Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Russia's Bitch

It's just a thought, an out-of-the-box thought or, as the less generous would put it, eccentric and even a little bizarre. It is prompted by Bill Scher's argument that

By not alleging any illegal collusion, Mueller has liberated Democrats from chasing the impeachment unicorn, which was always a political loser and a substantive dead end. If the Democratic House ever impeached, the Republican Senate was never going to convict, and may not have even held a trial. Impeachment had appeal only to the Democratic base, while doing little for the voters in swing areas who just delivered Democrats the House majority and hold the key to retaking the White House.

Again and again, during the decades since Watergate, opposition parties have tried and failed to exploit scandals for electoral gain....

In all of those cases, regardless of the severity and accuracy of the charges, voters proved less interested in presidential scandals than presidential job performance, especially on the economy. Conversely, when the opposing party parades its investigative zeal, it can look more interested in scoring political points than governing....

Today, Trump barely has a legislative agenda. In turn, Democrats have the opportunity to further the narrative that Trump is a threat to sustainable economic growth, middle-class prosperity and global stability.

It's not an either-or choice, though, especially given that President Trump presents a threat to global stability precisely because of his ties to Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Democrats obviously must emphasize important issues such as health care, immigration, the hollowing-out of the economy, and potential cuts to earned benefits. However, they can address "Russiagate" in the context of a failed presidency.

The President’s campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, top national security advisor, personal lawyer and fixer, and even the “coffee boy”, all convicted of felonies. Roger Stone arrested and indicted. And @PressSec calls that vindication?
Is she high, or does she just lie?

Imagine that prior to the 2016 election we had been told that six individuals associated with the candidate- whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton- elected President would be convicted of felonies (as Stone probably will be). We would conclude that the President is either a really corrupt person or an incompetent leader.

If neither President Trump nor his campaign colluded with the Kremlin- as Attorney General Barr suggests Mueller has found- there nonetheless was a profound, ultimately successful, effort by the Kremlin to turn an American election. It was done, in the unlikely effort we are not being snookered, without the Trump campaign and the candidate sufficiently able and strong to resist it.

That is the hallmark of a president who, because his dishonesty and outrageous tweets have distracted us, has been a very weak President. 

He finds it difficult to fire people, Rex Tillerson, HR McMaster, John Kelly, and Jeff Sessions being among those who left the Administration well after their expiration date. James Comey was fired while visiting an FBI field office, and without hearing from the President himself. Trump further

has revealed a weakness that is unprecedented in recent history. The president of the United States is now repeatedly ignored and rebuffed by his own staff, party, and the rest of the federal government. Trump declared the U.S. was leaving Syria, and now hundreds of troops are staying. When he demanded his fellow Republicans prioritize the border wall, they instead pursued tax cuts and health care repeal. Trump can’t even get the military to hold the authoritarian-style parade he’s long demanded.

"Being Saudi Arabia's bitch," Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has pointed out, "is not America First.'"

Still, there persists the image of Trump the Winner and Trump the Man of Strength.  Reminding the electorate that indictments and convictions proceeded because of a foreign conspiracy that took place right underneath Donald Trump's notice might go a long way toward shattering the facade.

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