The Wages of 'Collusion' Meme is Big Trouble
The news has just broken that Vladimir Putin will expel 755 American diplomats -- or "diplomats," depending on whether they're working for the State Department or some other, er, agencies -- in retaliation for the latest round of American sanctions imposed by a panicked Congress being stampeded into increasingly foolish actions by the resentful Democrats and their allies in the Compromised Media. This is a toxic brew that can have no good outcome, but the short version is: we've just been neutralized in Russia.
Russian president Vladimir Putin announced Sunday that he was ordering 755 American diplomats out of that country. In an interview with the state-owned broadcaster Russia 24, Putin said the move was in response to “illegal restrictions” imposed on the country by the United States. Putin claims that there are over a "thousand" American diplomatic employees in Russia, but "755 will have to cease their activities in the Russian Federation."
The Senate passed a new round of sanctions on Thursday aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering on the United States’ presidential election, among other things. A U.S. State Department official declined to comment Putin's announcement, telling NBC News: "It is our policy to not comment on the number of individuals serving at our missions abroad."
If this were a Bond movie, our hero would meet a shadowy figure with a foreign accent at a back table in a seedy restaurant in Baku, where Robbie Coltrane or Christoph Waltz would be waiting for him. "Congratulations, Mr. Bond," he would intone. "You've just been blinded."
As Clarice Feldman notes, the entire Democrat/Compromised Media fantasy over Russian "collusion" during the 2016 election has now collapsed, but the damage the Left has done to our nation purely out of pique over its loss last fall is becoming incalculable. Using their standard technique of "raising questions," they began a Narrative that has led to a falling-dominoes series of calamities that now threaten not only the Trump presidency, but also the very legitimacy of our form of government. Consider:
- While cleanup crews at the Javits Center were still scrubbing down the walls and picking up the pieces of shattered glass occasioned by Hillary Clinton's rage at losing what she thought was a fixed fight, her henchmen concocted a series of excuses that they no doubt beta-tested with members of the Compromised Media. Whining about the glass ceiling and sexism didn't fly, but the Red-Diaper-Baby brigade obviously loved the "Russians Are Coming" meme.
- As Trump put his cabinet together, the "collusion" charge had resonated so strongly via the echo chamber that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an honorable man perhaps too naive for his own good, felt compelled to recuse himself from participating in anything to do with Russia, and so ceded the supervisory turf over something he knew to be a lie to his deputy.
- Enough of a critical media mass was achieved that assistant AG Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor of an as-yet unspecific statutory offense. Mueller, long past retirement age, immediately dispelled any notion that he might wrap up quickly by hiring a slew of Democrat-donor lawyers and settling in to investigate Trump's finances. After all, he has his criminal; now all he needs is the crime, and if it has to be kiting checks, spitting on the sidewalk or picking his feet in Poughkeepsie, so be it. The Grand Inquisitor's in no rush.
- Now that Mueller is beetling along, the Democrats can afford to walk away from not only the "collusion" meme but also the Fusion GPS "fake dossier" plant that helped -- via the good offices of the wretched John McCain -- to propel the Narrative. Mission accomplished!
- Increasingly frustrated, Trump is lashing out on Twitter at any target of opportunity from Sessions to the Chinese to his own staff. He's replaced the hapless Reince Priebus as chief of staff with Marine general John Kelly, hoping to bring some order to the West Wing -- but now he'll have to find a replacement for Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security, where Kelly was already making a difference by changing the what-are-you-gonna-do? whine and arresting and deporting illegal aliens, sob stories or no.
- At the same time, North Korea is test-firing missiles that can reach the United States -- thanks, Bill Clinton! -- while the Iranians are busy continuing their nuclear program -- thanks, Barack Obama! The last two Democrat Party presidents have brought our country and the world to the brink of nuclear war, and will pay no price for it. Instead, the Israelis, the South Koreans and the Japanese will take it on the chin -- and maybe Los Angeles, too.
- Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, GOP congressional staffers are now backing away from the president, and some are openly talking about awaiting the arrival of President Pence. A preference cascade is forming, and the administration, if it wants to save itself, needs to take drastic and dramatic action.