With Putin's new belligerent mood, Democrats can stand up and take a bow
One year after President Trump was elected president, the across-the-board delight Russians expressed at his victory is over.
The Russians had been thrilled at the election of President Trump, the first president who didn't speak of them as if they were monsters. Oh, they had high hopes. I remember all kinds of Russians on Facebook and in my email box, and the election-night thrill was incredible. The dissidents loved Trump. The Kremlin loved Trump. The ordinary Russians loved Trump. They liked his willingness to be open to them, and despite their differences, they universally hoped for better relations and the two nations getting to know each other.
Well, that's over. They've given up. But a void is always filled, and in the latest news from Vladimir Putin, the Russians are threatening to attack Florida. That's a real change in mood.
It's not just Putin. In a story reported on RT News, Russians were asked to make up a name for a new Russian weapon. There was a lot of humor in the suggestions, but the belligerence is showing there, too.
Nobody deserves more "thanks" for this state of affairs than Democrats. They made up a bunch of blather about President Trump collaborating with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Then President Obama, in a fit of pique, launched into the first of a string of negative diplomatic expulsions and retaliations in December 2016 that left U.S.-Russian relations in the deep freeze. Then the Democrats, through media manipulation (James Comey memos, anyone?), got their big wish for a special counsel, which has agitated the Russians even more with the indictment of piddly Russian internet trolls and disproportionate attention on a small amount of money spent on Facebook ads mostly supporting Bernie Sanders. It's been all "Russia, Russia, Russia" from the Democrats, and not a one of them considered that they were talking about a real nation or that there could be real consequences for making a large rival into a pariah.
It's such a strange flipping of the picture, given Democrats' long history of collaboration and useful idiocy when Russia was the Soviet Union. Just ask KGB collaborator Ted Kennedy. In the post-Cold War era, there also was President Obama's mockery of his challenger Mitt Romney for speaking of a Russian threat back in 2012. Democrats have always been soft on Russia in contrast to Republicans.
Well, until Trump came up.
What's bad here is that the Russians had high hopes for new avenues of cooperation with the U.S., in terrorism, in technology, in entrepreneurship, in space, and more. Like the U.S., Russia's an outsider nation among the European Union-types who lead all the global framework bureaucracies, so there was reason to think there would be unique common ground. We could have had that opportunity, but it's gone now, according to the Washington Post, devoured by a domestic media- and Democrat-driven feeding frenzy.
There's nothing worse than crushed high hopes. What we see now from Russia is boiling resentment – not just at us, but at themselves for having had such high hopes.
Trump still doesn't speak badly of the Russians, but according to the Post, he's the only one – it doesn't help that he has so many NeverTrump Neocons and Bush- and Obama-era holdovers on his foreign policy team, whose traditional opposition to Russia dates from the Cold War.
Be that as it may, the real blame belongs to Democrats, who beat the drum like maniacs over supposed Russian collusion in the U.S. election, ignoring Mexico's very real meddling and interference with voter rolls, as well as Obama administration meddling in Israel's election. To them, the problem was just Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia, and it was an artificially whipped up issue. Russia was held up as being uniquely wicked and evil, and then ignored and shunted aside as both sides bought into the narrative that the country is a pariah state.
"What can we do to please the U.S.?" my Russian sources used to ask me when they stood by, utterly stupefied as the Democrats made them into pariahs. They've stopped asking now.
Now we have Putin after us, puffing up threats that may or may not be substantial, putting Florida on the map, and waving his fist at us with the admonition, "You will listen to us now."
Was that really necessary? Could something have been done to prevent that state of resentment and all the risks it brings to the U.S.? It certainly could have – had the Democrats shown the slightest scintilla of responsibility. The usual political smearing they've made their specialty can have harsher consequences when superpowers instead of small fish are involved.