Senate To Investigate Alleged Ties Between Trump And Putin

The Hill  and Politco report that the Senate Intelligence Committee is going to probe the alleged connections between Donald Trump and Russia. As long as it is a real investigation, and not a coverup or witch hunt depending upon party affiliation, I’m all for investigating. I’ll go with whatever the facts show. I could be wrong, but at the moment I question if the Russia claims are the new Benghazi.

There is a tendency of people to believe negative things they hear about politicians they do not like. Sometimes they are true, and sometimes they are not. While I do not like Hillary Clinton, and have discussed at length many of the valid criticisms of her, I never bought into many of the claims ranging from Vince Foster to Benghazi. Turning on Fox (which I can only handle in brief spurts) demonstrates that many on the right still believe these things. Despite all the conspiracy theories, multiple investigations have shown that most of what conservatives claimed about Benghazi was false. All that is left is the possibility that Clinton might have involved in spinning the explanation for the attack after the fact based upon what sounded best politically, and it is also possible we were just seeing confusion from the fog of war as opposed to intentional deceit.

I don’t like Trump any more than I like Clinton, and there is also considerable valid criticism of him, but the material recently released regarding Trump’s alleged Russian ties has the same smell of bullshit as that which surrounded Benghazi. Claims of Russian attempts to influence our election are probably valid, just as the United States (including Hillary Clinton) often tries to influence elections in other nations. Circumstantial evidence such as business ties between Trump and associates is insufficient to prove a wider conspiracy.

This all needs to be investigated, but any conclusions ultimately need to be based upon the facts, not whether you dislike Trump for other valid reasons. On the other hand, if there is valid evidence against Trump, this should not be ignored just because you dislike Hillary Clinton, also for multiple other reasons. If the claims are false, they should be demonstrated to be false, as opposed to hiding behind the vastly over-used term fake news.

Whatever the investigation finds, Russian interference is not the main reason Hillary Clinton lost. There are no credible allegations that Russia actually hacked the voting machines, or even faked email. The Wikileaks email was one of many factors which was damaging to the Clinton campaign, but ultimately this just provided evidence of dishonesty on the part of Clinton, and unfair intervention in the campaign by the DNC, which was already known. Similarly, it is foolish to blame James Comey for Clinton’s loss when it was Clinton who both violated the rules regarding handling of email (as documented in the State Department Inspector General report) and who handled classified information in a careless manner, placing her campaign in this situation. Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate for Democrats to nominate, and she went on to run an inept campaign.

One negative to a two party election system is that some people come out of it seeing one side as good and the other side as bad. Both sides can be bad, and if we are unusually fortunate, perhaps some year we will have an election when both sides are good. Your enemy’s enemy is not necessarily your friend. Disliking Clinton is no reason to like either Trump or Putin, and all of Trump and Putin’s flaws do not make Hillary Clinton acceptable.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Joseph Auclair says:

    You had me until James Comey. He did torpedo Hillary, who, by the way, won the election and earned a mandate from the American people, but lost the Electoral College.

    In 2000 the Supremes intervened to allow GW, who lost the popular vote, an EC win.

    This time that proved unnecessary.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Clinton lost the election and did not get any sort of mandate.

    Winning the popular vote means nothing when the elections are based upon the electoral college and most candidates base their strategies on this. Clinton foolishly tried to run up the popular vote while ignoring the electoral college. Trump based his strategy upon what it would take to win. If the election was based upon the popular vote, he would have campaigned in blue states like California and New York where he didn’t bother because they were not part of his electoral vote strategy. He might have also campaigned to run up the vote more in red states.

    Comey’s could not have torpedoed Clinton if not for her own actions. She brought it on herself, and it was foolish for Democrats to nominate her.

  3. 3
    LibraryGuy says:

    Clinton "foolishly" tried to run up the popular vote based on a ton of polling that showed she had the electoral college votes she needed already. And  Comey was responsible for his own actions which violated institutional rules and norms solely to hurt Clinton. The fact that he had better-sourced information on links between Trump's campaign and Russia and repeatedly refused to publicly address that illustrated perfectly that he put a decisive thumb on the scale against Clinton. Seriously – part of his rationale for releasing the October letter was that rebellious anti-Hillary agents in NYC would have done it anyway? Ludicrous.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    LibraryGuy, you do realize that the election is over, with the results confirming what I and others have criticized about nominating Clinton for months, going back to before the Democrats nominated her? You ignore the polls (as well as primary results) which showed that Clinton had difficulties in the swing states, among young voters, among liberals, among independents, and in the rust belt.

    The links you claim between Trump’s campaign and Russia have yet to be proven. On the other hand, Clinton’s violation of the rules for handling email, and her improper handling of classified information, have been proven. These were also under investigation by both Congress and the FBI. It is Clinton’s fault if this hurt her in the campaign. She didn’t help matters by repeatedly lying to the American people about the scandal, further reducing her credibility, and making people less likely to vote for her. It was a foolish move for Democrats to nominate Clinton with all her baggage, and she went on to run a terrible campaign.

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