Wednesday, 18 July 2018
The Compromised President
Trump's tour of Europe has finally come to an end and now the 'carnage' to use a Trumpian word is there for all to see. It is impossible to say at this stage whether Putin's Russia has some kompromat on the orange buffoon. It is impossible to say if he is a sleeper agent risen to a position that even thriller writers wouldn't have dared write about for fear of their plot being dismissed as ridiculous. What we can say is that if he were a spy, an agent or merely someone acting under duress, he could not have been doing Putin and Russia's bidding more thoroughly.
The evidence is pretty clear really that Trump did indeed collude with Russia. He probably did so because for some time now he has been close to some Russians thanks to being in receipt of their dodgy money. Putin never met Trump prior to his becoming president, probably because he didn't think him worth his while meeting. Putin likely has as low an opinion of the grinning halfwit as the rest of us. Then they watched as the rest of us watched as Trump ploughed his way through the Republican field and somehow, implausibly, became that party's nominee. Suddenly they found that their man, the man they have financial ties with and possibly a greater hold over, had a chance of becoming the President of the United States. It was not thought to be a great chance but they resolved to help in any way they could. Trump being Trump he likely accepted their help with gratitude. This almost certainly happened, which is why he is so desperate to impugn the inquiry into their dealings. This is not to say that Russia won it for Trump. But that does not mean that the collusion with a hostile foreign power did not take place and Trump knows it. Indeed his behaviour vis a vis the inquiry proves that he did know. An innocent man would not behave as Trump is doing. An innocent man would not have so many links with Russian entities that crop up constantly the more this matter is investigated.
We have all watched as Trump has constantly appeased and otherwise indulged Putin, looking the other way at his excesses, grudgingly sanctioning Russia when forced to do so. We have all seen this and wondered. The suspicion was given greater potency when Trump announced, out of the blue, that he wanted a summit with Putin. Nobody knew why. It was totally unexpected, not least by Russia. But it was hastily arranged and Trump got what he had long desired. It was just that nobody understood the reason.
And this is because there was no reason for this meeting. Trump just wanted a one-on-one with his man crush. Nothing was accomplished. This was just two men meeting in a foreign capital that just happens to be very convenient for the Russian leader and having a chat without anyone else in the room but the necessary interpreters. Then they had that press conference. It was the anti Love Actually moment. This was a press conference in which both leaders agreed that one country is terrible and the ostensibly more powerful party genuflected to his junior.
Yes we all saw that. It really happened. Trump went to Helsinki for a meeting that achieved nothing and then apologised to the murderous dictator for America's recent behaviour. Oh and believed the word of the dictator and renowned liar over that of his own intelligence agencies despite the fact that just last week a dozen Russians were indicted over the interference that Russia continues to deny, much as they deny shooting down an airliner, poisoning people in Britain, conducting cyber attacks around the world.
The only excuse I can think of for Trump is that he is still stuck in a cold war mindset and wants to be seen as a 21st century Reagan meeting with Gorbachev. But it is not much of an excuse. Reagan was tough with Russia and they blinked. Trump has not so much blinked as closed his eyes and bent over. The tough guy is a pussy.
And what he also doesn't seem to be able to comprehend, possibly because he never reads the documents he is sent to enable him to prepare for these summits - he was given 100 pages of advice and briefing by aides, advice he ignored according to those in the know - is that Russia is a poor and backward country with delusions of grandeur. It also has a massive chip on its shoulder, something Trump ought to understand and empathise with. Yes it has an awful lot nuclear weapons but it is an economic minnow, with an economy the size of Spain's, or of the state of Texas, endemic corruption, little in the way of industry and a diminishing population. This was the case of course even when it was a supposed superpower. It is no longer a superpower and yet is desperate to be given the respect it feels it deserves. Now Trump has given Putin that respect and elevated him way above his station as an international pariah.
Such was the fury and disgust that Trump's embarrassing grovel to Putin provoked at home, even on network's usually favourable to him, that Trump latterly tried to backtrack yesterday. It was all very half-hearted though as he tried to claim that he simply misspoke. Even then this didn't make sense since it was not the only occasion that he sided with Russia and Putin against his own country and intelligence agencies. And he has been saying much the same things for months. Did he misspeak every time? And why, if he made an error, didn't the White House correct it immediately, especially as they saw the media reaction? It took them more than 24 hours to do so to try and put out the fire. It hasn't worked.
You have to wonder how those who cheer for Trump and who believe that he is making America great again feel now that he has backed America's enemy over its own intelligence agencies. At what point do they stop making excuses for him and open their eyes to this man? If we are lucky he did what he did this week simply because he really is that stupid, credulous and desperate for recognition or maybe merely demented or suffering from dementia. If we're unlucky it's because Russia really does have some kind of hold over the most powerful man in the world. All bets are off for which one it is. But it has to be one or the other.
Trump seems to have been taken aback at the strength of the disgust he has engendered back home. But that is because for Trump making America great again is just a slogan, something he can repeat and that the dummies who support him keep repeating. He doesn't really believe in it. On this issue though he finally went too far and so he lied about what he said and what he meant. Apparently he did so under threat of various resignations. Those resignations should happen anyway, en masse.
The great irony is that Trump started his political career by impugning and slandering Barack Obama, alleging that he is not a true American. Trump supporters should ask themselves whether a true American, a patriotic, proud American would have stood on that stage yesterday and kissed the arse of the President of Russia, a country that is an enemy of freedom, democracy and the life they lead. Trump looked and behaved like a traitor this week. What more does he have to do to be impeached or at least for those around him to resign en masse to force him from office?