Politics & Policy

The Corner

About the Current Storm, Six Quick Ones

1) A line is developing on the right — it is even embraced by the president himself: General Flynn was the victim of unpatriotic saboteurs within the government. Okay. Why did the president fire him? Why didn’t the president stick with this victim of unpatriotic saboteurs?

The president didn’t have to fire him, you know. Flynn could be at his side today — and forever, or as long as the Trump presidency lasts.

Oddly, Trump is crying foul play. Almost as though he had nothing to do with Flynn’s ouster. When he was the ouster.

Just yesterday, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, said, “We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks trying to ascertain the truth. The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable incidents is what led the president to ask General Flynn for his resignation.”

“Other questionable incidents.” That is an intriguing phrase.

Anyway, the line now is that Flynn is a victim? I find this hard to square.

2) The president has tweeted, “This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”

Could be. Or could be that there were contacts between Trump officials and Russian officials during the campaign — contacts that warrant an inquiry.

3) Apparently, General Flynn, through his conduct, was made vulnerable to Russian blackmail. This is undesirable, to say the least.

4) The reaction to the Flynn affair, and to Trump-Kremlin allegations, has been extreme, many people say. A “freakout.” It is also true, I think, that, just as you can overreact, you can underreact. (Under-freak?) Going nuts is stupid; so is being blasé.

5) It’s often useful to ask, “What if the shoe were on the other foot? What if it were the other party doing it, not my party? What would I think and say?”

If Democrats had an identical relationship to the Putin regime, what would Republicans say? And since when are Democrats so national security–conscious?

Bill O’Reilly said to Trump, “Putin’s a killer.” Trump replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

If a Democratic president had said the same — can you imagine the Republican reaction?

6) Campaigning in October, Trump said, “WikiLeaks! I love WikiLeaks.” The crowd cheered. Trump continued, “It’s amazing how nothing is secret today.” He meant that positively.

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