Donald Trump is without a doubt The Master of Distraction. His latest head-fake, “made you look” move is his stripping security clearances from commentators on his enemies list. Before that it was his narrative construction that places blame for his Russian conspiracy crisis in the lap of former President Barack Obama. And as you might expect, the conservative echo-chamber is savoring it and swallowing it down like Stormy Daniels in her pre-media maven days.
The imagery is only slightly more disgusting than the reality that this routine has worked for Trump over and over as he continues to escape accountability for his shameless sucking up to Vladimir Putin. It always comes back to Russia and he goes nuts when anybody hits too close to home.
Here’s the latest money-shot conservatives are savoring: Russia meddling in the elections are not only Barack Obama’s fault, but he wanted them to do it. He wanted them to do it because he thought they were helping Hillary Clinton. Keep in mind that Trump and his conservative acolytes have abandoned reality entirely and now occupy a fact-free zone that the rest of us struggle to understand. Our frustration in dealing with them is almost entirely grounded in our failure to account for that fact at all times. The next time anybody says to you “Why didn’t Obama stop Russia from meddling?” just hit them with these 4 simple and undeniable truths:
#1- Barack Obama was a president, not a sorcerer or a super-hero. There was no magic wand for him to wave or super-power for him to call on that could have just “stopped” the Russian efforts to interfere with our elections cold in their tracks.
People who swallow this argument and then try to share it with others are detached from the political, technological and commercial realities of how our country operates. They certainly don’t know anything about how social media works and how long the process would be to draft, pass and enact a regulatory system that could have counter-acted the hell that broke loose. If it were that damned easy to “stop the Russians” then why in the hell has Trump been in office for almost two years and the meddling is still going on according to every federal investigative agency? Social media was ground zero for the Russian attack and it is an unregulated communication zone. The entire country and that entire industry were just not prepared for this. This issue is NOT about President Obama’s failings, it is about America as a whole just getting beat to the punch. Anybody who has ever actually been in a fight will tell you that is going to happen sometimes.
#2- Barack Obama hit Russia back where he knew it would hurt, imposing disruptive and costly sanctions on Putin and his inner-circle. His point was to punish Russia and deter them from repeating their treachery by expelling Russia’s diplomatic corp from the magnificent accommodations they have enjoyed in the U.S. for decades. Tell the nimrod that asks you “why didn’t Obama stop them” to explain why Team Trump decided to cancel the penalties and punishments Russia was facing as soon as they got into the White House. No disrespect to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation but there’s your smoking gun right there for the whole world to see.
#3- “Obama said himself that our elections couldn’t be rigged!” has been a popular refrain in some of Trump’s most hysterical Twitter-tantrums. The problem with that rationale is that on COUNTLESS occasions over the course of the entire campaign Trump crowed and complained that the election system was “rigged” when he assumed like everybody else that he was going to get his fat ass plundered by Hillary Clinton on election day and he needed a good excuse to help him save face. So was he full of shit THEN or is he full of shit NOW? Actually if you look at his bloated gut and ever-expanding waistline it is pretty clear that the answer is both. But more important than dissecting his deranged ranting is addressing the simple reality of the office of president. This is evidently impossible for a loudmouthed dunce like Donald Trump to understand but sometimes a president simply cannot speak on an issue.
His words carry too much weight for him to speak recklessly and that is never more true than when he is talking about the integrity of our political infrastructure. For folks who get their news from Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, read this slowly and read it twice: A sitting president cannot allow himself to be seen as undermining the legitimacy of an election without hard proof that an election has been compromised. There is NOTHING more destabilizing to a democracy than that. What went on with Russia was apparently INFLUENCE, not RIGGING. That is a huge distinction that thinking people need to make. We don’t have evidence of Russians getting their hands on our voting machines yet but when we do, that will be a different conversation. Which leads us to the final point.
#4 Trump is aggressively pushing the idea that “Intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian meddling had no impact on the outcome of the election.” He even has Mike “lying sack of shit” Pense and resident Meat-Head Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeating this one for him at every turn. This is no time to be delicate folks- that is a fucking lie. It’s a lie he figures he can just make true by force of his desire- like Tweeting ‘NO COLLUSION’ over and over or announcing from a debate stage that he has a bid dick.
Intelligence agencies have concluded no such thing- and they never will. It is simply impossible to generate a concrete conclusion on the exact impact of the Russian conspiracy to mainline propaganda into America’s veins during the last election. We now have proof that they infiltrated our public square pretending to be Americans engaging in political discourse and that they directly interfaced with tens of millions of people that may or may not have voted. That is more than enough to qualify as a red-alert emergency. It is certainly enough to warrant a reaction from the president beyond attacking and smearing American institutions for what the Russians did. Which brings us to the finish:
Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. Putin molested our election and he was rewarded with cancellation of painful and costly sanctions. So he’ll be back for more. The only question is will he find proud Americans standing ready to kick his little ass back across the ocean or will he find a nation of Stormy Daniels’ waiting to guzzle down whatever he serves up? One way or the other we’ll know in November.