It was bad enough when liberals like Thomas Friedman reacted to Hillary Clinton losing the election by calling it a "moral 9/11," which in no way represented anything like a set of terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 and wounded more than 6,000. But on Friday night, PBS NewsHour analyst Mark Shields returned to the scene of that rhetorical excess in reaction to the Mueller report. The investigations into Russiagate must never end. We need a "new 9/11 Commission."
MARK SHIELDS: And just picking up on the point David made, if there's an imperative that comes out of this whole sordid tale, it's for a new 9/11 Commission. It's to have — the 9/11 Commission after the attacks of 2001 chaired by Tom Kean, a Republican governor of New Jersey, and Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman, to investigate what happened.
How do we avoid it ever happening again? What do we need to do, statutorily, collectively in the country? And the Russians did — they subverted and sabotaged our election. And the Obama administration was remiss in its response in 2016. And President Trump has chosen for two-and-a-half years to deny what Russia did.
[In fact, Trump has admitted the Russians interfered, but denies collusion, which wasn't found by Mueller.]
And the most public of sacraments that we have as a people, a presidential election, was subverted and sabotaged. And they're about the same evil mission again with no — we ought to have that. It ought to be bipartisan. It ought to be Republicans and Democrats. And we ought to just demand that American elections be only — involve Americans.
And it has to bring in all of the Silicon Valley and all the companies, and we have to do this to preserve our democracy and to restore some sense of public trust.
Judy Woodruff turned back to David Brooks: "So, David, follow this with another investigation, something that maybe provides a catharsis for what we have been through?"
It's almost funny that Woodruff helped Brooks plug his new book about morality on Tuesday night and read his thought that "Our society has become a conspiracy against joy." They certainly can't celebrate that the president isn't some kind of Russian agent.
This dramatic turn to 9/11 analogies is a little weird since Shields & Brooks have been talking about the Mueller report in four of the last five Friday chats without horror this deep. Two weeks ago, Shields said "I think Bob Mueller will testify. And I think that the attorney general has said he's going to testify as well. I would like to see it play out, rather — before we go to DEFCON 1." Now Shields has gone there.
At least both Shields and Brooks didn't favor an impeachment drive. "Subverting the choice of the voters by taking it into a legal process, I think, would be a mistake," Brooks declared. Yes, if elections are "sacraments," what are impeachments?