Donald Trump last week made the ominous proclamation that U.S. - Russia relations "may be at an all-time low."
Given their recent antics, you'd think this would be cause for Democrats to celebrate. For months, dating back to the doomed Hillary Clinton campaign, the party's most enduring allegation against Trump was that he had been "compromised" by the Russian state, and therefore ought to be seen as a "puppet," "stooge," or "pawn" of the dastardly Putin.
This meme dominated the presidential contest, and the resulting furor has engrossed much of the Democratic rank-and-file ever since, such that exercised liberal activists now routinely show up to town hall meetings accusing Trump of "treason" and screaming for retaliatory action against his purported foreign suitors.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) appeared to reflect a wider sentiment in the party when she suggested last month that elucidating Trump's sinister Russian 'ties' ought to be the "only" issue Democrats pursue: all else flows from it.
Now, liberals who've spent the past nine months outraged at Trump's inchoate attempts to forge détente with Russia - or at minimum, not arbitrarily antagonize Putin - seem to have gotten their wish: Trump has suddenly reversed course and attacked Russia's client state, the Assad government, thereby aligning himself far more with the Clinton position vis-a-vis Syria than the one he espoused during the campaign. Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister generally regarded as among the most pro-Western of the Kremlin's ruling elite, went so far as to declare the two nations' relationship "ruined."
Then last Thursday, the anti-Russia rhetoric emanating out of administration quarters ratcheted up further as CIA Director Mike Pompeo went on an extended tirade, vehemently denouncing WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service" that had been "abetted" by Russia. He went on to declare Julian Assange a "fraud" and suggested that the Agency would undertake invigorated measures to hobble the publishing group.