Monday, July 25, 2016

Can we really sit back and let Trump take this?

When I started blogging more than ten years ago one of the main things that inspired me to do it was the work that Josh Marshall was doing at his site Talking Points Memo. What he did in a number of big stories was partly original reporting and partly exhaustive, solid analysis based on pulling together reporting on seemingly disparate sources and stories and helping his readers understand what that information meant. When news stories seem complicated and hard to understand, Josh is one of the best people to go to.
That's what we're seeing today. Amid very strong, although not yet conclusive, evidence that two Russian intelligence agencies are the ones who infiltrated the DNC computers and used Wikileaks as their outlet, Josh has been investigating the broad and deep links between Trump and the Putin regime.
You absolutely must read Josh's two posts in full.
Two of the points that are pertinent to me are first: Trump is essentially unable to get financing for his ventures from American banks (stiffing your creditors will do that to you) so that he has come to rely increasingly heavily on Russian oligarchs, who are, of course, all vassals or allies of Putin. And second: unlike almost any other presidential candidate, Trump took no interest in the content of the Republican platform, with one exception--foreign policy issues that somehow involve Putin's interests; on those points he made sure the platform tracks what Putin wants, like his statements that we should undermine NATO and our commitments to our NATO allies.
In my memory there has never been an election in which a foreign dictator has been working so closely, and has had so many economic ties, with an American presidential candidate. Even if there were not so many other good reasons to support Hillary Clinton, it is essential that we not allow the White House to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Putin's Russia.