Jonathan Chait observes in Trump and the triumph of the Will to Power that "Russian hacking played a meaningful enough role to tilt a razor-tight contest:"
Friday, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had concluded well before November that Russia specifically sought to elect Trump. [...] The CIA could have leaked its conclusion before November, but held off. The FBI should have held off on leaking its October surprise, but plunged ahead.
Chait notes with dismay that "Very little will come of this:"
...except perhaps that future presidential campaigns may have to account for the political risk of offending the Kremlin when devising their Russia stance (lest they be targeted by hackers). When all the smoke has cleared away and the outrage dissipated, the bottom line will be that Russia set out to influence the U.S. election, and Republicans in Congress decided not to speak out against them, and both their calculations were rewarded.
That is one reason why David Masciotra excoriates Trump's winner-take-all wasteland. Among the events that provoke his ire is the "horrific" spectacle of Mitt Romney "speaking to reporters after his recent dinner with Donald Trump:"
During the presidential primary, Romney gave an impressive address to Republicans warning against the dangers of a Trump nomination. "His imagination must never be wedded to real power," the former governor stated with conviction in the same speech in which he called the current president-elect a "phony" and "fraud." [...]
Now, he has status and influence to gain by crawling around on all fours at Trump's feet. After disgracing himself at a private dinner to discuss his potential appointment as secretary of state, he made a meek attempt to offer the phony effusive praise. Romney gushed over Trump's strength of leadership, his policy ideas and his potential to solve America's problems. His tone of voice was weak and noncommittal -- similar to a political spouse who claims everlasting support for her husband who takes the microphone to admit guilt in a sexual scandal. His eyes kept darting toward the pavement, but the real terror came when he managed to look into the lens of the camera. The windows of his soul appeared empty. There was a deadness to his stare that should send chills down the spine of anyone contemplating a life of artificiality.
Ouch! One could almost feel bad for the odious Romney--except for his being, you know, Mitt Romney.
The piece continues by noting with sadness that "history has marched forward to the election of the nation's ultimate hustler to the presidency:"
Donald Trump, a transparently self-serving businessman with no background or interest in republicanism, will represent the United States to the entire world. More than 60 million voters overlooked his record in fraud, his bankruptcies and his grotesque character defects, because he embodies the lucrative hustle -- "the art of the deal" as he calls it in a book that is ethically and philosophically empty. Donald Trump could effectively present himself as a populist, because the worship of wealth is part of populism in America, [...]
Romney fell right into the pattern of hustling when he transitioned from eviscerating Trump to genuflecting toward him.