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“Colluding with Russian intelligence is awesome!” say people caught benefitting from collusion with Russian intelligence.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that only a few days ago, the avowed position of President Donald Trump and his closest advisers was that the Trump-Russia scandal was a hoax. Didn’t happen. Fake News. Very rapidly, that position has evolved from “no contacts with Russia” to “contacts but no collusion with Russia” to “collusion is savvy politics and we like it a lot.”

In general, this evolution tracks Donald Trump Jr.’s changing story about why he met with a coterie of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016. In the ancient history of early July, he claimed the meeting was about Russian adoption. Today, he liked this tweet by fascistic Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

His father, the president, who recently fired the FBI director because he wouldn’t stop investigating the supposedly fake Russia story, now embraces Clarke’s view that if Junior had done the ethical thing and reported the Russian entreaty to the FBI, he would’ve deserved a spanking.

Every day that this effort to standardize incredibly dangerous conduct goes unopposed by other party leaders, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, brings us one step closer to a future in which U.S. campaigns are expected to be clients of foreign intelligence services and complicit in their crimes. A frankly stunning abdication of ethics, patriotic duty, and rule of law.