In retrospect, now that the Mueller report has landed, clearing the President and his campaign of the accusation of collusion with the Russians, what seems so striking is the blind faith of those who constantly invoked "Bob" Mueller to deliver them from a duly-elected (but hated) presidency.
They never doubted that collusion would be proved, that indictments would come to Trump family members.
Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn sums up the flimsiness of the pretext on which this faith hung. The starting point was the so-called Steele dossier. Penn writes:
When this started, I urged people to read the Steele dossier published by BuzzFeed.
It was clearly preposterous, making easily disproved, wild and salacious accusations that had not been verified and would never be verified. It was a yarn fit for our times, spun by haters of a presidential candidate on a mission to prevent his election and to unseat him if he did get elected.
It was then the Strzok/Page texts that caused me and many others to fundamentally question what was behind this investigation and whether it was based more on politics than facts. There turned out to be no underlying facts.
Partisanship should not extend to bending the truth.
Whether you voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or another presidential candidate, you need to disentangle yourself from the endless false conspiracies that have infected the country, dominated our news and whipped up the public, dividing us all.
There was never a secret computer server in Trump Tower serving as a link to Russia. Michael Cohen was not told by the president to lie to Congress, nor did he ever go to Prague. Nothing happened in a Moscow hotel room once stayed in by President Obama.
Twenty-five million or so dollars later (there are various reports on the cost of the Mueller investigation), we know that in a way the Steele dossier was a glorified urban legend.
This has been a nightmare for our country. Penn, drawing on his experiences in the Clinton administration, knows that these investigations weigh heavily on the country and (dare we say it?) on the President. He writes:
My experience in 1998, helping to defend President Clinton from impeachment, showed me the enormous national cost of these investigations, how they weigh personally on a president and can affect the decisions our leaders make. We need all our presidents, Democrat and Republican, being able to focus on the job without the constant pressure of investigations of themselves, their families and their administrations.
Yet, the ominous chatter of further investigations in New York smacks of trying to keep all this going. Personal payments for personal matters are not campaign contributions, and investigations of the inauguration are simply fishing expeditions. Let our presidents do their jobs.
It’s time for our government to get back to being devoted to solving the problems of people — and to get out of the endless investigation business. The next election campaign has started and we should be getting ready for 2020, rather than contesting 2016. It’s time to close the book on this.
Many in the Democratic leadership seem disinclined to close the book.
Nevertheless, post-Mueller, the world looks different.
No matter how ardently the left and the establishment media (who utterly beclowned themselves during the course of the last two years) wanted it to be true, collusion is now utterly implausible.
Don't hold your breath for any apologies.