Friday, July 20, 2018

Drezner: "If This Is Not Treason, Then What Is It?"

DJ directs us to this.
   Standard disclaimer: authors apparently don't normally write their own headlines...but at first I thought this was the more relevant question: If This Is Not Treason, Then What Is?
   I still guess that Trump didn't collude with the Russians during the campaign...I'm more concerned that he may be colluding with them now. So this collusion thing may turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
   On the bright side, it'd give us a good example to use in class. That oil-embargo-gas-shortage one is getting pretty stale.
   We're not at war with Russia, so it it sounds to me--knowing nothing more than what we've all been bombarded with over the last couple of days--like the treason accusation is not the most salient one. Sounds to me like the more level-headed concern is violation of the presidential oath of office.
   But I have no real idea what's going on.
   My position is still basically: the biggest practical problem with Trump is that there are too many fuzzy cases, too many don't knows. Colluded with the Russians? Don't know. Colluding now? Don't know. Violating the emoluments clause? Don't know. How erratic is he, anyway? Don't know (he's meta-erratic). Capable of bumbling us into a war? Don't know. Capable of becoming an autocrat? Don't know. (Well...I'm starting to worry that I may have some inkling about that latter question...)
   You know, if the GOP had that dumbass superdelegate system, this would never have happened. Maybe also if the Dems didn't have it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every part of this situation is a mess. It is not treason, however. If the Rosenberg's did not commit treason, I don't think a case can be made that Trump did.

From what I've seen it certainly looks like Russia interfered (to whatever extent the Facebook ads and DNC hack influenced people) in the election. The unquestioning acceptance of FBI assertions in the matter is worrying though. The agency has a long history of politically motivated investigations, the intelligence agencies have publicly lied or spun information in support of flimsy accusations before. It is this kind of belief in institutional neutrality and truth that gave us Iraq2 and Cointelpro.

This isn't to say they are wrong here, but I can see how Trump's personality makes the question of interference the hill to die on, versus fighting over the efficacy of the interference.

Congress is welcome to delcare war, but until they do I think it makes sense to refer to states as adversaries, rivals, competitors, or antagonists depending on the flavor you want to impart; but to be an enemy, at least in the constitutional sense, requires a war.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very sensible and helpful comments, Anon. Thanks.

Trump's his own worst enemy to a large extent, obviously. I've defended him against all kinds of ridiculous accusations (and I've undoubtedly been wrong about some)...but by this point, even though I remain somewhat skeptical, I just don't believe that someone can basically live in the gray area all the time in so many different ways and be innocent. It *could* be...but is it worth the risk?

As you say, though...the FBI (not to mention the CIA and NSA) aren't exactly a collection of choir boys.

1:21 PM  

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