So we’ve finally heard from Robert Mueller about his investigation into Russkiegate and while we didn’t learn anything new, we did have the extraordinary experience of the special prosecutor emphasizing that while he couldn’t prove the Trump campaign was guilty of a crime, he still wasn’t exonerating the president from obstruction of justice.
This keeps everyone in a bind. You’ll recall that Trump stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he had no intention of attending, saying that he would not negotiate with the Democrats on infrastructure as long as they continue to investigate him.
But Pelosi still thinks Congress can get a bipartisan infrastructure deal done despite the Trumpian impediments:
"Does he want to do it enough to not be in a huff over my saying that he's involved in a cover-up? Well, we'll see. But this is not for the faint of heart. I mean, you either want do it or you don't want to do it. And you shouldn't be offended by somebody speaking the truth about your actions.”
That, however, presupposes that the person you’re speaking the truth about is a rational human being. If Trump were rational, he would take a page out of the Bill Clinton impeachment playbook, go about his business, cultivate the opposition and get something done for the American people. But as David Brooks observed on the “PBS NewsHour,” the presidency is no longer about initiatives. It’s about ire, hate and retribution. And that’s too bad, because as Mark Shields noted in that same “Shields and Brooks” segment of the “NewsHour,” America is now ninth in infrastructure. Ninth. What happened to Make America Great Again?
No wonder Pelosi has been talking about another “i” words— intervention, as in his family and friends should stage one. So far, she’s holding off on an impeachment inquiry. But the Dems are getting itchy. Are they skirting their duty by being cautious or simply refusing to play into Trump’s tiny hands?
What Trump has been good at so far is controlling the narrative, and he who controls the narrative controls public opinion. The only way to wrest narrative control from him is to counter with a better narrative. The question is, can the Democrats do that?
And if they can’t, can we still do it in November 2020?