Barack Obama’s administration has decided to get real tough in the past week now that his rule is coming to an end. In the span of less than a week, he has managed to piss of Israel and Russia. The expulsion of Russian intelligence agents (if they are that) and the closure of two operations centers begs some questions. The first is if the government knew about these centers before December, 2016, why were they left alone? As for the “agents,” some have questioned why they were not expelled earlier if we knew about them. One suspects this is part of the “spy game” played between countries. We know their guys and they know our guys and everything is hunky dory until you need to expel them for some perceived transgression.
Regardless, although the FBI and the intelligence services have come to the conclusion that the Russians tried to influence the 2016 election, they all agree that Russia did not “hack” the election. No numbers were changed. In fact, the only numbers changed were thanks to Jill Stein’s idiotic recount effort where additional votes for Trump were found in Wisconsin and probable voter fraud in Michigan. Instead, the Russian efforts were nothing more than propaganda by the publication of hacked e-mails and documents from the DNC and John Podesta.
And what groundbreaking, vote-altering revelations resulted? Unless you are a political guru, much of the information released was not particularly big news. Perhaps these very revelations would have made a great tell-all book somewhere in the near future, but as news goes, they were hardly news. We all knew that the DNC wanted Hillary Clinton as the nominee and worked to thwart Bernie Sanders. We know that because Bernie Sanders said it. We know that the DNC and the Clinton campaign played identity politics. We know a liberal’s view of Catholicism vis-a-vis a series of e-mails between Clinton campaign officials discussing Rupert Murdoch’s raising of his children. We know George Soros was a major benefactor to the Clinton campaign.
In short, these were stories that interested only those within the DC beltway and political junkies outside it. One doubts that a gaggle of Catholics changed their vote to Trump in the last month because Palmentieri and Podesta had a laugh about Rupert Murdoch’s children. As for the Bernie Sanders voters, they never liked Clinton from the start so any revelations simply confirmed their dislike of Clinton.
As for the dissemination of alleged “fake news,” anyone who likely fell for some of the nonsense being published and disseminated on social media sites likely believed the nonsense from the start. In any case, it may have changed a few minds (which proves that literacy tests to vote should be considered), but not likely enough to sway too many voters in key states. Regardless, you do not need the Russians or Putin as long as you have people who believe Alex Jones and regularly consult InfoWars.
The talking heads are speculating that Russia and Putin did this to undermine faith in the American electoral process. They have succeeded only because the mainstream media is falling for the narrative. Even if this was not Putin’s desired effect (and I suspect it wasn’t), it is having such an effect.
Instead, this writer believes that Putin likely is behind some of this stuff, but not for the reasons being postulated. A better theory is that Putin shares something in common with many, many Americans- they just do not like Hillary Clinton. If one goes county-by-county in every state in the country, one will discover in many counties the number of votes Trump picked up came at the expense of Obama voters in 2012. In short, voters in 2012 (and even 2008) liked Obama over his opponents. Clinton? Meh…not so much.
We know why Americans rejected Clinton unless you lived in some liberal oasis like King County, Washington, San Francisco, Cook County, New York City and Los Angeles in which case you viewed a potential Trump presidency as the apocalypse. The reason is simple: people were rejecting a career politician who was tainted with corruption. And she was a fake to boot.
So why does Putin dislike her? Forget about that nonsense that his preferred candidate was Donald Trump because Russia perceived Hillary Clinton as a “hawk.” The reason is simple- he held a grudge against her and her State Department for allegedly calling into question parliamentary elections in Russia that led to massive protests. And he is probably correct given the State Department’s interference in the Israeli elections when they made a $350,000 donation to a group dedicated to ousting Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. Google search “US interference in Israeli elections” and you get over 2 million hits from a variety of sources- Left, Right and everything in between.
It is great that Barack Obama finally grew a set of balls when it came to Russia and Putin. Unfortunately, he was all words when it came to the Crimea (and some silly sanctions) and the same in their proxy war in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, he has allowed Russia free reign in Syria. Of course, we all remember him laughing Mitt Romney off the debate stage when Romney suggested Russia was a threat. Much too late, Obama may now realize that the Cold War is over, but Russia’s distrust of the West remains.
In the interim, we will likely be treated to a war of words and diplomatic deeds between the United States and Russia. There is a solution to Russian meddling in US elections and elsewhere, but that is the subject of a future article in the works. The Democratic Party can search for all the excuses and bogey men in the world to explain Clinton’s loss. But the answer is the one no one is willing to speak: she stunk as a candidate and despite Trump’s many drawbacks, she was not a very likable person.