It’s time for us in the left to recognize that the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. We are very clear on our opposition to US militarism and imperialism abroad, a policy that has been pursued by almost every president in the post-war period (Carter may be excluded, but I hear he’s been terrible on Haiti). But we need to be as clear in our condemnation of militaristic and imperialistic actions by other world leaders – starting with Putin.
Putin is not our friend. He has worked hard to turn Russia into a dictatorship, jailing and killing political opponents. Unable to strengthen Russia, he has concentrated in weakening Europe and the United States by exploiting the rise of nationalistic/xenophobic feelings that have hit Europe and the US in response to increased globalization and wealth inequality. He has been supporting far right parties and movements (including the people who want to have California seceed) and I have no doubt that Mueller’s allegations of Russian interference in the US election are true – researchers have reported Putin using the same techniques in Eastern European elections.
The fact that Putin tried to influence American elections (and I think he tried to influence only inasmuch as increasing divisions, not necessarily electing Trump) does not mean, of course, that Russia is the reason behind Trump’s win. That lies directly on Clinton and her elitist disregard for anyone who relies on a paycheck to pay the bills. In this, Russia reminds me of the LAPD during the OJ Simpson case: they tried to frame a guilty man. Trump was elected despite Russia, not because of it.
But Trump got elected nonetheless, and it seems that Putin has something on him. I have no way of guessing what that is – but I know that Trump has a history of blackmailing people, which makes him the ideal target of blackmail himself. He understands the game. His agreement to a solo meeting with Putin and his conduct after getting out of that meeting does not allow for any other explanation. I don’t know what it is that Putin has – but I don’t think it’s a simply a pee tape. It’s something which he knows he cannot spin his way out of. It’s something big.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but: I hope our intelligence sources have it to and if so that they release it immediately. We cannot have a President that is a puppet for Putin.
I have not supported talk of impeachment before this. But I think that Trump presents a clear and present danger to the United States.