Inside the Beltway: ‘The collusion dream is dead but the conspiracy lives on’

April 23, 2019 GMT

A sizable number of Democrats will not let go of the Mueller report, hoping to reconfigure it as a new and improved device that somehow could impeach President Trump even though multiple polls now reveal that weary Americans are ready to move on from this media-charged melodrama and say lawmakers should return to the nation’s business.

“The collusion dream is dead but the conspiracy lives on,” writes Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist.

He notes that all the high-profile liberal elites who still fixate on the possibility that the president played a role in Russian collusion are now reduced to a “conspiracy of dunces,” still eager to revive or reinterpret the collusion charges and thus revisit impeachment possibilities.

Talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh told his 14-million member audience Monday that “we have a 488-page report that need not exist because none it was based on anything that really happened. There was no evidence. There was no collusion. And so everything in this, the 488 pages, is just a narrative. It’s a trail of bread crumbs that has been left for the Democrats to continue to pursue this impeachment phantom. They are hell-bent on it and cannot let go of it.”

“I don’t think they’re ever going to impeach Trump, but they have to make it look like they’re going to, and I think there are some of them that do want to, don’t misunderstand. But all of this, all of this is not predicated on anything that really happened. All of this is made up,” Mr. Limbaugh also noted.

One cultural moment of note: the Mueller report itself had celebrity appeal upon its release; press photographers scrambled to get images of a few pages after they were placed on a witness table before them.

“Mueller Time is here to stay,” predicts David Catanese, senior politics writer for U.S. News World Report.

“For both incensed Democrats and a triumphant President Trump, this isn’t the end of Mueller or his findings. It’s just the beginning of another foray. Because in Trump’s Washington, there are always more questions than answers,” Mr. Catanese said.

Indeed. The siren call of the now almost-mythical “Steele dossier” continues; many of the political players here remain primed and ready to keep on keeping on.

Byron York, a Washington Examiner columnist, writes: “Some Democrats, even those who have access to highly classified intelligence and should know better, will give up the dossier only when, as gun lovers used to say, you pry their cold, dead fingers from it. Mueller report or no Mueller report, for some high-ranking Trump adversaries, the dossier lives on.”


The media’s “Mueller musings” amount to “complete vindication” of President Trump in the entire matter, this according to an analysis of coverage conducted by the Republican National Committee released Monday.

“Media and pundits alike believe the report has cleared President Trump while the American people and even Democrats say they want to move on,” the study noted.

Among those it cited as evidence was CBS News anchorwoman Norah O’Donnell, who said, “No conspiracy, no coordination, no collusion, also no obstruction.”

CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer declared, “So there you have almost a complete vindication of the President of the United States.”

CNN also reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her Democratic leadership team to focus on their agenda and message and not on the Mueller probe and Russia which she viewed as a “distraction.” A CNN poll revealed that 0% yes, zero of the respondents said that the “Russian investigation” would be the most important factor in determining their vote in 2020.

In addition, the GOP research also cited a CBS News poll which found that 54% of Americans said the investigation itself was politically motivated while only 38% said Democrats should keep investigating the matter and 37% felt that the investigation was actually “justified.”


The Arctic is a complicated place these days; Russia is emerging as a major player in the region, now deemed a “strategically competitive space,” the U.S. Coast Guard writes, upon revealing a new strategy for its expanding role in the cold zone.

The service said it is poised to exercise “polar operational capability, regulatory authority, and international leadership,” and seek a “safe, secure, and cooperative Arctic” amid the Russian presence.

“We understand the significant investment required to secure the Arctic, and we appreciate and embrace the trust the American people have placed in the U.S. Coast Guard. We will remain vigilant in protecting our national interests in the polar regions to forestall the unchecked influence of competitors,” says Adm. Karl L. Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, in the introduction to the new strategic outlook.

It can be found at USCG.mil/Arctic.

The conclusion of the new outlook, incidentally, promises to “innovate and adapt to promote resilience and prosperity in the Arctic.”

Sounds reasonable, and P.S.: Thank you, Coast Guard.


The nation is still 19 months away from the 2020 presidential election. Democratic voters, however, must now consider candidate No. 19 in the race. Rep. Seth Moulton, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine and combat veteran from Massachusetts, has now entered the ring a fact which might trouble Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another White House hopeful from the Bay State with unsteady poll numbers and a significant birthday in the near future. She turns 70 in June.

The more, the merrier, perhaps.

The Democratic Party has already revealed it is wiling to accommodate up to 40 presidential candidates, and is already structuring and scheduling its upcoming presidential debates to do just that. Mr. Moulton, meanwhile, is stoked.

“This is going to be a campaign anchored in service, security and patriotism,” Mr. Moulton told ABC on Monday.

He also says that those three traditional values should no longer be the sole property of Republicans, noting that he intends to restore “moral authority in everything we do” something for GOP strategists to consider.


52% of all Americans say they belong to a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

69% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 48% of Democrats agree.

67% of conservatives, 48% of moderates and 48% of liberals agree.

64% of those over 65, 56% of those 50-64, 49% of those 30-49 and 41% of those 18-29 agree.

59% of married people and 45% of unmarried people agree.

58% of women and 47% of men agree.

Source: A Gallup social trends poll of 7,688 U.S. adults conducted 2016-2018; the results shown are aggregated data.

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