Many Florida Democrats, chief among them U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, are counting on a mythical “Blue Wave” to materialize and overwhelm Republicans at the ballot boxes in November. But early prognostications of Democrat dominance have since faded somewhat. Nelson is left hoping that either Rick Scott suddenly forgets the ATM PIN for withdrawing cash from his checking account, or that the political winds suddenly shift again and breathe new life into his dying campaign.
One thing that could surely do that is a rash move by President Donald Trump with respect to the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller. Despite Republican complaints about the length of Mueller’s so-called “Russia investigation,” its trajectory may ultimately tip to the GOP’s advantage. The voting public, once enamored with the international intrigue, is losing interest, and new bombshells seem unlikely—unless they are of the President’s making.
Sure, with his deep links to key players in the recent Inspector General’s watchdog report that scorched his former FBI colleagues, Mueller probably wasn’t the right choice to handle the special counsel investigation. But that ship has sailed. Firing Mueller now would give fresh ammunition to Democrats and make Republicans up and down the Florida ballot more vulnerable. Even firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could produce a similar inflection point and reverse the current trend. Wise Republican leaders in Florida are urging the President to exercise restraint.
Part of the reason is principle. In America, no one is above the law.
While Trump’s take no prisoners style has started to make converts out of many skeptics in the GOP, those newly won souls might once again jump ship if Trump chooses to make our justice system subservient to sheer political power. He certainly could do that. But it won’t go down well in here in purple Florida, where the balance of political power could shift overnight. The U.S. House sits on a razor-thin margin, and Florida’s 27 representatives wield considerable influence. Angering voters by trampling the rule of law could cause the Senate to fall as well.
For what it’s worth, leaders in both houses of Congress are reaching the same conclusion. Following Rep. Trey Gowdy’s comments, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr shot down the Twitter-fueled Spygate theory.
Senator Marco Rubio deserves more credit. He has consistently and calmly backed the Russia investigation for the good of the country. As he said, “Let all the truth come out.” Hard to argue with that logic.
While the recent IG report illuminated the politicization of the upper echelons of the FBI, to argue that rank and file FBI agents are part of a deep state conspiracy is absurd. Still, Republicans’ spines are rightfully stiffening, and a new balance is emerging. Stubborn “resistance” by liberals who’ve made a career in our bureaucracy will not be tolerated, they are the real “deep state,” and it’s not a conspiracy so much as a way of life. It’s time for them to go.
And as much as President Trump might like to throw out Robert Mueller along with them, Trump has the luxury of the high road. Without any evidence of wrongdoing, the special counsel probe will go away with a whimper. Why interfere?
By contrast, ending the probe would be explosive, exponentially multiplying the investigations into his every move. Democrats would use their new seats of power in Congress to grind its business to a halt.
The constitutional crisis, the gridlock, and the partisan enmity are outcomes Trump supporters and all Americans should hope to avoid. The way to do it is to accept a rather un-Trumplike conciliation. If he can manage that, he’ll have greater latitude to take on his other opponents with no holds barred.