Illustrative of how deep the hysteria that accusations of “collusion” between the Trump administration and the Russians have become, #Paul Begala, an old ally of the Clinton family and advisor in the Clinton White House, suggests it is now time to “bomb the KGB.” How did we get from 2012, when then President Barack Obama was sneering at Mitt Romney for suggesting that Russia might be a problem to an old Clintonista going full bore General Jack D. Ripper on the Russians? And doesn’t Begala know that the KGB doesn’t exist anymore and hasn’t since the fall of the Soviet Union?

Virtue signaling on Russia?

The political imperative among #democrats now seems to be who can express the most ire against Russia.

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The situation was a complete turnabout from the 1980s when the Democratic Party was scaring itself and everyone else it could manage about President Ronald Reagan’s plan to put the Soviet Union on the ash heap of history. Then, the left was afraid of nuclear war, making movies like “The Day After” and “Threads” to drive home how awful that would be. Now they are calling for a preemptive war against Russia. Anyone who disagrees must be in the pay of Putin, from their point of view.

Of course, Russia was a greater threat during the Cold War

One reason that the left seems to be afraid of the Russian bear may be a tacit acknowledgment that the Soviets really were a threat to world peace and freedom during the #cold war. The TV show “The Americans” depict Russian KGB agents murdering people, destroying lives, and otherwise trying to undermine American power and democracy during the Reagan 1980s.

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If any TV network had tried to air a show like that 30 years ago, riots would have ensued. The closest in popular entertainment that suggested that the Russians might have it in for us was the third Rambo movie, which depicted Sylvester Stallone in Afghanistan and “Red Dawn,” John Milius’ epic about teenagers fighting Soviet invaders in the American heartland. Both were condemned by the liberal intelligentsia of the time.

What happens now?

The left will continue to chew over the Russian collusion issue long past when Americans are bored to death about the subject. Most people are worried about health care, jobs, and terrorism. To the extent that Democrats neglect these issues in favor of sounding the alarm about Russia, they will do themselves no good politically. Hopefully, no one else is going to be as over the top as Paul Begala in expressing their ire.