The pain of the Mueller report: At this point, what should we think of William Barr's account of the Mueller report?
We largely agree with Kevin Drum. People should think Barr's account is extremely sketchy. Click here, but also click this.
A great deal remains unexplained about the Mueller report. That includes the question of why Robert Mueller didn't state an opinion as to whether Donald J. Trump committed obstruction of justice.
(Full disclosure: as a political matter, we regard that as an arcane, essentially insignificant point.)
Why didn't Mueller state a view regarding obstruction? Is it because of Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president?
Presumably, we'll get the answer to that question if Mueller's report is ever released. For now, we're amazed, yet not amazed, to see cable pundits discussing this question without this possibility being raised.
Presumably, more information about Mueller's report will become available at some point. That said, it's also true that the principal message from the report is this:
Read his lips. No new indictments!No new indictments of anyone! No indictment of Donald Trump, Jr. No indictment of Jared Kushner. People, not even Ivanka!
No indictments regarding collusion at all. No indictments involving the endlessly ballyhooed Trump Tower meeting. No indictments regarding perjury during congressional hearings, as we liberals were promised.
No indictments involving the "lies" about the Trump Tower meeting, the "lies" which were spawned on the plane. Carter Page still walking the streets! Perfidy by Cohen in Prague? Long gone, disappeared and forgotten!
Drum is one of those very odd ducks who sits around reading books at night when he could be watching "cable news" instead. For that reason, he may not grasp the extent to which liberals have been assured that more indictments were surely coming—that members of Trump's family and team would all be frog-marched away.
"Cable news" has focused on little except this true crime drama. In this way, this mindless industry has kept displaying its empty corporate soul.
Especially on MSNBC, every guest is required to agree with every other guest. No discouraging words will be heard from (good God!) "our favorite reporters and friends."
Rachel Maddow has been especially crazy in the way she's turned her program into a political version of the true crime program, Dateline. It's been Manafort's sentence and little else, night after night after night.
Climate, health care, public schools? Nobody cares about bullshit like that! On this grinning narcissist's self-absorbed show, it's been Manafort all the way down.
This has been stupid, ugly work. Liberals have been propagandized in the process. Beyond that, we'll guess that Donald J. Trump has been helped toward re-election. Despite what we're constantly telling ourselves, our tribe just ain't real sharp.
In this morning's Washington Post: In this morning's Washington Post, Paul Farhi discusses emerging criticisms of the way this topic has been flogged in the past two years by mainstream and liberal orgs, including MSNBC.
Jonathan Chait and Rachel Maddow get hit especially hard. In our independent view, the work of each has been strikingly poor. Could they be Donald J. Trump's best friends, re-election-wise?
All in all, we liberals don't know how to speak to The Others; we only know how to pleasure ourselves. On the brighter side, the endless ladling of tribal porridge has been extremely good for business in the extremely high-salaried lands where tribal True Belief dwells.
Big stars agree all the way to the bank. Mister Trump gains a new shouting-point:
No new indictments of anyone! In our view, that looks like the biggest news here.