AuthorConniff, Ruth

Democrats confront two major problems: One is how to deal with the Constitutional crisis provoked by the lawless Trump Administration. The other is how to defeat Trump and win back the White House in 2020.

Solving one problem won't necessarily help solve the other.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr's contemptuous treatment of Congress, his flagrant mischaracterization of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the Trump team's claim of executive privilege to block the release of the full Mueller report require a serious response.

As Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, put it before a House committee voted to hold Barr in contempt for not complying with a subpoena to release the full, unredacted Mueller report to Congressional investigators, "We must do all we can in the name of the American people to ensure that when the Trump Administration ends, we have as robust a democracy to hand to our children as was handed to us."

But as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has concluded, impeaching Trump (or even exercising genuine Congressional oversight of an executive branch that seeks to place itself above the law) might not help the Democrats defeat Trump in 2020.

Outside of Washington, D.C., the Mueller report has had no discernible effect on Trump's approval rating.

And why should it? What did Americans learn from Robert Mueller that they didn't already know? That Trump is a liar? A self-server? That he is a foulmouthed bully who pressures the people who work for him to do unethical things?

None of that is news to Trump's base. Nor does it seem to hurt him.

A few days before Barr made his weaselly appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend his boss and explain away significant evidence of wrongdoing in the Mueller report, Trump came to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to publicly tell some of his biggest whoppers yet.

At the Green Bay arena, Trump transported 10,000 enthusiastic fans to a Fox News-inspired, fantasy parallel universe, claiming that, across the United States, new mothers and their doctors were wrapping newborn babies in blankets, and then discussing whether to execute them. He boasted that he has been sending asylum seekers from the U.S./Mexico border to sanctuary cities, to the dismay of bleeding-heart urbanites who begged him to stop the tide of immigrants--a complete fabrication.

These pronouncements helped push the President over the 10,000 mark for...

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