“And then they lied to cover it up?” “Generally, that’s true.”

bad optics! bad optics!
A quote from The Mueller Report appears on a screen as former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on July 24, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
bad optics! bad optics!
A quote from The Mueller Report appears on a screen as former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on July 24, 2019. )Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

If you read the special counsel’s report (and being Current readers you’re likely the sort who did), the exchange between Robert Mueller and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff at the start of the committee’s hearing Wednesday, like much of Mueller’s testimony, was nothing you didn’t already know.

Perhaps you weren’t shocked, or even taken aback.

The press certainly wasn’t. The mainstream media’s narrative of the day’s hearings, presented by people who already knew what was in Mueller’s report, was largely “move along, nothing to see here,” accompanied by a fair amount of color commentary over “the optics.” Mueller, poor fellow, committed the 21st century’s most unforgivable sin — bad video.

But here, let’s do a thought experiment…

Imagine you’ve been stranded on a desert island, like Tom Hanks and the soccer volleyball in that one movie, for a few years — say, since January 2015. You don’t even know who the president is (lucky you!).

And upon being rescued, for circumstances and conditions that are inexplicable (jeesh just hush and go along with the experiment), your first brush with current events is the video clip at the bottom of Schiff’s tweet:

Would you be a little freaked out?

Would you assume that steps were being taken, urgently, at that very moment, not only to remove this “Trump” (surely not that Trump?) person from office but to arrest him and put him in a maximum security prison, like, maybe forever?

If a former FBI director who had been named special counsel had given the testimony Mueller gave to a House Intelligence Committee at any time other than the perversely upside down one we live in now, the subject of that testimony — Trump — would be facing bipartisan demands to either resign or be impeached, but quick.

But we don’t live in some other time. We live in a time when virtually every Republican in Congress has surrendered unconditionally, serving as willing sycophants to and knee-jerk defenders of demonstrably the worst, most corrupt, most vulgar, most vile, least trustworthy and least emotionally fit person to hold the office of president since Andrew Johnson. And that’s probably unfair to Andrew Johnson. (At least Johnson had to work his way up, instead of being born into wealth, privilege and power.)

In other words, just another proud day for Republicans in Congress.

And as for the Democrats … well they mustn’t impeach, lest they offend some white voters in Wisconsin.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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