Francis Menton wants to know if he is only one who thinks that the whole “Trump is in bed with the Russians” story doesn’t make any sense. Well, he is not, he informs readers. Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club has a handful of reasons (titled “Red Herring”) why “the whole thing doesn’t hang together.”
Fernandez’s main point is that everything Putin does is for Russian domestic consumption to begin with, so he wouldn’t go out of his way to help either candidate.
But, getting to the next point, if Putin were to care about one thing in U.S. affairs, you would have to think that he would want our energy production hobbled. I mean, the Russian government is completely dependent on revenues from oil and gas production, and our frackers are absolutely killing him, capping the world price of oil and gas at a level where he can’t pay his bills. The sustained low price of oil and gas has recently forced a massive 25% cut in Russia’s defense budget. That just has to be eating away at Putin, since using an outsize military to throw weight around on the international stage is what gives him his reason to exist. Now, as between Clinton and Trump, which was the candidate who might conceivably get conned into hobbling U.S. energy production?
Mr. Menton admits that he would not mind being wrong on this Trump/Russia preoccupation. At the moment though, all he sees is that these endless conspiracy theories about Russia are a weird obsession.
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