Thursday, April 18, 2019

TrumPutin: Who’s tired of winning now?

We don’t know exactly how much Moscow spent supporting influence operations to impact the U.K. and U.S. elections in 2016, but it seems hard to overstate how good the Kremlin’s return has been on what Western intelligence agencies believe was a relatively modest investment.

One of the most brutal dictators on Earth, Vladimir Putin, is a happy despot these days. His boy Trump has been performing even better than commanded. Yes, we know from past pondering that Putin was getting some of the joy he ordered up, but consider how his smirk is now an uncontrollable grin as he reflects on our Trump-inflicted nation, his enemy:

  • Longest shutdown of the US government in history. Putin’s wish is Trump’s command.
  • Trump, it turns out, made several shady backdoor attempts to get the US out of NATO, Trump’s Ultimate Wishlist Premier Item.
  • Trump’s tariff trade wars are enhancing the negative economic impacts of the government shutdown that contributes to a generalized and worsening US global economic position, thus strengthening Russia’s position.
  • While the media are focused on the big items, Trump’s minions are weakening environmental laws, lowering educational standardswrecking agricultural markets, harming national health care, and attacking our time-honored free press. In short, the best of what the Founders tried to write into our Constitution is now being actively degraded at virtually every turn, another big win for any foreign power trying to become a regional or even global hegemon, Putin’s dream, certainly.
  • Iran’s stock is now rising as it appears to be the reasonable partner to the EU and all the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of, and of course the other despot client of Putin’s in the Middle East—Basher al-Assad—is sitting pretty with Trump’s stumble-wobble in Syria. Putin wins again, completely due to Trump. The list goes on.

A growing number of analysts are noting that Putin is going to get tired of winning (remember Trump’s moronic campaign claim that “you”—that is, his base supporters at his 2016 rallies—will win so much you’ll get “tired of winning”?).

Does Trump really answer to Putin competently or is he just so incompetent that he just happens to be achieving everything that a hostile foreign power could want? Does it really make a difference? How much more of Trump’s “winning” can Americans take? Washington Post analyst James Hohmann sums up the view on Russian hacking and attacking the American electorate in 2016:

We don’t know exactly how much Moscow spent supporting influence operations to impact the U.K. and U.S. elections in 2016, but it seems hard to overstate how good the Kremlin’s return has been on what Western intelligence agencies believe was a relatively modest investment.

So, we must ask ourselves and each other—and our federal elected officials and the judicial branch—what are we going to do about it? When? Do we come to a red line soon? What should it be?

One such line for me is the Mueller report. If it’s not released to the public, I’m ready to offer some nonviolent resistance. I hope to learn what others regard as a red line, beyond which Putin’s boy in the White House cannot go without evoking a nonviolent people power uprising. It may turn out to be the ultimate answer to such a massive failure by government.

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