Mr. Putin takes up pun­ditry

He mocks the fan­tasy that some­one cheated Hil­lary Clin­ton of the pres­i­dency

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Vladimir Putin is not your or­di­nary com­men­ta­tor on Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, though it’s true that pun­ditry is not what it was be­fore the In­ter­net gave ev­ery blowhard with a lap­top or a smart­phone a plat­form on which to dis­play his ig­no­rance. Be­sides, the devil can quote Scripture, as the wise man said.

Nev­er­the­less, when Mr. Putin blew through Paris the other day he sat down with Le Fi­garo, the Paris daily, and reaf­firmed his ear­lier dec­la­ra­tion than Rus­sia did not have any­thing to do with the hack­ing of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, or col­luded in in­ter­fer­ing in the 2016 elec­tions.

Claims of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence, he said, were driven by the “de­sire of those who lost the U.S. elec­tion to im­prove their stand­ing. They want to ex­plain to them­selves and prove to oth­ers that they had noth­ing to do with it, their pol­icy is right, they have done ev­ery­thing well, but some­one from the out­side cheated them.

“The peo­ple who lost the vote hate to ac­knowl­edge that they in­deed lost be­cause the per­son who won was closer to the peo­ple and had a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what peo­ple wanted.”

Mr. Putin may be a bet­ter pun­dit than a pres­i­dent, and he’s hardly the man to cu­rate Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, to use a word sud­denly fash­ion­able to de­scribe art, food, pol­i­tics and any­thing else dear to the hearts of the pre­tenders to knowl­edge. When he says, as he did in Paris, that Rus­sia has never en­gaged in tri­fling with elec­tions in other coun­tries, we’re en­ti­tled to scoff.

Nev­er­the­less, his in­sis­tence that there was no col­lu­sion with Don­ald Trump and his cam­paign com­ports with what James Comey and Dianne Fe­in­stein say as well, so maybe he could be telling an ap­prox­i­ma­tion of the truth. If the devil can quote Scripture, maybe the old KGB hand can be telling it straight. Or maybe not. The jury, and the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor, are still out.

What is true is that the Democrats have put all their chips on Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the no­tion that it was the Rus­sians who cooked Hil­lary Clin­ton’s goose. There cer­tainly doesn’t seem to be any “there,” but just be­cause no one has seen a uni­corn in the gar­den doesn’t mean there isn’t one some­where.

The search for some­thing, any­thing, to im­peach Pres­i­dent Trump for some­thing he has ac­tu­ally done goes on, per­haps as a back-up crime just in case Vlad, James Comey and Dianne Fe­in­stein are wrong. The Democrats are dream­ing big with what­ever ev­i­dence, or “ev­i­dence,” they can find.

Nancy Pelosi, who dreams of get­ting a cor­ner of­fice in one of the House Of­fice Build­ings again, thinks she might have found an al­ter­na­tive im­peach­able crime. She thinks it odd, maybe ris­ing to high crime or at least mis­de­meanor, that Mr. Trump vis­ited Saudi Ara­bia on his first over­seas trip.

“I thought it was un­usual for the pres­i­dent of the United States to go to Saudi Ara­bia first. Saudi Ara­bia!” (The ex­cla­ma­tion point is hers.) “It wasn’t even al­pha­bet­i­cal.”

In­deed, Mr. Trump, the sec­re­tary of State, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser, Mike Pence and a few oth­ers plot­ting the trip skipped over Al­ba­nia, Al­ge­ria, An­dorra and An­gola in ar­rang­ing the trip. Surely some­one at the White House knows his al­pha­bet bet­ter than to put Saudi Ara­bia ahead of that A-list quar­tet. But wait: Saudi Ara­bia be­gins with “S,” so it’s worse than Nancy thought.

An­tigua and Barbados, Bhutan, Equa­to­rial Guinea, Le­ichen­stein and St. Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines all come be­fore Saudi Ara­bia in the State Depart­ment’s al­pha­bet­i­cal list of na­tions. Can’t any­body here play this game?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.