Try­ing to over­turn a free and fair elec­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - Wesley Pru­den is the ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

The world has turned it­self up­side down. Only yes­ter­day the lib­er­als and the left (the “pro­gres­sives,” as they want to be called) re­garded the CIA as the lo­cus of evil, the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, for­ever poi­son­ing gen­tle minds with a diet of con­spir­acy and tall tale.

In those gloomy days of the Cold War, where ev­ery day was sea­soned with a sharp wind and a cold rain, it was the Demo­cratic in­tel­lec­tu­als who were for­ever chid­ing the rest of us that the Soviet Union was not so bad, the Rus­sians just wanted to be un­der­stood and maybe de­served an oc­ca­sional cud­dle. It was the Repub­li­cans and other con­ser­va­tives who were mind­less rubes who imag­ined there was a mad Rus­sian un­der ev­ery­body’s bed.

Now the CIA, in the lib­eral/left’s fevered dreams, is the last bul­wark of the repub­lic, the last re­main­ing hope to turn the 2016 elec­tion re­sult on its head and de­prive Don­ald Trump of the vic­tory he won. The Rus­sians, it now turns out, are just as bad as the con­ser­va­tives said they were.

Pres­i­dent Obama, who mocked Mitt Rom­ney four years ago for sug­gest­ing that Rus­sia and Vladimir Putin was Amer­ica’s No. 1 en­emy, now says it was Mr. Rom­ney who was smart and got it right four years ago. The pres­i­dent him­self, in his telling, is the man dumber than a cy­press stump.

The pres­i­dent, at last awake and pay­ing at­ten­tion to Rus­sian cy­ber war­fare, wants an­swers, and by noon on Jan. 20. He can then only dine out on the an­swers, be­cause he won’t have any more authority to do any­thing about them than the cat.

Des­per­a­tion pur­sues de­spair, and the Democrats are stum­bling from inanity to in­san­ity in search of a way to block Don­ald Trump’s path to the White House. Hilary Clin­ton’s rem­nant of a cam­paign has en­dorsed an at­tempt by a hand­ful of mem­bers of the Elec­toral Col­lege — 9 Democrats and a rogue Repub­li­can — to get the “in­tel­li­gence brief­ing” they think might de­rail next Mon­day’s sched­uled day for the mem­bers of the Elec­toral Col­lege to vote for pres­i­dent, 306 of whom are honor bound to vote for the Don­ald. That’s 36 votes more than he needs.

“The bi­par­ti­san elec­tors’ let­ter raises very grave is­sues in­volv­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity,” John Podesta said Mon­day. “Elec­tors have a solemn re­spon­si­bil­ity un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion and we sup­port their ef­forts to have their ques­tions ad­dressed.

“Each day our cam­paign de­cried the in­ter­fer­ence of Rus­sia in our cam­paign and its ev­i­dent goal of hurt­ing our cam­paign to aid Don­ald Trump. De­spite our protes­ta­tions this mat­ter did not re­ceive the at­ten­tion it de­served by the me­dia in our cam­paign. We now know that the CIA has de­ter­mined Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in our elec­tions was for the pur­pose of elect­ing Don­ald Trump. This should dis­tress ev­ery Amer­i­can.”

What should dis­tress ev­ery Amer­i­can is the way the left, the lib­er­als, the pro­gres­sives and their hand­maid­ens in the press have dis­carded rea­son­able con­ver­sa­tion to try out ev­ery ab­surd alarm, one af­ter the other, to see whether one could stick, to un­der­mine and un­der­cut the re­sults of what ev­ery­one agrees was a free and fair elec­tion on Nov. 8. None has worked. More than a month later, the repub­lic stands.

Hys­te­ria now threat­ens to be­come in­san­ity. Rep. Jim Hines of Con­necti­cut, a Demo­crat, says it came to him in the night, as if Mar­ley’s ghost was rat­tling his chains at the bed­side, “that this man is not only un­qual­i­fied to be pres­i­dent, he’s a dan­ger to the repub­lic. I do think the Elec­toral Col­lege should choose some­one other than Don­ald Trump to be pres­i­dent. That will lead to a fas­ci­nat­ing le­gal is­sue, but I would rather have a le­gal is­sue, a com­pli­cated le­gal prob­lem, than to find out the White House was now the Krem­lin’s chief ally.”

Ac­cus­ing a pres­i­dent-elect of trea­son, of plot­ting with the en­emy against his coun­try, and with no ev­i­dence at all, is some­thing that even a con­gress­man from Con­necti­cut should un­der­stand is beyond the lim­its of ra­tio­nal and de­cent po­lit­i­cal de­bate. Alas, it’s par for the course on the left this sea­son.

The sud­den deep con­cern by Pres­i­dent Obama and the Democrats about Rus­sia and cy­ber war­fare, is a bit rich. The Wash­ing­ton Post, which con­tin­ues so deep in de­nial that its side lost the elec­tion that it may never find the way to the next stage of grief, hangs its sur­vival on the con­clu­sion of the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies — which, to put it char­i­ta­bly, have a dis­mal record of find­ing out what’s go­ing on any­where.

A com­pe­tent pres­i­dent and a re­spon­si­ble “in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity” would have done some­thing about the Rus­sians and their hack­ers a long time ago. Whin­ing doesn’t work.


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