The Democrats' 'Red Scare' Narrative Is Over
David Ignatius should keep up with The Narrative. In his column today, he speaks ominously of Donald Trump's "growing difficulty in the Russia investigation."
This is of a piece with several other Red Scare pieces by Ignatius and other anti-Trump Democrats with bylines. A couple of weeks ago, responding to Trump's declaration that the whole Russian Dressing meme was a "ruse," Ignatius wheeled into print insisting that, no, "Russia's Global Hacking Efforts Are Far from a 'Ruse'." Quoting France's ambassador to Washington, Ignatius speculated that, "if unchecked," Russia' disinformation efforts, in which Donald Trump's presidential campaign was "perhaps" a "tool," "could pose an 'existential threat' to Western democracy."
Had any good hypotheticals lately?
The real Russian story is not Donald Trump's "growing difficulty" in the Russia investigation but, as I wrote in this space a couple of days ago, the evaporation of the alleged Trump connection and burgeoning story of the Obama administration's surveillance of people in Trump's circle.
One of the amusing aspects of the story is the extent to which it illustrates the principle articulated crisply by Kurt Schlichter on Monday:
"You Can Tell What Leftists Are Doing By What They Accuse Conservatives Of Doing"
In other words, "if you want to know what the liberals are up to, just listen to the lies they are telling about conservatives." Cavorting with Russians? It wasn't Trump, but how about selling 20% of US uranium interests to Putin? That would be something the Clintons arranged.
Talking to Russian banks about ending sanctions? That would be Tony Podesta, brother of John Podesta, Hillary's campaign manager, who took $170K last year from Russia's largest bank to help end one of the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russian financial institutions.
The whole Trump/Russia meme is a tower of groundless insinuation built upon baseless fantasies of malfeasance. What we actually know is almost nothing. Maybe there was a FISA warrant requested by the Obama administration against persons and hardware located at Trump Tower in June that was denied. Maybe a narrower warrant was requested and granted in October. That's what has been reported and repeated endlessly to a chorus of "where there's smoke, there's fire."
But when Trump gets up last Saturday and begins tweeting his outrage at having been "tapped" by the Obama administration, the chihuahuas of the press, together with various Obama spokesmen, yap in unison: "What's your source?"
One source, as was quickly pointed out, was the New York Times. On January 19, under the headline "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates," the paper told readers:
[I]ntelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
This is what Trump meant when he tweeted that his "wires" were "tapped."
Remember when, during the presidential debates, Trump said that, if elected, he might have Hillary investigated by the Department of Justice? Cries of horror from the locust gallery. But it turns out that Obama had actually done what Trump only threatened to do: conduct a secret investigation against a political opponent.
We do not, as of this writing, know exactly how these skeins of allegation and counter-allegation will play out. I suspect that the Trump-Has-Russian-Ties narrative has ground to a halt. If I am right, then David Ignatius' column is just a final twitch of the dead frog's legs before the pack of chihuahuas with bylines cooks up another imaginary tort against Donald Trump.
Will the competing story, the one starring Barack Obama and proxies employing the security apparatus of the United States to undermine a political opponent, get traction? Will it, as some commentators speculate, be "worse than Watergate"?