The mainstream press and its Deep State allies in Washington have made a big deal about Jared Kushner's supposed proposal for setting up a back channel of communications with Russia. One former CIA director is yelling "espionage," and the leftist media hive is echoing the buzz. One report out there says Kushner will have to take a leave of absence due to all the gravitas of the situation. Or something.
Who knows how powerful this Swamp Strikeback may be in getting Kushner out of town? But objectively speaking, these howlings are baloney – another fustian case of tears and flapdoodle as the Deep State attempts to assure us it's still relevant. They really are overdoing it.
Now it comes to pass that far from it being just President Trump, President Obama was all in for back channels of communication, too. Matt Drudge dug up a 2014 Bloomberg article titled "Inside Obama's Secret Outreach to Russia" to describe, in adoring terms, the former president's efforts to set up his own back channel to Russia.
Double standard? You bet.
Somehow it's OK for Obama to set up back channels of communication with the Russians while Trump's efforts to do the same are labeled "espionage." It shows the hollowness of the Democrats' carpings that Russia hacked the election and denied Hillary Clinton her rightful place as president.
Here's the most vivid thing to me about this phenomenon: why do we need back channels at all to the Russians? We have normal diplomatic relations with them, and there is nothing strange or outrageous about their interests or policies. We may disagree with some of them, but we can definitely understand them, and we can certainly communicate with them. They do answer their phones.
Yet in the Beltway culture, it's considered so scary and dangerous and treasonous to so much as say "hi" to a Russian that back channels are the inevitable result. We speak of Russia as a "riddle wrapped in a mystery" and all that, but does anyone notice how much effort we put into making it a riddle wrapped in a mystery? It might be our own doing that this is the perception, because talking to Russians shouldn't be that big an ordeal.
It may be a function of the Beltway Culture's obsession with security clearances, not as necessities, but as status symbols. In the Swamp's Mind, it's a case of "Ooh, can't talk with the Russians! Might lose the clearance that makes me so important and rarified."
It's a mentality that makes us look like a 16th-century Byzantine court. Yet amid all this status posturing among the Washington courtiers, it's still necessary to communicate with the Russians – which is why the back channels are being set up
We shouldn't need them at all. Administrations should feel free to call up the Russians any time they like and do whatever cooperative deals can be done.
Twenty-five years after the fall of The Wall, we are still stuck at the status quo ante of the Cold War, despite a long history of working with the Russians at crucial times such as World War II, despite Russia's place as a bulwark of Western civilization, and despite Russia's rejection of Soviet communism.
Yet it's impossible to talk with them! This is why back channels are being set up, by Democratic and Republican administrations alike. The Democrats get "credit" for the hypocrisy factor, but even the Republicans play the game. Why not some front channels instead?