News reports this afternoon indicate what many Republicans in Washington, D.C. have been hearing since this morning: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley appears set to proceed with moving legislation to bar President Trump from firing Bob Mueller through his committee, allowing it to proceed to a floor vote if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says so.
There are a lot of reasons to thank Grassley (whose office number is 202-224-3744) for doing this, regardless of what your personal opinion of Trump, or the likelihood of his firing Mueller, is. (For my money, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to fire Mueller, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, because it would make Trump look exceptionally weak, when Trump– politically and personally– is all about looking tough). Here are just a few:
- No joke: If this bill makes it into law, we can all say “buh-bye” to the constant cable news Defcon-1 style flashing red siren news alerts about whether or not the President is going to do something that is manifestly not in his interest to do. In other words, we should all call Grassley and say “thank you” for possibly being the one guy who is going to make consuming any shred of political news these days way less annoying and tiresome. That counts for a lot, at least for me.
- To the extent that Trump might, in a moment of overwhelming weakness, succumb to his worst instincts and actually pull the trigger on Mueller or Rosenstein, Grassley and everyone who backs this legislation would be saving him from looking roughly as big and tough as this tortoise (not a good look for the leader of a party heading into a tough mid-term election, but exactly the one Democrats would love Trump to adopt).
- For as much as cable news likes to breathlessly focus on how the Mueller probe is all about nabbing Trump, the truth is, what Mueller has been ruthlessly effective at doing is taking down big names in the D.C. swamp, foremost among them Clintonworld’s Tony Podesta. Tony probably won’t be the last big name in Clintonworld, or Democratic circles to topple, so people who dig that kind of thing (literally everyone who’s ever uttered the phrase “Crooked Hillary”) should be high-fiving Grassley right about now.
- Basically the entire population has become convinced that government can’t and doesn’t bother to govern anymore. Grassley is actually doing that, by conducting committee business. For some of us, it’s probably worth saying “thanks” to him for just, like, doing his job.
Anyway, give Chuck Grassley a call. His number is 202-224-3744. Or you can email him here, if you like.
Liz Mair is a strategist for the Swamp Accountability Project, which advocates for Mueller protection legislation.