On Russia: Take a breath America

July 16, 2017

My relationship with American politics started in the summer of ’73 and the Watergate hearings.  Needless to say I’ve seen more scandals and shenanigans than I can count.

But none of them compare to the outright hysteria I’ve witnessed these past few months regarding the “Russian hacking” of our 2016 election.

And so it is that when the most recent installment of the Russia-gate soap opera revealed that Donald Trump Jr. stupidly took a meeting with a Russian lawyer at the behest of a 3rd rate music producer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton I am not in the least surprised at the national freak-out that has followed.

Hillary Clinton running mate Senator Tim Kaine (D, VA) and several others have already hopped on the treason train and opened it up full throttle.

Maine State Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland went on a vile Facebook rant against President Trump with lines like: “Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that p*ssy,”.

And on, and on it goes.  Oh the humanity of this most devastating assault on our democracy!

Though cooler (and smarter) heads are trying to bring reason to the insanity, their voices are falling on nothing but deaf ears of a national political media and Democrat party hell bent on either removing Donald Trump from office or damaging him so badly that the policies he was elected to carry out never get implemented.

Former Harvard Law Professor and noted liberal Alan Dershowitz  reminds the mob in a July 11 opinion piece that “merely seeking to obtain the work product of a prior hack would be no more criminal than a newspaper publishing the work product of thefts such as the Pentagon Papers and the material stolen by Snowden and Manning.”

George Washington University Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley told Martha McCallum, host of FoxNews ‘The Story’ Monday evening that: “It is like we have this giant Rorschach test and people see whatever they want to. The criminal code has defined elements to it. You just don’t find these ambiguous crimes. Some people have said this could be treason. For the love of God, treason is defined in the Constitution. This is not treason.”

Mr. Turley followed up the next day with a piece for The Hill noting: “It is common for foreign governments to withhold or take actions to influence elections in other countries. Information is often shared through various channels during elections from lobbyists, non-government organizations, and government officials. This includes former Clinton aide Alexandra Chalupa, who allegedly worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists to come up with dirt on Trump and Manafort.”

Before things get even more out of control I suggest everyone take a long, deep breath and calm down before we have a national stroke.  Here’s what we DO know so far:

  1. The FBI has no direct evidence the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee servers because the DNC denied them access. We have only the word of a 3rd party.
  1. Yes, lil Johnny Podesta fell for a phishing scam and got his emails dumped out all over the internet but that’s hardly a reason to go to DEFCON 1.
  1. After 1 and 2, we have: “the Russian’s spread “fake news” across social media”. Well whoopty, dippity, do. Russians spreading propaganda, imagine that!
  1. And that whole “17 intelligence agencies” agree claim? See New York Times and Associated Press corrections June 29 and 30 respectively.

The U.S. has been “meddling” in other countries elections and politics since the end of WWII. During the Obama years, not even our own allies (Israel and England) were spared our meddling.

Yes, Russian meddling needs to be investigated and a full public accounting given.  Hence special counsel Robert Mueller is working on just that.

How many of those same politicians and media bobble heads shouting “PUTIN, PUTIN” are carrying around I-phones made in the very same China that in 2015 stole fingerprint and background check files on millions of Americans from the Office of Personnel Management?

Now THAT was an attack on our sovereignty.

The truth will come out, it always does (Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi, Iran Deal excepted) so let the process play out and for now get back to infrastructure, jobs, tax reform, healthcare and border security.

You know, the stuff that used to matter.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the July 16, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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