That oft-quoted (although likely misattributed) line of Harry Truman’s — “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — is in sore need of revision. These days not even the dogs are to be trusted. They’re probably wired.
Everyone and everything else seems to be as our government has descended into the ugliest game of finger pointing and character assassination we have seen in years, focusing on — in an epic role reversal, Democrats miraculously morphing into born-again hawks — relations with Russia.
And, inadvertently, but perhaps inevitably, just as life imitates art, America is now imitating Russia. Our political life is beginning to resemble the Soviet Politburo, where out of favor politicians were suddenly disappeared or, at the height of the Stalin era, simply murdered. We’re not murdering anybody yet, but we’re certainly disappearing them.
First to go was now-former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for reasons as yet indeterminate. He evidently talked to the Russians about something, but who knows what? That he was doing his job might even have been among the strongest of possibilities, not that that matters.
Now it’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ turn. He too is evidently guilty of speaking with the Russians, in this case their ambassador, when he was still a senator, once completely en passant at a public event and once, oh-cardinal-sin, in the senator’s own office (what a clandestine venue!). What he said, as with Flynn, is as yet indeterminate, but if one is to believe Sessions, it doesn’t add up to much. And since two retired U.S. military colonels were present at the meeting, it’s hard to imagine Sessions — even in the extremely remote chance he would consider such a thing — would collude with the Russian ambassador about the election under those circumstances.
The legal case against the AG seems less than paper thin, hanging on whether Sessions fully answered a stumbling question that was vague in the first place and easily misconstrued, if indeed it was.
Nevertheless, calls ring out all over the Democratic Party for his resignation. In a bloodthirsty, yet pathetic, attempt to put a nail in Sessions’ coffin, Sen. Claire McCaskill jumped in to say that members of her (and Sessions’) Armed Services Committee were never supposed to meet with ambassadors — such meetings were exclusively for the Foreign Relations Committee — only to have photographic evidence of her own meeting with the Russian ambassador appear on Twitter within minutes along with several other embarrassing tweets of previous and subsequent meetings.
Hers was Politburo politics at its purest, behavior not all that distant from the purge trials where false accusations habitually sent defendants to Siberia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ideology or the public interest and everything to do with power. Actually, the Soviets may have been more honest about it. At least when Stalin did away with Trotsky, he had an argument (sort of). Stalin wanted socialism in one country and Trotsky favored world revolution. (It also may show, in McCaskill’s case, how smug self-interest begets premature senility.)
Meanwhile, the media is in a frenzy of connecting Trump to Russia, a zeal for the “truth” they did not even approximate when Obama was recorded in flagrante delicto on video cozily whispering assurances to Medvedev that he (Obama) would play ball with Vladimir Putin after Barack won his second election. If Trump were caught in such collusion, he might well have been hanged, certainly expunged from polite society, let alone impeached. Was what Obama did a “high crime” against the American people? Arguably. Unquestionably far more than anything Trump has done, notwithstanding the non-stop cries of the various jackals in politics and the media.
These media whores (jackals doesn’t quite quite suffice) further act as if there is something relatively new in Russia spying on the U.S. when such activity goes back nearly a hundred years to the most revered of all Democratic administrations, FDR’s. Alger Hiss and the Ware Group were actually infiltrating our State Department and other government agencies like Treasury en masse back then. (Ware had 75 members by 1934 and there were other groups.) Hiss went on to advise Roosevelt at Yalta and then to be instrumental in the formation of the United Nations, all while an agent of the GRU. If you think about it, that’s a lot more serious than the cyber-spying going on now.
Nevertheless, the current behavior of our politicians is terrible for our country and the world, especially now that Jeff Sessions has recused himself from what I predict will soon, as the president himself noted on Facebook, be acknowledged to have been a witch hunt. Chuck Schumer, Al Franken, and Nancy Pelosi particularly have behaved despicably in the grand style of Politburo politicians. The whole fraudulent narrative of the Trump-Russia alliance was made clear by, of all people, The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who pointed out the obvious — the Russians, like almost everyone, assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidency and that any disrupting they may have been doing was intended to damage her future administration. Trump was beside the point.
That the current attack on Sessions started to unspool only hours after Trump made an extremely successful speech to Congress is also hardly accidental. Our own intelligence agents are promoting disinfo just like the KGB, FSB and GRU. Our government, at least a significant part of it, is indeed imitating Russia.
ONE LAST THING: This attack on Sessions is so sleazy and bogus that Democrats may be getting themselves into deeper trouble than they have bargained on. Notable among them is Jeff Bezos — whose Washington Post has been hugely culpable. Amazon is a great service, but it can be easily copied (indeed has been). If he keeps alienating a growing percentage of the public, watch out.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. You can follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.