Why are Hillary Clinton and her supporters so obsessed with Vladimir Putin? Do they actually believe that Donald Trump is taking orders from the Kremlin? Or has somebody in the Hillary campaign team decided that the Putin meme is a vote winner and given instructions that everybody is to mention it? If it’s the latter, it’s not working. With a week to go to the US presidential election, Clinton is actually behind Trump in the latest polls. Her response? Double down on the Putin theme. Accuse FBI director James Comey of being a Russian agent, and spread unfounded rumours of a connection between Trump and Alfa Bank. It’s all a little desperate.
Both Russia and the US election have generated reams of silly commentary in recent months, and it’s never been sillier than when the two issues have been combined. Take, for instance, an article in today’s Ottawa Citizen entitled ‘What will you do when Trump’s troops invade?’ According to author Madeline Ashby:
Canada is a country worthy of invasion. Canada has abundant resources of fresh water, oil, coal and timber, all of which will be increasingly important as climate change continues its death march across history. … Would President Trump wait for a pipeline? No. Waiting for a safe and legal pipeline takes too much time. Annexations for oil resources are much simpler.
The idea that President Trump would order an invasion of Canada is absurd enough. But for some reason Ashby feels the need to throw in a reference to Putin too. It’s as if there is a directive from Clinton HQ saying that any mention of Trump has to be followed by a mention of the Russian president. Ignoring the inconvenient fact that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was an adviser not to Vladimir Putin but to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, Ashby says:
Just ask Ukraine. Given Trump’s connections to Putin via ex-adviser Paul Manafort, and his pro-Kremlin foreign policy positions, it’s not a daring leap of imagination to consider that Trump might put Putin’s tactics to use regarding Canada.
So, let’s get this right. Not only might Trump invade Canada, but if he does so, it’s because Vladimir Putin inspired him. Part of me wants to think that this article is a spoof. But political commentary has become so deranged of late that it is no longer possible to tell what is a joke and what is for real.