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Outsiders vs. Insiders: ‘Protect Mueller’ farce shows why Flake and #NeverTrump needs to go

If there’s a perfect example of why the Washington swamp is so dysfunctional today it’s the non-controversy over the “protect Robert Mueller” bill making its way through the senate. Democrat senators and a small group of #NeverTrump Republicans insist measures must now be taken to protect the Special Counsel investigating “Russian collusion” into the 2016 election, though they can’t exactly articulate why Mueller deserves a legal shield. They therefore rely on hysteria and “what ifs” to justify wasting precious legislative time on this farce.

Most vocal among the anti-Trumpers is lame-duck Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, the Grand Canyon State Republican so unpopular with his own conservative voters he couldn’t possibly hope to win reelection for one Bill Kristolreason alone: they can’t stand him.

Mercifully Flake’s capitol haunting days are numbered but it’s not stopping him from slamming the door on the way out, very publicly quarreling with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fittingly leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth one final time.

Conservatives and Republicans are lining up to attend Flake’s going away party – not because they wish him farewell – no, they see it as a worthy celebration of epic proportions.

Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) clashed during a closed-door lunch meeting Thursday, with McConnell challenging Flake’s effort to force a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller…

“McConnell argued at the lunch meeting that the legislation would chew up precious floor time during the lame-duck session and leave less time for must-pass bills such as the unfinished spending bills and the farm bill, according to sources familiar with the conversation. Flake, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, didn’t buy that argument. He replied that Democrats wouldn’t object to speedy consideration of the special counsel protection bill because their entire caucus supports it, sources said…

“Other Republican senators who have expressed support for legislation protecting Mueller and future special counsels from unjustified termination include [Lindsey] Graham, [Tom] Tillis, Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.).”

In other words, this “protect Mueller” crapola is propped up by Democrats (who would do anything to keep an ongoing investigation into the Trump administration) joined with a who’s who of #NeverTrump RINOs who care more about political appearances and pundit adoration than they do about executing the business of government.

Besides, what’s controversial about Mueller? The whole “protect Mueller” episode began a couple weeks ago when Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned only to be replaced by his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker (who is now acting Attorney General). Whitaker publicly criticized the Mueller probe months ago and therefore instantly became the left’s number one target, again, hitched to a cadre of squishy Republicans who hope to appear “bipartisan” and fair-minded.

One wonders, does the public have such short memories? Why are Democrats so passionately defending Sessions now? Doesn’t anyone remember Sessions’ confirmation hearings (in January, 2017) where the Alabama senator was accused of all sorts of ethical and moral shortcomings, not the least of which was that he’s a southern racist good ‘ol boy? Democrats dug deep to unearth a couple recollection challenged fools Sessions worked with over the course of his career to claim they’d overheard the longtime public servant utter prejudicial comments about minorities.

It was nonsense, a preview to what was in store for virtually all Trump appointments and nominees.

Sessions then became the Democrats’ darling when he bowed to public pressure (mostly theirs) to recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller team’s mission. Democrats argued Sessions’ role in the Trump campaign paired with a couple casual and official brushes with Russian officials disqualified him from impartiality. Sessions took the bait and volunteered to step back, leaving the Mueller witch hunt – I mean investigation – in the oh-so-loving hands of Rod Rosenstein and his merry band of Democrat career civil servants in the Justice Department and FBI. Rosenstein turned Mueller loose and it’s been a steep downhill slide ever since.

It was subsequently revealed (mostly due to the diligent fact-finding of congressional investigatory bodies) that the entire basis for suggesting Trump actively worked with Russians to fix the 2016 election stemmed from a Hillary Clinton paid-for dossier propagated by Trump-hating British spy Christopher Steele. Steele’s unnamed sources told tales of urinating on hotel beds and other sordid deeds – all fantastically untrue – yet the smears and lies persisted.

The dirty dealings didn’t end there as a host of Justice Department and FBI officials were discovered to despise Trump and diligently worked behind-the-scenes to not only ensure the Republican candidate lost the election, but then tried to undermine him once in office.

Understandably, Trump’s been openly disdainful of Mueller’s efforts since day one, asserting through Twitter and media appearances that there was no collusion and hence no basis for an investigation in the first place. The sorry episode exposed Democrats and the deep state for what they are – self-interested swamp dwellers desperately plotting to take down Trump to preserve the corrupt status quo in Washington.

Media leaks early in the investigation strongly suggested something was uncovered by Mueller and his henchmen but the stories dried up and now we hardly hear anything from the Special Counsel, other than unverified rumors of the matter being wrapped up soon (strange how it never does? Is there more out there or are Mueller’s people just dragging it out?). Then Jeff Flake, his Democrat pals and a sprinkling of #NeverTrumpers jump in with this “protection” nonsense and the media has something to gossip about again for a couple more days.

Meanwhile, the craziness has turned Mitch McConnell into a legendary Republican hero for expressing a desire to get the senate’s work done before everyone goes home to sip eggnog and sing Christmas carols during the last week of the calendar year.

What’s the big deal here? Why does Mueller even need “protection” from Trump in the first place? Bolton further reported, “The legislation would codify existing Department of Justice regulations requiring that the special counsel can only be fired for good cause by a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official. It would also create a 10-day window for a judge to decide whether any termination of a special counsel is for good cause and stop the firing if it fails to meet the cause requirement.”

Good cause to terminate? You mean like going way beyond the initial scope of the investigation to snoop into Trump’s personal business (Stormy Daniels, anyone?), intimidate his family, disparage his business reputation and legacy, string-up corrupt but basically harmless Paul Manafort, waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars and generate hundreds (if not thousands) of media headlines insinuating the president of the United States is a scofflaw and did something untoward to win the 2016 election?

If this isn’t “good cause” for removal I’m not sure what qualifies. Seriously, what would it take to constitute “cause” to fire Mueller? Since (prior to Whitaker’s ascendance) Democrats were overseeing the probe would any of them likely see justification to terminate the Special Counsel? Rosenstein offered Mueller no limits as to what the Special Counsel could do, so what “good cause” would ever satisfy those who are pushing for “protection”?

Democrats love pontificating about how Trump is not “above the law,” yet they don’t take issue with the scope of Mueller’s powers. This is political posturing at its worst and it’s a travesty that Jeff Flake and his little gaggle of Republican apologists are going along with it. Never before has someone earned such love and “protection” with so little basis as Robert Mueller.

It's about time it ended, starting with McConnell removing Flake’s ability to hold up Trump’s judicial nominees and then move on from there. There’s no chance left to impeach Flake but it’s not too late to strip him of whatever powers he still possesses to make trouble.

Then there’s the greater #NeverTrump movement to ultimately deal with. Two years into Trump’s presidency it’s evident they’re not getting their wish -- to rid the GOP of the brash-talking New York billionaire who captured the conservative grassroots’ attention and then won their hearts by keeping promise after promise.

#NeverTrumpers are left behind, a dwindling band of pathetic rebels without a cause. What’s keeping them going? The answer might surprise folks. Julie Kelly wrote at American Greatness last week, “It’s one thing for a political pundit like [the Weekly Standard’s Bill] Kristol to brand himself as a Trump-hating ‘conservative’ to earn hits on cable news shows and get fawning coverage in elite media publications. It’s quite another to partner up with the sworn enemies of the very principles one has claimed not only to champion, but of which he has insisted he is the last, best defender.

“His new friend is a foe of these causes and has been for decades, which makes it appear as though Kristol is ready to sell out to any deep pocket just to damage the president while hiding the fact that his crusade is financed, at least in part, by a major anti-Trump, anti-conservative left-wing billionaire. (There is no information posted on Republicans for the Rule of Law’s website, or Kristol’s umbrella group, that discloses their funding sources.) The irony is rich indeed that ‘Republicans for the Rule of Law’ is financed by a Democrat.

“At what point do others stand up and not just deny Kristol his ‘conservative’ cred, but acknowledge that he is now on the other side? When you join the battlefield alongside partisan hacks like Adam Schiff and take payoffs from leftist billionaires to do their political dirty work, there is nothing Republican or conservative, or frankly, decent, about you.”

Kelly’s article is worth reading in its entirety if you have time. In it, Kelly meticulously lays out how Bill Kristol and other self-labeled “conservative” sworn Trump opponents are being used as a front to do the dirty work for leftist billionaires who wreak havoc on conservatives, Republicans and traditional American values. In doing so, Kristol and his cohorts are the lowest of the low, bought and paid for shills for Democrats -- simply for profit.

This is an inside job of immense deception, a prosecutable crime in the court of conservative opinion. Polls show around 90 percent of Republicans strongly back Trump and his agenda while the remaining vestiges of establishment GOPers like Kristol are accepting kickbacks from the dredges of leftist hatred to bash on the president.

A good number of #NeverTrumpers – the honest ones – eventually acknowledged that Trump isn’t the enemy. It’s well and good to question the president’s “behavior” and cringe about the “unpresidential” manner he’s handled the normally staid and copasetic highest office in the land, but Trump has also advanced the Republican cause in undisputable ways. Perhaps because of Trump’s unusually direct personal style the GOP’s experienced progress on many fronts such as tax reform, immigration enforcement and energy production (among others).

Would Jeb Bush have been as effective? Marco Rubio? John Kasich? Chris Christie? Who among 2016’s establishment group of GOP hopefuls would have done better? Do results mean nothing to the #NeverTrump holdouts?

Honest conservatives see Trump as an effective vehicle to implement policy ideas that have been tucked away for decades. The Constitution limits government for a reason – mainly because freedom of thought and action produce the most desirable outcomes for everyone. Government can’t do it all – and shouldn’t try, either.

Ben Shapiro wrote at National Review, “[C]onservatism’s fundamental challenge these days is extra-governmental: convincing Americans to re-engage with family and civic associations outside of government, which cannot effectuate such re-engagement itself...

“[T]he moment conservatives try to build Trumpism around a policy of government do-gooderism, they run into the problem they seek to alleviate. Americans value family and community because they have values, not because family and community must be made more economically valuable. If we rely on material incentives to prop up our most vital social institutions, those institutions are likely to continue disintegrating — and to take the economic freedom we hope to promote in the end with them.”

This is the point where Republicans and Democrats diverge. Democrats seek to centrally control everything so as to protect favored constituencies while confiscating wealth and redistributing it at their whims. Republicans usually favor a more laissez-faire approach – and they run into trouble when trying to do too much “do-gooderism” as Shapiro pointed out.

Social bulwarks such as religious institutions and family should be encouraged, but not subsidized by government. This is the challenge. Democrats and #NeverTrumpers won’t help in this regard, they’re too preoccupied with “protecting” Robert Mueller and other fantasy good-government measures.

Robert Mueller doesn’t need “protection” because his phony investigation is not at risk. Democrats and #NeverTrumpers like Senator Jeff Flake are wasting time on the matter, detracting from Congress’s real business at hand. Shouldn’t Americans demand more from their leaders?

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