Regretfully, I am forced to defend the man from those selling the narrative that Trump winning is Putin’s only victory condition.
It should be no secret that Hillary Clinton is vindictive and without scruple.
If Putin dares to meddle in this election in a way that might hurt her chances, he does not fear her at all.
Whatever else he is going for, a Hillary presidency is an acceptable risk that does not inspire any caution in him.
(There is a case that the meddling would’ve been planned, which speaks to close attention paid to the GOP primary.)
This isn’t to say that a Trump win would thwart Putin either. Again, the intervention speaks to either confidence Trump won’t cross Putin, or confidence Trump won’t win. I do not know what Putin thinks, but would not be surprised if both theories are true.
Do not underestimate the value of political stability. It was a major part of the success of the early Romans.
We have a fairly long tradition of relatively something presidential elections. Okay, there are some that I’m pretty suspicious of, but they did go through the electoral college.
If Putin is meddling in our elections, this is his real target. If he is going for the soft option, with a long term plan, it’ll be a matter of kicking up as big a fuss as possible. Hard plan would be using influence with Obama, Clinton and Trump to stage a coup. Which would also have harmful long term consequences, but it is much riskier.