We have all been wallowing in schadenfreude over Jeff Sessions’ discomfiture. I say, in wartime, you take your pleasures where you can find them. But if I may, I should like to wax at least semi-serious for a moment regarding the Russia connection. It is genuinely weird, and for someone like me who remembers the Cold War vividly, truly bizarre. That American politicians and their advisors should be playing footsie with Russians is strange enough, but that the politicians should be Republicans is really Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass cognitively unsettling. The Russians? Not the Germans, or the British, or the French, or even the Chinese, but the Russians? North Koreans would be even weirder, but only a little. What on earth is going on?
I can think of only three plausible explanations, ranging from scrimy to Manchurian Candidate. Here they are:
Explanation 1: Trump got wind of Russian hacking and with a wink and a nod intimated his willingness to talk up the delights of Putin, the legitimacy of the invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, and the outdatedness of NATO in return for help in winning the election.
Explanation 2: Trump out and out cut a deal with the Russians to do all of the above, no winks and nods involved, just a straight-up deal by the pseudo-author of The Art of the Deal.
Explanation 3: Trump is a bought and paid for Russian asset, purchased by loans from Russian Oligarchs [I love that phrase], and kept in line in return for debt forgiveness for the six hundred million or more that Trump has borrowed from the Oligarchs to prop up his perpetually failing business.
Where lies the truth? My guess, based on the available evidence and strained through the tea leaves, is door number three.