Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016--Bad Cop, Good Cop

Not that any of this is necessarily intentional, but Barack Obama finally deciding what to do to "punish" Russia for hacking into our electoral process, could offer Donald Trump an opportunity to reset relations with them. With "them" meaning Vladimir Putin.

Here's how it could work--

Clearly no-drama-Obama wanted nothing to do with this, looking to run out the clock on his presidency by not getting entangled in any last minute messes. If he was eager to retaliate, he would have done so weeks ago and not required relentless prompting and criticism by members of Congress from both parties.

And, of course, his move yesterday to expel 35 so-called Russian "diplomats," who are in fact spies, was at least equally motivated by a desire to poke president-in-waiting Donald Trump in the political eye as another form of retaliation for managing to get under even unflappable Obama's skin by dominating the news and not leaving the stage to Obama alone who is entitled to a un-interfered-with final bow.

As David Sanger reported in this morning's New York Times, Obama's move may effectively "box" Trump in.

What is Trump supposed to do with this in his desire "to make a deal" with Putin? Three weeks from today tell the Russians never mind, your 35 spies are welcome to return to the United States?

Republican leaders such as John McCain who hate Trump and are chomping to reset the Cold War while Democratic hawks such as Chuck Schumer are calling for more sanctions would have strokes if Trump were to reverse Obama's actions because, as he put it in his statement about this, it's "time to move on to bigger and better things." Whatever that means.

Trump wants a clear path to a deal with Putin but may now be flummoxed by a cagy Obama, having the last laugh and reminding the upstart that a presidency isn't over until it's over..

So here's the possible Trump trump move--

It's dawn the morning after the inauguration. Trump is as usual not sleeping. Rather than sending out a tweet, he somehow manages to restrain himself and rings Putin on the phone. After a few affectionate exchanges he says to Putin that he has an idea for a deal that would benefit each of them.

"Let's move quickly to reset things before the anti-Russians set in motion by bad-cop Barack Obama, who finally showed some cojones, pushes both of us into a new bankrupting arms race.

"Let's make the centerpiece of that resetting a solution that the two of us impose in Syria. Forget Turkey, they are a ridiculous country and not trustworthy allies. Let's take a chance and trust each other. Your economy is in a state of collapse and the congressional parties here are working to dominate the agenda even before I shake the confetti from that stupid parade out of my hair.

"You are looking to assert power and with us again become a dominate nation, even though, I don't have to remind you, your economy is the size of pathetic Italy's.

"What do you say, Vlad? Let's make a deal."

Who know? It just might work.

On the other hand, Putin might be loving things just the way they are and is playing Trump like the old KGB officer he was.

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