Opinion: If collusion is now OK, what isn’t OK? What’s left?

(AP)

The last time that we invited outsiders to participate in a purely American dispute was back in the Civil War, when the Confederacy went begging to Great Britain to intervene on its behalf. Now it seems that we’re at it again, and it leaves me both flummoxed and deeply worried.

In this case, the outsider is Russia. Confronted by overwhelming, documented evidence that the Trump campaign at least attempted to enlist the Russian government into its cause, defenders of President Trump have retreated into an argument that amounts to “so what if they did?”

There are a lot of ways to answer that. The pragmatic response would be to point out that if you take ill-gotten information from Vladimir Putin and use it in your campaign, congratulations: You just became Putin’s pawn. With the push of a send button to his pals at Wikileaks, he can now destroy you at the moment of his choosing, and he knows it and you know it.

Another way is to point out that if this identical scandal were playing out under a Democratic president, with Russian interference not just welcomed, but rewarded and encouraged with Russia-friendly policies, the GOP response would be dramatically different. Fox News would be beside itself, unleashing the furies, and the gears of impeachment would be well-oiled and turning. And while we cannot say for sure, I just don’t think that Democrats as a whole would be rushing to defend such behavior or trying to explain that while it looks bad to turn to Russia for election assistance, it’s not illegal or criminal so it must be OK.

I just don’t think that would happen.

But here’s what has me gut-sick: Healthy nations don’t do this. Americans don’t do this. We don’t invite outsiders to take part in our fights, to help us in our battles with fellow Americans. Elections are fought and settled here, right here, within the family.  It’s about us, not them. If our battles with each other have become so heated that it is now acceptable to call in third parties to help our side win — third parties that have historically been our nation’s adversaries — then we have lost something critically important.

That transformation is all the more startling because it comes from a party and president that in every other context claims to be deeply nationalistic. “America First,” as the slogan goes.

According to them, we need The Wall to preserve the sanctity of our border. We need ever more stringent election laws to ensure that only American citizens are allowed to vote, to guard against even the small possibility that some illegal immigrant somewhere in this country might violate the purity of the ballot box. We also want no restrictions placed on us by international agreements that might impinge on our national sovereignty, and immigration bans and trade barriers are the executive order of the day.

“We want to build with American workers, and with American iron, aluminum and steel….Buy American, and hire American,” as President Trump recently put it. “We have sent a clear message to the world that we will not allow other nations to take advantage of us any longer.”

Yet somehow, when it comes to outsourcing of opposition research to the intelligence agencies of foreign adversaries, it’s stunning to see that obsessive concern for national sovereignty just evaporate. If an immigrant dares to vote illegally, we sentence her to eight years in prison, but if an entire country picks a side in our election and actively tries to intervene, we’re told it’s no big deal.

If that’s OK, what isn’t OK? What’s left?

Reader Comments 0

2005 comments
Soybean Bob
Soybean Bob

with our interconnected globalized world... it sure is difficult to define collusion.... is trade policy collusion? (i.e. manipulative to the benefit or detriment of a given head of state), is CIA activity collusion? is holding a state dinner for a sitting head of state collusion? (favoritism) - is sending (or not sending) a carrier task force off the coast of some nation collusion(i.e. showing or not showing support for that government) - and all this stuff happens day in and day out


so... somebody define collusion...


but just in general, re the trump WH... i don't think they are capable of collusion - i actually wish they were... heck they barely got the easter egg roll event pulled off this year... the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing.... wanting to collude?  maybe, but actually colluding?  not a chance

JayBook
JayBook moderator

 "We certainly don't want males or the geriatric to get out of paying for maternity benefits."

-----

Every baby ever born has had two parents, one male and one female.

ATLien26
ATLien26

I hope that there are Republicans that will have the courage to put their country first. Sam Ervin is a great example of courage, good character, and a true patriot. We can only hope that our current Republicans/dixiecrats have a 10th of the fortitude that Mr. Ervin had.

lfelton
lfelton

It was ok when Ted Kennedy did it. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

See? Jay has posted new sheetz about the Senate HC Bill just released.

rimsky
rimsky

Syrian opposition fighters managed, on Thursday, to foil an extensive attack launched by the regime forces on the outskirts of Ayn Tarma Village, in the eastern countryside of Damascus.

Qasioun News reported that the Syrian rebels foiled the regime forces’ attack on the outskirts of Ayn Tarma Village, in the eastern countryside of Damascus, destroying a T72 tank.

http://www.iraqinews.com/arab-world-news/syrian-opposition-foils-regime-forces-attack-ayn-tarma/


Hey Chump how is the ceasefire holding up in Syria after you and your boss putin crowed about it a few days ago?

Wily
Wily

Kellyanne loser. At least she didn't wear her drum major's uniform.

Denise285
Denise285

NBC OUT JUL 12 2017, 11:42 PM ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Criticized for Speaking to ‘Hate Group’

Democrats and LGBT groups assailed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for an off-camera, closed-door speech Tuesday to an organization designated as a "hate group" by a prominent civil rights watchdog.

As announced on his public schedule, Sessions addressed a crowd at the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty in Orange County, California.

As the news of the scheduled speech traveled, nonprofit advocacy groups and Democrats issued statements asking why the head of the U.S. Justice Department was speaking at a summit put on by the ADF, designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016.

http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-criticized-speaking-hate-group-n782356

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

I'm kinda wondering when Kellyanne Conway will realize she's the circus act being trotted out to make the rest of these freaks look kinda normal. Someone needs to tell her she's the bear riding the tricycle.

rimsky
rimsky

@ScubaSteve Did you know Omarosa gets paid $179,100 year.  I wonder what she does.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Dude. She won on the Apprentice. The greatest tv show ever.

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

@rimsky @ScubaSteve She went to work for Trump after swearing in MSNBC one Saturday morning that she would never ever do such a thing. That's what she did.

Rockstar67
Rockstar67

The GOP wants to shift everything to achieve their goals.  They didnt do their job to hear a SCOTUS nominee.  Now they are willing to allow treason just to maintain office.


This is tyranny, nothing less.

Peachs
Peachs

@Rockstar67 there is a central clearing house for any Republican media communication.  I was listening to a NC congressmen last night, barely could speak English he was so rural, but he was spitting the same talking points I hear out of a much more elegant spokesman earlier in the day, in the same filibustered fashion, interrupting the questions with on going nonsense, talking point in dead air space whether they fix there or not.

lfelton
lfelton

@Rockstar67 read the Constitution and then tell me where treason occurred? Just because someone says it doesn't mean it's true.

rimsky
rimsky

 Afghan girls robotics team given US visa after outrageGirls whose visa applications were rejected twice finally given green light to travel to international robotics contest.

I am glad they were granted visa.

Now start the outrage on Mitch's HC cluster F@#%ck.

rimsky
rimsky

I hope Mr Jay is not sick.  If you are, get well soon.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@rimsky  Observation from the sidelines: Jay B.'s essays seem to be posted later than they used to be posted: early afternoon instead of first thing in the morning.  But given the pattern of news bombshells lately, he may want to be sure he's tapped the latest news for his essays now written in the morning rather than the night before.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

You fumbled the ball before you reached the end zone so no end zone celebrating of children being separated from their parents arms.

Up In Cleveland
Up In Cleveland

Guess I'm the only one that finds Google oppressive.

Peachs
Peachs

And the other half of that is that Jr. is not coming to the realization that his father is a bad parent.

Peachs
Peachs

The timetable on this Russian thing is too coincidental!

It is like seeing a redheaded man's truck parked in front of my house and nine months later I have a redheaded child and I am a brunette, my wife is brunette. This may be my child but I'm pretty damn suspicious that it is not!

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Peachs  And the coincidents include Trump knowledge of the Russian involvement.... collusion!

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Seriously, getting off on destroying families and deporting hard working, law abiding residents. What a filthy pig.

rimsky
rimsky

@Visual_Cortex Haven't you figured out that the cons hate hard working intelligent people?  That is not their base and they luv it that way.