Our most estimable President, using his 20/20 hindsight, has determined that the REAL cause of the Russian interference in the 2016 election was his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. Even Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has asserted that President Obama could have done more to put a stop to the Russian shenanigans.
I'll admit, this sort of second-guessing frequently follows perceived disasters. It's only natural. And the fact of the matter is that President Obama COULD have done more to stop Russian interference. But the REAL question is, what would the fallout have been? We already know that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Koch Brothers) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Dark Money) were apprised of Russian intelligence operations during the height of the elections in 2016. President Obama asked them to join him in condemning such interference and to present a unified front supporting concrete measures to combat such illegal activities. Both Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan declined the opportunity.
Now this doesn't mean that President Obama was precluded from taking severe, concrete steps to deter Comrade Putin's machinations. He could have taken unilateral measures to confront the Kremlin, measures which could conceivably have put a stop to such shenanigans. However, had he done so, rest assured that the first people to criticize his one-sided approach would have been the self-same Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. And why not?
Whether these august gentlemen will admit it or not, they knew full well who was the beneficiary of the Russian campaign of disinformation and disruption, Donald Trump. And you have to understand Senator McConnell's position in particular. He was still in the process of blocking the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was banking on Donald Trump's regaining the White House for the Republicans so that the vacated Supreme Court seat of Antonin Scalia would remain in conservative hands. Had President Obama derailed Vladimir Putin's electoral sabotage plans, this would most likely have put Hillary Clinton in the White House, an extreme liberal on the Supreme Court, and wiped out the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. This was a gamble that Senator McConnell was NOT prepared to make.
What would the political fall-out have been? Well, the person who would have screamed the longest and the loudest would have been our esteemed President. After all, he had to be aware that HE was benefiting from his good friend Vladimir Putin's assistance, and that this assistance was going to put him into the White House. Given the myriad financial rewards that have showered down on the Trump family, such complaining would have been entirely expected.
More to the point, who would have been accused of interfering with the results of the Presidential election under THOSE circumstances? You got it, Barack Obama! So we would have had a President Clinton elected through the underhanded maneuvers of the "non-citizen" President Obama. How do you think Congressional Republicans would have reacted to that? If the talking heads at Fox News are foaming at the mouth over the Mueller investigation now, imagine the conniption fits they would have thrown had they felt the election been "stolen" from Donald Trump because of some fraudulent story about Russian interference in our elections!
We Americans are heavily into instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it NOW!! Unfortunately, the kind of detailed investigation required to get to the bottom of a complicated and multi-layered scheme to undermine our electoral system will take a long time. There are no easy and simple answers. Our enemies in the Russian Federation have proven themselves to be very adept at manipulating American public opinion. They have found intricate and complex ways to worm themselves into the very fiber of the American body politic. It is not going to be easy to get to the bottom of this story even WITH the cooperation of the present U.S. government. And, alas, that level of cooperation from the Trump Administration is not and will not be forthcoming. But one thing is sure, without bi-partisan cooperation, there will NEVER be a satisfying ending to this most distressing chapter in American history!
Filed under: Politics