The two governments have repeatedly interfered in each other’s domestic politics during the past 100 years – and it’s not all bad.
Even though the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee found “no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Russiagate allegations of “collusion” between candidate and then President Donald Trump and the Kremlin have poisoned American politics for nearly three years. They are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, and due not only to the current subpoena-happy Democratic chairs of House “investigative” committees.
At the core of the Russiagate narrative is the allegation that the Kremlin “meddled” in the 2016 US presidential election. The word “meddle” is nebulous and could mean most anything, but Russiagate zealots deploy it in the most ominous ways, as a war-like “attack on America,” a kind of “Pearl Harbor.” They also imply that such meddling is unprecedented when in fact both the United States and Russia have interfered repeatedly in the other’s internal politics, in one way or another, certainly since the 1917 Russian Revolution.
For context, recall that such meddling is an integral part of Cold War and that there have been three Cold Wars between America and Russia during the past one hundred years. The first was from 1917 to 1933, when Washington did not even formally recognize the new Soviet government in Moscow. The second is, of course, the best known, the forty-year Cold War from about 1948 to 1988, when the US and Soviet leaders, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, declared it over. And then, by my reckoning, the new, ongoing Cold War began in the late 1990s, when the Clinton administration initiated…