Russiagate Explained

Democrats accuse Russia of meddling in the 2016 election. What do they mean by meddling? Apparently it means “exposing the fact that Hillary Clinton and the DNC cheated to deny Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination.”

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  • Still waiting for the day when Ted discovers there’s considerably more to this story than Podesta’s emails. Mueller subpoena’d a bunch of Trump campaign officials last month and the *only* possible explanation is that he’s very sad Hillary lost.

    :: rolls eyes ::

    • There is an investigation into impropriety, corruption, and failures to adhere to rather strict rules about talking to foreign delegations. There are two ways of going on about it.

      1) Look at the evidence that is reported and carefully see where it leads, and interpret wrongdoing of individuals to assess how much goes beyond business as usual that had hitherto not been prosecuted (but probably should have been). Follow the trail of evidence to where it leads while assessing the whole picture and beware of selective reading of cherry picked evidence.

      2) Confidently jump all the way to the most extreme conclusion, interpreting all events in terms of machinations attributed to the main official enemy done in coordination with the main local rival political group. Then work backwards and push for more investigations, secure in the knowledge that those investigations will incrementally support this conviction in terms of which every single detail is to be interpreted.

      For those of us who subscribe to (1), the more talk there is of Russia (even with isolated pieces which may qualify as circumstantial evidence at best), the less we’re going to take (2) seriously.

      Ironically, to get us on board, it would actually take shining a light on all the other players, big business sectors, local state bureaucracies in control of voting procedures, major media and their donors and managers, soul-searching the mistakes made by our “own” side, etc. If all of this were done, and even alleged Russian influence would still stand out as clearly significant, focused investigations into this direction would clearly merit our active support even in the absence of hard evidence at this stage.

      By judiciously not looking into any of those other, less convenient, directions, Russiagate feels first and foremost like deflection and demonization.

      Let us also demand the minimum logical consistency: If it is deemed plausible that even an official enemy/rival halfway across the world can significantly influence an election – which means that clearly local actors have that power in spades – it is imperative to strengthen the electoral system starting with having elections on Sundays as the rest of the world does. This is so obvious a conclusion that Rachel Maddow must be ending each and every one of her shows with that rallying cry, isn’t she? I don’t watch her show.

      • «By judiciously not looking into any of those other, less convenient, directions, Russiagate feels first and foremost like deflection and demonization.» Those who honestly believe that «Russiagate» is primarily about collusion by the Trump campaign in alleged Russian «hacking» of the US presidential elections of 2016 – and there do seem to be some – might want to consider how certain important actors in the political life of that country are preparing to employ the same charge against Mr Sanders in 2020, should he choose to run….


      • Well thought out, Andreas.

        Better now to think than to jump to conclusions, while time still allows.

        It’s not yet necessary to run with the herd to avoid being trampled by those full of passionate intensity.

        The Dems are furious that Trump doesn’t want war with Russia, when Clinton and Obama pushed so hard with NATO to bring it.

    • “Better now to think than to jump to conclusions ”

      I couldn’t agree more.

      One should carefully weigh the evidence presented, consider the opinions of experts. pay attention to the story as it unfolds, familiarize themselves with the facts on the ground and generally think before jumping to the conclusion that the very notion of Russian interference is absurd.

  • The Republicans are more democratic than the Democrats.

    The Republicans took the votes for a candidate they seriously disliked seriously, maybe because they seriously fear the crazies of their electorate.

    The Democratic Party, however, never took their own primary elections seriously, because they know that the Democratic electorate is a pushover, that they are more likely to go into a depressed state of mind than become openly angry at an election fix revealed, and that their voters are more willing to submit to the wishes of the party insiders than the insiders are willing to submit to the voice of the people who vote in Democratic primaries.

    The cowardly Democrats will try to look tough only when the military stands between them and those they accuse of not playing nice.

    They don’t care about election interference by the Republicans because they really don’t care about the voters the Republicans regularly disenfranchise.

    • > The Republicans are more democratic than the Democrats.

      One word: Superdelegates. They allowed the dems to show Bernie trailing by 500 votes before even a single ballot was cast.

      In fact, the dems’ best hope are the Repugs – who are determined to commit political suicide faster than the other side of the aisle.

  • When there’s smoke in the air, it’s only logical to look for a fire. 🙂

  • Now, Ted, you don’t really expect logic to be a useful weapon against McCarthyism 2.0, do you ? The historical precedents says otherwise….


    • The takeaway from Ms Johnstone’s article :

      «Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump’s impeachment.

      The problem is not Trump. The problem is that America is ruled by an unelected power establishment which maintains its rule by sabotaging democracy, exacerbating economic injustice and expanding the US war machine. Stop listening to the lies that they pipe into your echo chambers and turn to face your real demons.»

      But of course, those who hate Russia even more than they hate Trump and wish to use the former to remove the latter will continue to claim that «Russia hacked the [US] elections», no matter what damage is done to relations between these two powers (which possess about 7000 nuclear warheads apiece)….


  • Of course, were I Virginia Democratic Party Senator Mark Robert Warner, who seems to be one of the greatest champions of the «Russiagate» meme I, too, should much rather discuss how those dastardly Russians, led by the devil himself, Gospodin Putin, «hacked the [US] election» than his co-sponsored bill to relieve payday lenders of consumer protection requirements….


  • This cartoon neatly encapsulates all three of the deniers’ favorite Red Herrings: Hillary, Russia, and emails. Let’s examine these in ascending order of absurdity …

    It’s about email AND an extremely sophisticated spearphishing attack against democratic voter registration software AND an extremely sophisticated hacking attempt against DNC servers in 26 states AND an extremely sophisticated psy-ops campaign over social media AND the POTUS flagrantly obstructing justice AND the POTUS Jr. flagrantly peddling influence AND an Attorney General who can’t keep his story straight AND all the other Trump cronies who have lied about their illegal dealings with an unfriendly country. *IF* these dots connect in the manner they appear to, *THEN* it is about the highest executive in the land selling his country out for personal gain.

    If that ain’t treason I don’t know what is.

    It’s not about Communism. It’s not about McCarthy. It’s not about Stalin. It’s not about Khrushchev banging his shoe on his desk. It’s not about pierogi or matryoshka dolls. It *is* about an unfriendly foreign nation trying to undermine our most important institution: democracy itself. It doesn’t matter *which* unfriendly nation it is – it could be North Korea, Iran, or Mississippi.

    It would still be A Very Bad Thing.

    She may have conspired with the DNC to undermine the US elections, and that’s undeniably A Very Bad Thing. If she broke any laws: lock her up. No problem. But that is an entirely *different* story; it involves entirely *different* actors and actions. It is irrelevant, unrelated and extraneous; it neither serves to prove nor disprove the assertion that the POTUS is a crook. It is the very epitome of a Red Herring.

    But to the deniers, it is all about Hillary. They’re so obsessed with debunking the Hillbots’ assertions that they can’t even start to imagine opening their eyes to the slimmest possibility that some those assertions might maybe be somewhat true-ish. They’d rather believe in a vast left-wing conspiracy comprising the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, Senate, MI6, Interpol, UNCLE, the Mossad, and The Girl Scouts; along with multiple investigative journalists and independent cybersecurity agencies.

    Personally, I find it easier to believe in a small conspiracy of dishonest plutocrats.

  • I note that our «roll off», «roll eyes», McCarthyite poster now chooses to characterise those who don’t swallow the «Russia hacked the [US] elections» meme as «deniers», in an attempt to place skeptics of the claims of such defenders of the pure and unvarnished truth as the Clappers and the Brennans, et al, in the position of those who deny the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. A manoeuvre worthy of this particular poster, a fitting successor to dear«Whimsical»….


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