We should have known better. We should have known better! We should have learned from the time that we believed we were on the verge of the first female president – the derivative T-shirts, the chilling champagne – only to find that our hopes had been dashed by a racist misogynist demagogue. Yet here we are again, a mass of deflated blue balloons, as the Monday morning headlines confirming our worst fears. Robert Mueller has issued his report. And Donald J Trump is still the president, happily golfing our taxes away.
I’d like to say that I was among the sensible, maintaining a healthy skepticism that Robert Mueller would provide us with the deliverance we’ve been longing for. Sometimes, I was: as the investigation dragged on and on, with no indictments of the Trump family and no interviews with the president himself, it was hard to hold on to hope that the release of the report would be Trump’s Watergate. Yes, Mueller was known for being thorough, calm and comprehensive; that could have explained how long he was taking. But had he uncovered that the president was treasonous it seemed unlikely that he’d go through all of the evidence before alerting the nation. Two years was a very long time to maintain a heartfelt belief in the possibilities of the Mueller report. Optimism flagged.
And yet: we all saw Trump as a candidate call for Russia to hack his opponents’ emails. We all saw his conduct in his Finland press conference with Vladimir Putin, and we all know as well that he’s worked to obfuscate the details of their other meetings. And most of all: we’ve witnessed Trump telling lies, all kinds of lies,