that Attorney General Barr wrote raises many more questions than it answers. Last night (3/25/19) on her show, Rachael Maddow listed fifteen questions from that report that are among the many that remain unanswered and clearly and succinctly laid out the details as to why each question needed to be asked and answered. During that time she also talked about Attorney General Barr’s involvement in writing the report and touched on how he could easily be construed to be Mr. Trump’s man because of how he had come to be selected for the Attorney General position.
It is easy to understand her point. Because before he hired Matthew Whitaker, Mr. Trump had bitterly complained about how Mr. Jeff Sessions, while he was Attorney General, had not protected him and had lamented about how Mr. Sessions should not have recused himself; ultimately Mr. Trump forced Mr. Sessions to resign. He then hired Mr. Whitaker, who was eminently unqualified for the job but was malleable to his wishes, to do the job. Next up after he removed Acting Attorney General Whitaker who likely would have never been confirmed by the senate, was Mr. Barr who was eminently qualified, well-respected, definitely more polished than Mr. Whitaker and, based on his audition for the job, was just as eager to please him as was Mr. Whitaker. Mr. Trump then hired him as the closer.
If I haven’t learned anything else over the time that Mr. Trump has occupied the Oval Office I have learned that he is a master of prestidigitation, obfuscation, manipulation, projection, lying, hate mongering, fear mongering and divisiveness. And I have also learned that he is all but inexplicably tough-minded and a master of using all of these things to survive and promote himself. It is hard to assign a number to the number of times that Washington congressmen, pundits and the rest of us who follow politics have predicted that Mr. Trump had finally gone too far and would pay a hefty political price. Wrong. Instead, he has continued to maintain his base, continue to defy the odds, move ahead and brag about it. Right now, 90% of Republicans support Mr. Trump and would vote for him again. Based on the things that Mr. Trump has done since he has been in office, many of these people would be voting against their own best interest! Go figure!
Despite Mr. Trump’s well-known propensity to lie, his capriciousness as it relates to governance, his scandal-filled administration, his inability – or lack of interest to fill open jobs in order to make the government run more smoothly and efficiently, he is a formidable adversary and there is a good chance that he can be reelected in 2020. For those who are comfortable with this kind of knee-jerk, haphazard way of running America there is no problem. But for those who are not comfortable with it, the sooner that they realize and accept Mr. Trump’s formidability, the better. Although I am a staunch Democrat and proud of it, this is not a clarion call to Democrats only to wake up but it is meant to awaken the concern in Republicans and Independents as well. It is a call to all of those who feel that America is traveling the wrong road and that the way forward must be led by someone who is more focused and holds a greater concern for our country as a whole.
That someone does not necessarily have to be a Democrat but it does have to be someone who is concerned about pulling us together instead of dividing us. It does have to be someone who is more concerned about putting America’s interest ahead of their own personal interest. And it does have to be someone who will respect the Constitution, the rule of law, the long-held norms of this great republic and who will hold the Oval Office in the high esteem in which it should be held. It has to be someone who will rise to the mantle of the Office and will work to assure that it remains the prestigious symbol of Democracy that it has always been. As voters we can assure that this will happen by performing one of our most important civic duties which is to vote. We must get informed on the issues, stay informed and always vote.
So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, always remember, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line