By Erick Erickson
Read about a lot of high-profile deaths and you find families fighting over the corpses. They’ve long since stopped arguing about issues; they just want control over the body, and maybe an inheritance. Both sides have a sense of grievance for some emotional wound. But the fight has escalated so much that no one really remembers why it started or what the endgame should be other than control of a dead body.
Washington seems to be that way these days, and the William Barr hearing is another reminder of that.
According to Barr, Russia and others will probably try to impact the 2020 election. That should be really big news, but it wasn't. Democrats have trotted out James Comey to attack the attorney general while ignoring so many of the indiscreet things Comey has done over the past few years, including his letters about Hillary Clinton.
Suddenly, Comey is awesome because he is on the Right Side of History. Democrats who blamed him for Clinton's loss pivoted to blaming Russia once Comey signaled he was sympathetic to their cause.
Meanwhile, MSNBC hosts are speculating that perhaps the President is actually helping Russia in Venezuela, where the Russians have decided to set up shop, ignore the Monroe Doctrine and prop up a dictator that the President is actually handling responsibly. It amazed me that MSNBC anchors would suggest Donald Trump is really helping Russia on this. I get that they hate the President, but he has actually been a responsible leader on this one.
Ilhan Omar, however, has not. She's gone on a television program to denounce American treatment of Venezuela. Omar and several of her freshmen colleagues in the House of Representatives have gravitated to the "blame America first" crowd. The world, she would have us believe, would be a peaceful utopia, but for the United States. In her scorn, she also indicts Barack Obama's foreign policy. He did not coddle enough dictators for her.
All this is happening as Joe Biden tells everyone China is not really a threat to us, just like Russia was not a threat in 2012. Biden says China is not even competing with us. Perhaps he said something so ludicrous to distract from his own Russia scandal: His son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with ties to the Russians and only resigned once his dad decided to run for President. Some allege that Biden previously helped pressure Ukraine into firing a prosecutor looking into that company.
No one in Washington seems to have noticed that China now has a navy in the Western Pacific that is capable of kicking our butts in a fight. In fact, the American fleet over there is still suffering from issues with leadership, training and morale. In Venezuela, the Cubans and Russians have set up shop and military operations. North Korea has gone back to building weapons of mass destruction.
Then there is our own nation's pending bankruptcy. Democrats and Republicans can only agree on spending more money together. Democrats are willing to work with Republicans on a $2 trillion infrastructure package but cannot fund a $5 billion border wall. They will not even acknowledge the situation at the border.
I'm reminded that when Rome fell into chaos, the bureaucracy still basically functioned, so it was a long time before anyone realized the empire had no pulse. It took the barbarians storming the gates to open people's eyes.
At this point, we probably ought to ask if the United States still has a pulse. It looks more and more like the political class in Washington is just fighting over the corpse. Our nation is completely unprepared for coming crises and on the verge of bankruptcy, and both sides are pointing fingers and focusing on partisan squabbles instead of real threats.
For every Democrat who would read all this and say, "But Trump," I'd reply that Russian meddling began during the Obama administration after Obama said they were not a threat. Pointing fingers is beside the point now. We have problems as a nation without anyone in Washington ready to play a long game to fix them.