America has never really seemed to know what to do with itself. This last week has been extraordinary in that regard. I have viewed most of this through the carnival prism of Twitter, where what is already misshapen becomes further distorted and always with some spin, if not a very heavy dose of it.
It has not been a week. It has only been two days.
Part of what has fascinated me about Twitter is watching the little self-confirming cliques that have formed there. There are a handful of liberal media figures who relentlessly congratulate and LOVE one another's take on everything. They vary in snark as well as wit and intellect but what they don't ever vary in is the unquestioned state of the collective narrative that they all seek to build and maintain. Some of it is absurd beyond comprehension, but yet somehow still fascinating.
From the other side....
We are seeing what happens when a populace really digs in and gets behind a career criminal. Of course the claim of criminality is unjustified, because as so many have pointed out... there was no conspiracy. There was no attempt to stop or slow down hostile political and social interference, but it did not rise to the level of conspiracy. That last sentence was about Obama, of course. The Mueller report is damning for him, also. The excerpts that I read document his knowledge of hostile foreign election interference as well as his administration's lack of response to that threat.
One side seems to completely ignore that fact because they are so hyper-focused on Trump's always borderline illegal behavior. Is negligence at that level also a form of obstruction? If not of justice then at the very least of a healthy democracy. Obstruction of Democracy.
But my intention is not to bag on Obama here. But it is worth noting: he did nothing to stop, prevent or even slow Russian interference in our national election and seems to have put the sanction in place at least in part as a trap for Trump and his team to try to cover his inaction. It was a trap that they repeatedly tried to walk into but were not organized enough to pull of an actual crime or collection of them. But Obama blew it and nobody should give him or his administration a free pass here.
Do I think they should be investigated? No. We already know what we know.
Do I want to see a slew of Trump cronies in prison? Sure.
Why the difference? Intent.
Everyone that I get a glimpse of in the Trump administration is nakedly motivated first by criminal self-interest. Yes, I know, the Clintons and Obama make lots of money off of speeches and book deals. That is fundamentally different than lying to the American people about a business deal that you were trying to secure in Moscow while campaigning to become president, then using that power to leverage personal gain, all the while lying about your Russian connections to the very people whose votes you were seeking to secure.
Was it illegal? Nope.
Should it be permitted in a president?
How are we even asking that last question?
After a decade of hearing people talk about "the media giving _____ a free pass" now we have a voting populace that seems a little too eager to give their guy that same sort of deference, but with a legal and political vengeance.
I remember when Clinton perjured himself and was caught. People - some of them - wanted to see him go to jail for it. My mom - a democrat - was one of them. Others asked if lying about a blow job was really the thing we were going to try and take a president out of office for. Now we're asking if working with Russia, even if not quite to the level of prosecutable criminality, is sufficient.
The dems have fucked themselves. I don't have enough faith in them to believe that they might do the right thing here, which would be to investigate a few of the unanswered questions that remain from the collusion portion of the Mueller report. And as hard as this might be for them: to ignore the obstruction portion.
Yes, I know it's not a popular opinion, but there is just way too much evidence that several of the key players lied to Congress and to Mueller. It's absolutely baffling to me that reasonable people are accepting some of the conclusions and some of the tremendous gaps we have in our understanding of what actually did happen. Right now we are in a place where the other lingering investigations might get shut down by an openly partisan-motivated AG, then of course the presidential pardons would come, and then the narrative that this really was all just one big witch hunt might remain the dominant narrative.
Anyone that has not looked at some of the most troubling facts might accept that version of events.
Mueller seems to have focused his report purely on the possibility of there having been a tacit agreement between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, when no one (at least as far as I know) ever made that claim. The collusion was always with a series of state-related players who are widely known to also be deeply involved in international organized crime and to no one's surprise: real estate. Perhaps a few of those other 12 or 14 investigations that we know so little about will prove fruitful enough to get something to stick there.
My favorite takeaway from all of this was Mueller's analysis that Trump would have been more easily indictable for obstruction of justice if any of his underlings would have bothered listening to him or acting upon his many criminal wishes. I'm not sure why that brings me so much pleasure, other than the obvious prosecutorial acknowledgment that the man is an inept buffoon and most everyone around him knows it and responds to it by ignoring his orders.
That aspect of his character seems to be in plain sight for anyone with even baseline curiosity about him but it's nice for the assessment to become an official part of the record.
The rest of this post has been redacted.
Harm To Ongoing Matter