A word of praise for Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House judiciary committee, who has called for a vote Wednesday on subpoenaing the Mueller report, and possibly several individuals involved in creating it. This is a procedural vote, not the subpoena itself, and will probably be ineffectual, but is at least a first step in the right direction.

A vital aspect of the constitution is that the executive branch of government cannot exonerate itself. The House of Representatives has the responsibility of investigating criminal activity by the President, and impeaching if there is evidence of crime. Nadler has taken a small step today toward fulfilling that responsibility. From the side, as a citizen not linked to either party, I applaud his courage. Perhaps a first step, perhaps just a gesture. We’ll see where it goes.

I’ve been using the metaphor of the bull and the cape to describe the Democrats’ response to the Mueller report. This effort of Nadler’s could be just one more charge toward a moving and immaterial target. A waste of time and energy, exhausting the strength of the bull while the matador steps to one side. The crowd cheers for a brave bull, but louder for the matador’s sword. It would be better for the bull to go straight after the matador. Nadler would have more success by subpoenaing Mueller himself and even Barr. And by opening a full impeachment investigation of Trump and gathering his own evidence.

I’m not a lawyer. Could withholding and/or redacting the Mueller report itself become obstruction of justice by Barr?

Meanwhile, what’s happening to Joe Biden is a pretty good example of the blinders caused by party affiliation and by the sort of informational narrowing we are all subject to when we choose one side of a binary system to identify with. I’m surprised so many Democrats don’t know that “Creepy Joe Biden” has been a right wing meme for years, with plenty of pictures published of Biden leaning in, or kissing, or laying on hands, or basically being a jerk, to any number of women of all sorts of ages, including some quite young.

Anyone who was unaware of this habit of Biden’s really wasn’t paying attention.

Stepping outside the party framework reveals a lot that gets blocked from inside that frame. I’d recommend to anyone to read the opposite side’s news outlets and blogs, and to interpret things not based on “us against them” but rather from the point of view of an individual citizen asking, “What does the evidence, and my own moral sense, lead me to conclude?” You might be surprised what can you see, when you change your framework. So much can be hidden by your own point of view.

I’m seeing things differently, now that I’m not in a party, looking in at the political circus from the side.

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