It was only after the campaign — after Hillary’s baggage no longer mattered, after the Democrats decided that “Russia hacked the election” was a better storyline than “we ran a lousy candidate and have lost touch with Middle America” — that Obama made a show of vigorous action against the same “cyber espionage” he’d pooh-poohed as par for the course seemingly five minutes before. Suddenly, on his way out the door, the president who’d sat on his hands while Putin sacked Crimea, grabbed slices of Eastern Ukraine, and abetted Syrian war crimes was moved to eject Russian diplomats, shutter Russian installations, and impose sanctions for what his administration labeled “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.”
“Russia hacked the election” is politicized theater of the most irresponsible kind — the worst since Democrats last sought to delegitimize a Republican administration by agitating against a war they had voted to support, even as American men and women were laying their lives on the line. And in this theatrical exercise, just as in the last one, the Left is undermining national security for political advantage.
Regardless of how one came out on the question whether Saddam Hussein should be ousted, the Bush administration’s post-Saddam strategy was a debacle premised on the notions of democratizing an anti-Western sharia society and courting Iranian cooperation (on the theory that the mullahs had a profound interest in regional stability!). The half-baked premises, and the fact that we had troops in harm’s way, demanded a sober, adult evaluation of what we could reasonably accomplish and to what degree we could responsibly extricate ourselves.
Instead, Democrats scorched the earth with despicable claims Bush had lied the nation into an illegitimate war. Republicans were thus driven to defend the war and the administration, regardless of misgivings about how it was being prosecuted. Having turned “Iraq” into a dirty word and ridden the “Bush lied, people died” smear to electoral victory, Democrats ensured that Obama would withdraw without regard to the conditions on the ground and the American sacrifices of blood and treasure. The chaos and the far more dangerous world we confront today is the consequence of a bipartisan political class that has forgotten when politics must yield to the demands of statesmanship.