March 03, 2017 | by Roger L. Simon
That oft-quoted (although likely misattributed) line of Harry Truman’s — “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — is in sore need of revision. These days not even the dogs are to be trusted. They’re probably wired.
Everyone and everything else seems to be as our government has descended into the ugliest game of finger pointing and character assassination we have seen in years, focusing on — in an epic role reversal, Democrats miraculously morphing into born-again hawks — relations with Russia.
And, inadvertently, but perhaps inevitably, just as life imitates art, America is now imitating Russia. Our political life is beginning to resemble the Soviet Politburo, where out of favor politicians were suddenly disappeared or, at the height of the Stalin era, simply murdered. We’re not murdering anybody yet, but we’re certainly disappearing them.
First to go was now-former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for reasons as yet indeterminate. He evidently talked to the Russians about something, but who knows what? That he was doing his job might even have been among the strongest of possibilities, not that that matters.
Now it’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ turn. He too is evidently guilty of speaking with the Russians, in this case their ambassador, when he was still a senator, once completely en passant at a public event and once, oh-cardinal-sin, in the senator’s own office (what a clandestine venue!). What he said, as with Flynn, is as yet indeterminate, but if one is to believe Sessions, it doesn’t add up to much. And since two retired U.S. military colonels were present at the meeting, it’s hard to imagine Sessions — even in the extremely remote chance he would consider such a thing — would collude with the Russian ambassador about the election under those circumstances.
The legal case against the AG seems less than paper thin, hanging on whether Sessions fully answered a stumbling question that was vague in the first place and easily misconstrued, if indeed it was.
Nevertheless, calls ring out all over the Democrat Party for his resignation. In a bloodthirsty, yet pathetic, attempt to put a nail in Sessions’ coffin, Sen. Claire McCaskill jumped in to say that members of her (and Sessions’) Armed Services Committee were never supposed to meet with ambassadors — such meetings were exclusively for the Foreign Relations Committee — only to have photographic evidence of her own meeting with the Russian ambassador appear on Twitter within minutes along with several other embarrassing tweets of previous and subsequent meetings.
Hers was Politburo politics at its purest, behavior not all that distant from the purge trials where false accusations habitually sent defendants to Siberia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ideology or the public interest and everything to do with power. Actually, the Soviets may have been more honest about it. At least when Stalin did away with Trotsky, he had an argument (sort of). Stalin wanted socialism in one country and Trotsky favored world revolution. (It also may show, in McCaskill’s case, how smug self-interest begets premature senility.)