It is a truth universally acknowledged that staffers start to talk, and act, like their boss. George Will noticed this many years ago, when he worked on Capitol Hill and then covered it for NR.
In a general-election debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump said, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”
I’m not sure that was Trump’s first use of “Russia, Russia, Russia” — but it soon filled the air.
Google gives me examples from Kellyanne Conway, including these: “CNN is so vested in Russia, Russia, Russia”; “Your job is not to Russia, Russia, Russia all day long”; “There’s not going to be a single show on CNN . . . that doesn’t feature this Russia, Russia, Russia!”
Okay. One must not neglect the 400-pounders.
“Guccifer 2.0” was the handle of the man, or woman, who hacked into the Democratic National Committee and turned his plunder over to WikiLeaks. He claimed to be a lone “hacktivist” from Romania, just out for a joy ride, or something. Fulfilling his duty as a citizen of the world?
He was touted that way by many. For instance, Breitbart published a piece whose headline admonished us to “Stop Blaming Russia.” Its author, Roger Stone, said that “it seems like Guccifer 2.0 is the real deal.”
He’s the real deal, all right. U.S. investigators have now determined that he is an officer in the GRU, i.e., Russian military intelligence. For as long as anyone can remember, the GRU has been a 400-pound gorilla, so to speak.
I propose a lesson: Don’t be a Russia obsessive. But don’t be a Russia naïf either. It used to be that our liberals had the market cornered when it came to naïveté about the Kremlin. But U.S. politics can be like the New England weather — just wait 15 minutes.