March 10, 2017

Demo Mission to Delegitimize Trump Is Damaging Foreign Policy

They’re playing Russian roulette with America’s global standing.

In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and presented him with a gift: a plastic reset button with the Russian word peregruzka emblazoned on its face. Unfortunately, the word did not actually mean “reset” in Russian; instead, it translated as “overcharged.” That faux pas came to define U.S.-Russian relations during Barack Obama’s presidency.

From that point forward, Obama and Clinton not only failed to improve relations with our long-time adversary, they further eroded trust and cooperation between the countries. At one point, a petulant Obama even called off a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s one thing for Democrats to make a mess of America’s relations when they hold the reins of power, but now they’re hell-bent on making sure President Donald Trump can’t begin to repair the tattered relationship with Moscow. As if the silly reset stunt and eight years of Obama’s global apology tour weren’t harmful enough.

On some level the months-long Democrat obsession with Trump and Russia has been amusing, with the lack of evidence and all. But the longer Democrats and the media continue to disseminate theories that are completely unsupported by evidence, the longer it will take for President Trump to promote and defend American interests at home and abroad.

The Center for the National Interest writes, “Moscow is fully aware that cooperation with Russia may not be viewed as an asset for Trump in a domestic climate marred by accusations of secret Trump-Russia ties, though he claimed that Russians do not understand these conspiracy theories and observe them with fascination.”

In other words, President Trump is in a no-win political spot: Any move to build stronger ties with the Russians will be swiftly condemned by the Left and the media as evidence of a secret relationship. Yet if Trump is unable to reset the relationship, his inability to deal with global problems will be criticized.

The problem is that Democrats want to delegitimize and effectively destroy the Trump presidency. And they’ll do anything to make sure that happens.

This is more than just political gamesmanship by a desperate party out of power. The world still recognizes the United States as a global leader. What we say and what we do matters on the world stage, and decisions we make reverberate around the globe.

For his part, Trump has acted quite reasonably toward Russia. Far from being friendly toward Putin, Trump has stated on several occasions that he’s not sure he’ll get along with the Russian president. What Trump has said is that it’s better to get along with Moscow than not.

On a host of issues from nuclear weapons to the Islamic State, a working relationship between the two adversaries is critical in order for the United States to maintain its reputation as an effective arbiter of international affairs (and to look out for its own interests). By repeatedly condemning Russia while criticizing our own president, Democrats are rendering serious damage to our credibility and leaving us susceptible to a range of threats.

Any hope of resolving the complex situation in Syria or restraining Russia’s threats to Ukraine will be negated by Trump’s inability to work with Putin. Russia doesn’t have to be an ally on all fronts to work with the United States in combating terrorism. But that requires an American president who has some leverage and some political back-up at home. Right now Trump doesn’t have either. And thanks to Obama, the situation in Iran will become increasingly problematic in the coming years. Russia could play a key role in keeping Iran in check, but right now that’s unlikely to play out in our favor.

The Democrats’ promotion of the so-called Russia scandal has been both shameless and disgraceful. Any casual political observer can map out the progression of events and see how Democrats and the Leftmedia have colluded to make a mountain out of, well, nothing at all.

Not long ago, there wasn’t a dictator in the world Democrats wouldn’t appease. Now they’d seemingly rather go to war with Russia and bring down an American president than allow Trump to restore our nation’s global leadership. Eight years later, the Russian word for overcharged sums up the ties between the two countries. But this isn’t a game, and it’s time for Democrats to stop playing Russian roulette with foreign affairs.

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