Stop blaming Russia

“Blame Russia“ has become the Bobo doll for too many American politicians, government officials, journalists and the public.

Like the Bobo doll, “Blame Russia” pops up every now and then (just this week for example), and it needs to be smashed down. But at some point it returns, because the aforementioned politicians, government officials, journalists and the public let it, and it has to be knocked backward again.

Such a silly cycle of action and reaction.

If the concept of the Bobo doll doesn’t suit you, then perhaps the monster under the bed will.

Much like the monster under the bed that scares children all over the world, “Blame Russia” is not a real thing. But if you allow the monster to continue frightening you, then you’ve given it life.

And so “Blame Russia” is alive and well.

Unnamed sources here. Classified information there. Foreign sources, too. All used to press the narrative that Russia is eager to undermine the upcoming election. But no one talks about the many examples of America’s heavy-handed actions in upsetting regional relations.

Spare me the 2016 election interference story. Instead, you and I need to remember this: Roughly 55,000 voters across three states decided that Donald Trump was the better candidate than Hillary Clinton. Chauvinism, sexism, white supremacy, decades of anti-Clinton conversation (especially on talk radio) and fear defined a voting decision that cannot be undone.

If those roughly 55,000 voters had chosen her over him, Trump’s Electoral College triumph would have been a Clinton Electoral College victory.

Like many of you reading this post, I believed then (and still do now) that Trump was the vastly inferior candidate. Had I not voted for Clinton, I would have selected a so-called third-party candidate.

That was then. In roughly 40 days, Americans will decide whether Trump or Joe Biden will lead the country over the next four years. Right now, the highly credible fivethirtyeight.com projects Biden has a 77% chance of winning.

Solid odds. But not guaranteed. Should Trump pull off what could be called an “upset,” would certain people blame Russia?

A Catholic mother of 7 (likely) will be the next Supreme Court Justice

Buckle up, my friends.

If, as expected, President Trump announces, in the next couple of days, Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his choice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nation’s highest court, the war of words outside Washington will begin.

The public relations battle won’t change the outcome: Barrett will be confirmed to the Supreme Court unless Democrats can find enough procedural moves to block the vote.

The left doesn’t sound especially positive.

Their frustration has the potential to doom them if they opt to attack Barrett for being a staunch Catholic. That’s simply a bad idea. There’s a real risk that bashing her faith could turn away Catholic voters when the nation votes in the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 3.

All Supreme Court nominees are controversial; they have lots of judicial decisions behind them that can be scrutinized. They will either be the darlings of the left or the right, depending upon their previous rulings and the paper trail that explains those choices.

For conservatives and liberals, the arguments about Judge Barrett will sound similar: She has a consistent record. For liberals, that will be a siren that she will support the erosion of abortion rights, Title IX and more. For the right, her record will be interpreted as having the potential to overturn Roe v Wade and the Affordable Care Act, while also strengthening gun rights and limits on immigration.

Happy arguing, but remember…

Right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has at least 51 Republican votes to support Barrett’s nomination; he only needs 50 (in the event of a 50-50 tie among senators, Vice President Mike Pence would then cast the deciding vote, and you know how that will go).

I wouldn’t count on two more Republican senators breaking with their party; and that means Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a married, Catholic, conservative and mother of 7 children, will be named to the Supreme Court.

White supremacists are the greatest threat to the election

Looking for reasons to fear for the integrity of the upcoming presidential election? The Nation has a government document that indicates you’d better be careful of white supremacists.

White supremacists. The people who have infiltrated our cities’ police forces.

White supremacy. The language the president used in a recent campaign stop.

White supremacist ideology. Easy to find, including around at least one major U.S. public university.