The Russian farce

In his weekly NRO column Andy McCarthy demonstrates with great precision how the Democrat/Media Complex persists in “A dangerous fraud” regarding the Russian effect on the 2016 election. In his March 28 NRO column Victor Davis Hanson captured “The Russian farce” that belies the story line that is shoved down our throats with the force of a jackhammer. Referring to President Obama’s famous hot-mic moment with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, kindly asked by President Obama to convey an important message to his friend “Vladimir,” Hanson recalls:

Barack Obama naturally wanted to continue a fourth year of his reset and outreach to Vladimir Putin, the same way that he was reaching out to other former American enemies such as the Iranians and the Cubans. Yet Obama was uneasy that his opponent, Mitt Romney, might attack him during his reelection campaign as an appeaser of Putin. Thus, to preempt any such attack, Obama might be forced to appear less flexible (offer less “space”) toward Putin than he otherwise would be in a non-election year. In other words, he couldn’t publicly assure Putin that he would be “flexible” about implementing missile defense in Eastern Europe (“all these issues”) until after he was reelected.

An apprehensive Obama, in his hot-mic moment, was signaling that after his anticipated victory, he would revert to his earlier reset with Putin. And most significantly, Obama wished Putin to appreciate in advance the motives for Obama’s campaign-year behavior. Or he at least hoped that Putin would not embarrass him by making international moves that would reflect poorly on Obama’s reset policy.

Furthermore, Obama did not want his implicit quid pro quo proposal to become part of the public record. Had it been public, it might have been interpreted as a message to Putin that he should empathize with Obama’s plight — and that he should interfere with the American election by behaving in a way that would empower Obama’s candidacy rather than detract from it.

In the present hysterical climate, substitute the name Trump for Obama, and we would be hearing Democratic demands for impeachment on grounds that Trump was caught secretly whispering to the Russians about compromising vital national-security issues in a quid pro quo meant to affect the outcome of the 2012 election.

I’ve wondered why Obama hazarded to ask Medvedev in public to convey his message to Putin. Was there no opportunity to do so in private? No secure channel? The audacity of a dope? Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes explained it all at the time (per page A14 of the New York Times), but that particular mystery abides.

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