At the outset of the Trump/Putin press conference it occurred to me that Trump might be trying to do something clever – like Jiu Jitsu – with Putin to embrace him in such a way as to co-opt his stopping election interference.
But the deeper Trump got into the maneuver, it quickly became clear that, whatever his initial goal, he was either in way over his head or Putin already had his head in a deadly vice of fear.
Putin dodged a simple yes or no answer to the question ‘Do you have incriminating information on Trump?’ by saying that he did not even know Trump was in town, as he was only one of an anonymous 500 rich businessmen who were of no interest to Russia. Even Hilary said “Now we know!”
So what was going on?
No one — simple minded or a genius — would dispute that the USA and the world would be better off if the US and Russia could be on better terms, all other things aside. If that had been in fact Trump’s sole strategic goal for the meeting, perhaps he might have gotten away with it.
But it became crystal clear that Trump was aiming at something more. He was trying to sweep everything else with Russia—Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc.—into the calculus to bury ‘the witch hunt’ of Russian collusion in such a way that his personal exposure to the Mueller investigation might be ended and go away and leave him free of doubts of the legitimacy of his election, with which he still seems obsessed.
So what are we left with?
We are left with a President metaphorically having hung himself, but, typically for him, he failed to tie all the right knots in the right way to make it a swift and painless death when the trap door opened. Now he is still breathing and we all are twisting with him in a breeze of uncertainty, surrounding his treasonous action of blaming our intelligence community, and the USA at large, for the Russian interference in our 2016 Presidential elections.
In a perfect world we ought to be able to hold a new Presidential election.
Our only practical options today are to go forward with our limited Constitutional process and elections.
If Trump were not crazy, he might be shrewd enough to negotiate a clean future and resign.
Perhaps the Nixon model of the Republican leadership telling him ‘it’s our way, or you are on the highway naked and alone’ should work. It ought to be the most promising approach, except for McConnell’s “party before country” stubbornness.
Meanwhile, all important long-term matters including Supreme Court appointments should be suspended until after this year’s and the 2020 election?
Yes, it is a bloody mess with Trump’s blood splashing on us all.
The time has come to minimize long term damage, and hopefully learn from our mistakes.
I will be more than pleased to hear your thoughts and compile them – without any attribution – in a future blog?