The false dichotomy of the Mueller report – Washington Examiner

For nearly two years, the country waited with bated breath in anticipation of the release of the Mueller report. Democrats were certain that the investigation would explicitly point to evidence of collusion. Meanwhile, Republicans knew that President Trump would be exonerated of any wrongdoing. If Attorney General William Barr’s initial summary did anything, it only served to pique curiosity that was already firmly situated along party lines.

The recent release of the lightly redacted report has only spurred discussion of impeachment among Democrats, though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is pumping the brakes on such talk. The push to impeach was bound to happen no matter what the investigative material contained. Conversely, the GOP and the man at the center, President Trump, feel a sense of vindication despite the contents pointing to detailed deceptions and lies by both the president and his team. These reactions are entirely expected. It was clear from the start of special counsel Robert Mueller’s season of analysis that the final reality would do nothing to change either major party’s narrative as we advance toward the 2020 election. Faithful partisans may enjoy the escalating political combat, but those who swear allegiance to neither club are extremely disheartened at the continuous drama.

To say that Pelosi is disliked on the Right is an understatement. However, she is correct on the issue of impeachment. Traveling down that path would not be a certain victory. Worst of all, the process itself would serve to further divide an already fractured nation. Impeachment is neither a small matter nor an easy task. Most importantly, it should never become a strictly partisan tool used in an effort to politically take out a president who inspires such hatred from his opponents.

While Democrats argue among themselves about what the next step looks like, too many Republicans strut around with a sense of misplaced pride. No, lacking evidence of proving collusion does not mean perfect conduct. That Mueller did not charge Trump with the crime of obstruction does not mean the GOP should feel satisfied with its leader on that or any other count. If anything, the ruling party should feel deeply ashamed. There is more than enough contained within the 448-page document to pause the nonstop commendation coming from every rank of Republican. The details, rampant lies and deceptions, should prompt serious introspection and change. Does the GOP just want to win, or win well? Does the party want to be victorious with principles intact, or without them? It appears the latter is preferred, and that is most unfortunate.

Frustrated conservatives such as myself do not wish for impeachment. In fact, I don’t believe most Americans wish for a president to be charged in such a way. The reality of impeachment is always worrisome, no matter the political affiliation of the man at the center of the controversy. It’s proof that the individual elected to lead our nation, whether we like them or not, has acted in a manner unbecoming of the highest office in the land. These developments, or even the desire to head that way, should never be cheered on. Ultimately, the GOP must view these calls for impeachment as an opportunity to improve. I don’t have high hopes that they will, but if they wish to gain support from undecideds and disgruntled Republicans alike, they must.

Surely, this binary obsession that infected the country years ago does not mean that one must choose between either calling for impeachment or declaring that President Trump and his allies are free of blemish and deceit. Neither is the correct conclusion. Neither helps the nation grow healthier. Is this the best we can do?

Kimberly Ross (@southernkeeks) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog and a columnist at Arc Digital.

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