[July 26]  Maybe Robert Mueller never had a political agenda after all. Maybe, just maybe, he is a patriotic public servant whose motive was answering the call of duty, to protect our elections from very real Kremlin skullduggery. No more, no less.

And maybe everybody who has slandered Mueller for more than two years, following the lead of our slander-happy president, were always wrong to ascribe nefarious motives to someone whose whole career refutes the “nefarious motive” scenario.

Occam’s razor makes those “maybes” much more likely than not.

Occam’s razor is a principle of logic most succinctly explained as holding that “the simplest explanation is usually the right one.” When applied to personal character, it holds that an individual’s past behavior is usually a good guide for understanding recent behavior. (In the fictional The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobethe professor used this form of logic, quite rightly, to suggest to the two older Pevensie children that if they always had found their sister Lucy to be truthful before, then they should believe her when she said she discovered a whole country inside a wardrobe.)

Mueller has performed a half-century of distinguished public service. He never, ever was known as a man with a partisan or ideological agenda, but, to the extent that he was identifiable politically at all, it was as the appointee of Republican presidents. The very idea that a famously “by the book” prosecutor with a vaguely Republican pedigree would engage in a “witch hunt” or “coup” against a duly elected Republican president was always nonsense on heroin, laced with despicable calumny.

If we use Occam’s razor to accept the almost universally shared pre-Trump assessment of Mueller, then everything he has done and said as special counsel and in his public comments since then fall into a perfectly logical place. Moreover, his widely panned performance in Wednesday’s committee hearings actually looks like a dignified and successful effort to do no more or less than his duty…

[The full column is here.] 


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