I plan to work up another version of this piece to serve as my op/ed message, delivered through the newspapers in this coming week, to the Trump-supporters in my 2:1 Republican Congressional District, VA-06).
That piece, which I’ll share when it’s written and polished, will be my contribution to what I call for below: namely to use this opportune moment to call attention to what is clearly a betrayal of the nation by our current President.
The main headline on the New York Times‘ webpage yesterday, the day after federal indictments painted a very rich picture of one piece of the Russian assault on our election process:
“Trump’s Silence Leaves Struggle Against Russia Without Leader”
Which shows why this is an opportune moment to raise in public consciousness the question: What’s With Trump and Russia?
What does it mean that Trump deals with Russia in these strange ways? Why does he continually fail to oppose Putin.
(Or even to criticize Putin, who is never the target of Trump’s usual barbs and ridicule and put-downs? Our best allies have not been nearly so well treated.)
Why is Trump not acting like a commander-in-chief while we’re under attack from Putin’s Russia? Is there some connection between this serious abdication of his responsibility as President, and the fact that Trump’s being elected President is something Putin’s gang worked hard to achieve?
Trump is habitually bellicose. So why is it that when Congress hands him not just the tools — but the legal requirement to use them — to hit back at Russia, he conspicuously fails to do so?
(By an overwhelming majority –99%0 — almost all the members of Congress passed a law requiring the imposition of additional sanctions on Russia. That supermajority wanted the United States to strike back at those who have been (and are still) attacking us? Why doesn’t the famously vindictive Trump have the same desire?)
Trump has instead protected Putin, even to the point that this President has failed to fulfill his responsibility to see that the laws are faithfully executed — including that sanctions law — and instead has spared the Russian regime the pain that virtually the whole of Congress wanted to inflict.
The “Struggle Against Russia” should not be without a leader. And as the Times’ headline suggests, Trump has abdicated his presidential responsibility as commander-in-chief.
A vital part of the job description of the American presidency is that when the nation needs to defend itself, the President, as commander-in-chief, leads the way. Throughout history, the United States has looked to the President to lead us in relation to the hostile power who has committed a hostile act against us.
Trump is usually spoiling for a fight. So why, even as Putin’s gangster regime continues to attack us — does our supposed defender stand aside from this fight when our constitutional order needs defending?
Does Putin have some kind of hold on Trump? Did Trump and Putin make some sort of a deal?
The picture looks just as damning when looked at from the Russian side.
These indictments help underscore how this hostile power — Putin’s Russia — felt it was strongly in their interest to help Donald Trump become President of the United States. But why were they so interested in helping Trump?
It’s no longer possible to believe that it was just anti-Hillary, though we knowthat Putin hates her. We now know (from the indictments) that they picked Trump as their earlier on– early enough that they favored him over his Republican rivals, early enough that they used their propaganda tools against his main rivals for the nomination, Rubio and Cruz.
Well before the general election, Putin’s gang wanted Trump to be President.
Doesn’t this look like a version of the Manchurian Candidate—the film that focuses on the danger that an agent of a hostile power might become President of the United States.
(In other words, “Puppet, just as Hillary suggested in that famous exchange at the debates. Someone who will move according to strings pulled by a puppet-master hostile to the United States.)
One important moral difference between the foreign agent in the movie, and the one we seem to have in the White House now.
In the film, the “foreign agent” is pitiable rather than evil. He was brainwashed by the Red Chinese. By contrast, there’s no reason for pity with Trump. He’s not under the control of some brainwashers, but apparently is so morally bankrupt that he simply chose to sell his country out– presumably out of ambition and other ego desires and/or to protect himself against whatever injury Russian blackmail may be threatening.)
Another major difference is that while American was ultimately saved from the unmaking of America that the brainwashed foreign agent, in this real-world scenario, this time that agent actually has ascended to power.
Not that Trump likely is entirely Putin’s “Puppet,” in Hillary’s famous phrase in one of their debates. I’m sure that in most ways, Trump is not looking for direction from Putin. But it does seem that there are boundaries where Trump stays away from, and they are boundaries where Putin would have drawn them.
(But even where Trump is his own man, he’s performing marvelously to advance Putin’s ends. I doubt that even in his wildest dreams, Putin ever envisioned his efforts to pull America down a few pegs would succeed so dramatically as all the destruction that Trump is wreaking upon American politics, American society, American global leadership, American social cohesion, the American constitutional order, American morality and morale.)
Trump is acting like Putin’s man.
And this picture of Trump protecting Putin from America, rather than America from Putin’s attack, should be made as visible as possible to as many Americans as possible. Because that’s not what people want in a President.
(“America First.” Yeah, right)!
I would like the voices that have America’s ear use this moment — the opportunity created by that impressive indictment of the Russians, released yesterday — to use this picture to rouse Americans against this President who, James Risen has just suggested, is looking like a traitor.
What other interpretation is consistent with what’s visible right before our eyes?