Maybe it’s more about keeping certain people out than keeping someone in

Dear President Trump,

I bet you’re cursing the gods over the insanely (almost certainly climate-change-driven) cold weather that’s gripping much of the United States this week since it will probably drive up viewership of the open impeachment hearings. It really is rather bum timing for you and so if the very early, very cold weren’t so dangerous and didn’t portend such awful things for us all, I’d be all for it. I’d be cheering on Mother Nature as she makes it so inhospitable outside that people are forced to hunker in their homes and shelters watching our patriotic and courageous civil servants answering questions about Ukraine, presidential “favors,” and who knew what, when.

Who knows, maybe this is the universe’s way of forcing the climate change issue – even though your attempts at extorting Ukraine weren’t directly climate focused, there are big oil and gas revenues for Russia at stake (i.e., Putin needs to keep Ukraine on the hook and corrupt to keep his mono-economy puffing along) and you are the only leader to pull his country out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Thus, it’s rather fitting that unseasonably extreme cold weather is hitting as the open hearings are about to be televised on all three network channels and PBS.

As I was pondering all this on my walk this morning, it occurred to me that Putin’s interest in you might just be incidental. Maybe his real focus is keeping certain people out of power. Sure, you looked like you’d be a useful tool, and you’ve no doubt exceeded his wildest hopes and dreams for sowing discord and chaos, but what if installing you was primarily a way to keep Hillary Clinton out of the presidency? And what if getting some little fairy to whisper in your ear that it would be a good idea to get Zelensky to publicly say Ukraine is investigating Joe Biden for corruption was really about keeping Biden out of office and not so much about keeping you in office? Seriously, Biden would be bad news for Putin since he shut down the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who was partially enabling Putin’s control of that country (along with the oil and gas oligarchs who were (are?) funneling millions and billions into the hands of key Ukrainians to keep things destabilized). Plus, if Putin could get Zelensky, the anti-corruption crusader, embroiled in a corrupt corruption-allegation scheme it would help Putin regain his grip on Ukraine in a big way. Nifty, eh?

I told you I’ve been reading Rachel Maddow’s book, Blowout, about the oil and gas industry and we’ve been hanging out with Putin and his oligarch buds the last few chapters, which is what primed this idea that it’s less about you and more about keeping strong democratic leaders out of play. And, I’m well aware that Clinton was and Biden is currently your leading opponent so there’s an argument that Putin’s just been helping his guy (you) get in (against Clinton) and stay in (against Biden), but I think there’s more to it.

It’ll be interesting to see whether any of the remaining Democratic primary contenders makes a strange last-minute surge in the polls or drop out only to become a third party candidate with lots more money in the bank (someone like Tulsi Gabbard, perhaps). And it will also be interesting to see who is next in line behind Biden for weird things to start coming at them from weird places. In other words, if Putin does succeed in knocking Biden out of contention, who will he go after next and who will he promote?

May we buckle down and safeguard our democracy.
May we be willing to oust corrupting, enabling influences.
May we get to the bottom of the rot.
May you not start another war.

Tracy Simpson

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