This one is fun. I hope you’ll agree. Tragic in its implications about how corrupt Washington is, but at least it’s fun to go through the exercise of asking about motive. We’ll begin with asking whether Russia would have a motive to help Trump, and we’ll look at five situations.
- How could Russia reasonably expect to get a better deal from Trump on Iran than they were already getting from Clinton and Obama? Well, what deal were they already getting? All the sanctions lifted and all the assets unfrozen. Iran is a client state of Russia. Russia sells a lot of equipment and technology to Iran, particularly for their nuclear program. So with the sanctions lifted and assets unfrozen, Iran could buy a lot more stuff from Russia. How do you get a better deal than all the sanctions lifted and all the assets unfrozen?
- Same question – Iraq? Russia was already getting a complete pullout from Clinton and Obama, leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East into which Russia could step and increase her influence. How do you get a better deal than a complete pullout?
- Same question – Ukraine? Russia was already getting no opposition from Clinton and Obama to Russia’s takeover of parts of Ukraine. How do you get a better deal than no opposition?
- Same question – Syria? Russia was already getting no opposition from Clinton and Obama to atrocities committed by Russia’s client state of Syria. How do you get a better deal than no opposition?
- Same question – Uranium mines? Russia was already getting “YES!” from Clinton and Obama to purchase uranium mines in America. How do you get a better deal than “YES!”?
So Russia would have absolutely no motive whatsoever to prefer Trump – they were already getting everything they wanted from Clinton and Obama. Their incentive would be to maintain the status quo and keep on getting everything they wanted.
Now let’s turn to the other motive sometimes mentioned, that Russia wanted to “disrupt” us. Why? When your opponent’s performance is delivering great advantages to you, why would you want to disrupt that performance? Just be patient and keep on collecting the advantages!
Think of a baseball analogy. When the other team’s pitcher is having trouble finding the strike zone, do you flail away at the first three pitches in an effort to “disrupt” the pitcher? Or do you tell your batters to be patient, to take a few pitches and see if they can get ahead in the count? Then, they’ll either draw a walk and move the runners up, or they’ll get a fat fastball down the middle that they can drive for an extra-base hit.
Besides, how much bang-for-the-buck could there be in trying to “disrupt” us any further? For many years, surveys have consistently shown that 90% of Americans don’t trust Congress, and 75% think we’re headed in the wrong direction. Now, granted, there are different reasons for not trusting Congress, and different visions of what the right direction would be, but the fact remains that we have been thoroughly disrupted by our own behavior for many decades. So, again, how much bang-for-the-buck could there be in trying to “disrupt” us any further?
I see no conceivable motive for Russia to do this – neither preferring Trump nor wanting to “disrupt” us. They were already getting everything they wanted from the Clinton and Obama team, and would have wanted to keep that performance intact.
ERpundit – 04/26/2018