Don’t get too excited re Mueller testimony July 17 — US Democratic debates (& Mitzie Hunter’s Canada Day) better bets

Jun 28th, 2019 | By | Category: In Brief

Everything that has happened in American politics since the fateful day of November 6, 2016 tells we progressives of one sort or another (especially in Canada) to suppress any big expectations about the good news that “Robert Mueller To Testify In Open Hearings On July 17 Before House Committees.”

The former special counsel Mr. Mueller is responding to a subpoena from the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives. And even the masterful Congressman from Los Angeles Adam Schiff has stressed : “I don’t think the special counsel’s office would characterize it as a ‘friendly subpoena.’ He did not want to testify. He made that very clear. Nonetheless they will respect the subpoena. They will appear.”

There may still be some hope in some places that having Mr. Mueller testify about his lengthy and subtle report in public will at last mobilize popular opinion, around the otherwise all too obvious unsuitability of Donald Trump (to say the very least) as even a bad American president.

The admirable Rob Reiner in California has tweeted : “On July 17, if Mueller just makes clear to the public what’s in his report, there will be no alternative but to open an Impeachment inquiry on the most criminal President in US history.”

The deeper ultimate truth, however, increasingly does seem to be that the sins of Donald Trump are different from (even if much worse than) the sins of Richard Nixon, in the Watergate scandal that climaxed with Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974.

My own immediate sense is that if we need some reassurance that, whatever else, the good guys will win at the ballot box in 2020, we are better off with the first Democratic leadership debates on June 26/27, 2019.

(And I say this as someone who was not looking forward to these initial 2020 progressive adventures, and expected not to watch or otherwise pay attention to them!)

As I write, after the second June 27 installment, there are those who say Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, eg, have done well — while Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have slipped somewhat. But it seems to me far too early in the game to put too much stock in assessments of this sort.

I was nonetheless surprised to find both June 26 and 27 installments refreshing examples of sensible and intriguing public discussion in our clearly otherwise crazy current time in American politics. I also found myself thinking that, whoever finally lands on top, the others (judging by the 20 on display June 26/27) add up, eg, to a promising federal cabinet, that could bring the great tradition of Democracy in America into the limelight where it belongs once again.

Having said all this, I do think it will be at least interesting to hear Robert Mueller testify in open hearings on July 17 before House Committees.

But it does also seem that, while Donald Trump is clearly worse than Richard Nixon — as George Will and others have urged — removing his lamentable influence from the body politic is almost certainly going to involve a somewhat different process from the Watergate impeachment odyssey that finally prompted Nixon’s resignation in the middle of the summer of 1974. And the best news lately is that the Democrat leadership race now officially underway for the 2020 election actually is bringing serious new signs of free and democratic Hope.

(Meanwhile, back in my own usual neighbourhood north of the Great Lakes, kudos to Mitzie Hunter for reviving a Canada Day People’s Picnic at Queen’s Park, that the Doug Ford government saw fit to cancel, to avoid yet another venue where Premier Ford — who an earlier generation may well have called “Canada’s Donald Trump” — can be booed by the broad masses he claims to represent.)

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