Pro-tip: if you feel the need to create a hymnal for your rally, then perhaps you’re participating in a cult rather than a rational policy objective. “Hymnal” is the word used by organizers of the Release the Report yesterday in Manhattan, which was captured by independent journalist Michael Tracey. In fact, as we’ll see, organizers handed out printed lyrics set to a number of popular tunes.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t how Gloria Gaynor wants to celebrate her 70th birthday later this year. “This is number 12 in the hymnal,” folks, so follow the bouncing ball and sing along:
The Times Square rally was just one of about 300 around the country demanding the release of the Mueller report, Heavy reported overnight. The protests stretched from the Big Apple to Boise, from the Twin Cities (sigh) to Texas, and from coast to coast:
Thousands gathered in hundreds of rallies across the nation, protesting to demand the full release of the Mueller report. The protests were organized in party by MoveOn.org and Rise and Resist. The protests included a rally at the White House and more than 300 other protests around the nation. The protests happened after Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the report. The summary indicated that Mueller found no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Meanwhile, some members of Mueller’s investigatory team have said that evidence indicating Trump might have sought to impede the investigation was stronger than Barr indicated, NBC News reported. But until Mueller’s report is released, it won’t be known just how accurate the summary was. So thousands gathered, demanding the release of the full report.
Tracey, who’s hardly a conservative apologist, finds himself nonplussed at the purpose for the rally. Tracey notes in another tweet that MoveOn and MSNBC, and especially Rachel Maddow, helped to encourage and organize these events to demand something that is already going to happen. “I can’t even adequately describe to you,” Tracey writes in another tweet, “the full-blown paranoid insanity on display at these ‘Release the Report’ rallies”:
Here’s another bizarre aspect of all this. They *are* releasing the Report. Virtually no one, including Trump himself, has advocated against release of the Report. So what’s the point of these rallies? Answer: to give expression to liberal paranoia, anxiety, and rage pic.twitter.com/n0cWq8GZjw
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 5, 2019
The “hymnals” themselves got professionally printed and formatted for sing-alongs. The tunes hint at a generational identity for the organizers and lyricists. How many of the folks who showed up will have known the meter and melody for a Monkees tune? Or for that matter, a Blondies tune from about a decade later? I mean, I do, but I’m not exactly in the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demographic vanguard, if you know what I mean:
The pro-Mueller ralliers in Times Square have distributed this songbook. They are currently leading a mass singalong. Please read these lyrics pic.twitter.com/1y36LDFeEg
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 4, 2019
No “Hit the Road Hack”? Not even “Fifty Ways to Dump Trump Lovers”? Maybe those were farther down the hymnal list.
Meanwhile, William Barr reminded everyone late yesterday that he has to follow the law, just as Mueller did. The report, minus redactions to keep grand-jury testimony and information on sources and methods confidential, will be released sooner than someone can write a satirical version of Bohemian Rhapsody:
In Thursday’s statement, Barr defended the decision to release a brief summary letter two days after receiving the report on March 22. He has previously said he did not believe it would be in the public’s interest to release the full document in piecemeal or gradual fashion, and that he did not intend for his letter summarizing Mueller’s “principal conclusions” to be an “exhaustive recounting” of the special counsel’s investigation.
Barr is now expected to release the entire report, with redactions, by mid-April.
“Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report’s bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process,” the Justice Department statement said.
That was everyone’s understanding at the time, including the Mueller team, which still has raised no direct and public objection to Barr’s summary. Mueller himself is still working with Barr on the redactions, which he’d likely refuse to do if he thought Barr had seriously mischaracterized their work. The protests in the street won’t override the law or the need to protect intelligence sources and methods. The only purpose they serve is to feed the hysteria on which some media outlets have relied for a ratings gravy train the last two years — a gravy train that has thrown its wheels but whose momentum is keeping it scraping through the mud just a little longer. And, of course, to remind us all why we dread Karaoke Nights. And cults.