Kevin Drum - Did Putin Swing the Election to Trump? Of Course He Did:
I'm a little surprised this hasn't produced more panic. In the United States I understand why it hasn't: Democrats don't want to sound like sore losers and Republicans don't care as long as their guy won. But what about the rest of the world? It's been common knowledge for a while that Russia does this kind of stuff, but their actions in the US election represent a quantum leap in how far they're willing to go. And there's not much doubt that Putin will keep at it.
After all, it worked a treat. And thanks to a gullible press and normal partisan politics, it'll keep working. The next leak will get as much attention as these did, and the one after that too. We have no societal defense against this stuff.
Meanwhile, the hour of the inauguration cometh, and all those politicians who were rude about him are now going to have to deal with him. Hugo Rifkind in the Times (£):
"Actually,” said the prime minister to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, “we have a longstanding special relationship with the United States. It’s based on shared values.” Similar words have been uttered, probably, by every British PM for the past 50 years. Although I suspect Theresa May was the first to have to utter them with a face like a nauseous undertaker, after being asked whether she shared the president-elect’s value that it’s fine for a famous man to grab women by the crotch.
This is ridiculous, but it is not silly. Rather, it is an early taste of what Donald Trump’s ascension to the leadership of the free world entails, domestically, for America’s allies. Everybody knows that he has coarsened American political debate. Now he begins the process of coarsening everybody else’s....
Trump is everybody’s problem now. Remember, this is a guy, an American president-elect, who the actual Pope described as “not Christian”. François Hollande, the French president, said Trump made him “want to retch”. Will they meet before he leaves office this year? How will that one go? Angela Merkel has been frosty, which is unsurprising considering their rival stances on refugees. Trump also described her as “ruining Germany”, apparently in pique, after she was Time magazine’s 2015 cover star. Yet it is inconceivable that they will not, at some point, have to share a platform....
Trump’s victory does not negate his flaws. His xenophobia, sexism, racism, petulance, avarice and contempt for decency are still there, and all the people who saw them, liberal or otherwise, presumably still can. Yet our leaders will defer, and they will be ashamed, and so will we. What America swallowed, the world must digest. We have Trumpism in our guts now, like threadworms. So the queasiness begins.