Trump is using Barr and Graham in an attempt to shove the Mueller investigation to the back-burner. Trump has declared that the investigation into the interface between his campaign and Vladimir’s Kremlin is done! His sycophants in Congress are stressing his “victimhood.” Watch as his Republican lapdogs begin to call for an “investigation of the investigators!” Mark my words, a clamor will metastasize into a fake groundswell of phony outrage — even calls to re-open the investigation of Hillary’s emails! — anything to distract.
The Democrats in Congress — after watching for two years from the sidelines, as the Republicans “fiddled while Rome burned” — are focused on dealing with Trump’s “obstruction of justice.” This should be looked into. However, most voters find these machinations boring, “inside baseball,” and tedious. In short, if there is no way to indict a sitting president, or if it’s determined that the Senate will never go along, then this may be a waste of time. Most important, it is not health care or any other issue that seems to affect the average citizen. So, Yes! Take care of the “obstruction” issues, pursue them, use them for occasional headlines; but do not allow Trump to be perceived as a victim! Instead, the DNC and the 23 Democratic candidates should focus on one huge issue from the Mueller Report — as well as all the other issues that are of vital, daily interest to voters.
The Democrats should focus on Volume One of the Mueller Report and the 12 earlier indictments of Russian intelligence officers. While criminal conspiracy itself was not proven (a very high bar), Mueller has laid out, chapter and verse, the Russians’ attack on America’s 2016 election — to benefit the Trump campaign and to damage Hillary’s campaign. Mueller was able to lay out Trump’s cooperation and communication with a hostile foreign power. It is all there in Volume One of the Mueller Report and those 12 indictments of Russian agents.
The DNC ought to orchestrate an effort to get that word out with talking points every week, even every other day — till November 2020. The Democratic candidates ought to raise the issue of election security and Russian involvement in 2016 (and 2020) in every speech they give. They must demand action by the federal government to make our election process safe before 2020, rather than conduct a post-mortem after November 2020. Neither the Trump administration nor the Republicans in Congress have made any attempt to harden our election defenses against a Russian attack — Democrats must call them on it — again and again! The future of the country and our electoral system depends on it!
Plus, I believe the Russian and Putin and Trump attack on American Democracy is a very significant and winning issue!
Bob Haisman, an Oak Park resident, is a retired teacher and longtime member of the Democratic Party of Oak Park.