It’s Thursday, July 25, 2019.
It’s the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Washington Declaration, ending the state of hostility between Israel and Jordan.
Yes, folks, there was a time when Israel was willing and able to talk about deals with others in the region. Egypt. Jordan. Even the PLO.
Leaders with courage – men like Yitzhak Rabin – believed Israel should be an ideal, not just an idea. That it could be part of a comprehensive effort to defuse the Middle East and, at the same time, make Israel as secure as any state can be in our times.
That kind of amity seems a long time past.
It’s 110 degrees in Central Park. The Mets’ bullpen leads baseball’s 64 teams in blown saves.
And the leading contender for Best Picture – assuming the Oscars survive another 25 years – is “Mueller Time,” the dramatic story of the day in 2019 an unassuming former prosecutor and FBI director inspired the nation to depose a felon and would-be dictator from the White House.
As Robert Mueller, Jake Gyllenhaal delivers another impeccable performance. His highlight moment comes after an obtuse Republican congressman asks a snide question about how biased the investigation was.
There’s an ECU of Gyllenhaal, his voice rising slowly and surely as he talks about being a Republican – but being an American first. And that if we want to stay a free people – there’s an Alexandre Desplat crescendo now – we’ll act immediately.
His words inspire Democrats and convince Republicans. There’s an immediate impeachment vote in the House. Senators, watching in their offices, hurry to the floor and hold the trial that night.
The only bad thing: Trump escapes the U.S. marshals and flies to Moscow in one of his planes. After all, it’s a three-film deal and the sequel is coming in 2046.
Does that sum up the Democrats’ fantasy expectation about yesterday’s hearings?
That wasn’t going to happen.
The best Democrats should have hoped for was what you got. Mueller restating what he and his team concluded. The facts.
I think the facts point to crimes committed by Trump and his sycophants. I think the Justice Department guideline that a sitting president can’t be indicted is BS. I think an impeachment inquiry is in order.
Democrats believed Mueller restating and elaborating the facts of his report would make people see the light and clamor for impeachment.
But, according to reporting by CNN’s Brian Stelter, only about 13 million Americans watched yesterday’s hearing. And I bet a good chunk of that audience already knew how it felt about this stuff.
There was never going to be a groundswell following Mueller’s testimony. By the weekend, it will have been overtaken in the news cycle.
However, that doesn’t mean what happened yesterday was a waste of time.
The American people had the right to hear about a report they bought with the tax dollars. And to hear it from the guy in charge.
There were legitimate questions asked yesterday. Indeed, one of the most relevant came from Texas Republican Will Hurd, who inquired about Russia’s continued effort to subvert our electoral process.
And, as with most hearings, there were the grandstanding questions. Republicans trying to discredit Mueller with whatabouts that were petty, obscure or irrelevant. Democrats trying to get that cinematic moment – nowadays it’s called the viral moment – that would make history.
Anyone lamenting the hearing as lacking fireworks or not providing great optics – whether they be a politician or a journalist – is a fool.
Congressional hearings aren’t theater. Yes, they can sometimes be dramatic, But their purpose is to inform, to put facts on record.
Yesterday’s hearings did just that. They are a companion piece to the Mueller report, which everyone should read.
The Oscar fodder will have to wait for Trump’s downfall in disgrace – and our sincere belief that if there’s a merciful God, it’s coming soon.