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Feb 21 2018

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Michael Tomansky: Hillary Was Putin’s Worst Nightmare. That’s Why His Minions Hacked America.

By far the lamest response to last week’s indictments by Robert Mueller was Trump’s tweet over the weekend in which he wrote: “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong—no collusion!”

First of all, it’s a complete non-sequitur. Sentence C has nothing to do with sentence B which has nothing to do with sentence A. Second, he seems to be admitting here that Russia was meddling in our presidential campaign, which he had long denied. He couldn’t quite bring himself to type “meddling,” but he sure implied it.

But most telling of all is this. What does he think it proves that Russia started meddling in our elections before he was an officially declared candidate? (He’d been flirting with a run since the Reagan administration.) One supposes he thinks it means that since the meddling sorta predates him, it can’t have been about him. In a way, he’s right. All this Russia stuff happened in the first place not because Vladimir Putin loved Donald Trump, but because he hated Hillary Clinton. It’s an extremely important point to remember, because only when we remember this do we see how surreal this whole episode is and recognize the gravity of the danger we face.

Jennifer Rubin: Voters are running out of patience

Based on the latest Quinnipiac poll, if you had to sum up the electorate’s mood in one word, you might say “frustrated.”

Unlike The Post-ABC poll, the latest Quinnipiac poll suggests a big jump in support for new gun laws: [..]

That includes support for a ban on the sale assault weapons (67 percent to 29 percent) and a mandatory waiting period (83 percent to 14 percent) for all gun purchases. Unlike the National Rifle Association, voters say that if more people had guns we’d be less safe (59 percent to 33 percent) and want Congress to do more to reduce gun violence (75 percent to 17 percent). Seventy percent of Americans correctly say that “mass killings by U.S. citizens is a bigger problem than mass killings by people from other countries.”

There will be a slew of polls, no doubt, but it is fair to say that the ground is shifting on the topic. That provides an unusual opportunity for those seeking new gun safety laws. If Republicans are the party of status quo, the party that says there is nothing to be done, the voters may not react well.

Evan McMullin: https://www.thedailybeast.com/its-clear-donald-trump-welcomes-russias-subversion-of-our-democracy?ref=wrap

For at least two years, Americans have tried to make sense of Donald Trump’s affinity for Vladimir Putin and refusal to fully acknowledge and counter Moscow’s ongoing attacks on our democracy. We’ve heard the excuse that Trump simply views the Kremlin interference story as a partisan effort to delegitimize his election.

But Friday’s indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the president’s response to them, point to a more troubling and increasingly likely motivation: President Trump does not want to stop Kremlin interference intended to sway our elections in his favor. Rather, he welcomes it.

Jill Abramson: How long will white women continue to vote Republican?

Support for Donald Trump among white women is cratering. This helps explain why, after days of tacitly condoning alleged spousal abuse by Rob Porter, which Porter denies, and former White House speechwriter David Sorensen, who also denies the accusations made against him, the president finally said last week that he was “totally opposed to domestic violence”.

It’s always been unfathomable to me that Donald Trump won a majority of white female votes in 2016, but he did. This was after the notorious Access Hollywood tape, the allegations of more than a dozen women who said he sexually harassed them.

The downward numbers are most pronounced in the Rust Belt, where Trump cleaned up in November 2016 and even carried the formerly Democratic states of Michigan and Wisconsin. A state by state Gallup poll released in February showed that nationally, Trump’s national approval rating for 2017 was an anemic 38%.

But here was the real alarm bell. The poll detected what looked like the beginning of a collapse among white, non-college educated female voters, his base. In the Rust Belt states that decided 2016, Trump slipped into a precarious position with these women.