History leaves me comfortable with my initial criticism of the summit. Watching Trump whinge about his domestic opponents in front of a foreign leader was painful, like bringing up a family quarrel at a barbecue to which a much-loathed neighbor has been invited. It is always better to show a united front. And the whole business was a sham. Nothing of substance seems to have been discussed or even proposed. But this wasn’t treason — it was stupidity.
Which brings us back to the question of why anyone thinks that belligerence is the best response to — what exactly? What is the source of Democrats’ animus against Putin? Yes, his agents clumsily intruded into our last presidential election. Well, so what? Did the ’80s call again and return our recently gifted foreign policy in near-mint condition? Is it somehow astonishing news that they have attempted to swing our elections just as we have done our best to alter the outcome of theirs ever since propping up Boris Yeltsin by any means necessary was the official policy of the Clinton State Department? Some point out that Putin is — get this — essentially anti-democratic and and that he has installed himself as a virtual dictator-for-life. And? If this were a literal deal-breaker we would have to change the terms of our relationships with many other countries, not least of them China. Others say that Russia has behaved aggressively toward our allies, but, again, this is just as true of Beijing.