The New TPP

There’s a new TPP in town and it has nothing to do with a trade agreement. It is a new political alliance: Trump-Pence-Putin. Let’s look at that as the Democrats prepare for their national convention in Philadelphia. (This article is being penned on Sunday July 24th.)  

A few weeks ago it was revealed that Russian operatives had broken into the DNC’s, (Democratic National Committee), computer system. The guess was that they had stolen secret Democratic opposition research on Donald Trump and the strategy on how to utilize it. That still may be (and I’d wager is) true. However this weekend through Wikileaks they released about 20,000 DNC e-mail communications which show that DNC staffers communicated with Clinton supporters in an effort to make the path to victory in the Democratic primary more difficult for Bernie Sanders.

To say the 2016 primaries were unusual is like saying NBA centers are tall. Nobody (I’m willing to bet that includes him) expected Trump to emerge victorious in the GOP contest on the day he announced. I’m equally certain even Senator Sanders never expected to achieve the level of success he did on the Democratic side. To further complicate things Sanders was running for the nomination of a political Party he is not and never has been a registered member of. None of that excuses anyone, but it just shows you the unusual political topography.

By virtue of the Republican National Convention the Trump campaign owned the news cycle last week. Their only problem was that their convention was a disaster and the news was almost exclusively negative unless you write jokes for late night comedians. The Clinton campaign attempted to recapture the media’s attention with the announcement of Tim Kaine as the Veep pick. Kaine is a non-controversial moderate and there isn’t much to attack there. What was Team Trump to do?

They apparently got a little help from their friend Vladimir Putin. Wikileaks has had a long association with the current Russian regime. Wikileaks has been unwilling to acknowledge where they got the e-mails from, but it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out. As of this writing Senator Sanders has handled the situation with the appropriate balance of outrage and political sensibility, some of his die-hard supporters probably won’t or at least won’t for a bit. Team Trump and the Putin regime’s objectives of muddying the news cycle waters and sowing some dissent going into the Democratic convention were achieved.

I can give Mike Pence a little slack on this issue. He isn’t really a player; he simply was asked to come along for the ride. There is no doubt that Vladimir Putin wants to see Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. Putin will play him like a violin! I can see the Russian tanks moving on the Balkans as soon as Trump lands in the Oval Office. On the other hand Hillary Clinton actually knows how NATO works and didn’t signal appeasement.

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