Tit for tat, you kick my dog I poison your cat. Apparently this nursery rhyme is the new Obama doctrine for dealing with Russia. President Obama and the Democratic party have decided that Hillary Clinton losing the election wasn’t her fault, but instead the fault lies with Russia. This is pathetic, dangerous, and a wrongheaded strategy to shift blame from Clinton, tar Trump’s Russian ties, and to distract from the needed reforms within the Democratic party.
It’s amazing actually. This is the most active I’ve seen the Democratic leadership in decades. Democrats have spent the entirety of last week screaming from the rooftops to anyone that’ll listen that Vladimir Putin influenced the election by releasing leaked emails from the DNC and Podesta to Wikileaks to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. Strangely enough, if Democrats were genuinely concerned about the integrity of our elections, Russia would be the last thing we’d address.
They’re not screaming about African-Americans (Democrats most loyal voter base) being thrown off the voter rolls in Republican held states, or hack-able black box voting machines that consistently don’t correlate to the exit voter tally (the variance in exit polls to the real polls should be low as they’re more accurate “polling” as the person just voted). They mentioned electoral college, but they’re not yelling about abolishing it. Democrats have not whispered a word about the conflict of interest in two parties being in charge of the state election apparatus when they have a vested interest in the results of the election. Not a word about making voting a holiday so if someone who has to wait in a 4 hour line, won’t have to skip voting to get back to their jobs. Nope, it’s all Russia, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Mainstream media has put on its boots and ran with the story, entirely taking the CIA’s word for it that Russia was the source of the Wikileaks stories (an accusation Wikileaks denies) and has shown a stunning lack of nationalistic self awareness in the coverage. After all, it was barely a decade ago when we attacked a nation on the basis of a lie to depose a strong man, and killed upwards of a million people and spent upwards of 6 trillion dollars to do it. The atrocities included torturing detainees with the expressed goal of establishing a link between Saddam and Bin Laden; a link that never existed.
I’ve yet to see mainstream media discuss the CIA overthrowing the democratically elected prime minister of Iran and putting in a brutal dictator because the Prime Minister wanted to renegotiate the deal with BP to redistribute some of the revenue back to the people of the country. The media never once mentioned Libya being a burning cinder of a failed state after Obama spent a billion dollars in covert operations and assisted with NATO airstrikes that resulted in the brutal death of its leader Omar Qaddafi. When she received the news, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, in a rare moment of candor, giggled “We came, we saw, he died.” What about Cuba? We tried to assassinate the leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, 600 times? With all of CNN’s vast resources to get to the bottom of a story and provide context, they never once mentioned the governments we’ve overthrown to provide our corporations access to the resources of the area: Guatemala, Congo, South Vietnam, Brazil, and Chile. The American public may not know this as history is not our strong suit, but Obama certainly knows it. Yet he continues to push this narrative of the shrinking violet America, cheated by the great Russian bear. Rubbish!
Putting aside the rank hypocrisy, mining Russian resentment is an extremely slippery slope. Assume for the moment the CIA does have evidence of Russian involvement in the leaks, Obama’s approach of “proportional retaliation” sounds absolutely ridiculous. No one knows what a”proportional response” is to a foreign nation hacking into a campaign, let alone where all this cowboy diplomacy and one upmanship ends. You would’ve though that the Hillary camp elevating Trump in the primaries and then losing would’ve been enough brinkmanship, clearly President Obama doesn’t think so. Is he certain that this back and forth with Russia will always reside in cyber space and will never cross over into our physical dimension when one country believes the subjective “proportional” standard of Obama warrants a missile strike. The solution to Russia hacking your system is to fix the vulnerabilities in your electoral system, not to start Cold War 2.0 for the cyber era.
And therein lies the rub; all this Democratic wind and thunder about Putin, Trump, and our electoral system has nothing to do with “fixing” or even verifying the integrity of the vote, it’s purely to throw filler into the conversation to point the finger at everyone else but where it needs to be pointed: themselves.