Elliot: The Russians are coming


By Beau Elliot

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Yikes. Russians. Coming. Here?

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Well, that could be Shoeless Joe Jackson, possibly falsely implicated in the Black Sox Scandal of the 1919 World Series, or it could be Shoefull Joe McCarthy, the infamous right-wing senator from Wisconsin who kept finding communists in the American government everywhere where they weren’t. (Which was in the U.S. government.)

A certain U.S. president-elect has at times been compared to Shoefull Joe, but he probably couldn’t fill the shoes of ol’ Shoefull. He’d have to be a lot more bombastic. Which I realize is hard to imagine.

Which brings us to Russians. They’re everywhere in cyberspace, apparently, as if it were a Tom Clancy book, but said president-elect can’t find them anywhere.

No Russians here, he keeps saying, even as he prepares, according to many new reports including NPR, to nominate the head honcho of Exxon to become the next secretary of State. Said head honcho is, according to many reports, cozy-cozy with Russian President Valdimir Putin.

But no Russians here.

Even though said president-elect is reported to be quite the admirer of Putin. to the point of saying there were no Russian troops in Crimea back when there were clearly many hundreds, or so, Russian troops in Crimea, according to many dozens of photos and videos, not to mention reporters on the ground. Well, those reporters on the ground were communists, you say. Case closed.

But Putin was, in Soviet communist days, a member of the KGB, so if the reporters on the ground were communists, they would have been in favor of the Russians invading Crimea.


But no Russians here.

Well, hmm.

The CIA, according to NPR, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other news outlets, has concluded that the Russians attempted to tip the recent U.S. presidential election in favor of said president-elect over Hillary Clinton, using various cyber means and issuing  fake news reports.

As the Post put it, “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

And you thought winter was starting to get cold. We have a whole new Cold War here, if the CIA is correct. The Russians trying to tip the U.S. presidential election?

The said president-elect has pooh-poohed the idea, because, as he has often said, he knows how to “work” with Putin.

Yeah, we can see that.

The president-elect and his supporters will dismiss the CIA report, claiming that he won a historic election. As if that made some difference, with Russians lurking here and there. What now for Estonia, we wonder. Lithuania. Latvia. The president-elect hasn’t evinced he has any knowledge of them. Or cares to.

And historic election? Better put, a hysteric election. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes. And the Electoral College, that antiquated 18th-century Rube Goldberg machine? (OK, Goldberg lived in the 19th century. The Founding Fathers beat him to the punching machine, so to speak.)

And as for the historic Electoral College margin that the president-elect and his supporters like to crow about? It ranks 46th among 58 U.S. presidential elections.

Yeah, that’s historic. Historically mediocre.

Meanwhile, the Russians are coming.

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