How Putin gamed America

If Donald Trump is in bed with the Russians, how come the Russians are letting their most valuable intelligence assett die an agonizing political death?

Russia has no interest in Donald Trump, and that should make you very nervous, because it means Vladimir Putin isn’t done  interfering in American politics and the destruction of Hillary Clinton is only phase one of Putin’s plans.

If it was true that Donald Trump was in bed with the Russians and worked with them to engineer an electoral victory, then he is literally the most valuable intelligence asset Russia has ever had. Indeed, Donald Trump would be the most valuable intelligence asset anyone has ever owned.

A relationship like the one suspected with Donald Trump is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Russians. It’s a chance to have direct access to the inner deliberations of the most powerful office on Earth.

If that were true, you expect that the Russians would go to great pains to protect such an asset.

Except they aren’t. If anything, they’re making things worse.

If they cared about protecting Trump, what’s the likelihood that Comey would have been fired the day before a meeting with Russian officials? What’s the likelihood that embarrassing information about that meeting would get leaked? What’s the likelihood that Russia would have allowed Syria to so terribly embarrass Trump by gassing civilians just hours after he publicly said the US has no interest in directly ousting the Syrian regime.

It doesn’t add up. None of it. Russia’s end goal is not Trump’s protection and utilization as an asset. The only thing that makes sense is that the end goal is to turn Trump’s presidency into a constitutional crisis.

Russia isn’t interested in Trump. Russia is interested in destroying Trump.

Don’t buy it? Then answer this one thing. Why should the Russians care about Trump?

There are only two reasons why they would tilt an election in his favor. Either they have him in their pocket — which isn’t consistent with what’s actually happening — or else they hated Hillary. But does that really fit with Putin’s realpolitik attitude? Would he risk a global confrontation just to wreck her dreams of Clinton becoming President? Would he risk seeing a populist wildcard elected?

No. He wouldn’t risk it unless there was another shoe to drop.

Russia surely wanted to hurt Clinton, but that was a secondary goal. This had a little bit to do with her and everything else to do with America. Putin ultimately wants  to reduce American influence on the world stage, to throw it into such disarray that it recedes from the global theatre and concentrates on devouring its own entrails.

It looks to me like he’s succeeded. Here we stand, on the brink of the collapse of American Democracy, if only for a few weeks, but a collapse nonetheless. .

This is the tragedy. Not that Trump is incompetent as a President. But that the Russians have so masterfully manipulated the American mind that we now believe Trump is also treasonous.

Maybe Trump is all that, maybe his isn’t, but one thing is certain: the Russians don’t care about him. They care about destroying him.

Once that happens, once Russia reduces to rubble the foundations of both democratic parties, their triumph will be complete. There is now a wound in the side of America that will take years to heal. And it couldn’t have worked out better for Russia if they had planned it out in every detail