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The ‘Russia Collusion’ Reboot Is Going To Be Terrible

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on Facebook.

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“We’re all wondering this question, Speaker Pelosi, what do you think [Vladimir] Putin has on him?” White House press secretary turned MSNBC White House spokesperson Jen Psaki asked the former speaker of the House this week. “I mean, it sure seems like something, as you’ve said a few times, given that he refuses to criticize him, that he seems to be a fanboy of him. Are you worried?”

By “him,” of course, Psaki is referring to Donald Trump. He is virtually the only thing they talk about. Psaki can beg the questions because Trump recently went on a hyperbolic rant about our European allies failing to meet their North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) obligations—a decades-long problem.

“I don’t know what he has on him, but I think it’s probably financial,” Pelosi theorized. “Either something financial he has him on or something on the come — something that he expects to get.” 

If Democrats had common decency, they would cook up a fresh conspiracy theory for us in 2024, because, really, the prospect of reliving the same hysterics over Russia for another year—or four—is just depressing. Yet Russia collusion fanfic is on the uptick as the 2024 presidential election approaches. The reboot features many of the same characters—Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and so on—who are already scaremongering about Putin’s influence on the GOP.

Now, I don’t care how much you detest Trump. Accusing him of being a foreign asset or a spy, or contending that he’s being blackmailed, are stupid smears. Only a sap or a liar could possibly believe them at this point.

Pelosi, cynically playing on the credulous nature of her constituents, surely doesn’t. She knows a nearly two-year special counsel investigation — largely prompted by a political oppo file paid for by Democrats — failed to uncover a single act of “collusion” in 2016, much less kompromat on Trump. There were congressional investigations. There were leaked tax returns. Every major media organization in the nation spent an inordinate amount of time and treasure trying to expose Trump’s alleged sedition.

This is why Pelosi is compelled to frame Trump’s alleged treachery as future quid pro quo. It’s certainly difficult to disprove future events.

Why does Putin have to “have something on him,” anyway? Who knows, maybe Trump believes he can coax NATO nations into ponying up their fair share. Or maybe Trump believes a “reset” with Russia is in the best interests of the United States. (Psaki knows a thing or two about championing better relations with Putin.) Or maybe Trump just admires Putin in the way Joe Biden admires the mullahs of the Islamic State.

Did Biden ease sanctions against Iran, open avenues of funding for the Revolutionary Guard, aid Hamas, and give the Houthis a reprieve because he was bribed? No. Biden is an unprincipled man with a preternatural ability to cock up foreign policy and who has surrounded himself with Israel-hating ideologues. We don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain it.

Hannah Arendt once noted that Western intellectuals had adopted one of communism’s most effective tactics: making every debate about motive rather than the merits of an argument. This is the modus operandi of the modern leftist. You might be paid off by “dark money” or motivated by race (even unconsciously), but your arguments never really matter. Now the tactic is mainstreamed. When was the last time we had a real national debate on policy?

A responsible political media would treat allegations of Russian collusion as one does conspiracies about the moon landing or fluoride. Let’s face it, the biggest difference between Rachel Maddow and Alex Jones is aesthetics. Instead, no matter how many investigations disprove the conspiracy theory, no matter how many times its architects are caught lying, they keep being treated as good-faith political actors. The only way the media holds anyone accountable for the Russia collusion hoax, it seems, is to promote him.

They do this because it worked. Tens of millions of Americans were convinced that the Russians had not only stolen “democracy” with a Facebook ad buy, but that Putin altered vote tallies. And the most pathetic part of it all is that tens of millions will probably fall for it again.


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