Sunday, July 9, 2017

Russian Dressing

Okay, let me get a few things straight about Russia and Vladimir Putin, who net with Donald Trump this past week in Hamburg . . .
I believe that the Russians hacked the U.S. presidential election campaign this past fall.  I believe Putin had a hand in it.  I do not, however, believe that Russian meddling caused Hillary Clinton to lost the election.  Hillary Clinton caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election.  The suggestion that the Russians manipulated the voters into supporting Trump with false news stories is based on the idea that Hillary ran an effective campaign with a positive message, and that she had a solid lead among the voters.  In fact, her campaign was fundamentally flawed, she did not try to shore up her base or key states that gave Trump his victory, and her only message was that she wasn't as bad as Trump.  And Trump voters - who were only 46 percent of the American electorate - were going to support him no matter what.  The Russians meddled, all right, but Hillary could have gone on the offensive by making her case better, or at all, instead of coasting on "inevitability."  And if Trump did collude with Putin, well, an investigation should find proof of that.  Until then, we have to remember that Trump is innocent until proven guilty.  That's why we have investigations!
Having said that, I also think that Trump didn't do this country any favors by accepting Putin's denial of interfering with the American elections at face value; this only makes these ongoing investigations more difficult to pursue . . . if not impossible.  Trump now wants to work with Putin in ending the conflict in Syria. Good news, until you realize that he is willing to do it entirely on Putin's terms.  The Russian president now has carte blanche to operate as he sees fit, even at the risk of diminishing American interests . . . because Trump doesn't know the difference between d├ętente and capitulation.
It doesn't really matter whether Putin interfered or not.  In Trump, he got what he wanted.

No comments: