Schwab: 750 words on a four-page summary of a 300-page report

What conclusions can and can’t be drawn from the summary of Muller’s report; here’s one: release it.

By Sid Schwab

Herald columnist

Some thoughts on Robert Mueller’s report, about which we hear much but know little:

Specified in Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary was that the report of more than 300 pages did not exonerate Trump. Trump, being Trump, lied that it did. Republicans picked up the ball and are running with it.

Barr wrote, Mueller “did not establish” collusion, which is different from saying he established there was none. It’s consistent, though, with Mueller gathering facts for presentation to Congress, leaving conclusions to them, rather than to an AG who trolled for the post with unsolicited opinions on obstruction.

In that job application, Barr ruled out prosecuting Trump for obstruction, long before the final report, and despite agreeing, during his confirmation hearing, that actions similar to Trump’s constitute obstruction. Following special prosecutors’ reports on presidents Nixon and Clinton, their attorneys general deferred to Congress. Barr, though, did what he was selected to do: the opposite. More so if he censors the report. Either it contains material that’s more damning than he implied, or the deals Mueller granted were for what, nothing? Why, for example, lie about the Trump Tower meeting?

Barr wrote that Mueller found both-sided evidence but chose not to opine about obstruction. Trump’s end-zone dance may or may not be on the five-yard-line. If the report does provide total vindication, you’d think he’d want its full disclosure, immediately. (Reportedly, he required a summary of the summary. Read to him.) Let’s see if he orders its release. If not, we’ll understand there’s plenty he wants to remain hidden.

Spiking the ball, Trump named people he’d ban from media, calling them “evil” and “treasonous.” (Amusingly, he also announced plans to force speakers on colleges.) As certain as his next lie, we’ll see more vindictiveness from Trump and his cheerleaders.

So, celebrating the possibility that the “president” might not be a criminal or have colluded with them, we return to our regular programming, beginning with updating Trump’s torrential lies and promises he’s broken like the eggshells on which we’ve all been walking.

At every campaign rally, Trump vowed to end budget and trade deficits. Last month saw the highest of each, ever, all-time. Strangely, his supporters are silent. Also: he just resumed trying to extinguish Obamacare, without creating a promised, beautiful replacement.

Though his latest budget proposal has zero chance of becoming law, it underscores Trump’s dishonesty, including reneging on pledges to protect Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Throughout his campaign, to full-throated hosannas, he vowed not to cut any of them. His 2020 budget does exactly that, well beyond a trillion dollars’ worth. Again, silence.

Giving the Pentagon more than requested, Trump’s proposal makes huge reductions to education, research, and student loan funding. It cuts the EPA drastically, removes $200 billion from SNAP and $20 billion from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Trump extends a hand of riches to his corporate sponsors, withdrawing a helping hand from Americans in need. It’s shameful dereliction of a “president’s” duty to protect all citizens, present and future. Intentionally, it exacerbates sequestration of wealth in the hands of a few. His few. For our capitalist republic to survive, such imbalance is unsustainable

More unsustainability: projections of future budget shortfalls show trillion-dollar deficits lined up like boxcars on a coal train, far as the eye can see; and significantly lower growth than Trump asserts. It’s timely to recall his promise to balance budgets and eliminate the national debt in eight years. No rational person believed it, but his supporters did; now they pretend otherwise.

Speaking of coal, Trump’s administration just admitted production has declined during his term, and will continue to do so. Bringing it back was one of his most ridiculous lies, swallowed only by the sort that attend his rallies. Happily, despite his efforts to stop it, energy from renewables rose by 30 percent in the last two years. Trumpic cravenness toward the fossil fuel industry hasn’t hidden reality from forward-thinking entrepreneurs, as opposed to his credulous abettors. Maybe there’s still a chance, however small, to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.

Finally, to those communicative conservatives who concluded my previous column called them all white supremacists: It didn’t. Serendipitously, this week a study reported that counties in which Trump held rallies experienced a 226 percent increase in hate crimes. That’s Trumpism. I implored decent Republicans to acknowledge it, reject it and reclaim their party. Perhaps that could still happen, too.

Email Sid Schwab at columnsid@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

This July 17, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows the Earth as the Apollo 11 mission travels towards the moon. It’s estimated that about 600 million people around the world watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969. (NASA via AP)
Editorial: Climate action offers a better life at lower cost

There is no alternative to climate action in which we pay nothing. We are already paying.

Ian Terry / The Herald

Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens.

Photo taken on 03302017
Editorial: Lawmakers must keep at transportation’s grand deal

The complex mix of bills can accomplish too much to surrender to opposition to taxes and costs.

This Aug. 23, 2020 photo shows a long line of unsold 2020 models charge outside a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo.  The European Union is lacking sufficient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, according to the bloc's external auditor. In a report published Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the European Court of Auditors said users are gaining more harmonized access to charging networks but the EU is still “a long way from reaching its Green Deal target of 1 million charging points by 2025." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Editorial: Bills’ merger makes clean-driving future possible

Combining two bills will aid the sales of electric vehicles and ensure ample charging stations.

FILE - In this undated photo, provided by NY Governor's Press Office on Saturday March 27, 2021, is the new "Excelsior Pass" app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America’s perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices. (NY Governor's Press Office via AP, File)
Editorial: Vaccine passports can nudge more toward immunity

Used to persuade rather than exclude, the passports could increase access to businesses and venues.

Comment: Clean fuel standard can aid climate, health and jobs

State legislation will reduce carbon emissions without a significant increase to gas prices.

Comment: U.S. electric power halfway to zero carbon emissions

We’ve cut expected carbon emissions by half over 15 years, and done it with lower electricity costs.

Comment: Dropping masks may be as hard as they were to accept

As vaccinations spread wearing a mask — outdoors — will be less crucial; but psychologically hard to give up.

Comment: Most Americans would be OK with packing the court

Research finds a majority would not now oppose a court expansion scheme like the one FDR proposed.

Most Read