KSENIJA PAVLOVIC MCATEER: Trump may go away in 2020  but Russia won't.

KEY POINTS:

The Mueller hearing missed the mark, Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer writes in her Afterimage Review.
Congress should act against Russian interference and fast.
Trump may go away in 2020  but Russia won’t.

I was watching the Mueller hearing, the grandstanding, the blame passing. The circular arguments. Endless monologues. Suddenly, everyone is a populist. Pump up the dramatics. Everyone is thanking Mueller for his service like on a telecall between the bank operator and a member of a military family. 

I’ve been on the other end of those “thank you for your service” conversations, scripted, and recorded for quality purposes. The ones spoken in Congress, they made for Twitter and cable news.

What was the purpose of forensic questioning of Mueller?

The Mueller hearing missed the mark. It was pointless and was wasting everyone’s time. If the Democrats want to impeach Trump, then they should make that decision and act on it. If they are concerned with the Russian interference, they do not need to wait for the Republicans to jump on the bandwagon. They have numbers of measures they can employ, individually, collectively, to protect American democracy and the Constitution.

Leading by consensus in the time of the national crisis represents the lack of leadership. They all wanted to push Mueller to say the words so they could act on them to impeach Trump. It did not happen. A failed attempt in responsibility displacement. Now what?

Election 2020 campaign is getting up to speed, and irrespective of Trump, the Congress must protect the country from yet another digital wreck and disinformation campaign. US security agencies all agree that Russia is the threat. After what happened in 2016 it would not surprise me to see other hostile state actors such as Iran and China try to do the same.  A lesson learned presupposes clarity and a strategic outlook, a preventive set of solutions from what may hit you again in the future. Instead, everyone is holding populist speeches for Twitter and cable TV.

Trump may go away but Russia won’t go away

Chess is Russia’s national sport and by design, they think several steps ahead. What was striking at the Mueller hearing was re-statement of the obvious and already written. However, the crucial question is what is everyone going to do with the action of hostile states during election 2020? Why is there no five hours open hearing on that? Where is the U.S. strategy against the election interference?

The Democrats may try to remove Trump from the office by mobilizing the voters to fire him, they may impeach him, but here’s the truth: Trump may go away in 2020 but Russia won’t. What will happen to American democracy? Is America on the brink of yet another disinformation campaign and illegal activities such as hacking of emails of presidential candidates?

It’s unclear what is the goal here for election 2020? Political games or removal of the threat to national security? You cannot only use Russian interference to attack Trump and then do nothing about it. The same goes for the presidential candidates. With or without Trump, you still have the election interference threat to deal with.  

Does anyone have a national strategy against cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns for the election 2020? Can a foreign country elect American president? All of you, holy upholders of the U.S. constitution sitting in Congress, will you allow that to happen again? Please try to answer this question without deflecting to Trump.

Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...