New York Times columnist Charles Blow and every other halfwit in the media believes they’re making a profound point when they ask each other with raised eyebrows: What will conservatives do if Robert Mueller proves there was collusion? Are they ready for that possibility?
But up until this week, no one was asking the opposite. What will President Trump’s opponents do if Mueller finds nothing at all about hard "collusion" and the 2016 campaign? Vanity Fair published an excellent piece by T.A. Frank on Monday posing that as a very possible outcome, even a likely one.
“Those who hope that Mueller reveals a shambolic operation with a lot of rascals engaged in sleazy and embarrassing behavior will be happy with the fruits of his labors,” wrote Frank. “But those who hope for an unveiling of indictments linking Putin and Trump in a grand conspiracy have no more reason to celebrate than they did a week or a month ago.”
The absolute worst scenario is that Mueller finds Trump himself was aware that WikiLeaks, Russia, and the campaign coordinated on the release of the hacked emails of Democrats. So far, after a year and a half worth of investigations by Mueller, the House, and the Senate, that liquid dream hasn’t borne out.
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake on Tuesday put together three other ways that a conspiracy might have taken place, while admitting that it would depend on how you define “collusion.” They include: “back channels” to Russia sought by Trump campaign officials, but those attempts either petered out or involved nothing nefarious; the “Trump Tower meeting” between a Russian agent and campaign officials, who were evidently eager to get “dirt” from the agent on Hillary Clinton, though nothing apparently came of it; and finally, “It’s entirely possible there’s a line of inquiry that we’re completely unaware of or know very little about.”
These aren’t the sexy outcomes we had in mind when we set up a special counsel with no boundaries and a limitless budget to investigate “collusion.” These are the tiny cheap prizes you find at the bottom of the cereal box when what you wanted was the cool graphic of it that was deceptively blown up on the front.
“[T]he purpose of the investigation was to address suspicions of underlying conspiracy—that is, a plan by Trump staffers to get Russian help on a criminal effort,” Frank wrote in his Vanity Fair piece. “Despite countless man-hours of digging, this conspiracy theory, the one that’s been paying the bills at Maddow for a couple of years now, has come no closer to being borne out.”
What will liberals do if Mueller says there was no collusion?