The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Mueller Firing: A Prescripting

Some years ago, Fred Kirshnit and I were joking around. (He is a friend and music-critic colleague.) We said that, instead of writing reviews, we should write previews — pre-concert reviews rather than post-concert reviews. We knew how the concert would go. Why not just say so in advance and spare readers the trouble of attending?

Of course, we were joking. One of the main elements of concert life is surprise. Some things that look like duds on paper, turn out to be great. And some things that look great on paper, turn out to be duds. Still, there is a great deal of predictability involved.

Which brings me to Robert Mueller. It seems sure the president will fire him. I think it’s a question of when, not if. Trump’s surrogates have been preparing the ground for months — I mean, his surrogates both in the White House and in the media.

They are doing to him what the Clintonistas did to Kenneth Starr. I have seen this movie before, only the teams are different.

For years, Robert Mueller was a sterling Republican lawman, the model of an FBI chief. But then he appeared to threaten Donald J. Trump — and he had to wear the villain’s black hat and the twirly mustache. Russian bots are hard at work, along with their American partners.

Okay, my radical (and whimsical) proposal: Everyone should simply write his reaction to the Mueller firing now. I feel I could write the reactions of one and all, including my own. Couldn’t you? It’s easy, right?

Die-hard Trumpers will repeat every talking point, every rationale, of the White House. Then there will be anti-anti-Trump people, who will criticize the “hysterical” reaction of the Left, the “MSM,” and the “NeverTrumpers.” Other people will offer legalistic defenses. Still others will point out the donations to Democrats made by members of Mueller’s team. (Much less than Trump himself gave.) “Mueller overreached. Should have stuck to his knitting.”

Blah blah blah.

Some Republican congressmen, with a twinge of conscience, will say they are “disappointed,” but now we have to “move on” — remember that one, from the Clinton years? — and conduct the “people’s business.”

Blah blah blah. It’s so boring. It’s so predictable.

How about the Democrats and the “MSM”? Some will call for impeachment. There will be sudden, unprecedented reverence for the Constitution (that musty old document written by slave-holding white men). Checks and balances will be newly in vogue. There will be sound and fury. And it’ll blow over, like the Comey firing and everything else.

I feel that we are now in a period of phony war. I’m ready for the real event. Rip the Band-Aid off. As I said, write your reaction now. If you don’t publish it, at least have it in the drawer, ready to go.