Putin on the Fritz

Okay, so now we have Trump’s word for it that he got tripped up by an insufficient grasp of the use of double-negatives, but at least he didn’t say, “I did not have inappropriate syntax with that man, Mr. Putin.”

It also puts me in the frame of mind of an old story I think attributed to the largely forgotten philosopher Morris Cohen, who in a lecture one day remarked that while we have double-negatives that mean a positive, there is no such thing as a “double-positive” that means a negative. To which someone in the audience yells out in a sarcastic voice, “Yeah-yeah!” Trump should go with that next.

I guess I should not be surprised that no one has commented on Putin’s answer to the reporter who asked who Putin wanted to win the 2016 election. Now, the “correct” diplomatic answer, even from a tyrant, is something like “That decision is up to the American voter, and I as a head of state must respect their choice and not intrude to play favorites, etc, etc.” But that’s not what Putin said. He said he wanted Trump to win because Trump wanted better relations with Russia.

Cue the paranoid conspiracy on the left back here in the U.S. Surely Putin knew that his words would have that effect. Score another point for Putin’s campaign to disrupt the American political scene.

Then consider this: if Trump really were in Putin’s pocket, or some kind of “Manchurian candidate,” would he speak the way he did in Helsinki? In fact he’d do just the opposite. Likewise, would a Putin puppet adopt the policies of the Trump Administration? Puppets are supposed to do your bidding, more like the decisions taken by the Obama Administration toward Russia.

Some days I feel like everybody is putting us on.