Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Conservative Hold Out Finally Gives Up On Trump

Russ Douthat has been a reliable spokesperson for conservative causes on the NYT for a long time.  He has even believed that the Republican Party was good for conservatism.  He is also an intellectual who never felt comfortable with Donald Trump as the leader of the Republican Party.  Despite his discomfort with Donald Trump he thought that he would probably survive the investigations of the Trump campaign's connection with Russian meddling in the election.  He no longer holds that view. 

The emails which forced Donald Trump Jr. to release them before they were published by the NYT are incriminating,  The junior Trump, along with the president's son-in-law and the manager of the Trump campaign at that time, were eager to accept an offer of help from a foreign power with an intention of discrediting US democracy.  That revelation shifts the odds that the Trump campaign will be found guilty of collusion.  The Special Counsel has the power to push its investigation even deeper.  The Russians upheld their end of the bargain.  They did what they are capable of doing to tip the election in Trump's direction.  They released hacked information to Wikileaks and they employed an army of trolls to spread propaganda through the social media and other means.  Russia did not do this without the expectation of a reward for their efforts on Trump's behalf.  That may be what got Michael Flynn in trouble when his undisclosed meetings with Russian officials about relief from US sanctions were captured by US surveillance. In any case, the "Russia thing" is not going away.  The Republican Congress and the White House will find it even more difficult to govern in this climate.  The Republican Congress will cling to Donald Trump until it looks like supporting Trump will harm them in the 2018 elections. The Russian government bet on the wrong horse.  Trump was easy to recruit but he has been too inexperienced in the nuances of governance to avoid entrapment.

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