The entire Russia hysteria stemming in large part from the Steele dossier, as well as the unverified but purported Russian hacking of the DNC and a series of tangential Russia-related crumbs, have paralyzed our government and been used as justification for undermining its core principles and institutions. The Russia hysteria has, among other things, enabled or led to:
Politicized acts of the law enforcement and intelligence community
Corruption of the FISA court
The potential withholding of critical information from an incoming presidential administration
The at least legally dubious surveillance and unmasking of numerous U.S. officials
The political, legal, and financial destruction of former national security advisor Mike Flynn, whose scalp acting Attorney General Sally Yates et al. claimed in the early days of the Trump presidency just as the anti-establishment national security and foreign policy team was being stood up
All manner of investigations bogging down both administration staff and the Republican Congress, thereby stifling their policy agenda.
BUT THIS WAS PART OF THE PLAN ALL ALONG.
In addition to these tangible costs, the general Russia hysteria has subverted the Trump presidency. It has cast a pall over practically every decision the president makes on personnel and policy even remotely related to Russia, delegitimized his presidency, and been a linchpin of efforts to ultimately topple him in a bloodless coup.
ONE OF THE MAIN POINTS OF THE LEFTS PLAN TO SUBVERT THIS GOVERNMENT.
The real story of the first year of the Trump presidency was the willingness of the president’s adversaries, Right and Left, to disregard the constitutional norms they claim to cherish in service of resistance. Executive branch officials have refused to take orders from the commander-in-chief. Judges have wholly ignored the separation of powers and the plain language of the law. Federal officials have illegally leaked confidential communications with foreign counterparts to the press.
It is not the president who has been lawless, but his opponents who have made a mockery of the rule of law and undermined our republican constitutional order, supposedly in its defense, but in reality out of self-aggrandizement, self-interest, or at very best a misguided Messianic complex.
Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research,