A shocking attitude? Perhaps. I know some will say that, as concerned citizens, we should be glued to the TV while the story of the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election unfolds. I agree we should be deeply troubled about it and the current administration’s lack of concern. We should also be alarmed by the attempts of what hundreds of prosecutors have termed obstruction of justice.
Having said that, I ask, how did any of that become clearer as a result of the hearings? Mueller steadfastly refused to deviate from his stated intention to stick to the content of the report. He acted with more honor than most of the inquisitors. I suspect anyone with motivation to watch the hearings learned little.
After all, the stated purpose of the representatives was not to enhance knowledge or understanding.
Days before the hearings were scheduled, the Democrats declared they had divided up the questioning to hit five key points. They hoped to convince the American people that the current administration has committed heinous crimes.
The Republicans, generally more disciplined than the Democrats, also schemed on how best to respond. They hoped to convince the American people that Donald Trump is as innocent as a new born chick.
Each party had only a single goal, and it wasn’t to educate and impartially explore. It was destroy Donald Trump by the Democrats, deify Donald Trump by the Republicans.
Did either party succeed? Of course not. I cannot believe there were many watchers who changed their opinion. Most of the ones who must be reached are those who could not or would not tune in, perhaps because they had to work for a living. That’s good for the Republicans, because they are much better at reaching this group than are the Democrats.
Every time I watch congressional meetings, I am impressed, with a few notable exceptions, with the consistency of politicians, no matter their ilk. They love to hear themselves talk. They pretend to be righteous and interested only in the welfare of the people. They are immune to logic. They follow the party line, unable to think for themselves or see merit in positions from the other side. They are boring.
Instances of this were apparent during the hearings under discussion.
More than one Democrat almost pleaded with Mueller to say something negative they wanted to hear about Trump. When he steadfastly refused, they continued by saying that they, at least, believed whatever it was they wanted him to declare. The day was not supposed to be about their views, but rather the content of the report.
I was particularly taken by the questioning of one hostile Republican. He was excited about the word “exonerate.” The Mueller report indicated it could not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice. We’ve all heard the phrase ever since the report, or most of it, became public. This guy went on the attack, saying that there was no legal way to exonerate someone. It was classic. When faced with a threatening situation, attack and change the focus. It was a pathetic attempt to make people think Mueller was incompetent.
Another brought up the tired question of Hillary Clinton. No doubt there are serious issues with her, but she wasn’t the subject of the report. Once again, altar the discussion to remove it from the scary points.
In truth, Mueller could well have been the most competent person in the room.
I don’t know if the Democrats think they won the day. I’m sure the Republicans don’t believe that’s the case. And Trump certainly doesn’t, but of course nothing from his lips is laced with truth.
What I believe is that, in the media war, Democrats don’t stand a prayer against Trump. As a small example, in my local paper the day after the hearings, the space provided to the hearings was roughly equivalent to the space given to Trump’s daylong juvenile series of tweets about them.
If the Democrats want to win the presidency, they should create an agenda all candidates can endorse, send out the troops to talk one-on-one with voters across the nation, AND WORK TOGETHER. I’m tired of waiting for them to wise up.