Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited testimony on Capitol Hill died a quick death, with pundits sloshing around words like “painful” and “frail” to describe the special counsel’s presence and performance.
And with that went the Democrats’ dream of collusion, conspiracy, obstruction — and ultimately, impeachment of President Donald Trump.
It’s time for the left to move on. It’s time for Democrats to admit defeat and focus on policy. It’s time for the American people to start getting their bang for their political buck and to have a government that actually works for them.
Here’s what Chris Wallace of Fox News said in the aftermath of Mueller’s bumbling responses to an on-fire Rep. Jim Jordan: “It does raise questions about the degree in which he was actually .. in control of this report.”
Wallace, the same guy that sparked this headline from The Washington Post in February 2017: “Fox News anchor Chris Wallace warns viewers: Trump crossed the line in latest attack on media.”
The same guy that sparked this headline from The Week back in April: “Fox News’ Chris Wallace calls out Barr for transparently playing defense for Trump.”
The same guy that sparked this headline from USA Today just a few days ago: “Wallace tells Stephen Miller: ‘No question’ Trump is ‘stoking racial divisions.’ “
In other words: Wallace is hardly a cheerleader for Team Trump.
If even he thinks Mueller’s testimony was a disaster for not just Mueller, but also Democrats — as he said on Fox: “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller” — well then, perhaps the party of the left is truly facing political disaster. It’s not as if Wallace were alone there, either.
It’s not as if criticism of Mueller were purely partisan, either.
“Mueller seems frail,” said conservative Stuart Varney, of Fox Business.
“Mueller, whom I deeply respect,” tweeted Democrat David Axelrod, “has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years. And he does not appear as sharp as he was then.”
Other commentaries on Mueller? They called his show everything from “painful” and “uncertain” to “slow and sluggish.” Add to that: keystone coppy. Seriously, how many times does an investigator get to ask for a question to be repeated before it’s admitted his investigative prowess is questionable, at best?
But the big losers here, despite appearances, aren’t Democrats and Mueller’s special counsel mates, or Mueller himself — though all qualify for two thumbs down ratings.
Rather, the big losers are the American people.
Three years of collusion, collusion, collusion; three years of conspiracy and collusion and obstruction. And nothing to show for it. Nothing to show for it but a $25 million-plus bill to taxpayers, a bunch of charges against Russians and Russian companies and some media-hyped indictments against former Trump advisers for making false statements. Oh, and the big takedown of Paul Manafort.
But that whole thing about Trump working with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary Clinton? Yawn. And as Jordan pointed out in his time segment: How come we still don’t see charges against the players who set this whole false Trump collusion narrative in motion in the first place?
Bingo. That’s the question that matters.
That’s the answer the American public needs.
With that glaring gap in Mueller testimony, with that blatant omission of truth, it’s certainly the American people who indeed are the biggest losers of all.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.