Oh what a tangled web we weave. . . This seems to be appropriate to your question. The deceit is self deceit.
I spend a lot of time attempting to understand what this means and how to cure it, for lack of a better term. It is, after all, pathological. Pundits, particularly in America, want their cake and to eat it, too. They are always right. But, as you note, in this case it is inherently contradictory.
For America to survive with some form of continuity Trump, Pence, and the leadership of the Republican Party must be actively removed. I think we have a majority of the population who are waiting for this hopefully but not expectantly. But how does that happen and what happens then?
Nixon was paranoid and was caught in a paranoid crime of a more traditional political kind. Nixon’s staff and a few others were implicated but, even though the supported Nixon up the end, they were not directly implicated in the criminal activity. We can say they should have done something about it and knew something about what had happened but they acted to remove the criminal when it could not longer be denied.
Fortunately Agnew was already gone. He was a forerunner of the ethical failure of the Republican Party later but he went early and prevented the problem of a dual impeachment. At the same time Gerald Ford was relatively honest, not too bright, and completely safe. This was all by shear luck.
But now the bite is too big. We have no means to take out a criminal political party when we allow only two. We can take out a senator for bribery or something but taking out the party leadership for, effectively, treason, is unimaginable for anyone at all involved or even actively aware of politics in this country. Pence is also a problem as he is obviously a small fry. He is an evil person but, still, a small fry. A little, in every form of that word, evil man. In an earlier age he is the type that would be considered not worth the powder to blow him to hell. But there he is. What do we do with him?
I think that these things are so nearly insurmountable for the type of people who are now dealing with this that they are irrational. Hence the evidence is already very clear that the Russians bought Trump and then bought the Republican Party who had no real alternative. They can only go so far selling white supremacy and voter suppression. Other than dictatorship they are on their last days. They have no viable policies other than give all money to the rich who will maybe keep them in power.
McConnell is the model. He has, literally, no shame. There is only money for power. Nothing else. His action in the bill to block Trump from changing tariffs is purely because Trump has gone off the rails and it is hurting the oligarchy. The real bosses have told him to eliminate that problem.
But the real problem is that no one wants to close the door to what once was. The pretense that Trump is normal and this is just a political disagreement is the last straw to hole on to. If you start to remove the criminals, where do you stop? There is a hard corps that has bought the lies and have been thoroughly weaponized. Ironically this was done by the Russian GRU operation that is still running full speed and supported by the nationalist media.
Everyone is still waiting for those people to come to their senses. That’s also why the hope is that maybe we can just have an election and straighten things out. I don’t think anyone really believes that now but there is no understandable alternative path. There are no leaders except junior Congress folks just elected.
What is missing is leadership that will say the system must change so that this can change. The total weight of this is on Mueller but that will show guilt but not the process to create a new and just American system to prevent this from happening again.