And Another Thing

I find the Greenwaldian muttering about the IC not tolerating contact with Russia totally preposterous.  In an absolute sense, the Trumpist reconciliation line on Russia is not hugely different from the previous two administrations’ positions at the beginning of their terms, and is just as likely to run headlong into fundamental incompatibilities in US and Russian interests as the last two were.  Making friends with Russia and going skipping off happily into the steppe has been an ambition of US presidential candidates since the end of the Cold War, and it just never does seem to go as planned.  This is because there is a KGB asshole in charge now and before that there was Yeltsin, who only looks good by comparison.  You didn’t exactly see this supposed cartoonish hostility to diplomatic relations with Russia manifesting in the same way when Bush and Obama had their respective disastrous goes at it.  Since then, however, Putin has started a war in Ukraine, made Syria even worse, and stuck his finger into our domestic politics.  Fuck you, Glenn.  Get off my swamp lawn.

What does make the Trumpist line stand out from the past is Trump’s characteristic fondness for strongmen (c.f. Erdogan, al-Sisi, Orban, need I go on), and that this comes on the heels of Putin’s deliberate, hostile interference in our domestic politics.  This is not perhaps a common view, but I have no problem with above-board, clearly-labelled foreign involvement in US electoral politics, as long as it doesn’t involve campaign donations.  Putin wants to come and give an opinion?  Fine.  He wants to run his crazy TV station here?  Also fine.  He wants to send volunteer canvassers to go out in the streets and tell people that Putin thinks they should vote for Trump?  Sure, still don’t care, so long as they’re clearly labelled.  I do take a dim view, on principle, of covert election meddling and foreign donations, no matter who’s doing it.

This is updated mischief for the 21st century, and we need to understand the extent and intent of the mischief before we can arrive at any sort of democratic consensus on what should be done about it (and obviously something like cutting off diplomatic relations with Russia over this would be beyond stupid but as far as I know, no one serious is suggesting that).

Oh yeah and also all the lying.


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