A weekly window on the American political scene hosted by the Monitor's politics editors.

Politics aside, Mueller report’s conclusion should be welcome news

Dear readers:

“Were you relieved or disappointed with the Mueller findings? Be honest.”

That headline, from Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, caught my eye. I hadn’t considered my reaction to the summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump-Russia in such personal terms.

Why We Wrote This

The finding – as summarized by Attorney General William Barr – that the Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia is, obviously, a good thing.

But Mr. Thiessen makes a good point: Regardless of one’s politics, we should all agree that it’s better not to have an American president or his team conspiring with a hostile foreign power to win an election. That was the underlying value highlighted by the Monitor’s Peter Grier and Francine Kiefer in their story on the end of the Mueller inquiry.

Of course, we’ve only seen Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Mr. Mueller’s report, and not the report itself. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a recent guest at a Monitor Breakfast, still insists there was collusion – and that  he’s seen evidence. So the debate about collusion and obstruction of justice rages on. And post-Mueller, public opinion on President Donald Trump hasn't budged.

Nor has George Conway’s view of the president. He’s the outspokenly anti-Trump husband of top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, the oddest of Washington odd couples – both conservative, but on opposite sides of the Trump divide. We can’t even begin to figure that one out.

We also don’t understand why the Trump administration, at a moment of triumph, would move to strike down the Affordable Care Act in court. The Obama-era health-care law has become increasingly popular, and was the driving issue in the Democratic takeover of the House last November. Heading into 2020, Democrats are gleeful at this political gift.

As former top House Republican spokesman Michael Steel put it on  Twitter: “W/o consensus on a smart conservative alternative to lower costs and protect people w/pre-existing conditions, a renewed GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare makes as much political sense as diving headfirst into a wood chipper.”

Let us know what you’re thinking at csmpolitics@csmonitor.com .

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