Real Cost of Attempts to De-legitimize Trump

President-elect Donald Trump (a phrase that still doesn’t feel quite possible) has faced a series of attacks from disappointed Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media since his election. First it was a series of meaningless reminders that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, making her the President of California. Then there were attacks on the Electoral College as an outdated institution that only exists to prevent Democrats from winning the presidency and to protect slavery. There was a brief moment of media analysis of Trump’s selection of retired military officers for various cabinet positions before groupthink reasserted itself and they all started using the word “junta” at the same time. The selective recount grift played out once Jill Stein got her money. These various narratives all serve the single purpose of attempting to undermine the legitimacy of a Trump presidency –although keeping bitter liberal tears flowing is a pretty nice bonus.

Comes now the news that the 16 agencies that make up the intelligence community repeat the assertion made in October that Russia was the source of the emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee that found their way to Wikileaks and then to some mainstream media outlets. The latest version of this story alleges Russian motive -they were trying to assist Donald Trump’s campaign. To which one can only say: “Thanks, Obama.”

The calls for a full investigation should be answered with a resounding “hell, yeah!” and subpoenas issued immediately. I’d like to find out exactly how feckless and incompetent the current administration has been before we indict the next one. How pathetic is our national security that 16 intelligence agencies couldn’t prevent the foreign theft of emails between Democrats? How did those tricksy Russians prevent Hillary Clinton from setting foot in Wisconsin? Is Donna Brazile a double agent who gave Clinton the debate questions ahead of time as a ruse? Bernie Sanders said he was “sick of hearing about [Clinton’s] damn emails” over a year ago –what did he know and when did he know it? And did reporting the Wikileaks emails make the media itself complicit in shaping the outcome of an election?

The President-elect isn’t asking any of those questions, of course, because that’s not what he does. His strategy is distraction. Blind trust? Hey look, a tweet about flag-burning. Cabinet pick believes in Bigfoot? Carrier jobs in Indiana! Russia helped Trump win? Let’s cut the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Wait, what?

For Georgia, that’s a “whoa, if true” moment. Scott Trubey at the AJC reports “Lockheed’s sprawling plant in Cobb County makes center wing assemblies for the F-35 program. More than 5,000 people are employed at the factory at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.” That’s a lot of folks depending on that program, before any consideration of national defense capabilities or Lockheed’s stock price.

There’s a lesson here for those who continue to refuse accept the results of the election, whether they’re Democrats or Democratic operatives with bylines, and that is to proceed with caution. Put your reporting in perspective. You want an investigation into stolen emails? Fine, let’s see how long it goes before you’re blocked by “sources and methods.” But going after Trump’s legitimacy, risks poking a bear that will lash out in ways that are serious and certain, but unpredictable.

A complete and accurate narrative must acknowledge that no investigation is going to overturn the election, and hold accountable the institutions that allowed stolen emails to become a topic in the first place. Otherwise it’s going to be a very long four years.

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