The Eternal Russian Reset

It was inevitable that the allegation Russian intelligence meddled in the American presidential election would become a partisan football. The claims that Moscow’s cyber intelligence assets infiltrated independent and private American political operatives’ computer networks to disrupt and undermine U.S. political culture have become secondary to whether that fact hurts or helps President-elect Donald Trump. Few seem interested in the broader point, which is that the incoming president’s education in Russia’s uncompromising conduct of foreign affairs has already begun. Since the advent of Vladimir Putin, American presidents have consciously sought warmer relations with Moscow, and each of them failed. It wasn’t a lack of noble intentions by intractable geopolitical realities that seems to force Moscow and Washington into perennial conflict.

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The Eternal Russian Reset

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German Wobbliness on Russia Is Real

And it long predates Trump.

The latest NATO summit got underway in Brussels this week, and President Trump brought all of his signature rhetorical subtlety to the Belgian capital. Off the bat at a meeting Wednesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump accused Germany of being “captive” to Russia. The remark ruffled diplomatic feathers in the Western alliance and touched off a predictable freakout among reporters and pundits back home.

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The Kavanaugh Conspiracy

Trading sanity for energy.

Generally speaking, the Trump era has been defined by two contrasting phenomena: Republican disunity leading to occasional episodes of tactical incompetence, and Democratic discipline and reconstruction. When it comes to judicial appointments, however, the parties trade their roles. From non-governmental organizations, to media figures, to Congress and the White House, the right has been united, strategic, and remarkably effective at nominating and confirming originalist judges to federal court appointments. Democrats, meanwhile, have been tactically maladroit, schismatic, and irrational. Owing to their lack of foresight, Democrats are now stripped of the minority privileges that would allow them to effectively oppose Donald Trump’s overqualified nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Thus, in their impotence, they are left with one option: radicalize their voters.

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No One Is Overturning Roe v. Wade Anytime Soon

But the freak-out continues.

As Noah has pointed out, the left has made a fetish of abortion, as though it were a positive good, like the polio vaccine, instead of something that should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

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The Great Republican Forgetting

The cult of personality corrupts.

Pro-Trump constituents in the press have a peculiar preoccupation with the president’s conservative critics. Specifically, they’re concerned with the amount of credit Donald Trump receives for his achievements, which presumes those achievements are self-evident. Objective accomplishments—for example, how the Republican Party under Donald Trump has methodically nominated and confirmed originalist judges to federal courts—demand no hectoring from the credit police. Principled conservatives are as happy to heap praise upon Trump for his stewardship of the courts as are #MAGA brigades. It’s only the president’s more dubious feats that raise the hackles of Trump’s enforcers, and for a good reason; they’re not accomplishments at all.

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The Daily Beast Sounds the Alarm About a Papist Menace

Old-school anti-Catholicism.

“To be sure” is one of the slipperiest expressions in the journalistic lexicon. There are legitimate uses for it, to be sure. But an unscrupulous reporter will drop a “to be sure” just before he launches a nasty, underhanded attack on his subject, all while giving the appearance that he (the reporter) is all too sensitive to nastiness—that he is not making the claim he is plainly making.

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