WSJ's Gerald Seib: Washington's "Unhealthy" Obsession With 2016 Is Boosting China And Russia

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During this week's FOX News Sunday panel, Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib said he wished the Beltway could get over what happened in the 2016 election and move on to what is happening in the world now.

"Both ends of Pennsylvania Ave. are obsessed with what happened in 2016," he said. "The deeper reality here is that democracy is -- is under attack. And not just from Russia and not just in 2016."

He said hopefully, "At some point the Robert Mueller thing comes to an end. I don't know what the end point is, but at some point later this year, I assume, it will be reached and then we'll know the answer to some questions and maybe then we'll move on to the broader questions."





WALLACE: But -- but, Gerry, let me bring you in, because there's been almost silence from this administration after a very provocative speech by Vladimir Putin, the president said nothing, the White House basically said nothing. There's been no response from this administration.

SEIB: Well, look, I -- I think there's a -- an unfortunate reality here, which is that the -- the debate about the 2016 election, which has consumed this conversation about Russia, is probably something, if you could do what you just suggested, put it in a box and get onto the broader realities here, that would be healthy. That's not happening. I think it's not happening in part because both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are obsessed with what happened in 2016.

But the deeper reality here is that democracy is -- is under attack. And not just from Russia and not just in 2016. It happened in Europe in 2014, 2015, 2016. It happened here. It's apparently happening here now. Both the Russians, Vladimir Putin, and President Xi in China, would like to hold out other models besides democracy as the model that other countries in the world ought to follow.

There's a really sustained attack on the -- basically the institutions in -- of democracy and its role as a model for the world. And that's the broader issue here. And it's now being basically lost as a question that ought to be discussed because of this obsession with 2016. And I don't know how you break out of that.

WALLACE: Well, let -- and -- and let's end of that, because it isn't in a box. It's, you know, it's on the front page of the papers today again.

SEIB: Right.

WALLACE: I think sometimes the -- the incremental information we hear is significant. Sometimes I think it's meaningless. You know, Robert Mueller is asking about -- well, he's asking about everything.

What is the price, the opportunity cost of this? Obviously it has to be investigated. But of this continuing -- now we are a year and a third into this administration --

SEIB: Well, I think it's obvious that the -- the kind of broader issues we're talking about here don't get raised, don't get discussed.

But at some point the Robert Mueller thing comes to an end. I don't know what the end point is, but at some point later this year, I assume, it will be reached and then we'll know the answer to some questions and maybe then we'll move on to the broader questions.

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