BuzzFlash Predicted That the Over-Hyped Mueller Testimony Was Like Waiting for Godot -- and It Was. Pelosi Was Slow-Walking Impeachment From Day One.

July 26, 2019

 
Mueller’s report had exposed the likelihood of enough high crimes and misdemeanors to impeach Trump. (Photo:  Fibonacci Blue )

Mueller’s report had exposed the likelihood of enough high crimes and misdemeanors to impeach Trump. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

BUZZFLASH EDITOR’S BLOG

It is hard to imagine how many millions and millions of dollars have been and are being spent on punditry analyzing Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress. With so many journalists participating in the frenzy — ginned up by the centrist Democratic House leadership — surrounding Mueller’s reluctant and terse testimony, it is hard to see the forest through the trees. Step back from the babble and blather and it was in plain sight that the Mueller report spoke for itself as a foundation upon which the Democratic Congress could could have begun impeachment proceedings against Trump.

One liberal political site ran a blaring headline before the hearing, “Jerry Nadler Is About To Drop The Mueller Hammer On Trump.” That was the general bluster of the Pelosi “Squad” — not to be confused with the real Squad who Nancy regards as annoying bees — who built up Mueller’s appearance as though it was going to drop bombshells that would galvanize the public to clamor with pitchforks in favor of impeachment.

BuzzFlash warned a couple of weeks ago that the Dem build-up was likely to collapse like a lanced souffle — and it did. The Dems in the House and Pelosi were left half-heartedly claiming that the hearing moved them closer to impeachment. Indeed, Pelosi declared that “it opened the door” to proceedings, but quickly walked that back and moved on to “the real issues.”

Anyone who wasn’t entrapped in the bubble of DC’s incestuous mindset knew, as we did, that this was going to play out as a sad spectacle. After all, there was nothing in Mueller’s career that provided the slightest indication that he would offer anything more than what was in his report. He is a lawyer by training and a former head of the FBI. He is circumspect and laconic, a witness who was practically dragooned into appearing. With a somber expression on his face, he looked like a guy who was waiting in a dentist’s office for root canal work.

So when The New York Times wrote a headline on Thursday, “Lack of Electricity in Mueller Testimony Short-Circuits Impeachment,” you could practically hear a sigh of relief from the Speaker of the House.

Yes, Mueller repeated out loud some key findings in the report, such as Trump “was not exculpated” (which we are sure sent millions of Americans off to the dictionary — it sounds like something one does with a kudzu knife). And he warned of the Russians, and perhaps other countries (think China), interfering in the election as Putin did in 2016. It didn’t matter, however, because the corporate media was more concerned with the “optics” of the proceedings.

In the age of Trump, every political event is a spectacle. Every political action is part of the reality-TV show coverage of political theater as entertainment. Mueller, arid and grim, didn’t pass the “optics” test. How could he hold a candle to the Mad Hatter, Trump?

The reality is that the Dems lost the narrative when Bill Barr delivered his two-page spin on the Mueller report before it was released, and that became source of the talking points for Trump and his right-wing media amen chorus. Pelosi has only been interested in slow-walking impeachment for months — and there is little time left to let her strategy of “drip, drip” and defend subpoenas in court play itself out. She thinks the Dems can focus messaging around bread and butter issues, but it is Trump who is controlling the narrative — and who is the ringmaster of a media that hangs on his every tweet. The Dems can’t get a word in edgewise as Trump sucks the oxygen out of nearly every news cycle.

In our BuzzFlash Back archival session (where we are continuously adding to as samples of content from BuzzFlash’s past 19 years), we have a 2004 editorial with one of BF’s famous long headlines:

BuzzFlash's Message to John Kerry in 2004 Was to Define Bush or Be Defined by the Republicans. He Didn't Listen. Nothing Has Changed Much in 2019.

The bottom line is that we warned John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president that year, that if he did not aggressively attack Bush’s failures, National Guard evasion of Vietnam service, and credibility, it would come back to haunt his campaign — and it did. BuzzFlash cautioned:

This is the time where either he defines Bush as a liar who has betrayed the nation -- or he will end up being defined as a liar.

There is no middle ground with the Bush dynasty. They can't run on their records or their accomplishments, because their record is one of ruin and their accomplishments don't exist.

So they use character assassination to stay in power.

Among the ironies of Kerry’s failure to be assertive in his “framing” of Bush is that Karl Rove was able to paint Kerry as an untrustworthy anti-war vet, while it was Bush and Cheney and most of the rest of his senior staff who were chicken hawks engaging the US in needless war and torture.

What does that advice that BF gave to Kerry have to do with the Mueller testimony? Plenty, once again the Dems appear to have no idea as to how to seize control of the narrative. The Mueller report, sui generis, was the gift that Mueller gave to Congress, as if he was passing a baton to Pelosi’s caucus. Expecting a taciturn “play by the rules” former Marine to spout out something that would change the dynamics of Pelosi’s aversion to impeachment is simply not reasonable.

As Jim Hightower often declares, there is nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and dead armadillos.

Mueller should not have been subjected to this farce of a hearing. His grim visage spoke volumes. He had given Dems the document that contained all that was needed to impeach, but Pelosi kept kicking the can down the block. As a result, Trump has maintained his immunity from accountability, which is now even stronger having withstood the “optics” of the House hearing. And the Dems come off looking as weak and waffling.

The Dems didn’t need to wait for Godot. They should have impeached when the report became available to them. That would have given them all the investigative power that they needed.

However, in the long tradition of Dems caving and failing to seize the day, they ended up in a cul-de-sac by over-promising what Mueller’s testimony would yield.

Now Trump is left tweeting his innocence, as the Beltway media concludes that the Dems lost on the “optics” of a hearing that should have been part of an impeachment inquiry, not a contribution to politics as entertainment in the age of Trump. The “reviews” are in, and Pelosi got what she wanted: the final nail in the opportunity for impeachment before the clock runs out.

BUZZFLASH EDITOR’S BLOG