For almost two years, the country waited for the conclusion of Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Trump collusion with Russia. Now that Attorney General William Barr's summary of the report shows the president has been exonerated of criminal wrongdoing, what has changed in the minds of voters? Essentially, nothing.
As if on cue, the Democrats reacted to the professional summation with shock and disbelief. Nearly all of their collective hopes were pinned on the outcome of the investigation spelling bad news for the 45th president. That they preferred criminality and conspiring with a foreign power in order to influence an election to the alternative says much about their selfish goals for the nation. Truth matters little when they place a bull's-eye on President Trump.
On the other hand, many Republicans were more than eager to continue their campaign of hate against Mueller for simply doing his job in the first place. However, when word reached the GOP masses that collusion could not be established, that hate magically turned to love.
The dramatic conclusion to the Trump-Mueller-Russia saga is yet to be realized as Democrats call for the public release of the full report, with some even comparing it to the Ken Starr report of the Clinton era. Whether the release happens or not, with appropriate redactions, remains to be seen. Even if it were released, who are we kidding? There would be little to no discernible change among the electorate.
Those who support Trump have done so regardless of the man's regularly questionable past and present behavior, policy ignorance, and incredible lack of tact as the leader of our nation. Short of being unable to vote for him because of severe repercussions and his removal from office due to actual, proven criminal behavior, there is nothing that would keep those in MAGA country from offering their support. Conversely, Democrats were never going to consider voting for him if the Mueller report cleared him of misconduct.
Bottom line: The items that most voters like, or dislike, about Trump have absolutely nothing to do with the report in the first place.
A recent CNN poll reveals that partisanship is alive and well even with something as black and white as facts:
77% of Republicans say the President has been exonerated, 80% of Democrats say he has not. Independents break against exoneration — 58% say the President and his campaign were not exonerated. ...
Nearly 6 in 10 Americans want to see Congress continue to pursue hearings into the findings of Mueller's report. Just 43% feel Congress ought to end the investigation completely following the release of Barr's summary of Mueller's findings. ...
Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats (88%) say Congress ought to hold hearings, while just 17% of Republicans agree.
Did we expect anything less than the usual, even with something so serious as possible collusion?
The lead-up to the release of the report has been a case study in speculation and assumption. Both sides had their agendas, and in the end, those remained. Democrats view him as guilty of something because this is their only hope of counteracting an unconventional man whose 2020 election chances appear brighter than ever. Republicans always believed him to be innocent of the claims against him. Even if a full report reveals mild to moderate inappropriate behavior, they'll shrug their shoulders. After all, they knew what they were getting all along.
For those Americans who find errors in judgment on both sides, the Mueller report was never going to make or break our allegiances. The countdown and waiting meant little. The reasons to be for or against the president have never resided in the pages of the long-awaited report. The same can't be said for the tribalists who surround us.
While some demand a public release of the full findings, we know that it will change nothing. The determinations made about Trump, his behavior, and his associates were written in stone long before he took office.