Putin dusts off Khruschev’s playbook, while Junior honks the horn
Even for this news junkie, I can only take so much of the televised echo chamber — even when I agree with the echoes. When everything I’m hearing validates all my worst fears and anxieties, I can feel myself emotionally treading water, and going under fast. I have to get out of the pool.
I was choking on water most recently during coverage of Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord. Apparently Mother Earth is a total loser, and we can get a better deal on a better planet.
Good God/dess, how I loathe that man.
How much more political anarchy must occur before Congress removes Trump from office for the greater good of all? How much more humiliation and chaos must our country endure before our so-called leaders put country before their reelection bids and do what’s right? Is there one ounce of integrity in a ton of politicians? I doubt it.
Every day, something else spews from the White House to drop your jaw. This week’s big event was, of course, James Comey’s testimony on Thursday, which crystalized a few things. One, the former leader of the FBI stated unequivocally that Trump is a liar of such magnitude that he did not trust being alone with him. More important, however, was Comey’s statement on the real and imminent threat of Russian interference in our election process and democracy. We’ve been attacked — without a bullet fired.
Put a pin in that for now.
That night when I was gurgling over climate catastrophe, I decided to channel-surf my wave of anxiety. I selected CNN’s airing of its series, “The Sixties” (which you can catch in its entirety on Netflix), expecting a happy little Flower Power romp through the Summer of Love, but no. This particular segment was about U.S./Soviet Union tension during the Cold War, in particular, the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Beyond simply reporting the chronology and details of these events, CNN pointed out the over-arching strategy of Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev: to bring America down by creating relentless havoc, anxiety and outright fear. (Remember air raid drills at school in the ’60s? Were we ever not afraid?) Along with keeping the U.S. perpetually off balance and in a “reactive” state, Khruschev was banking his success on the potential missteps of an inexperienced president.
Of course, there are some glaring differences. One, there’s an intellectual and experiential universe between JFK and Trump. JFK is an elder statesman by comparison, and a genius as well. Two, the conflict in 1962 was about nuclear war. Now, it’s about cyber war. The end result is essentially the same: The U.S. is in complete disarray, minus the stacks of corpses on scorched earth.
Vladamir Putin clearly dusted off Khruschev’s playbook, and is a quick study. Russian hackers created just enough havoc and confusion in enough American voters’ minds to turn them away from Hillary Clinton at the polls. Putin’s dislike of Clinton is well-known, and his “affection” for Trump glaringly obvious, but completely transparent to anyone who isn’t blinded by his own megalomania.
Trump, you complete fool. Putin isn’t your friend, and moreover, he’s not ours. What a putz you are. What a simple, dumb, pathetic putz. Putin’s putz.
Russia helped propel Trump into office, and now the bull rumbles through the White House china shop, smashing everything to smithereens, and our elected “leaders” just stand by and watch, because: Reelection.
Good God/dess, how I loathe them.
The Trump presidency makes Putin’s job so much easier. Putin can spend all the time he wants riding horseback shirtless because Trump is creating political and social havoc in the U.S. for him, by virtue of his utter ignorance of American government, politics and history as well as his grotesque inexperience, and enhanced by Trump’s single motivation: Do whatever benefits me personally, and to hell with everyone else.
Trump was 16 during the Cuban Missile Crisis… had he no awareness whatsoever of what was going on in the world? Has he never taken a U.S. history course in his entire ridiculously privileged life? Clearly he has zero knowledge or recollection of what transpired in 1962, and how eerily it mirrors what’s happening now. Either that, or he has the IQ of celery.
I suspect the latter, because only a dimwit would fire the person in charge of the FBI investigation about Russian interference in the 2016 election after he refused to “lift the cloud” of Russian infiltration of the Trump campaign and administration. It’s so stunningly clueless, it borders on the surreal — particularly against the backdrop of Trump publicly trashing our NATO allies (while Putin cheered) and the revelation that Trump’s closest personal advisor, son-in-law Jared Kushner, was caught trying to establish private communications with Russia to avoid detection by U.S. intelligence. Aiding a sworn enemy is called “espionage” in some circles… treason in others.
OK, back to that pin.
Comey summarized Kushner’s political reach-around thusly: Establishing private communication with the Russians to avoid U.S. detection makes Putin’s job easier. Period.
This much is inarguable: Russia has not been, and is not now, our ally. Putin isn’t merely taking Trump for a ride, he’s placed him in a car seat with one of those cute little dashboard toys, so Junior can turn the wheel and honk the horn and pretend he’s driving. He’s not. Papa Putin’s in the driver’s seat.
In 1962, the world stared a nuclear World War III right in the eyes. The reason we’re all still here is that Russia blinked. That left an annoying speck in Putin’s eye. He’s got unfinished business about the day Russia backed down in front of the world, and he’s attempting to set things straight by picking up where Khruschev left off. And now he doesn’t even have to do it himself. Junior’s got the Khruschev playbook now: Keep ’em off balance to get what you want. We expect that from Putin. We do not expect it from our own president.