No Oscar for the Mueller movie

Like everyone else who watched yesterday’s hearings, I thought that Robert Mueller seemed halting and uncertain during much of his testimony. Which is not to say that Mueller failed to say what needed to be said:

  • Russia attacked the last election, and is attacking our next election right now.

  • Trump was not exonerated by the investigation. In fact, he is susceptible of prosecution for obstruction of justice if he leaves office before the statute of limitations expires.

  • The investigation did not “establish” a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign — but found plenty of evidence of a conspiracy.

Unfortunately, because a very great many Americans are influenced more by dramatic theater than actual facts and thought, the copiously-documented fact that the country is in the hands of a cheap demagogue and criminal is unlikely to have the effect it should. So Mueller, the Movie, was a … flop.

The sole bright note may be the stupefyingly bad behavior of the Republicans, who refused to engage the evidence of criminality and chose instead to attack an honorable and plainly-tired public servant with a record vastly more accomplished than any of their own. There is no nice way to spin it: The Republican conduct was squalid, disgraceful, soiled the Congress and embarrassed all clear-headed and decent-minded people.

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