For years, Democrats and their cable news echo chamber conjured up and broadly disseminated the most lurid and patently ludicrous rumors about former President Donald Trump being a corrupted and (literally) compromised agent of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Democratic talking heads ultimately tried in vain to distance themselves from this sordid oeuvre’s most far-fetched talking points, such as the infamous “pee video kompromat” from the discredited Steele dossier. But for four years, Democrats’ unquenchable obsession with the “Russiagate” hoax pervaded, distorted and sullied our politics.
The irony is that Trump, on actual substantive merits, toed a very hawkish line on the Russian Federation. He shored up missile defense in Central and Eastern Europe, which the Obama administration had undermined as part of its ill-fated Russian “reset.” He repeatedly stood strongly with America’s ex-Iron Curtain allies, delivering a powerful, Reagan-esque 2017 foreign policy speech in Warsaw that was aimed squarely at Moscow. He unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from certain bilateral and multilateral accords — such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty — that buttressed Russia due to the simple fact that it did not comply and America did.
On Wednesday, roughly a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel left Washington, D.C., the U.S. and Germany issued a joint statement signing off on the completion of Nord Stream 2. The Biden administration’s approval of Nord Stream 2 marks the culmination of a stunning about-face. Biden himself has often called Putin a “KGB thug.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki asserted just last month that the administration “continues to believe that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe.” State Department Spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday — literally one day before the Biden/Merkel joint statement — blasted the pipeline as a “Kremlin geopolitical project that is intended to expand Russia’s influence over Europe’s energy resources and to circumvent Ukraine.”
What could possibly explain such bizarre and counterproductive behavior? On the rhetorical front, Biden — now tottering in his political dotage — is not exactly known as a paragon of lucidity. And if a recent Politico report on Vice President Kamala Harris’ hellish office is any indication, the Biden administration more generally is a disjointed and fractious mess. In terms of selling out domestic natural gas producers and exporters — well, Biden and his political party have never much cared for them anyway.
The United States, of course, also loses. As does Democrats’ feigned and disingenuous moral high ground as a corrective counterweight to Trump’s purported pro-Russia dovishness.
To find out more about Josh Hammer and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.