I think there’s no point in going over the latest allegations regarding Trump….then again there’s so many allegations against him its hard to keep up. He claims that there’s a smear campaign out against him….and wasn’t he the one who brought up Bill Clinton’s affairs? Didn’t he try and smear the women who spoke out about his behaviour? What about his behaviour during the primaries? when such smears were his main mode of attack, such as going after Ted Cruz’s father. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. If you take the view that the media is being unfair airing these stories, then recall it was Trump who decided to drag the presidential campaign into the gutter.
To my mind the real controversy is how large elements of the GOP stood by him at all. I mean seriously, they didn’t know he was a megalomanic, misogynistic moron living in a morality free bubble surrounded by yes men? Did anyone really not know this? When did McCain and Ryan come back from Mars? Republicans like McCain and Paul Ryan stood by him despite his many controversies, notably his racist comments. They fiddled as he debasing everything the GOP stands for. Now having calculated that’s he’s more of an election liability than a help, they are flip flopping and dumping him. If they are willing to abandon their morals and crawl into bed with Trump, yet them dump him as soon as he’s seen to be a liability, one has seriously question their judgement and suitability for high office.
Granted, some Republicans like the Bush’s and Mitt Romney did oppose Trump right from the start, and they deserve credit for their stance. But the rest of the GOP has some very serious questions to answer. Indeed potential 2020 candidates, such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz may well have scuppered their chances by backing him recently. Already some are preparing for the inevitable post-election civil war that will tear the GOP apart.
However, what I really want to talk about is a story that seems to have slipped under the radar – A story showing, yet again, possible links between Trump and Putin.
The Young Turks network have video that fills in the details here. Basically the gist of the story goes that a pro-Putin news website put out a story about Benghazi in which they quoted a document written by a Clinton associate, Sidney Blumenthal, out of context (actually he didn’t even write the quoted line taken out of context). Within hours he had pointed out their error and they seemingly took the article down. No one outside of Russia, save one Turkish website, mentioned the article, prior to Trump essentially quoting from this Russian article in a speech the following day. In short, it kind of suggests that either Trump or someone on his team, is so diligent that they are reading all of the world news websites, even those published in Russia at 3am…..or that Trump is getting fed propaganda from his bosses in the Kremlin.
My view is that I doubt that Putin is openly backing Trump as some sort of “Manchurian candidate”, for the same reasons the GOP are dumping him. Trump is damaged goods and a liability. However the Kremlin probably does lean favourably towards Trump (possibly hacking to dig up anti-Hilary stories) for the same “greater fool theory” that many others back him. They know Hilary’s going to be a pain in the ass and will listen to the experts, while Trump is an idiot who’ll probably screw things up.
Keep in mind things are starting to get a little desperate for Putin. Public opinion is starting to turn against him. His one remaining ally in the West, the French, have now deserted him. The Russian economy is starting to suffer. He probably can’t endure a few more years of this. Hence they hope Trump will win.
However the reality is that Trump winning probably won’t make too much of a difference, indeed it could actually be quite dangerous. Saddam was tempted into attacking Kuwait because he misinterpreted signals from his allies in Washington. He didn’t think they’d do anything, so long as he kept the oil flowing….when instead they launched America’s largest troop deployment since the Vietnam war. The Junta in Argentina went into the Falklands because they assumed the new UK PM had bigger fish to fry that worry about a small bog on the other side of the world. They couldn’t be more wrong. This is perhaps the real danger with Trump, he might tempt certain people into doing very stupid things.
For the fact is there is very little chance of the US military and intelligence establishment ever allowing a US president to abandon their European allies. To them this would be the equivalent of Trump crapping on the graves overlooking Omaha beach. He would be undoing America’s greatest ever foreign policy success and repeating the error of the 1930’s. That error cost America over one million war dead. In short, if Putin moved against, say the Baltic states, they’ll make damn sure Trump either gives the order to go in, or they’d force his hand (e.g. make sure US forces or civilians got caught up in the fighting). They would probably have few qualms about removing him from office (easily achieved under the grounds of the 25th amendment…..or a short drive in an open topped car in Houston) if necessary.
On the other side of the argument, we need to consider what’s going on within the Trump camp. As anyone who has watched the bizarre statements from Trump supporters should now know, he lives in a bubble of self delusion. Those who quote and rely on “facts” are quickly pushed out, as the Trump camp is a fact free zone.
I remember reading that Trump is such an egomaniac he has people in Trump tower go through all the newspapers and cut out the articles where his name is mentioned so that he can read what people are saying about him (when perhaps he should have them doing something important like running his business better so he doesn’t go bankrupt again). However, with his campaign imploding and virtually all media coverage increasingly negative, he’s probably throwing more than a few downfall like hissy fits. So his minions, every keen to please, are scouring the internet looking for anything positive. Inevitably this means that yes some are probably reading obscure Russian websites at 3am.
So what this saga shows us is how a potentially Trump white house would quickly become an insular cabal, riven with infighting, taking its cues from whatever the various minions feel will curry favour from their vain and insecure boss. In short, less a White house and more a mad house. Less the west wing, more one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
So like I said, how could McCain or Ryan have ever considered the idea that this would be a better alternative than a Hilary Clinton White house.