WashCo Dems op-ed articleWashCo Dems Op-Ed: Talking About Witch Hunts

By Clayton Callahan, WashCo Dems Communication Committee Member

Trump likes to call the Mueller investigation a witch hunt. To be clear, he means to say that the investigation is being done solely for political purposes and it has no chance of discovering any wrongdoing, because none was committed in the first place. He wants us to believe that Mueller is involved in a purely partisan endeavor meant to distract the American people from the real issues facing our country.

Nice.

Now, I happen to be of the sound PROFESSIONAL opinion that the Mueller investigation IS warranted. You see, I once served in the US Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent, and it was my job to investigate acts of foreign meddling meant to undermine our military.

Now, as I see it, based on the information available to everybody in the news business, plus my own training and experience, it would be a crime if there were NOT an investigation into Trump and Russian interference with our 2016 election.

But let’s play a game, shall we? We can call this game American National Politics For The Last Twenty Five Years. In this game, the one who successfully discredits their opponent through investigations wins.

Now, does anybody remember a guy named Kenneth Starr? If you’re a Democrat, you probably remember him as the Special Counsel tasked to investigate Bill Clinton’s Whitewater real estate “scandal” (if you’re a Republican you probably don’t remember him at all). Mr. Starr’s investigation dragged on from 1994 to 1998 and found no wrongdoing related to real estate, but he did discover a presidential blow-job that resulted in impeachment proceedings against a Democratic President. We will call this round one of the game. In round two the President was a Republican named Bush, so I think it fair to say the Democrats were up at bat. But the Dems decided to punt. Despite the hazy circumstances of the 2000 presidential election, the 9/11 attack, the bogus pretense for Iraq War (which I served in), and the financial collapse of 2008, no special counsel was appointed to investigate this Republican President. Perhaps the Democrats were under the false impression that the rules of the old game were still in effect.

You may remember the old rules as those that treated the powers of Congress and the FBI to investigate as something special that should never be used for purely political reasons, lest we damage our very democracy.

I know, Democrats, what a bunch of schmucks, right?

Next came round three, and it kicked off with a fury. We once again had a Democratic President, so the GOP was back at bat, and boy did they come out swinging! Obama was to be given none of the respect or deference Bush Jr. had received. Obama’s religion, his patriotism, and even his birthplace were called into question almost daily. But, try as they might, the Republicans couldn’t get enough dirt on America’s first black President to warrant an investigation…so they went after Hillary instead. Benghazi, and Benghazi, and Benghazi were the subject of one Congressional investigation after another. When no wrongdoing was found in that tragedy, the GOP investigated Hillary’s e-mails. Oh my God, her e-mails! Although it was never found that she leaked any classified information to anybody, it was still the number one issue of the 2016 campaign. All that election year, the FBI investigated the case. A case, I might add, that turned out to be nothing but a witch hunt, resulting in no discovery of any criminal activity.

But wow, what a game, right? And it paid off big time in 2016 with a big Republican win, which is all that matters anymore apparently.

Now we are in round four, and we have a Republican President, so the Dems are back at bat. Once again, I shall say that I believe that the Mueller investigation has merit. But we are playing a game, remember? What has merit is sadly irrelevant in this day and age…winning is everything! And as I said, the way you win this game is by discrediting your opponent through investigations.

So, I have to ask, are the Republicans who now decry “witch hunts” truly mad about witch hunts in general, or are they just mad that Democrats are finally hitting back with the stick the GOP carved?

As the saying goes, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” And this game was brought to us by the Republicans who appointed Kenneth Starr.