Something really is breaking loose with the Donald Trump nomination. He has so frightened the establishment with his refusal to hire the usual experts and his trashing of the “media elites” and his comments against NATO that the Beltway crowd has gone haywire, striking back by saying that Trump is a tool of the Russians! And not only that but the Russians hacked the Democratic Party emails and gave them to Wikileaks to help Trump.
This has to be seen to be believed. In the last week a whole crowd of neocons and liberal internationalists has made the assertion that Trump is acting in Russia’s interest. Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world “aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests,” Jeffrey Goldberg explained at the Atlantic.
While Franklin Foer at Slate said that Trump is serving Vladimir Putin in Putin’s effort to “weaken” the United States and “destroy the west.”
The Clinton campaign is joining in on the craziness (if it didn’t start it to begin with). On CNN today, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager said that “Russian state actors” were behind the leaks of 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails that so embarrassed the Dems on Friday; and Trump has a hand in it, because he reshaped the Republican Party platform to make it pro-Russian!
Those emails have now resulted in the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the chair of the Democratic National Committee, because they revealed that she was not playing fair with Bernie Sanders.
And Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, is blaming the Russians, per the Washington Post. Trump “made changes to the [Republican] platform” to accommodate Putin.
“There’s evidence Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole those emails, and there are experts saying they are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “I don’t think it’s coincidental these emails were released on the eve of our convention here.”
Mook said the idea that Russia leaked Democrats’ emails to possibly help Trump was “disturbing.”
“We need to be concerned Trump and his allies made changes to the platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene [in Russian disputes]. So I think when you put it all together, it’s a disturbing picture,” he said.
In a statement emailed to The Washington Post, Trump’s campaign called that assertion a “joke.”
It’s no joke at Slate, where Franklin Foer went in this week for a fresh form of redbaiting:
Trump’s inner circle is populated with advisers and operatives who have long careers advancing the interests of the Kremlin.
The echo chamber here on the Russian story includes members-in-good-standing Robert Kagan, David Brooks, Paul Krugman, Josh Marshall. It sure looks like someone has been circulating talking points about Trump as Putin’s trojan horse; and that it would be worth it to have a new cold war with Russia– and Iran– if we can only get Hillary Clinton elected.
Foer says Putin wants to “destroy” the west, using Donald Trump. Look at this chain of airtight logic:
In the end, we only have circumstantial evidence about the Russian efforts to shape this election—a series of disparate data points and a history of past interference in similar contests. But the pattern is troubling, and so is the premise. If Putin wanted to concoct the ideal candidate to serve his purposes, his laboratory creation would look like Donald Trump. The Republican nominee wants to shatter our military alliances in Europe; he cheers the destruction of the European Union; he favors ratcheting down tensions with Russia over Ukraine and Syria, both as a matter of foreign policy and in service of his own pecuniary interests. A Trump presidency would weaken Putin’s greatest geo-strategic competitor. By stoking racial hatred, Trump will shred the fabric of American society.
Notice the Syria reference. This laboratory geopolitics makes Putin and Iran the main stirrers-up of trouble in the world, thereby meshing with the claim put out by Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran is the chief fount of terrorism in the world, which has in turn been promoted by Hillary Clinton’s braintrust and the anti-Iran deep state inside the Obama administration.
Clinton has played these cards directly, in an ad saying that she has “taken on Putin.”
That ad shows Clinton on a stage with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM. That rightwing strongman reached into our politics last year and tried to undermine the greatest global diplomatic achievement of the post-Iraq era, the Iran deal. And his militantly racist policies are doing more to destroy America’s reputation than even Donald Trump on a bad day. He seems a lot worse than Vladimir Putin. As for the Clinton charge that the Republicans changed their platform to accommodate Putin, that’s projection: the Clinton team made changes in the Democratic platform to accommodate Netanyahu’s interests, as expressed by the Israel lobby.
When is someone going to talk about Netanyahu’s influence? The day after never. Maybe that’s the point of this Russian affair.
Thanks to Ofer Neiman.