Do Democrats hate Trump more than they love Amer­ica?

The Tribune (SLO) - - Opinion - BY CHRIS­TINE M. FLOW­ERS

The most trou­bling thing about the end of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion was the re­ac­tion of so many on the left when they learned that Don­ald Trump was not a Rus­sian as­set. They were, to put it mildly, dis­ap­pointed.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews ap­peared apoplec­tic (ad­mit­tedly not un­usual for him) and went into a rant that ended with: “How can they let Trump off the hook?”

His col­league Joy Reid took aim at At­tor­ney Gen­eral William Barr’s neu­tral­ity and re­ferred to the “seeds of a coverup.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chair­man of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, gave an in­ter­view to The Wash­ing­ton Post, where he re­jected Mueller’s find­ings, stat­ing that “un­doubt­edly there is col­lu­sion.” He also said, “We will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence is­sues. That is, is the pres­i­dent or peo­ple around him com­pro­mised in any way by a hos­tile for­eign power?”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., chair­man of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, con­tin­ued to in­sist that de­spite the Mueller re­port clear­ing the pres­i­dent and his as­so­ciates from col­lud­ing with the Rus­sians, “We know there was col­lu­sion … why there’s been no in­dict­ments, we don’t know.”

And these were just some of the high-pro­file Democrats and Trump crit­ics who were so in­vested in the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s abil­ity to take down the pres­i­dent that they lost sight of what was re­ally im­por­tant: con­fir­ma­tion that Pres­i­dent Trump and mem­bers of his cam­paign did not con­spire or co­or­di­nate with the Rus­sian govern­ment to get him elected.

In­stead of ex­ult­ing in joy, many Democrats acted like kids who hadn’t got­ten every­thing on their Christ­mas list. That’s fright­en­ing. There is some­thing twisted in the idea that Amer­i­cans would rather have their par­ti­san dreams ful­filled than be as­sured that the man who leads us – how­ever re­pel­lent his char­ac­ter and poli­cies might be – is not a traitor.

This sur­prised me, even af­ter two years of sug­ges­tions that a Manchurian Can­di­date oc­cu­pied the White House. My Face­book news feed reg­u­larly filled up with com­ments and ar­ti­cles on how Michael Flynn, Michael Co­hen, Paul Manafort or fill-in-the­blank ran­dom Trump as­so­ciate was the canary in the coal mine of the pres­i­dent’s demise, and that Mueller would ex­pose the strings at­tached to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s pup­pet.

But still, I as­sumed that my fel­low Amer­i­cans were hop­ing that our coun­try was not com­pro­mised and our pres­i­dent was not guilty of trea­son. For those who truly love this coun­try and hope that it can with­stand even the most trou­bling as­saults on its in­sti­tu­tional in­tegrity, that’s a no-brainer.

The left’s barely con­cealed dis­tress at see­ing the pres­i­dent cleared of col­lu­sion and con­spir­acy with Rus­sia and their in­sis­tence that this isn’t over, and that he can still be found guilty of trea­son is proof pos­i­tive to me that the real threat to this coun­try is a will­ing­ness to sac­ri­fice every­thing we hold dear – due process, pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence, and re­spect for our le­gal sys­tem – in a nar­rowly fo­cused cru­sade to undo the re­sults of an elec­tion.

I sym­pa­thize with those who re­ject this pres­i­dent and his poli­cies. I am far from an apol­o­gist for his gov­er­nance. But this is about some­thing much more sin­is­ter than mere op­po­si­tion to a po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent. It is one thing to de­spise Pres­i­dent Trump. It is quite an­other to be dis­ap­pointed that our leader is not a Rus­sian as­set. I think some peo­ple need a re­fresher on the def­i­ni­tion of “traitor.”

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