Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Oh, Those Russians..."

God bless this GIF. It sums up so much of our interminable existence as our nation reels from one supposed crisis/scandal to the next. Donald Trump Jr. has finally forced me off the fence. I feel compelled, nay driven, to take a position on this whole Russia Fiasco and after some deep thought and consideration, I've decided upon the following:

I don't care.

(I could use stronger language here: "I don't give a shit." "I don't give a fuck." But I went with simple, clean and easy- because I don't care.)

That's not say that I don't care about the integrity of our elections- I do, but the media's not talking about the integrity of our elections- their talking about collusion- real or imagined with Russia. Is that troubling? Sure. But actual proof thus far is sketchy at best- the documents leaked by NSA Contractor Reality Winner probably have been the closest thing to what I'd call 'proof' the media has shown us so far- and even those documents show an effort to compromise electoral officials information, but nothing (so far) to indicate that the results of the election were swung one way or the other by the Russian government.

Most everything else is just- to steal a phrase- "sound and fury, signifying nothing." There are I don't even know how many investigations going into this Russia mess at this point- when one of them is ready to deliver a verdict, tell me and I'll be happy to tune in and see what they've decided. Ditto with the Special Prosecutor. When he's ready to let us know what he's found, I'll tune in. Until then, it's time to change the subject.

Why, you ask?

First, while I loathe and detest the two party system in this country, it doesn't do me a lot of good if it's a one party + 'an argument that runs candidates and has a platform that labels itself a party'. If we're stuck with this two lamentable choices that means that as a voter, I want- nay, I demand that both parties be at their fighting weight. While the Democratic Party seems to be making some noises in the direction of actually acknowledging the depth of the hole they are in, polling like this- which yes, you should take with a grain of salt, because it a poll- should give Dems everywhere pause. "Being Against Trump" isn't enough. You need ideas that win everywhere. You need candidates that win everywhere. You need to be a 50 state, big tent party and if that dilutes the leftist orthodoxy a little bit, then so be it. Your progressive principles don't mean shit if you don't win- and winning could be very easy indeed.

Second, if you're a Dem, ask yourself this: who says the media is your friend? Sure- they may be on your 'side' in a manner of speaking, but go watch cable news for awhile. It's not about your message or your candidate or your party. It's about ratings. Ratings means viewer and viewers mean money. And if you ask the media to choose between your party and it's message and ratings, they're going to choose ratings every. single. time. Which is why the Democratic Party cannot let the media be the default driver of their message- because that's no way to win either. (Tom's Rule of Politics #1: You will never lose votes by shitting on the media in this country. Doesn't matter which party you are.)

Third, this opinion piece gets it: Everything is a distraction from something much much worse. Let the investigations play out. Focus on the much much worse, because that's what we should be talking about.

Finally, in general, I'd just like everyone to stop talking about this for awhile. There's a Special Prosecutor. There's probably a dozen Congressional investigations going on by now. Let them figure this shit out and then tell us and walk us through it. In the meantime, was Donald Jr's meeting idiotic? Probably. Was it purportedly about opposition research but ended up being about adoption? Sure- why the hell not? In the middle of a campaign, what better way to get a meeting with a Trump on the inside- "Hey, I've got dirt on the Clintons." Of course he took the meeting. Hell, Tiffany Trump would have probably taken that meeting.

And of course there was an ex-Soviet spyish type person there. Rich people flock together worldwide and after the USSR went bye bye all the smart Soviet spyish types got filthy rich and became oligarchs. If you're above a certain tax bracket and doing business in Russia today you probably can't swing a cat without hitting six or seven ex-KGB types. I didn't find it as shocking as the media makes it out to be.

Could there be something to this whole Russia thing? It's entirely possible. But in the meantime while the media is screaming RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA 24/7/365, the Trump Administration is actually conducting some business behind the screams. It'd be more useful at this point to focus on what they're actually doing and wait for these investigations to play out.

(We've usually got CNN on at the Day Job in case something big and crazy happens in the world we need to appraise our Admin about, so we all lived through the Malaysia Airlines Disappearance and I'm telling you: Don Lemon is going to get aliens and wormholes involved in this Russia thing. It's gonna happen. You can put money on it.)

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