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Clinton-Trump parallelisms via Daniel Nexon — whassay?

[ by Charles Cameron — more on the digging dirt / foreign sources story ]

It’s all too easy to lose sight of the intriguing parallelism here — but symmetries are worth watching, often revelatory. Good catch by Daniel Nexon:


From January: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire:

Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Russia’s effort was personally directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, involved the country’s military and foreign intelligence services, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

[ .. more .. ]


Your thoughts? — valuable since they’ll no doubt differ from mine..

13 Responses to “Clinton-Trump parallelisms via Daniel Nexon — whassay?”

  1. zen Says:

    Well it is analogous and it’s also neither an excuse nor a shield.
    The real truth is that foreign states, entities and persons have sought to influence our elections and our politics in varying degrees since the end of WWII.It’s hard to blame them. Like Herod visiting Caesar in Rome and lavishing praise and gifts on him and influential senators, they are trying to propitiate and wheedle an 800 lb gorilla who can blunder into their neighborhood whenever it wishes and lay waste to anything and everything. Or we might decide to stay and “help”. So we have at least Chinese and (probably) narco money in our electoral system, Russian, Israeli and other meddling

    And our politicians – our presidents most of all – have entreated foreign leaders to “help” them at least passively by ignoring what they say during a campaign. This was as true of FDR on the Polish question in 1944 as of Barack Obama telling Medvedev he’d “have more flexibility” after the election in 2012. This includes Nixon, Reagan Ford and would-be presidents like Ted Kennedy who went beyond even what Donald “Fredo” Trump, Jr. admitted doing and personally proposed collusion to Soviet General-Secretary Andropov to undermine Ronald Reagan. Richard Nixon is accused of sabotaging LBJ’s peace entreaty to Hanoi – which he probably did – though LBJ only made this proposal and bombing halt to shore up Humphrey’s failing electoral bid in a three way race. Had LBJ ran against Nixon as Johnson originally planned, I’m pretty sure there’d have been no bombing halt and no peace plan except on par with Nixon’s “secret” kind.
    We should judge this Trumpian gambit harshly (and likely, in a court of law) but in context

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks, Zen. My education continues.
    Why aren’t the pundits talking about these things — or are they? Am I just not reading the right people?

  3. Zen Says:

    I think our pundits – who are essentially all partisans – would not be terribly eager for an open-ended investigation into foreign influence in our elections because it’s impossible for anyone to say what that would turn up. Or to shine a searchlight on the registered foreign agents of K street (to say nothing of the unregistered ones) and how they also interact as political consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists and lawyers for our political class. And how retired or defeated members of the political class move into this lobbying world fairly seamlessly. A forensic audit of all campaign donations to congressional candidates of both parties for all 535 seats in Congress would unearth very interesting and likely illegal things.
    None of that is to obscure that what Trump Jr did is regarded as beyond the pale even by DC standards but the American people aren’t aware of what those standards really are because the media focuses on them as if every scandal from Chinese donors to HRC to Fat Leonard to Russiagate are all one-offs. If there’s a scandal the media will dig down on that one politician and usually only if they are a Republican or to be fair, Hillary but an effort to generally connect dots is strenuously avoided.

  4. Charles Cameron Says:

    Sounds like an incredible opportunity for a journalist — or historian..

  5. Grurray Says:

    The only real collusion that we know for sure occurred is between Veselnitskaya and the Obama administration
    If she is such a dangerous Putin agent, why did Obama’s DOJ bend/break the rules to let her enter the US?

  6. Dave Schuler Says:

    In addition to Mark’s observations above the United States has also interfered in the elections of other countries routinely. Indeed, the number of known instances of U. S. interference exceeds all those of other countries combined.
    For goodness sake Bill Clinton bragged about interfering in the Russian elections during his presidency. That’s one of the reasons for the sour relationship between Putin and Hillary Clinton.
    However, the key point is that unless something new comes out there is no underlying crime in the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians. The Logan Act? Don’t make me laugh. If we prosecuted all offenders under the Logan Act there wouldn’t be an ex-president out of the clink.
    Do I support Trump? No. Did I vote for Trump? No. Do I want him to be president? No. All I’m saying is let’s not take leave of our senses.

  7. carl Says:

    Mr. Nexon is a quintessential superzip, a prominent member of the inside the beltway elite. He thinks Junior’s foray into international intrigue is something other than being reminiscent of the scene in the movie The Last Hurrah where Spencer Tracy tricks the banker’s dopey grown son into posing in a fireman’s outfit. No, Mr Nexon, mister number 1 superzip, thinks this has “massive national security implications.”
    As a self designated number 1 flyover person/deplorable I wonder about Mr. Nexon’s judgement considering such things as only 25% of the USMC’s F-18 fleet can fly combat missions or the Russians made a cyber recce of a nuclear power plant in Kansas in May. And Mr. Nexon in an article written for the Washington Post in March of 2014 concluded, after 17 paragraphs of academic pseudo-speak, that Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine were really no big deal. Yes sir people like Mr. Nexon make me wonder why we should listen to him at all even if he is a faculty member at Georgetown.

  8. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hi Carl:
    Thanks, it’s good to see all this from another angle..
    Setting Daniel Nexon aside, do you see a parallelism between the Trump and Clinton situations with regard to inviting foreign influence into US elections?

  9. carl Says:

    I think that is entirely beside the point. Other countries are going to try to affect things for the reasons Zen mentioned. They would be foolish not to. And to think some Americans won’t be tempted participate in that game is naive. But to go about it as the superzips have been doing betrays something fundamental about the superzips and illustrates why they are hated by so many Americans and why Mr. Trump got elected.
    The zips believe sincerely that many, maybe most, Americans are childlike creatures who can be easily manipulated. They look down on us and contemn us. That is why they find the election result so unacceptable. The peasants revolted and it couldn’t be because the zips are doing a lousy job, it must be because those simple peasants had their minds poisoned by a malign foreign influence. All the zips agree that is the only possible explanation since they all know the peasants cannot see things and think for themselves.
    But (to borrow from the great Kipling) Tommy sees and you bet he knows exactly what is happening. The American Tommy sees there is something on a very basic level happening to the country and its governments and we don’t like it. We realize that to stop this we needed to make a radical change, and that meant electing somebody who appeared willing to make radical change, even if that meant electing a guy who was bumptious, sometimes vulgar or ill mannered and said huge and horrible a lot. Those things didn’t matter because us Yank Tommies are often like that and even if it ticks off the superzips. Actually ticking of the zips is a delightful bonus.
    So that is why I believe Tommy doesn’t much care about nor believe all the things the zips have been telling us lately. That is why too the zips won’t change their minds and won’t give it up. Both sides see that the America they want cannot coexist with the America the other side wants. The rigid partisanship some decry is logical given the stakes.
    There is something going on and some imagined or real foreign machinations have no effect on it. This is between us. For the zips to think otherwise is not only misguided it insults Tommy. And he sees.

  10. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Why aren’t the pundits talking about these things — or are they? Am I just not reading the right people?

    There is so much material coming out of the Trump camp now, and so much more noise from them designed to cover that material, that the pundits have all they can deal with there. It’s hard to draw back or look at anything else. Trump is president and currently damaging the country, Clinton is not.
    That said, I’ve been out of internet contact for a week, and it looks to me like it is much to easy to get lost in the immediate. I’m going to try to keep a more detached viewpoint, although that is difficult. Having Trump for president is like having a seriously emotionally disturbed member of the family – there is always a new uproar to deal with.

  11. carl Says:

    ” Having Trump for president is like having a seriously emotionally disturbed member of the family – there is always a new uproar to deal with.”
    Or it could be there is a hypercritical old hag of an auntie who will never stop picking on the kid.

  12. carl Says:

    Oops. By “hag of an auntie” I didn’t mean you Cheryl. I meant the denizens of superzipistan.

  13. Charles Cameron Says:

    Glad we got that bit cleared up!
    Weekend best wishes, all!

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