Horowitz: Attacks on Mueller Don't Pass the Laugh Test – GoLocalProv

20 0

Horowitz: Attacks on Mueller Don't Pass the Laugh Test – GoLocalProv

Facebook FaviconDigg FaviconReddit FaviconStumbleUpon Favicondel.icio.us Favicon

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rob Horowitz

In the wake of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and the news that he has become a cooperating witness, right-wing media and certain House Republicans have stepped up their baseless and fact-challenged attacks on Special Counsel Bob Mueller and the FBI in a desperate attempt to discredit the investigation as it gains potency and to create political space for President Trump to fire Mueller.

Leading the charge is Sean Hannity with his fellow Fox evening prime time hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram and weekend host Jeanine Pirro following closely behind.  Instead of praising or at least noting that Mueller removed Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent, who had sent text messages attacking President Trump from the investigation the minute he found out about them, Hannity, whose show should be re-named ‘The Trump Hour of Power”, used this revelation to launch a vicious and completely unfounded attack on Mueller. “Let’s start off with the head of the snake. Mueller’scredibility is in the gutter tonight with these new discoveries, his conflicts of interests, his clear bias, the corruption are on full display. Mueller is frankly a disgrace to the American justice system and has put the country now on the brink of becoming a banana republic.”

As Hannity knows, Bob Mueller has a well-earned reputation for integrity and honorable service to this nation.  Serving in the Marines during Vietnam, Mueller won the Bronze Star and received a Purple Heart.  Appointed by President George W. Bush as FBI Director, Mueller was instrumental to protecting the Homeland after 9/11, earning nearly unanimous bi-partisan plaudits for his 12-year tenure.  

Perhaps, more to the point, as Hannity and the other over-heated critics well-know, Mueller is a registered Republican–which makes the charges that the investigation is rife with partisan bias laughable.  You can just imagine, if they were on the air during Watergate, what Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and the others would be saying about Special Counsel Archibald Cox, who actually was a Kennedy-supporting, liberal Democrat.

Additionally, Mueller was not appointed by an evil cabal of liberals; he was the choice of the Trump Administration’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing, in which the Republican members vied to see who can most embarrass themselves in either unfairly attacking Mueller or calling on the investigation to be disbanded, Rosenstein ably defended the special counsel:  Rosenstein told the Committee, “We recognize we have employees with political opinions. It’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions. I believe that Director Mueller understands that, and he is running his office appropriately.”

People can and do put their professional obligations ahead of their partisan views.  That is the point being willfully ignored by the critics, who since they can’t point to any examples of actual misconduct in how the investigation is being conducted, prefer to launch a smear campaign. Additionally, even taken on its own terms, their argument falls apart because the investigation is being overseen by a registered Republican and he is being overseen by a Trump appointee.

These baseless attacks are, of course, welcomed and encouraged by President Trump. This past weekend he viciously went after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Trump tweeted, “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation. “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”  Trump falsely stated that McCabe’s wife received the contributions while McCabe was working on the investigation, when he did not begin to be involved in it until after.  More broadly, just because his wife is running for office and receiving contributions that any Democratic candidate running in Virginia would have received from the governor and the state party in no way prevents McCabe from exercising his professional responsibilities with integrity.

Trump went after McCabe so viciously because in the Deputy Director’s testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee he confirmed that former FBI Director James Comey had told him in real time about Trump’s request for loyalty.

No one including Bob Mueller is above criticism.  But there is a difference between far-fetched smears and legitimate arguments.  Especially on Fox, now that Rupert Murdoch needs Trump to approve his pending merger with Disney, the attacks on Mueller are only likely to grow more overheated. But I am confident, despite the best efforts of President Trump and his right-wing media and Congressional allies, that most of the American people can and will be able to recognize the difference.

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.


PrevNext

Sponsor: GoLocalProv

Sample: N=403

Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

PrevNext

Are you registered to vote at this address?

Yes: 100%

PrevNext

When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Unaffiliated: 49%

Democrat: 32%

Republican: 15%

Moderate: .4%

PrevNext

Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?

Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50…

Definitely be voting: 78%

Probably be voting: 13%

50-50: 9%

PrevNext

In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?

Right track: 39%

Wrong track: 45%

Mixed: 10%

Don’t know/Refused: .6%

PrevNext

What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?

Jobs and economy:  21%

Education: 12%

Taxes: 12%

Roads: 12%

State budget: 9%

Corruption/Public integrity: .8%

Healthcare: 3%

Governor: 3%

Homelessness: 2%

Immigration: 2%

Other: 7%

Don’t know: .9%

PrevNext

Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 35%

Changed for the worse: 16%

Not changed at all: 43%

Don’t know/Refused: 5%

PrevNext

Over the same time, has your family’s financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 26%

Changed for the worse: 19%

Not changed at all: 54%

Don’t know/Refused: 1%

PrevNext

Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?

Net: Approve: 28%

Definitely approve: 15%

Probably approve: 14%

Net: Reject: 67%

Probably reject: 19%

Definitely reject: 48%

Don’t know: 4%

PrevNext

Could you please tell me your age?

18-24: 7%

25-34: 15%

35-44: 15%

45-54: 20%

55-64: 17%

65+: 25%

Don’t know/refused: 1%

PrevNext

What was the last grade you completed in school?

0-11: 2%

High school grad: 16%

Technical/Vocational school: 1%

Some college: 23%

College grad: 34%

Graduate degree: 24%

Don’t know/refused: 1%

PrevNext

The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).

$50,000 or less: 27%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%

$150,000 or more: 13%

Don’t know/refused: 17%

PrevNext

What particular ethnic group or nationality – such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth – do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?

American/None: 21%

English: 13%

Italian: 13%

Irish: 12%

Black or African American: 6%

Latino/Hispanic: 6%

French: 6%

Portuguese: 3%

Jewish: 3%

German: 1%

PrevNext

Would you say that Donald Trump has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as President?

Excellent: 13%
Good: 12%
Fair: 14%
Poor: 57%
Never heard of:  0%
Cannot rate: 3%

PrevNext

Would you say that Jack Reed has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 22%
Good: 29%
Fair: 23%
Poor: 15%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 6%

PrevNext

Would you say that Sheldon Whitehouse has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 17%
Good: 22%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 28%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 7%

PrevNext

Would you say that David Cicilline has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 9%
Good: 29%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 27%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate:  8%

PrevNext

Would you say that James Langevin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 7%
Good: 30%
Fair: 20%
Poor: 18%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 11%

PrevNext

Would you say that Gina Raimondo has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Governor?

Excellent: 6%
Good: 28%
Fair: 30%
Poor: 31%
Never heard of: 1%
Cannot rate: 3%

PrevNext

Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?

Excellent: 3%
Good: 16%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 8%
Never heard of: 26%
Cannot rate: 25%

PrevNext

Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?

Excellent: 3%
Good: 20%
Fair: 28%
Poor: 17%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 19%

PrevNext

Would you say that Seth Magaziner has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as General Treasurer?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 18%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 13%
Never heard of: 21%
Cannot rate: 21%

PrevNext

Would you say that Nellie Gorbea has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Secretary of State?

Excellent: 5%
Good: 21%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 10%
Never heard of: 20%
Cannot rate: 23%

PrevNext

Would you say that Jorge Elorza has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Mayor of Providence?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 24%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 22%
Never heard of: 9%
Cannot rate: 15%

Related Articles

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Published at Tue, 26 Dec 2017 07:23:14 +0000

About The Author

No Comments on "Horowitz: Attacks on Mueller Don't Pass the Laugh Test – GoLocalProv"

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *