Sunday, January 8, 2017

Russian Hacking Story is the New WMD's for Democrats

When you get your butt handed to you, like the Democrats did in last year's unbelievable elections, probably you should try and lose with dignity, save some face, and hopefully, take some time for quiet reflection to actually learn from it, and see what you can do differently.

Not these mainstream Democrats, though.

Nope, ever since the election, they seem to have more to say than usual - and that's saying something! 

Yes, ever since the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the Democrats have lashed out against those who they believe are responsible for their loss in the election - particularly the presidential election. They have lashed out at anybody and everybody that they suspect may have cost them the election, much like they lashed out at supporters of Ralph Nader following the 2000 election that saw George W. Bush undeservedly ascend to the White House.

This time, however, it seems that they are especially bitter, and that they are blaming anything and anyone that does not immediately run away in fear from them. They have blamed supporters of both Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. They have blamed Julian Asange. They have blamed FBI Director James Comey for claiming that investigations on the email scandal were still active just days before election day. They have blamed racists who supported Donald Trump, and people that they believe were conned into believing in Trump. 

But the biggest one has been this stupid, insipid insinuation that the big, bad Russians were behind it. That Vladimir Putin, specifically, is behind it, and that he seems to be calling the shots in American elections, and indeed in the American political scene in general these days.

At first, it seemed like just a bit of whining and name calling and finger-pointing, although it wound up growing to be so much more than that. Yes, because insinuations grew, and some unclear, not quite formed, half-baked notion that the Russians somehow hacked our election started to grow in popularity. Trump exacerbated matters by joining Putin in bravado talk about who would win another arms race between the two countries.

Suddenly, it feels like the Cold War again. Cold War II. Or, perhaps more fittingly these days, it could be called Cold War Version 2.0.

Yes, there's President Obama, using the last major press conference of his presidency by lashing out at Russia and Putin, specifically. Admonishing them, blaming them, effectively, for the election result. Claiming that numerous "intelligence" agencies have discovered apparently irrefutable proof of Russian involvement, and promising retaliation.

It feels somehow familiar. Where have we heard this before?

Oh, yes...I remember now. It was with the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD's) that American "intelligence" knew existed in Iraq, using this as justification for the invasion. And oh, by the way, no WMD's were found there.  

That is what this feels like. Very much like.

Of course, plenty of people are expressing their skepticism. This time, most of the detractors are Republicans, ironically, and major criticism of Russia has seemed to disappear from traditionally hawkish Republicans as a result. That, of course, has added fuel to this absurd fire that the mainstream Democrats have set off. 

There is infighting, and there are reports that this election was cheating, that it was hacked and, thus, illegitimate. 

I can understand this sentiment, because the election of someone like Donald Trump to the White House, as well as a clear majority to what had been a largely do nothing, obstructionist Congress, was more than a little alarming and disheartening.

But that does not give a green light to the Obama administration to escalate tensions significantly between the two countries, and to lash out, saying that the Russians will now be punished. Certainly, not without at least offering proof to the American people, period. And so far, they have failed to do that. So far, all they have relied on in terms of proof to buttress this seemingly irrefutable proof are suggestions simply to trust them. 

Yeah, right. Remember how well that worked out with WMD's in Iraq?

Still, Obama went ahead and imposed sanctions on Russia, as well as throwing out Russian diplomats. To his credit, Putin went back on an earlier promise to retaliate in kind with such actions, and instead, invited American diplomats to join him in celebrating the New Year and the Orthodox Christmas celebrations. He is showing restraint and, at a time when the White House (let us remember that it is still headed by Obama for now) is strongly provoking him. For once, Putin appears to be taking the higher road, refusing to take the bait.

And one encouraging sign is that a lot of Americans also appear not to be taking the bait this time, either.

Well, finally, some are recognizing that something does not feel right about this story. In a somewhat surprising twist, Rolling Stone magazine, which usually features articles favorable to Democrats, is expressing some serious doubts about this story. Recently, Matt Taibi wrote an article expressing some serious doubts about this whole story, suggesting that much feels very much out of place and untrustworthy about it, which reminds him and others in the media far too much of the whole WMD fiasco over one decade ago:

You can see awkwardness reflected in the headlines that flew around the Internet Thursday. Some news agencies seemed split on whether to unequivocally declare that Russian hacking took place, or whether to hedge bets and put it all on the government to make that declaration, using "Obama says" formulations.

Yes, the media seems to be unsure of itself, faced with a surprisingly skeptical American public.

The American public might just be wising up  - at least on this one issue. We cannot go too far with giving the American public credit, though. After all, they just elected Donald Trump to the highest office, and additionally giving him a Republican majority Congress, which goes far towards discrediting the opinions of tens of millions of Americans. Still, this particular story is pathetic and, frankly, a reminder of just how problematic the Democrats have become, as well. They imitate the Republicans in almost every way these days, so it figures that they would follow their lead by coming up with their own version of WMD's. This is a red herring, the Democrats answer to WMD's. Seriously, if this is true, then it is well past the time to release all of the evidence to the public. Put up or shut up. Prove it, or stop acting as sore losers in such an irresponsible manner. 

Because frankly, all of this finger-pointing at everyone else just seems childish, and reveals that the Democrats simply cannot accept their own responsibility for losing this election.

Bottom line is that the Democrats came across as condescending, arrogant, and untrustworthy throughout this election season, and they selected the one person who most  perfectly embodied all of that hypocrisy.

No one told the mainstream Democrats to interfere in the democratic process of elections and rig the primaries for Hillary Clinton. And no one forced her to ask prominent mainstream Democrats for help, although she did (Debbie Wasserman-Schultz admitted as much). No one told her to hire DWS just hours after she was essentially forced out of the DNC Chair position in disgrace for her role in the rigged primaries. No one told Clinton to accept millions upon millions from suspect Wall Street firms and healthcare industry major players. No one told her to lie about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia, or to then lie about the circumstances under which she made those claims. No one told Bill Clinton to illegally meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch while his wife, Hillary Clinton, was still under active FBI investigation. No one told her to accept Donna Brazile giving her that debate question to prepare for in advance. No one told her to dismiss tens of millions of her fellow Americans as a "basket of deplorables." No one told her to describe her own political ideology as "rooted in conservatism" as well as "moderate" as well as being the "real progressive" during the primary race with Bernie Sanders. Anyone with an ounce of common sense, and some small measure of objectivity, would realize that you cannot literally be all of those things, all at once.

Also, thus far, all that I can really tell of what the allegations of Russian interference with this election had to do with their revealing certain truths about the Democratic Party. There were secretive messages that revealed some wrongdoing on the part of prominent Democrats, and this appears to be the strongest case that they have for Russian interference, which to me hardly constitutes the kind of alleged interference with our election process that they were complaining about. No election ballots were interfered with in any way, neither erased, or with numbers padded for any candidate. No candidate or party was given direct or indirect financial compensation. At most, alleged Russian hackers essentially revealed to the public certain harsh truths about prominent ranking members of the Democratic Party, and this is what they suggested interfered with the election. This is why we should expel their ambassadors from our nation's shores, and this is why tensions should be escalated between the two countries.

And through it all, the Democrats are conveniently playing victim to all of this, which is quite convenient following an election in which they embarrassed themselves with horrible results. They promised to win the White House, and make serious, meaningful gains at least in Congress, if not outright take back at least the Senate. Instead, they generally lost the election in a big way, from the presidential race to the congressional races to the various governor races and on down. That followed revelations of wrong doing by Democrats, which allegedly, Russians were behind (and according to various intelligence agencies, this was definitively ordered by Putin himself). That, and the Democrats even admitted to interfering with the democratic process in the primary election season, as high-ranking members of the party who were supposed to remain neutral instead did everything that they could to undermine Bernie Sanders and his campaign, even while Hillary's campaign was stagnant and sinking - which they should have seen was a sign of things to come. The rest of the country took it as such, why couldn't they?

Yet, despite illustrating very clearly that numerous high-ranking officials within the Democratic Party actively lied and/or took actions that revealed that they could not be trusted (let's name Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Loretta Lynch, and Donna Brazile, just for starters), the Democrats not only refuse to take responsibility, they point that finger of blame on others. It's the fault of Bernie Sanders supporters for refusing to trust Hillary Clinton to adequately represent them as the Democratic nominee after she and other top Democrats stole the primaries and then quickly did everything to sweep this huge news story under the rug, up to and including mocking supporters of Sanders and their complaints about the unfair primaries. It was the fault of Jill Stein supporters, because if those votes went for Hillary (and there is nothing to suggest that all or even most of those votes would have, since by and large, those were specifically protest votes against Clinton and Trump). Nothing about why such a decisive number of voters might protest the Democratic candidate to such a degree. It was the fault of FBI Director James Comey, even though the Democrats knew that they were handpicking a candidate who was tainted with numerous scandals attached to her name, and even though they knew that they themselves got  away with one when Bill Clinton's illegally meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an active FBI investigation, which constituted a huge breach of protocol and conflict of interest, should have been a huge news story, but instead just kind of fizzled out and proved to be a non-factor. And again, another huge story, along with the unfair primary race and the Clinton-Lynch meeting, was the feeding of a debate question in advance from Donna Brazile to Hillary Clinton to prepare for the debate question. Here was yet another story that revealed unbelievable arrogance and entitlement and corruption (to say nothing of revealing how unworthy of trust this showed them to be) on the part of the Democrats and their chosen one, but which they largely failed to acknowledge, let alone learn from it. The Democrats got away with bad behavior time and time and time again, and getting an inch, they instead kept trying to gain a mile, to get away with more and more and more. Frankly, if I were a proud Democrat going into this election, I would be embarrassed by the party's actions now.

Instead, we now have a huge story coming out about prominent Democrats (this time already in the White House) cooking up this larger than life story about how the big, bad Russians were behind it all, so blame them! The fact that President Obama remained quiet (read: complicit) through the very tainted Democratic primaries, and remained silent while former President Bill Clinton met with the acting Attorney General Loretta Lynch met illegally while his wife and Democratic nominee for president were under active FBI investigation, and remained silent while allegations were revealed that the Democratic nominee was given a debate question in advance to prepare for during the debate. Not a harsh word was spoken about all of this concrete evidence of inside corruption by obviously high-ranking Democrats. And when it was revealed that Hillary Clinton not only took big money from "too big to fail" Wall Street firms and healthcare industry corporations, but also from Saudi Arabia, nothing was said about that, either. That was possible interference by an outside nation for this election, but mum was the word by the Democrats there.

But suddenly, once the election results came in, it was the big, bad Russians that he was pointing the finger at.

Very convenient.

Oh, and one more thing. President Obama specifically mocked then Republican candidate for the White House Donald Trump the month before the election, dismissing Trump's claims that the elections were going to be rigged against him. In fact, he even suggested that Trump should stop whining. Here is the specific quote:

"There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America's elections...There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time...So I'd advise Mr. Trump to stop whining."

Now, however, Democrats lost the election, and we should believe their cries of foul when they are tearing their hair out and pointing to the Ruskies! Despite failing to provide the American people with proof of all of this, they just advise the American people to trust them, and at least appear to be willing to start an international incident about it. 

The thing is, not everybody is buying it. Here again is Matt Taibi in that Rolling Stone article, revealing how many in the press are reacting to this hyped up story:

Many reporters I know are quietly freaking out about having to go through that again.

We all remember the WMD fiasco.  “It’s déjà vu all over again” is how one friend put it…

And another point that Taibbi rightly made in this article:

If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now.

Indeed, it seems that there are plenty of reasons - valid reasons - for doubt on this whole story. Something just does not feel right. Look at it this way: the Democrats got away with one thing after another during this election, all of which I have already discussed here already. From the tainted money that revealed how cozy Clinton was with Wall Street and the healthcare industry, to the very tainted primaries and interference in favor of Clinton by high-ranking Democrats who were officially supposed to remain neutral throughout, to the outright and repeated lying about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia, to President Clinton's illegal meeting with Lynch, to Brazile feeding Clinton a debate question, the Democrats got away with one potential landmine after another. And then, as if proof were needed that the warnings by supporters of Bernie Sanders about people not being able to trust Hillary Clinton and top Democrats, she still somehow lost the election in the states that counted most. State which, by the way, Hillary Clinton opted to largely skip visiting, because of the presumption that these states were in the bag in her favor. Yes, the Democrats seem to agree that all of this we should ignore, although they are crying foul now at alleged Russian interference. Many people are already buying it, and mocking Trump and Republicans for being in bed with Putin, despite the fact that the concrete, smoking gun connection has not yet been made - at least not to the public. 

I urge you to approach this story with caution, and not simply drink the Kool Aid that the Democrats are offering here. The fact of the matter is that there are a quite a few lessons - a lot of lessons, frankly - that the Democrats can take from these obviously disappointing election results. But in revealing how they are handling it (which is to say, by running away from the truth and constantly blaming anyone and everyone other than themselves), the Democrats are revealing a willingness to make the exact same mistakes in the future. Because it was a dangerous mixture of arrogance and entitlement and a stubborn willingness to remain ignorant of accusations against them, like a stubborn school boy plugging his ears and claiming that he cannot hear you, that did the Democrats in. And it will do so again, if the Democrats reveal that they have learned nothing from all of this. 

And if there is concrete, smoking gun proof of anything regarding this election thus far, it is indeed that the Democrats are living inside of their own tiny bubble of reality, and cannot cope with the less than flattering reality that they refuse to acknowledge exists. At least so far, they have shown a stubborn willingness to refuse to accept this reality, and it can cost them dearly in the future. Of course, they have been warned before, and ignored it. 

However, we cannot ignore this. Unhappy as many, if not most, of us are that Trump will be president shortly, the fact of the matter is that this does not give the Democrats still in power for the time being the right to get away with anything. This story is mostly a work of fiction, cooked up to give the American public - specifically that part of the American public so disillusioned by the reality of a Trump presidency - a convenient scapegoat to blame. In reality, we would be better served by pointing our finger at who's really to blame - the Democrats. For if we do them this favor, we are not helping them at all, any more than a child who has done wrong is helped when we decide to believe their lies, or turn the other way in the face of clear wrongdoing. If we ever expect or want the Democrats to change, to clean up their act, and to hopefully produce someone worthy of the trust of the American people, then we need to hold them accountable for their mistakes and, yes, crimes, during this past election. Until we do, the Democrats will likely continue to lose elections like they did, and they will have deserved it. And we Americans who do not want Trump or others like him will have no one to really blame but ourselves. This one was not about the Russians. It was about us, and the rottenness within the political system that we have allowed for entirely too long. So while it may not be easy, let's take responsibility and fix it. We had a chance there for a while with Bernie Sanders, but the rottenness in the Democratic Party took over and made sure the election was fixed in their favor. Until we fix it ourselves, we cannot expect things to change. Ever.

Here are the articles that were used to produce this opinion piece:

Something About This Russia Story Stinks by Matt Taibbi December 30, 2016

Rolling Stone Says Obama Is Lying About ‘Russian Hacking’ January 4, 2017 by Gary Barnes:

The quote by President Obama urging Trump to "stop whining" about an alleged rigged election came from this article below, and which I have used previously for a blog entry here on "The Charbor Chronicles":

Obama to Trump: "Stop Whining" About A Rigged Election By Tim Hains, October 18, 2016:

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