Some Thoughts on Trump/Russia

I was kind of out of the loop – MSM-wise – for the past week, but from checking social media, I guess the Trump/Russia thing is still, well, a thing. This is what is fascinating me about it – “the latest revelations have now caused some Conservatives to doubt Trump’s innocence”, appears to be a line of thought out there. This, to me, is the height of absurdity. Remember, the basic premise of Trump/Russia is “Trump colluded with the Russians to change the 2016 result”. To be sure, getting a Progressive of Never Trump “Conservative” to admit this is well nigh impossible, but that is where it comes from: the stark belief that Trump couldn’t possibly win, and so the explanation for the result must be found in some nefarious plot.

As I’ve said in the past, no matter how good or complex your equation is, if it is based upon 1+1=3, then everything that comes after that will be wrong. Right now, with the meeting between DTJ, Jr and a Russian, the conspiracy theory is taking a step back from things immediately surrounding the election and saying, “aha! Here’s where the collusion started! Don’t you see, now, you Tumpster morons!”. But that is just to try to say that we start with 1+1=2, then go on to 2+1=4 and, presto! Impeachment for Treason! I think what happens is that too many people feel they must obsessively follow – and comment upon – the daily MSM Narrative. This leads people, who engage in this pointless exercise, to somehow come around to the idea that something true (in this case, a definite meeting between DJT, Jr and Russians) can retroactively verify a falsehood. Sorry, guys, but a lie remains a lie no matter how many true things you try to place around it to lend the lie credibility. It is, in fact, a rather old trick of the propagandist to surround his lie with true things – makes it hard to attack the lie and allows the liar to defend those things which are true.

The bottom line is that Trump won the election fair and square – he was the better candidate, the smarter man, the more energetic campaigner, the guy who spoke better to the hopes and fears of the people; he was, in short, everything Hillary was not…and no amount of you wanting it to be Hillary as the better person will change reality. Secondly – and crucially in this idiot-fest of a Trump/Russia issue – PUTIN HAS RECEIVED NO BENEFIT FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP. If Putin hacked and rigged the election to change the result from Hillary to Trump, what did he get for it? First-rate anti-missile technology to Poland. Increased oil and natural gas exploitation in the USA. A vigorous commitment by President Trump to stand by NATO. A willingness – at least on paper – of our European allies to increase defense spending. The US standing firm in Syria and undercutting the Russian position there. Increased US hostility towards Iran’s ambitions. A promised US Naval and military build up. Each and every one of these things works against Russian ambitions. If Hillary had been elected President, does anyone want to argue that any of them would have been done? If Putin bought Trump, then I’d hate to see what an opponent of Putin works out to…

So, no, the revelation that DJT, Jr met a Russian doesn’t impress me – except in the amateurishness of it all. A seasoned political operation would have sent a low-level functionary to the first meeting. But, on the other hand, the very fact of this political amateurishness is part of the appeal of Donald Trump. He doesn’t think or operate like our politicians – who are always about covering themselves and retaining plausible deniability. In the end, I think all of this is backfiring on Trump’s critics. I’ve yet to meet a single person in real life who is remotely interested in this Russian thing. There would have to be some proof – and there will be no proof because there was no way for Putin to alter the election result in Trump’s favor, even if Trump and Putin wanted it to happen. We’re talking about an objective impossibility which is being used by Trump’s opponents in an attempt to bring him down. It won’t work.

Legal Insurrection has some good observations about this, as well.

24 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Trump/Russia

  1. Amazona July 18, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Yet we have no voice out there loudly repeating, over and over (because this is what is necessary to penetrate the average American brain) that even if dirt on Hillary HAD been revealed, it was true dirt.

    We just keep missing the chance, handed to us over and over again by shrieking Leftists, that IF any information was revealed by anyone even remotely connected to Russia, it was true and accurate information about a candidate’s criminal actions and actions taken which were not in the best interest of the United States.

    I would love to hear some conservative on some talk show look the Hysteric Of The Day in the eye and say “So you are upset because you believe that Russia acted to protect the United States?” Hey, if the other nation had proof that a person who might be elected as president had a sordid history of acting against the best interests of her own country, essentially selling it out to line her own pockets, wasn’t that other nation doing the United States a favor by making this information public?

    You know how the Right “fights back”? We wait till the Left comes at us and then feebly deny their accusations. We lack either the will or the ability to push them proactively and make them be the side constantly on defense.

    • Cluster July 18, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      You know how the Right “fights back”?

      Yes I do. Kind of like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, etc. We have some real champions in our corner.

      • Amazona July 18, 2017 / 11:28 pm

        I’m talking about fighting back in the media, about countering the lies told by the Left, about going on the offense and taking it to the Left instead of just sitting back and playing defense—-and a feeble defense at that—when they hammer us with lie after lie.

        Collins has always been left of center and we have always known that. She couldn’t be anything else and get elected. She at least gives us an R in the tally, allowing us to be the majority party. Expecting her to be a true conservative is foolish. McConnell is strategizing against Trump and I am starting to admire his intelligence as he seems to be very clever and so far pretty successful. Not that I like him or agree with him, I am just starting to think he is smarter than I had given him credit for being. His backstabbing has been both effective and subtle. I am giving Ryan some credit as I think he is trying to navigate treacherous shoals. I think his goals are conservative but he has to try to thread the needle, and I give him credit for that. I also think some of his efforts are mischaracterized.

        But why go after Republicans when we do nothing, and I mean NOTHING to watch their backs as they go to battle in Congress and the back rooms in Washington. We do nothing to fight the fight out in the front lines, in public opinion. Instead of savaging Republicans we don’t agree with, I think we should give them support when they toe the party line, and most of all give them some cover when they are being savaged from outside the party. We don’t do that.

  2. Amazona July 18, 2017 / 11:56 am

    We saw what happened when Putin bought Hillary. At least there he got his money’s worth.

  3. Amazona July 18, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    This is what we need to tell Dems when then explain that the only reason Hillary lost was, not just because Russia interfered, which would be bad enough, but that Trump COLLUDED with Russia. This is the real reason she lost.

  4. Cluster July 18, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Justin Trudeau needs to hand over his man card

    • Amazona July 18, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      Isn’t it kind of like a participation trophy? You know, handed out without having to really qualify?

      • Cluster July 18, 2017 / 6:35 pm

        You are right. Anymore it is just a formality.

        Here is Jeremy Peters with the NYT:

        “It’s stunning. It’s this head-spinning role reversal from the party that was tough on communists and tough on the Soviet Union. I mean, this used to be a prerequisite for being a Republican, being tough on them, but now they are basically apologists for Putin and what’s I think really undergirding this, Chris, is its wrapped up in anti-Obamaism.”

        “He was more of a man than Obama was. He was more of a leader. He was decisive. He seized countries. He rode a horse shirtless and he went tiger hunting in the Russian wilderness. So for them, he kind of took on this Paul Bunyan type quality,”

        That’s the level of thinking amongst those on the left. Why we even give them the time of day is beyond me.

      • Amazona July 18, 2017 / 8:45 pm

        Jeremy makes a couple of points—-Putin was more of a man than Obama was. He was more of a leader. He was decisive. He seized countries. He rode a horse shirtless and he went tiger hunting in the Russian wilderness. But as Mark said, “It is, in fact, a rather old trick of the propagandist to surround his lie with true things – makes it hard to attack the lie and allows the liar to defend those things which are true.”

        The lies are in the tangled, incoherent mess of the rest of the quote. OK, I get it that even Obama loyalists understand that compared to Putin Barry was a wimp, riding his little bicycle with his bobble-head helmet and elastic-waist Mom jeans, prostrating himself to tyrants and apologizing for pretty much everything. I am glad that at least some Dems get this. But Putin as Paul Bunyan? Really?

        And he is announcing breaking news, that Republicans are anti-Obama? Where has he BEEN for the past ten years? So here we have a couple of other things that are true.

        But after years of the Left snarling about the Right not liking Russia, or communists, and holding this against us, now they are sniveling that we are not hard enough on those pesky Russkies. And to claim this means to completely ignore the tough stands Trump has taken against Russia and Barry’s whispering that he wanted Vlad assured that once the election is over he, Barry, could be more flexible, as well as Hillary’s subservient tittering effort to assure the Russians that life with President Obama would be a real “reset” from that of the mean old Republicans.

        Yes, Jeremy, Republicans are anti-Obama. Always have been, always will be. Duh. But that does not translate into being “apologists” for Putin. I have to wonder in what way this administration has apologized for Putin. Or for anything. I thought that was one of the things the Left hates about Trump—he never apologizes—and one of the things they loved about Obama, as he groveled and apologized for pretty much everything, including the fact that the United States even exists. And he certainly did apologize for Islamic terrorists, as he gave us that Mad Daddy scowl and scolded us for calling them terrorists and associating them with Islam.

        I find myself wondering if drivel like this resonates with ANYONE. It’s hard to imagine anyone who can find these odd snippets of half-thoughts compelling, much less that they make any sense at all.

      • Cluster July 19, 2017 / 9:34 am

        It’s hard to imagine anyone who can find these odd snippets of half-thoughts compelling, much less that they make any sense at all.

        Drivel like this is found every day on MSNBC and their ratings have gone up so someone is listening. Also, Peters is from the NYT!!! The Grey Lady. All the news fit to print. The standard.So he does have a lot of credibility amongst the left base, but good God that line of logic id mind numbing.

        Our problems are much deeper than just R vs D.

      • Amazona July 19, 2017 / 3:33 pm

        Our problems are much deeper than just R vs D…….which is why I constantly harp on the need for our leaders, both political and media, to insist on getting away from Identity Politics and start nudging the populace toward thinking of problems and solutions that are not tied to parties. Every now and then I see a little flutter in that direction, a comment or two, and then it goes back to business as usual.

        Now that so many are disgusted with the Dem party, and acknowledge that their dislike of Trump is far more aligned with dislike of him as a person and not for his policies or decisions, this is a perfect time to start beating that drum–stop focusing on personalities and focus on actual problems and actual solutions. Don’t let personal dislike shut off ideas that happen to come from a party you have defined in your mind in negative terms, or from people you happen to find unattractive for any of several reasons.

        Start pushing conservatism as the arena of ideas, not personalities.

        If this were to become a national meme, pushed hard by every single conservative voice both in politics and in the media, I think it would put subtle pressure on many Dems, both in politics and in the general citizenry, to be a little ashamed to be publicly associated with Identity Politics, with this whole stupid “resistance” movement which after all offers nothing positive at all and certainly no solutions, and choose to align themselves with the Idea Movement. It would do the same for recalcitrant anti-Trumpists, who have laid out their opposition and now can’t back off from it even though it is increasingly stupid and unproductive and damaging to the entire conservative movement.

        You learn a lot when you work with animals, both wild critters and big domesticated animals which quickly revert to wired-in survival techniques when pushed too hard. One thing you learn is that you never push a group, whether it is cows or horses or wild animals, into a corner where there is no way out—-because then the only way out is over you, and that seldom ends well. The same thing is true of people, though they will often just hunker down and reinforce the beliefs you are challenging by pushing them up against walls. No, the way you handle animals is to provide a path out of the situation—you just choose the path and make sure it meets your goals.

        We come screaming at Liberals, most of whom are well meaning if lazy in their pursuit of facts, and batter them with information. We push them up against walls of what we call reason and then wonder why they simply ignore that reason and retreat into a fortress mentality. What we need to do is provide an escape route, a pathway out of that embedded belief system that just gets reinforced when we challenge it. I think that pathway would be to offer a non-denominational concept of problem solving. I think the time is perfect to try something like this, given the dissatisfaction of so many in both parties with their status quos. Dems are working very hard to drive away reasonable people, but the only alternative we give them is to abandon what they have found as their comfort level for a long time and leap into what they think of as the enemy camp.

        That won’t work.

        With so many looking for an alternative to their own parties, we could come up with a concept that says, in effect, “Stay with your party, but step away from Identity Politics and work on actual problem solving—but be aware that some of the solutions might conflict with established party positions.” A lot of people couldn’t handle that conflict, but I think a lot of people would be fine with that. As a conservative because of objective analysis and not because of emotional attachment to specific people, I happen to think that most of the solutions would lean heavily toward the conservative mindset, which would end up making some people evaluate, at election time, if they are going to go with Identity Politics or the ideas they have come to accept.

        But then this would require a coherent plan, with both short-term and long-term aspects, and a few appealing public voices outside of Fox and Rush, to get the message out. We are too busy savaging each other to actually come up with anything like that.

      • Amazona July 19, 2017 / 3:59 pm

        I understand that the real media push toward what is so laughably called “Reality TV” is the lower production costs. While they are scripted shows, they don’t really call for a team of talented scriptwriters, and the on-air “talent” is not as expensive as actual actors would be.

        So if this style of TV show is pretty inexpensive to produce and air, I don’t understand why a conservative consortium doesn’t put together a weekly show, just a half hour long, that covers a different topic every week. I would call it “Reality Check”. An hour would be better, but we need to remember the attention span of the average American viewer. But in the vein of “48 Hours” and “20-20” and so on, we could put together some entertaining shows, many taken right out the History Channel and put on a prime time networks.

        Conservatives are fed up with donating to the GOP, which seems to do nothing with the money, at least nothing to further the conservative cause. I know I would pledge a monthly amount to help support a show like this, a show that would actually accomplish something.

        Would it be “controversial” You damned right it would be—if it were done right. Imagine a show, an hour long or a four week series of half hours, dedicated to an objective view of slavery, from historical accounts of slavery throughout the centuries to the reality of slavery in the United States, and the fact that while it existed it also generated vast amounts of moral outrage and had little popular support. There would be screeching, gnashing of Liberal teeth, probably death threats, threats of boycotts, etc. But it would rip off the lies attached to American slavery, and it would promote discussion and dialogue.

        I can think of a lot of topics that could and should be covered. Linked with the slavery show(s) would be the positions of the Founders on slavery. I’d do shows on women in the workplace and how much they make compared to men and why sometimes they make less and the industries where they are most equal and make the most—–the fact that this would include the petroleum industry would make some Lib heads explode. A show on the reality of the Swedish experiment as a welfare state (not a socialist state, as it has been described by socialist apologists but a capitalist welfare state) including the impact on the entire Swedish identity and culture of its admission of so many immigrants who have no intention of assimilating. The thinking behind the use of the atomic bombs on Japan. The destruction of religious and cultural artifacts by Islamists when they take over a country and fears that the world could conceivably lose religious and cultural works in the rest of the world if radical Islam were to prevail—-that could include everything in the Louvre, the art at the Vatican, historic churches and cathedrals containing priceless works of art and history, and so on. The reality of Sharia law. The underlying philosophies that created our nation and its Constitution. Explanation of the Electoral College. States’ rights vs federal control. A week given to each of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, or at least coverage of them and why they were considered so important. A week describing the debate on the real meaning of the 14th Amendment. The real story of the fight for and passage of the Equal Right Amendment. An explanation of states’ rights and the Civil War, and a discussion of the decision of Lincoln to override the 10th Amendment regarding the Emancipation Proclamation because of the moral outrage of so much of the nation and his personal feelings about slavery.

        But this would all require things the Right simply does not have. It would require commitment, coherence, backbone, willingness to stir thing up and take the heat. It would require courage. It would require financial support from conservatives and it would need corporate sponsors willing to be attacked, boycotted etc. (As far as that goes, we have seen what happens with some Lib boycotts, such as the surge of business for Chick-Fil-A.) At the end of each show I would spend five minutes or so covering the riots and other violent and/or hysterical reactions to the previous show, so people could see in real time what happens when the Left is faced with an opposing set of facts.

      • Cluster July 20, 2017 / 8:16 am

        From your lips to God’s ears.I couldn’t agree with you more but am not very optimistic that the sensible and rational vision you laid out will ever materialize. That would require an entirely new cast of elected officials who put results above pandering.

      • Amazona July 20, 2017 / 9:13 am

        Actually, Cluster, I am talking about citizens doing this, not politicians. I am talking about a true grass-roots movement in which a wealthy citizen, or a group of wealthy citizens, puts together a show like this and either gets enough advertising to pay for it or gets it funded by people like you and me. It would, admittedly, be hard to attract advertisers, at least at first, as any company advertising would be targeted, ranging from boycotts to violence, but it would be fine to simply have 30-second segments at the beginning and end and in the middle explaining that the show is not using advertisers because of the dangers to them from radicals who believe in suppressing free speech and information they don’t like, asking for donations (like PBS does every ten minutes). There would be no need to actually make a profit, if the right people were behind it, just enough revenue to pay expenses.

        Of course no politician is going to be behind something like this. Not to jab at you too hard, but even you fell into the trap of assuming that government would have to do something like this. That would require an entirely new cast of elected officials who put results above pandering. No, my idea is to leave government out of it.

      • Cluster July 20, 2017 / 10:07 am

        Understand, and it does start with the citizenry, but those citizens still need to vote for people like Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, etc. who stick to their principles and promises and actually represent their constituents. Rather than people like McCain, Pelosi, etc., who are simply there for the power, prestige and the next invite to the Hampton’s.

      • Amazona July 20, 2017 / 10:52 am

        I think we’re talking about two different things here. I am talking about the entertainment world and you are talking about government. I am talking about a small group getting together to put together an accurate information-spreading entertainment show, not millions of people voting to get an agenda advanced. I’m not talking about anything STARTING with citizens, I’m talking about the whole process of buying air time, hiring writers and researchers and so on, being completely separate from government from beginning to end.

        Having said that, I think it a pretty sure thing that if you are going to put up a few million bucks and get some of your billionaire friends to do the same thing to put on something like this, you are probably going to vote for conservatives as well.

        Would my idea eventually have an impact on voting? Gee, I would hope so. But it would not be part of government on any level.

      • Cluster July 20, 2017 / 11:16 am

        Well God Bless you. Your vision is larger than mine. I just hope that we would start electing politicians who want to serve and represent rather than preen, posture, and hold onto power at all costs. Changing the culture will require a long term, more focused effort of penetrating all levels of education, media, and entertainment, something of which the progressives started doing in the 60’s.

      • Amazona July 20, 2017 / 11:49 am

        Changing the culture will require a long term, more focused effort of penetrating all levels of education, media, and entertainment,..

        I could not agree more. And the Right, while seeing the success of the Left in using these tactics, still hasn’t figured out how to do it themselves.

        We are kind of working on education. Charter schools and home schooling both send messages that the general approach to education is not only not appealing to a lot of families, it also doesn’t work very well. As charter school and home schooled kids continue to excel in tests and higher education more and more families will opt for these choices. I think there will be a shift away from the radical indoctrination of the Leftists in our school systems. At least I hope so. I am so tired of seeing the internet swamped with illiterate posts and articles, and books printed (and highly reviewed) that don’t even contain full sentences, I wonder how a nation can survive, much less prosper, when its citizens can’t even communicate properly. (I saw an ad yesterday for a chair and an autobahn. The photo was of a chair and an ottoman. Spell Wreck at work? Voice to text got it wrong? Or, just as likely, the person posting the ad doesn’t read and doesn’t know the difference between the two words.)

        The smugness of higher education Leftists is getting slapped in the face, as they have pushed it so far people are finally speaking up about the insanity of what they are doing, and the reactions are not favorable. The print and television media try to paint the drop in college applications to the schools most in the news for their riots, protests and general Leftist radicalism as reactions to the asserted “racism” of the schools, but I think it has a lot more to do with parents saying “we ain’t wasting our money on that nonsense” and looking for schools that actually educate.

        Some of the media (and here we touch on that old bugaboo again—“media” is a plural, “medium” is the singular, yet we keep hearing “media IS” as if the word is a singular. I love it when I hear it used properly—“The media ARE ….” But I digress.) are not totally sucked in. The medium of radio is less vulnerable. The medium of TV is kind of a lost cause, though every now and then a show with a slightly different take makes it into a lot of homes. On Blue Bloods the family eats together, stresses family values and is strongly religious, and touchy-feely subjects are debated with opposing opinions expressed. Last Man Standing did well, though maybe too well as it had to go. Movies? Forget about it. When we do have big box office hits, such as the Hunger Games series, that are based on the evils and dangers of totalitarian government, our parents are not using them to illustrate these dangers in the real world. Hopefully a few kids will take the messages to heart, and they will resonate later when they see tyranny rising, but millions of adults are missing the boat here.

        One place where conservative values still have a good toe hold, oddly enough, is Young Adult literature. I have read a lot of it when a friend couldn’t keep up with her daughter’s voracious reading habit and needed to know what kinds of ideas she was exposing herself to. YA has had books like the Divergent series, about government-imposed uniformity and control over what people do with their lives, the Pretty series about the emphasis placed on appearance and the heroes rejecting that, Hunger Games books are about tyranny and the use of Bread and Circuses to distract people from their misery and their oppression. Kids are eating these books up, but I don’t think many adults are using them to illustrate bigger themes.

        I think the easiest access would be through television, as I outlined. It is in every home, people are addicted to it, summer is mostly reruns, and a show could take over a time slot and reach a lot of people. This is an approach that can be accomplished with just a few people doing the actual work, as long as a lot of us out here in the heartland support it.

        Would YOU put your money where your mouth is and pledge a few dollars a week to support a show like this?

  5. Cluster July 20, 2017 / 8:42 am

    Doesn’t it seem a little absurd that in just 4 short years, Russia went from a country that was merely a 1980’s foe and a country of which required “flexibility” in the minds of Democrats, to a country that now of course is an absolute imminent existential threat to our democracy??

    I think Trump is doing an outstanding job on the foreign policy front and has done some constructive things on the domestic side of the ledger but none of these success’s are being covered accurately and Americans should be outraged. The state of our media has never been more abysmal. Every single one of the current progressively educated, know-everything, bobble headed “journalist needs to be replaced.

  6. Cluster July 20, 2017 / 8:56 am

    Well this isn’t good:

    Arizona Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

    Prayers for him and his family but good Lord John, did you really have to seek yet another 6 year Senate term at 80 years old? Rather than let the more vibrant, younger conservative woman who ran against you pick up the reins.

  7. Cluster July 20, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Because more Federal spending always solves problems:

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants Congress to “fix” Obamacare’s insurance exchanges with more federal spending

    • M. Noonan July 21, 2017 / 1:23 am

      He’s a RINO…and we’re finding out, clearly, the 4 to 6 RINOs in the Senate, as well. Let’s face it, most of the GOP wants to go along with and help President Trump…but a small minority simply doesn’t want to. Probably a variety of reasons, but I’ll bet the largest works out to “I only ran on GOP/Conservative issues to sucker the rubes into voting for me”. Trump might end up largely stymied until after 2018…if we can score 4 or 5 more GOP Senators, then the squishes simply won’t matter as McConnell (who is actually doing the best he can – he’s smart enough to know that the GOP lives or dies with Trump at the moment) would nuke the filibuster if necessary to get things done.

      • Amazona July 21, 2017 / 11:02 am

        “McConnell …. is actually doing the best he can”? Huh?

        As far as I can see, he is showing a cleverness I would have never expected from him as he skillfully walks the tightrope, blocking or interfering with conservative issues while posturing as a conservative. He’s really been quite good at it.

        As Erikson points out, it was McConnell who backed GOP Establishment candidates when some of us wanted to replace them. And who is blocking Obamacare repeal now?

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