Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Paul Waldman writes:
The (alleged) Russian hack of the DNC should be one of the biggest stories of the year. Why isn’t it?
In his view, one reason is that we're distracted by the content of the emails. And then there's this:
The next reason why it isn’t a bigger deal is that the aggrieved party, the Democrats, aren’t pushing the story forward as much as they might, first because they don’t want to attract more attention to the content of the emails, and second because they aren’t making the kind of vicious accusations Republicans would if the tables were turned -- the kind of accusations we in the media eat up. Instead, they’re saying milquetoasty things like this from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: “When you put all this together, it’s a disturbing picture. I think voters need to reflect on that.”
I think it's also because, over the years, liberals and conservatives have developed conditioned responses to foreign threats that are mirror images. For nearly 70 years, conservatives have overemphasized the danger posed by foreign foes. In the past few decades, we've seen them treat as existential threats to America not only ISIS and Al Qaeda but Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, the Sandinistas in Nicragua, and even a left-leaning government in tiny Grenada.

Liberals, understandably, have developed a habit of questioning conservatives' insistence that the Apocalypse is nigh because a foreign enemy is rattling sabers. And yes, this extends even to Democrats who are derided by the left as warmongers and neocons -- they may go to war, but they don't wallow in it in a "Mission Accomplished" way. Barack Obama hasn't. Bill Clinton didn't. Hillary Clinton won't.

This means that the party harmed by the leak of these emails is the party made up of voters who don't delight in war and don't respond to alarmism about foreign threats -- so it's hard to get us roused in this instance. Meanwhile, the party that does respond to foreign policy alarmism is in the tank for Donald Trump, and thus doesn't want to hear a discouraging word about him. Even the Never Trumpers don't want to aid and abet Hillary Clinton.

So the people who respond every time we're told that there's a new Hitler overseas are categorically uninterested in seeing Putin as a threat in this case, while those of us who have resisted many recent assertions that we're at one minute to midnight aren't conditioned to respond to a message like that now. I don't know what might reverse this, but let's hope it happens.


sdhays said...

Or maybe they're letting the story develop because they know it's going to keep coming. Russia's heavy-handedness here makes a US response likely, some would argue even necessary. And now we finally have actual smoke to raise the temperature on what disturbing things could actually in his tax returns that he's not letting us see. Perhaps he'll actually be dogged by this, unlike his other transgressions.

A consistent problem with criticisms of Donald Trump is that he's always doing or saying awful things, so nothing really has much of a chance to really set in. Maybe this will continue to boil and simmer with the media smelling blood in the water, and the Democrats don't see the need to shove the knife all the way in right away.

Lit3Bolt said...

I expect after the convention is over, the story will pick up steam. One narrative at a time.

Feud Turgidson said...

This story is bound up in the Guccifer investigation, which the FBI's had for some years now and has some pleas. The guy who's done himself some real own goal damage here is Assange. There was precisely NONE of the care taken on prior Wikileaks dumps where the Guardian and/or NYTimes were involved, and the result many many many innocent American's credit info and security numbers are now out there in the public domain. In PREVIOUS leaks, Assange kept some honor and dignity image going (despite the seedy to sordid events in Sweden), but this one shows way different standards and motives. This LOOKS personally aimed towards HRC and there's nothing professional or in the least careful about how it was released.

The irony is that to the extent Assange used to be something of a lefty icon (weird as he is), now he'l be dog meant with the left and a scuzzy folkhero to the freaks Drudge and Alex Jones in particular caters to.

I agree it's gonna take a while before we hear more on this.But it's already clear who all are involved in the dump are deliberately favoring Trump with timing and content.

Unknown said...

Max Boot was on this today in the L.A. Times, and I've heard that John Bolton has weighed in as well. This is raw meat for cold warriors.

jsrtheta said...

Why must this be up to the Democrats? Why doesn't the media do it's fucking job for once?

Anyone who thinks the email aspect of this (I know, it's another "email scandal") should be taken seriously, in terms of what they reveal, really isn't ready for long pants anyway. It's so trivial, so "So What?", as to be beneath mention.

What is worth investigating, and demanding answers for, is the obvious criminality of the Russian hackers, the failure to publicize Trump's business dealings, both the sordid nature of how he scams people and bilks creditors to make his money, the fact that American banks know he's poison and won't loan him anything, the consequent reliance on Russian and ex-Soviet investors, his willingness to throw Europe under the bus, his repudiation of the defense of Ukraine and the Baltic states, and his bromance with Putin.

As a veteran of the Clinton Wars, I am as dismissive of conspiracy theories as anyone. But the lunatic allegations against the Clintons were almost always marked by the outrageousness of the accusations and the dearth of any actual evidence.

This is different: This is as close to treasonous as it gets, and it is ultimately in service of someone who will obviously do anything to bulk up his assets, while risking the unleashing of chaos on the world.

This is a man who has no stopping point, a man who must feed and feed and lie and cheat and steal in order to build more and more monuments to his greatness, who can never stop, because he knows if he does he will be revealed as the shallow, puny excuse for a man that he secretly fears he is. He doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself, he will risk killing us all, or at least anyone not sufficiently obeisant to America, to sate a hunger no one shares. And the cost to the rest of the world will be enormous.

And if that's not enough to make the press do its job, then they should quit their fucking jobs, and hand them over to those who will.

Steve M. said...

The irony is that to the extent Assange used to be something of a lefty icon (weird as he is), now he'l be dog meant with the left

Well, except for the Benie-or-Bust left, which undoubtedly sees him as even more of a hero now.

Danp said...

The emails do more to show how defensive the DNC is than to suggest they favor Clinton. In other words, it's Sanders' accusations that make them mad, not their love for Hillary. There was no suggestion of rigging the rules to get a favorable result for either candidate.

The bigger story here is Trump's financial obligations to Russian investors close to Putin. By contrast, how does Hillary benefit from donations from evil-doers to the Clinton Foundation? More sinecures? Selling out the country to benefit charitable beneficiaries? A few free meals or flights? I just don't get the "appearance of impropriety" argument.

jsrtheta said...

@Danp: This is something that has puzzled me all along. Just how do contributions to a charity benefit Hillary? Sure, I get the "currying favor" argument, but the money doesn't go into her pocket or the campaign's, and I would think getting evil-doers to part with money to benefit the sick and needy would be a good thing. Not to Trump, of course, he doesn't give a shit, and he would think it's weakness. (Though he lies about his own (non-existent) charitable donations, but only to brag about how much money he (doesn't) give.) Obviously, the Republicans never mention the "charity" part ("Foundation" sounds much more sinister), and they obviously want the rubes to think that the money goes straight to Hillary's preparations for world domination and free abortions for Christian kids while they're getting their free school lunches.

But I was heartened to see "From Russia with Love" being discussed seriously last night on CNN (they had a lunatic shortage so there was only one Trump stooge on the panel - doubtless Jeffrey Lord will lecture us all on how the Democrats have been selling us out to Putin since the Civil War). MSNBC was useless - Chris Matthews is really ridiculous these days. This morning CNN was back at it about Russia. So perhaps this will not be made part of the "Oh that Donald, he's such a caution!" approach the MSM seems to take to any suggestion that Trump is something other than a lovable scamp.

KenRight said...

We've got a bizzarro fake progressive world where cold warriors must be restrained by America Firsters.

According to right wing German and French parties who now lead the polls, Merkl and Holland should be sent to Siberia and Putin beckoned to Berlin and Paris. Both these parties also recognize American intervention in the Mideast, not Russia has unleashed the refugee flood their way and that Israel, which has played a part in the motivation for the interventions isn't taking any of the flood. And that the liberals in their own countries seem to have been motivated by a desire to please the American Elite in accepting the flood of jihad-infiltrated refugees--while Assad, incidentially has been urging the Syrians involved to stay and fight for freedom.

Trump for his part says let Putin finish the job in Syria.

Jeff Ryan...arguably most Europeans right now believe the US Elite, not Trump has already thrown them under the bus.

jsrtheta said...

@KenRight: Ken? Shut the fuck up.

I don't know why you think anyone gives a shit what you say. Apparently you seem to derive some perverse pleasure from throwing pisspots around here, and I only speak for myself, but I'll say it again: Shut the fuck up. You are an idiot. And you're clogging up my email.

So take a big swig from one of those pisspots, and sod off.

alison said...

Great blog. Still holds true today. I am interested to see how long it holds true. Thank you for your insight. You are spot on!

Steve M. said...