In the film “Back To he Future,” Doc Brown in 1955 meets Marty McFly, who claims to be from 1985.
Brown: Then tell me, future boy, who’s president of the United States in 1985?
McFly: Ronald Reagan.
Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor? Then who’s vice president? Jerry Lewis?
It’s a good joke. In 1955 it would have seemed silly to have someone who made his living in show biz run our country. (At least until Reagan was elected governor of California in the ‘60s.)
But now we have Rob Reiner who, without anyone electing or appointing him, apparently thinks he should be the secretary of state, or perhaps CIA director.
So now Reiner has launched the Committee to Investigate Russia. His group’s aim is “to help Americans recognize and understand the gravity of Russia’s continuing attacks on our democracy.”
You’d think a proper investigation of Russian influence is something better left to government officials. In fact, there already are such investigations going on.
But that hasn’t stopped Reiner and his supporters. They’ve even put out a video narrated by Morgan Freeman – the most trusted voice in America – saying: “We have been attacked. We are at war.”
As the organization’s website claims: "Using hacking, Twitter armies, and fake news, the Kremlin engaged in an aggressive effort to subvert the American democratic process."
The weird thing about all this is that Reiner’s a well-known liberal activist. And for decades liberals have downplayed the menace of Russia.
In the Soviet era, they said we needed to learn how to get along with the communists. And in 2012, President Obama mocked election opponent Mitt Romney for claiming Russia was the greatest geopolitical threat facing America, telling him the 1980s are “calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”
So what could have changed in the last five years to make Rob Reiner and his ilk do a 180 on Russia? It took the greatest catastrophe of all – Donald Trump’s election. Before then, who cared? But now, something must be done.
Though the Committee to Investigate Russia claims to be nonpartisan, it’s hard to believe its backers are neutral. In fact, every name that’s been announced as a supporter, whether liberal or conservative, seems to be a person who has taken a public stand against President Trump.
Rob Reiner is a fine actor, known for playing a character who Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O’Connor) referred to as Meathead on “All in the Family.” And Reiner is a fine director of such memorable films as “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Stand By Me,” “When Harry Met Sally...” and “A Few Good Men.” Nothing can take that away from him.
But it’s doubtful this committee will burnish his reputation. More likely it’ll be seen as an attempt to make Trump looks bad, even illegitimate. Maybe getting a president kicked out of office is on Reiner’s “Bucket List” (another film he directed).
So, along with official investigations of Russia’s role in our election, we’ve got a private group telling us it’s going to get to the bottom of all this and sound the alarm on Russian interference. Should Putin be nervous?
Well, in the past several elections, Reiner has supported Al Gore, Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton (twice). Looks like Putin’s got nothing to worry about unless Reiner suddenly backs him.