The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia

After Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss nearly six months ago, her most powerful Democratic allies feared losing control of the party. Efforts to lip-synch economic populism while remaining closely tied to Wall Street had led to a catastrophic defeat. In the aftermath, the party’s progressive base – personified by Bernie Sanders – was in position to start flipping over the corporate game board.

Aligned with Clinton, the elites of the Democratic Party needed to change the subject. Clear assessments of the national ticket’s failures were hazardous to the status quo within the party. So were the groundswells of opposition to unfair economic privilege. So were the grassroots pressures for the party to become a genuine force for challenging big banks, Wall Street and overall corporate power.

In short, the Democratic Party’s anti-Bernie establishment needed to reframe the discourse in a hurry. And – in tandem with mass media – it did.

The reframing could be summed up in two words: Blame Russia.

By early winter, the public discourse was going sideways – much to the benefit of party elites. The meme of blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin for the election of Donald Trump effectively functioned to let the Wall Street-friendly leadership of the national Democratic Party off the hook. Meanwhile, serious attempts to focus on the ways that wounds to democracy in the United States have been self-inflicted – whether via the campaign finance system or the purging of minorities from voter rolls or any number of other systemic injustices – were largely set aside.

Fading from scrutiny was the establishment that continued to dominate the Democratic Party’s superstructure. At the same time, its devotion to economic elites was undiminished. As Bernie told a reporter on the last day of February: “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

Amid great luxury and looming catastrophe, the party’s current hierarchy has invested enormous political capital in depicting Vladimir Putin as an unmitigated arch villain. Relevant history was irrelevant, to be ignored or denied.

With dutiful conformity from most Democrats in Congress, the party elites doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on the emphatic claim that Moscow is the capital of, by any other name, an evil empire. Rather than just calling for what’s needed – a truly independent investigation into allegations that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election – the party line became hyperbolic and unmoored from the available evidence.

Given their vehement political investment in demonizing Russia’s President Putin, Democratic leaders are oriented to seeing the potential of détente with Russia as counterproductive in terms of their electoral strategy for 2018 and 2020. It’s a calculus that boosts the risks of nuclear annihilation, given the very real dangers of escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Along the way, top party officials seem bent on returning to a kind of pre-Bernie-campaign doldrums. The new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, can’t bring himself to say that the power of Wall Street is antithetical to the interests of working people. That reality came to painful light this week during a live appearance on national television.

During a 10-minute joint interview along with Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, Perez was a font of exactly the kind of trite empty slogans and worn-out platitudes that oiled the engines of the dismal Clinton campaign.

While Sanders was forthright, Perez was evasive. While Sanders talked about systemic injustice, Perez fixated on Trump. While Sanders pointed to a way forward for realistic and far-reaching progressive change, Perez hung onto a rhetorical formula that expressed support for victims of the economic order without acknowledging the existence of victimizers.

In an incisive article published by The Nation magazine, Robert Borosage wrote last week: “For all the urgent pleas for unity in the face of Trump, the party establishment has always made it clear that they mean unity under their banner. That’s why they mobilized to keep the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Keith Ellison, from becoming head of the DNC. It’s why the knives are still out for Sanders and those who supported him.”

While Bernie is hardly a reliable opponent of U.S. war policies, he is significantly more critical of military intervention than the Democratic Party leaders who often champion it. Borosage noted that the party establishment is locked into militaristic orthodoxies that favor continuing to inflict the kind of disasters that the United States has brought to Iraq, Libya and other countries: “?Democrats are in the midst of a major struggle to decide what they stand for and who they represent. Part of that is the debate over a bipartisan interventionist foreign policy that has so abjectly failed.”

For the Democratic Party’s most hawkish wing – dominant from the top down and allied with Clinton’s de facto neocon approach to foreign policy – the US government’s April 6 cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield was an indication of real leverage for more war. That attack on a close ally of Russia showed that incessant Russia-baiting of Trump can get gratifying military results for the Democratic elites who are undaunted in their advocacy of regime change in Syria and elsewhere.

The politically motivated missile attack on Syria showed just how dangerous it is to keep Russia-baiting Trump, giving him political incentive to prove how tough he is on Russia after all. What’s at stake includes the imperative of preventing a military clash between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. But the corporate hawks at the top of the national Democratic Party have other priorities.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

73 thoughts on “The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia”

  1. Short of Nuremburg 2.0 this Empire of Chaos simply will not be held accountable. Doesn’t matter whether Coke or Pepsi dropped the bomb/fired the missile/invaded and/or terrorized some poor country, and I doubt the dead would care. We just want to straight up take from people who have little capacity to fight back and we wish to destroy and humiliate them for having the temerity to ask for a fair deal.

  2. The greatest moment of the “liberal Democratic left” was opposing the unnecessary wars of Vietnam (and to a lesser extent Iraq). The left also gets credit for supporting the protection of civil liberties and supporting dissidents like Martin Luther King who were fierce critics of a status quo that was oppressive.

    Today, the Democrats are cheerleaders for wars and regime change everywhere. I hear no defense of eroding civil liberties. I see no support of courageous whilestle blowers like Snowden and Assange.

    The press is the same. The Republicans are the same. Indeed, where’s the difference?

    Ron Paul? Yes, he has enthusiastic followers, but is ignored and ridiculed by the above.

    1. That, sadly, is history, For aside from some ‘traditional’ rhetoric, the Democratic party is now well to the right of where it used to be, both at home and, especially, abroad.

    2. In fairness, the main reason Ron Paul is ridiculed is because he’s ridiculous.

      1. I used to give Paul a bit of a pass for never amassing a stronger movement because he’s simply too non-telegenic to have been a factor nationally in this age. But you could have said the same thing about Sanders and he did it. The problem is his domestic policy views don’t resonate with many people who’d back him n foreign policy.

        1. You are optimistic and kind to Ron Paul, too. I like that positive spirit. But he’s a libertarian, and that’s why he’s ridiculous. I’d even say he’s corrupt because he spewed his mostly nonsensical policy views simply to get funding and re-elected again and again. Libertarianism simply can’t work for a civilization of this size. For proof, check out the entire world and the history of civilization. His supporters were typically either naive, young extremists who hadn’t thought enough about pragmatism and the realities of life; or “guvmint is always bad” dimwits. Either way, his jingoistic, quaint extremism was a lot easier for them to grasp than actual balanced solutions.

          1. More government please! More “interventions” and more expansion of the U.S. empire please!

            Someone pushes back against these ideas/policies and is labeled an “extremist.” Man.

            Our Founders had it right. Their greatest concern was an overly powerful central government. I allow that your position is the “mainstream” view. I also don’t think that Paul’s limited government, genuine free trade, “markets” not dominated by “cronies” has not really been implemented. These views were more accepted in, say, the first century of our nation. America DID become a “great nation” during this time span.

          2. (1) Yes, because where would we be without those pesky government “interventions” like socialized education, regulations against polluting air and water, regulations for worker safety, laws against slavery, civil rights protections, socialized roads, Medicare, Social Security, socialized military protection, socialized police protection, socialized scientific research, government-protected national parks, minimum wage laws, a socialized electrical grid, laws against unfair business practices, regulations on food and drug safety, and a million other damned “interventions” necessary to modern civilization?? Also, (2) the 13 colonies had 2.5 million people who had a strong negative reaction to a monarchy. For America to be great in the modern era — with nearly 320 million people and technological complexity beyond the wildest dreams of the 18th century — requires a strong representative government that intervenes on behalf of its citizens so that corporations, wealthy individuals, and other nations aren’t allowed to trample over rights, freedoms, and other principles that are outlined in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And (3) America could not be a truly “great nation” until the Constitution applied to all citizens — so while the first hundred years finally saw slavery outlawed, it certainly took much longer to give women the right to vote, and to pass even a watered-down Civil Rights law. America has the potential for greatness, but it’s clouded by greed, intolerance, inequality of opportunity, and a blistering ignorance of the principles upon which the country was founded. (4) Ron Paul is either a self-serving power monger who’s comfortably riding his niche political philosophy, or he is profoundly and purposely delusional when it comes to the positive influence government has had in American prosperity. Without that “interference,” we’d still have slavery, rampant corporate corruption, unsurvivable pollution, cancerous inequality between races and genders, and we’d be speaking either with a British accent, or just plain German.

        2. I know. It is terribly sad that domestic policies that call for much smaller federal government, much lower taxes and regulations, no more debt creation for our children and grandchildren to pay off, dismantling the surveillance state and protecting civil liberties, demanding that the Fed conduct its affairs in a way that its actions can actually be reviewed by the public … have all become “radical” positions.

          In truth, these positions are not “radical” at all. The public has simply been told over and over that Paul is a “kook” and “isolationist” and thus he is dismissed. Which is the way the protectors of the “Status Quo” prefer it. Paul’s ideas – really the Founders’ ideas – are a grave threat to their power, wealth and prestige.

          1. It doesn’t help that he’s an idiot who wants to get rid of Social Security. We tried civilization without Social Security. It led to lots of death and suffering. Ron Paul is rightly marginalized.

      2. Okay. Please be good enough to give us some specific examples of policies he supports that are “ridiulous?” He was against “nation-building, uneccessary” wars in the Mideast. Was this “ridiculous?” He says the “War on Drugs” is counterproductive. Is this “ridiculous?” It seems many more Americans are reaching this conclusion. He calls for transparency and an audit of the unelected Fed. Is this a “ridiculous” position? He worries about the erosion of civil liberties and the rise of a Surveillance State reminiscent of Orwell’s Big Brother. Is this a “ridiculous” concern? He is for limited government and maximum liberty to the people. Just like our Founders were. Is this ridiculous?

        In fact, Paul is simply labeled a “kook” or “ridiculous” with those doing the smearing not having the decency or intellectual honesty to point out how or why his views are so ridiculous.

        This, to me, is what’s ridiculous in our “national debates.” The people who are actually right get dismissed, ignored and smeared. The people who are/were wrong get even more influence.

          1. The New Deal forestalled a revolution. Most Americans lived in rural settings, or in small towns, and people were starving. If farmers go hungry, that’s a good sign that something really evil just hit us. Even the really short tenure we had in WW One or as I sometimes say it, World War Lost… was enough to tip the economic balance and the Dust Bowl drove enough coffin nails we would never have gotten out of the Depression. Some of the ripest and most vicious hatred of the New Deal comes from those still rural areas which benefited best and most from it. Examples? At the time the word redneck was being cemented into our national ethos. It’s about people being in debt slavery working for company town organized rip-offs of the working poor. The rich people had electricity, running water, telephones… the poor and especially those in Sharecropper situations, lived in small houses with big families. If you work on a farm, the job is can’t to can’t… when you can’t see the sun in the morning til you can’t see in the evening. No running water means you had to heat the bath water the really old fashioned way… chop wood, bring water from the well if you had one or the creek if you didn’t. Heat the water. if you lived in a “shotgun shack” with two to four rooms, all in a row, (so if you fired a shotgun at the front door you’d hit every room) the women would bathe then the men, kids included, and really the only time you had to do it would be Saturday night, and you’d wash your stinky hide once a week, so you wouldn’t smell up the church on Sunday. And they scrubbed so much to get the 6 days of dirt off it made their necks red. It was a class thing.

            Now the people in those backwaters have TV, internet, regular mail, telephone service, running water,(that you don’t have to decontaminate before drinking it (that’s getting to be a thing of the past)) and they use their TVs to listen to Fox News calling all those programs Socialism and Evil. They use their phones roads and public education to say that subsidized social programs like phone service, rural electrification, roads that you can navigate without getting lost and God help you if you broke down. The ‘public’ utilities weren’t about to go spend money to put in freshwater pipes and sewage systems or electric service to hillbillies and rednecks. Or rural health care. The folks whose grandparents would have probably died in early childhood without the New Deal and Great Society subsidized health care, are now upset that other people can actually get health care. Go figure. The corporations dorked up everything for obscene government guaranteed subsidies (wars, in a short definition) and would cancel pensions for the poorest of the workings every time there was a significant market downturn. Frank Roosevelt gave them the options, share their unearned bloodstained subsidized wealth or there would have been ‘trouble’ in america that would make Red October look tiny and insignificant. Now they’re gettin’ all uppity again. Clean air and water acts? Get the lower classes to march in the street yelling about Tyranny. Food that won’t kill you, get the Peasants to rally in the streets and yell about Socialist Rat Bastards! My brother who works unloading trucks paid 11,000 each of the last 3 years in income tax and that’s 11000 a year more than General Electric, whose biggest money maker is War. All the household appliances they sell don’t make as much as their War profiteering.

            Ron Paul is seen on many fronts to back the Big Corporations on all the above named conditions.

            If he opposes the war, that’s great. Peace would be the biggest economic upgrade in all of history. That’s the biggest issue, without war there wouldn’t be any of the Corporate greed machine. Look to their commercials to see where their corporate artificial hearts are.

  3. The Democrats won’t be much of a challenge to Trump on military because competence doesn’t count when the nation is under attack as much as not reducing expenses. Trump seems to be intent on maintaining his war machine and ‘trimming the fat’ from somebody else.

  4. The democrats are a greater threat than republicans because they endlessly tell us and themselves how enlightened they are while supporting wars of aggression. They apparently have no knowledge or ignore Clintons interference in Boris Yeltins election and his expansion of NATO after his predecessor promised not to. Their xenophobic rants against Russia because their war criminal candidate lost are making the world a more dangerous place.

    1. Please tell us more how the Democrats forced George Bush I into the first war with Iraq, and forced George Bush II to attack Iraq again. Also, please tell us all about Obama’s wars of aggression. You’re upset about Clinton expanding NATO “after his predecessor promised not to”? Clinton’s predecessor was George Bush II, who was operating in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union . . . it’s not surprising that Clinton felt that a strong alliance with Europe would help add stability to the region and prevent Russia from re-grabbing all of those lost republics. Sure, Russia’s still a cesspool of corruption centered around Putin and his wealthy friends, but I’m not sure you can blame that on the expansion of NATO.

      Finally, “xenophobic rants”? What are you talking about? Are you one of those Russian bots or what? When Russia interferes in our election, it’s okay for us to call them a bunch of corrupt autocrats. When Putin destroys the independent press in Russia and violently extinguishes any dissent, it’s okay for us to say he’s a dictator. Because they did, and he is. That’s not xenophobia. That’s just plain pointing out the obvious.

      1. I guess you never heard of Obama’s destruction of Libya, egged on by Clinton, which has turned the country into a basket case, along with Obama supporting ISIS in Syria, and providing weapons to Saudi Arabia for their genocide in Yemen. The only Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 who didn’t support the invasion of Iraq was Obama. I don’t vote for warmongers in either party. But at least Republican are honest about it and don’t engage in phony moral outrage when Republicans are the perps as democrats do.

        1. Stay on target. You said the Democrats create wars of aggression. I pointed out that it’s Republicans, and gave you numerous examples. So, desperate, you bring up Libya, which, last time I checked, didn’t involve a multi-year war that cost thousands of American lives and billions of dollars. And you avoid defending your statements about “xenophobic rants” regarding Russia. Why do you avoid it? Because your first statement was not defensible. Putin is a totalitarian who violently crushes dissent, and who interfered in our election. You can go ahead and change the subject again if you want, but either way, you’re going to lose the argument. Saying that “Republicans are honest about it” is the most laughable of your statements. First of all, they aren’t honest about it — George Bush and his cronies lied to get us into war with Iraq, which resulted in thousands of American deaths and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths. Did you forget that little piece of “Republican Honesty”? Please. You are dead wrong, and you’ve embarrassed yourself.

          1. No it just destroyed a country that was no threat to us. Clinton voters have as much blood on their hands as Bush voters and are just as delusional. As I said before, Clinton was an enthusiastic supporter of the invasion of Iraq along with every other act of American aggression. She didn’t even bother to read the 92 page intelligence report on WMDs. Putin is no threat to us and the hysteria about interfering with our election is generated by the crybabies at MSNBC and DNC who can’t face up to their own incompetence and arrogance that cost the election. Their reckless charges against Russia are making the world a more dangerous place.

          2. Once again, you change the subject and ramble. Because you know your original points are a bunch of bull — and you either know it and you’re lying, or you don’t know it and you’re ignorant. So, back to your original points: (a) “The democrats are a greater threat than republicans because they endlessly tell us and themselves how enlightened they are while supporting wars of aggression.” Wrong: the Republicans actually started the most consequential wars of the past 40 years (i.e., Iraq 1, Iraq 2, and Afghanistan). (b) “They apparently have no knowledge or ignore Clintons interference in Boris Yeltins election and his expansion of NATO after his predecessor promised not to.” Wrong: NATO was expanded to counter the newly chaotic post-Soviet world. (c) “Their xenophobic rants against Russia because their war criminal candidate lost are making the world a more dangerous place.” Wrong: (1) Russia meddled in the election to protect Putin’s power — which makes the world more dangerous. I’m done with you. You’re simply too ignorant of how cause-and-effect works. If you truly believe what you’re saying, you should seek help, because you’re finding connections where there are none, pointing to either stupidity or mental illness. I hope for your sake that it’s just good, old-fashioned stupidity, because I’d hate to see anyone suffer from mental problems beyond their control.

          3. It’s not like the Dems are more hostile than Reps or vice versa. The Left and Right wings are on the same bird. It’s a case of you can vote for Our candidate or you can vote for our OTHER candidate.

          4. Ugh. False equivalency doesn’t help the situation. If you don’t see that the Republicans are far more hostile than the Democrats, then you haven’t been paying attention, or you’re too young to remember. The full-on wars that have been started in the past 30 years (e.g., Iraq 1 and Iraq 2) have been Republican. The government shut downs, Republican. The tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the poor: Republicans. The battles against minimum wage, cuts to food stamps, cuts to the social safety net – Republicans. The outright racism of the Birther movement: Republicans. The racism of Southern whites turned into a political movement with the Southern Strategy by Nixon: Republicans. The idiotic attacks over Benghazi that have suddenly mysteriously disappeared: Republicans. The cuts to environmental regulations, banking regulations, social services, health insurance: all Republicans. The attacks on women, minorities, workers, and the poor — and the elevation of the investor class, corporations, and the powerful: Republicans. Bernie Bros. just don’t get it. They say both parties are the same, and that Hillary was in bed with Wall Street, and then are completely silent about Trump lining his cabinet with Goldman Sachs CEOs. Get over your bias against Hillary that the Russians worked so hard to instill in you during the election. That kind of thinking is gullible and lazy. Both parties are not the same. Republicans are wrong on nearly every issue, period. Don’t get me wrong: Republicans are not all racist, sexist, intolerant, backwards, ignorant, or extremist — but certainly most racist, sexist, intolerant, backwards, and/or ignorant people are Republicans.

          5. Nixon, celebrated creep of yesteryear, was the person who put the EPA into effect. The wars transcend both platforms of the unlawful U.S. government which was established by 2nd and 3rd generation English invaders. I don’t actually choose the ongoing Indian Wars, it’s the very basis of the U.S. governance and economic policy. Custer and a bunch of his minions got killed because they interrupted a religious and political rally which took place on land allotted to the Crow nation. Same policy George Washington who was neither Democrat nor Republican authorized opening the Ohio Valley to “american” expansion. Created the new territory of Indiana in an attempt to legitimize it. The same pattern was done to Canada and Mexico and now it’s official Diplomatic Protocol under the Exceptionalist banner. Trump didn’t start the wars. The roots are ancient, hell, the Syrian and Turkish and Lebanese conflicts are rehashed versions of the Trojan War.

            Trump nor Clinton nor Bush nor Nixon nor even Washington were the ones who started the wars, but they enthusiastically joined in. Mostly because they had financial incentive to send other people to die.

            Any political system regardless of their original beliefs will be corrupted to Financial Sector wants and needs. It’s predictable. Libertarian included and even Anarcho Syndicalist Communes. Although that last has done a remarkable job of having the one single economic structure which didn’t collapse in the past more than a century. Greed Kills.

          6. It doesn’t mean the parties are the same. Snap out of it, listen, and acknowledge that you’re wrong on that front.

          7. I’m saying they drink from the same creek. The fruit of the poison root. The evil they do and the good they do is built on centuries of the actions of their forerunners. Neither can be reliably break away from those roots.It’s a two party system with huge flaws. In religious terms, which I find myself quoting frequently, it’s Original Sin.

            It’s based, our system, which we inherited but did not create, upon English Common Law. The Constitution is a common law legal contract. Which gets broken many times. The only way to destroy that contract is by direct incisive revolutionary actions, which has it’s own problems.

          8. It still doesn’t make them the same. You can’t pseudo-intellectualize your way out of this.

            They want different things. They are based on different values. They attract different kinds of people.

            This is the basis of human language and understanding — different words have different meanings. If you’re going to categorize everything in broad groups, you’re going to miss a hell of a lot of nuance.

          9. They want exactly the same thing — political power.

            They are based on exactly the same value — the idea that other people are their property.

            They attract exactly the same kind of people — sociopaths.

          10. You’re making the same mistake as Brother Jonah, considering similarities (and the validity of your list is doubtful) and not differences. Certainly, everything is made of atoms, so from the widest perspective, I’m the same as the entire galaxy. But consciousness and critical thought evolved to distinguish between things and reflect on them. Yes, many politicians do prioritize holding onto office and power. And many are, well, if not sociopaths, then certainly sociopath-adjacent. But — and here’s my point — the parties are not the same. They are not equally bad. If you don’t see that Trump is a travesty, then you’re not looking closely enough.

          11. I certainly see that Trump is a travesty. Just like Clinton would have been, just like Obama was, just like Romney and McCain would have been, etc.

            If political ideology and policy was a 360 degree circle, the far right of the Republican Party and the far left of the Democratic Party would span perhaps five degrees of that circle. Sure, they’re different — in the same way that a white golf ball and a blaze orange golf ball are different. Same size, same shape, same weight, same number of dimples on the surface, but HEY, they’re different colors! Someone call the press for the love of God!

          12. One key difference is that the far right has power, and constantly changes and steers the conversation. The far left rarely, if ever, does. Hell, it’s even challenging to get a reasonably progressive position expressed, much less something that sticks. Republicans are geniuses at obstruction. This is all just a small part of why I feel there’s a very pronounced difference between the sides.

          13. Neither the far right nor the far left have any significant presence in American politics. The entirety of the American political establishment covers a tiny sliver of the spectrum just a hair to the right of center.

          14. Maybe we’re enjoying our own separate lives in two different parallel universes. Because the far right — whether it’s evangelicals who shaped the Republican Party from Reagan on (and continues the misogynistic themes), or the Tea Party that just last month shaped the health care debate — is an absolute fixture in most aspects of the Republican Party platform. Far left (or even semi-progressive voices) . . . not so much.

          15. The evangelicals and Tea Party types are right-center-rightists.

            The Democratic Leadership Council generation of Democrats are left-center-rightists.

            The only major party presidential candidate who was even a smidgen to the left of center this year was Sanders, and calling him far left is an unjustifiable stretch.

          16. You’ve missed the nuance that there are more than two positions to take. And the Beyond Red & Blue the difference between The Only Two aren’t going to be a mix of The Only Two. There will be ideas and practicable policies that don’t fit into either of The Only Two. Nobody is required By Law either secular or religious, to hold our noses and pull the lever for R or D. And many of the policies common to Red and Blue are heinous and evolved from the same root. I almost typed ‘rot’ which would have been really appropriate.

          17. Again, pseudointellectual babble. Of course I’m aware of the full spectrum — in fact, that’s my point to you: it’s not accurate to equate two distinctively different points on the spectrum. I’m now curious if you’re just young or a shallow-thinking blowhard. I’m not judging you on that front — neither thing is a crime . . . I’m just wondering why you don’t answer questions directly, and instead hold forth on basic concepts as if you’ve discovered some genius insight that no one else knows. You haven’t. Red and Blue are different. If you don’t think they are, you’re suffering from some kind of blindness.

          18. Putin is certainly an authoritarian. Totalitarian? Maybe in theory, but if so he’s either not very good at it or else it’s early days for the totality in question.

            I’ll be interested to see if those who keep whining about Russian “interference” in the US election ever produce any evidence. Glad I didn’t hold my breath on that.

            As far as Democrat vs. Republican, a pox on both their houses.

  5. “While Bernie is hardly a reliable opponent of U.S. war policies … ”

    The drive to war is a function of the economic and political establishment as such, not particular parties or persons. Those who expect any member or faction in this establishment, including Sanders, to take any meaningful action to actually stop the drive to war, will be disappointed.

  6. I’m very unimpressed with Sanders continuing to serve the Democratic party and not calling them out on their “hacked election” bullshit. It may have been forgivable to support Clinton in the election in order to remove himself and others in the Real Left as the top scapegoats for Hillary’s loss, but now that it’s over, there is no excuse.

    Sanders ought to be hitting the Democrats over the head with their own failure to provide a meaningful alternative on something other than Gay marriage and Transgendered bathrooms, rather than lending tacit approval to their pathetic wallowing in self pity.

  7. “Come on, man, you run a website.”

    Actually, I run several web sites.

    I do not, however, run THIS web site.

    If you don’t think that an uncleared third party being found in possession of classified information contained in emails to and/or from Clinton and not to and/or from himself is “pertinent to the investigation” of how Clinton handled classified information in email, you’re simply not living in the real world.

    “Point is, before Comey, she would have won by around 6% — certainly more than enough to cover 80,000 votes spread across 3 states.”

    You seem to not understand how American elections work. The national popular vote has precisely zero to do with who wins a presidential election. It is possible to win a presidential election with as few as 11 states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey), and win each of those states by one vote while GETTING only one vote in each of the other 39 states.

  8. “In Pennsylvania, for instance, a 0.6% change in voters would have been enough. Certainly, Hillary’s lost 5% had more than enough to cover that, even in a swing state like Pennsylvania.”

    Do you have any information that Clinton lost 5% IN PENNSYLVANIA during those last few days?

    I do.

    As of October 28th, the day Comey sent his letter to Congress, the RCP polling average had Clinton ahead by precisely 5 points (46.3% to 41.3%).

    As of four days later, after the gigantic news blast, the Sunday shows, etc., she had GAINED support, not LOST support — as of Halloween Monday she was six points up on Trump (46.9%to 40.9%) and stayed that far ahead for another day before it began to close up between them.

    In fact, if you look backward from the end of November, the Clinton and Trump had been within the margin of error of each other in late September and Clinton had only opened up a temporary lead because of the “grab them by the p***y” video. That lead was closing back up when Comey sent his letter. His letter gave her a temporary bump up, not a temporary knock down, and that bump evaporated before election day.

    1. Thanks for the link, which illustrates exactly what I’m talking about. Trump was at 40.6% on October 28th, and had never been over 41.8%.
      Yet suddenly, by November 3rd, he was over 44%.

      So more than 3% difference. Which is bigger than 0.6%.

      I would post a link, but you’ve already posted it for me. Thanks again.

      1. So showing that the grounds for your assertion don’t seem to be connected to reality makes you happy? Hey, if you’re pleased I’m pleased.

        1. I literally quoted numbers from your article link back to you. Don’t listen to me — follow the evidence . . . evidence that you showed me! How is that not “connected to reality”?

          1. I just quoted the numbers directly from your source. Check again:
            Trump jumped 4% after the October surprise. In what way does that not support my contention that Comey’s false announcement helped Trump?

          2. The numbers directly from my source were:

            As of October 28th, the day Comey sent his letter to Congress, the RCP polling average had Clinton ahead by precisely 5 points (46.3% to 41.3%).

            As of four days later, after the gigantic news blast, the Sunday shows, etc., she had GAINED support, not LOST support — as of Halloween Monday she was six points up on Trump (46.9%to 40.9%) and stayed that far ahead for another day before it began to close up between them.

            After Comey’s announcement, Clinton gained support and Trump lost support. That’s just a fact. It wasn’t until the following week, after her gains through the weekend news cycle, that the numbers began to close again.

            In the last two months of the campaign, there were two significant announcements, both of which helped Clinton and hurt Trump:

            1) The irrefutably true revelation of Trump’s “grab them by the p***y” tape; and

            2) The irrefutably true message from Comey to Congress that new information had been discovered in the Clinton “Servergate” scandal investigation.

            Unfortunately for Clinton, both of those boosts were temporary/transitory and did not change the fundamentals of the election, especially in the Rust Belt states where, as Ted Rall mentioned in his column the other day, was that Trump acknowledged the existence of the workers going through long-term industrial employment depression, while Clinton ignored them and just counted on organized labor to turn out the vote for her.

            Once the boost she got from Comey’s announcement washed out, it went right back to where it had been before the “grab them by the p***y” scandal and it came down to last-minute undecideds. Last-minute undecideds always break against the incumbent party — if they were happy with that incumbent party, they wouldn’t have been undecided.

          3. Part 1 of my response is just a cut-and-paste:
            >> Trump was at 40.6% on October 28th, and had never been over 41.8%. Yet suddenly, by November 3rd, he was over 44%. << [nb: actually, Trump was at 40.8% on October 28th — sorry for the earlier misquote].

            Part 2 is that Clinton was at 46.0% on October 28th, and Trump was at 40.8%, having never been above 41.8% By the election, Clinton only edged up to 46.2% and yet Trump somehow grew to 44.3%.

            So — and here's where we might have some agreement! — it seems Comey's false story about the e-mails (which I will again remind you that theorizes "probably" determined the election) did not hurt Clinton's existing support, but it did lead more undecideds toward Trump.

            My theory is that it made more than a 0.6% difference. That somewhere in the 3.5% of voters that leaned Trump, that at least 1 out of 6 would have gone for Hillary had it not been for this final piece of October surprise. Of course, these guesses cannot be proven — but again, my instincts are echoed by's more thorough analysis.

            I'm not sure why you're hanging onto this so hard. What stake do you have in it if you're not a Trump supporter?

          4. “I’m not sure why you’re hanging onto this so hard. What stake do you have in it if you’re not a Trump supporter?”

            I have an unfortunate obsession with fact and truth. Which is why I have to keep pointing out that Comey’s “story” wasn’t “false,” and why I have to keep pointing out that Clinton increasing her lead over Trump after Comey’s story is exactly the opposite of what you claimed happened. After that, the race tightened up back to its pre-September numbers. Races always tighten at the end, but usually the party not in office has the advantage with late deciders.

            There was never any chance whatsoever that I would vote for either Trump or Clinton. However, I did once allow that if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose between them I would probably go with Clinton as the more reliable of the two evils. My analogy was that a Clinton presidency would be like four or eight years of having to work my hand over with a ball peen hammer each day (very painful but probably not fatal), while a Trump presidency would be like having to leap between greased balcony railings on the 100th floor of adjacent buildings every day (all fun and games until the first slip and 100-story fall).

            I predicted that Trump would win, and why, six months out. Michael Moore did too, and begged the Clinton campaign to do something about it. And before that, a good number of Democrats begged their party to not nominate a felonious mediocrity whose public perception numbers were as dismal as Trump’s. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

  9. “Have you ever interacted with a Tea Party supporter?”

    Yes, I attended a couple of their rallies early on, with my “Voting Republican for Smaller Government is Like Fucking for Virginity” sign.

    That Obama and the administration didn’t do more about the Russians is presumably a function of “Russian meddling in the election” being a thus-far evidenceless post-election “the dog ate my presidential campaign” excuse.

    1. Just for clarity, I’m not sure how much damage the Russians did anyhow. I’d put it on par with normal dirty politics, like a political hit ad. The Comey false information release seems like it did far more damage, and hit at a time that maximized the damage.

      The double standard of Comey (a) releasing false information about the phantom e-mails on Anthony Weiner’s computer, but not (b) releasing true information about the Trump campaign’s interactions with the Russian ambassador, are the icing on the cake.

      I haven’t attended any Tea Party rallies. It’s enough to have a couple of hardcore Tea Party members in the family. Always nice to get the latest conspiracy theories from those who drink deep of that idiocy.

      1. Well, except that Comey released true information about the non-phantom emails on Weiner’s computer. But don’t let trivial things like, you know, FACTS get in the way of believing what you want to believe.

  10. Yes, and the “wrong information” the supplemental report noted was that when Comey referred to the “hundreds and thousands” of forwarded emails, many of them were forwarded using automation rather than forwarded manually.

    There were, in fact, “hundreds and thousands” of forwarded emails.

    Those emails did, in fact, include 12 threads which contained classified information.

    The supplemental report claims don’t even rise to the level of nitpicking. Comey’s statement was 100% accurate.

    1. Really, “100% accurate”? That’s comedy gold. Comey’s implication that the e-mails were pertinent to the investigation — and the idea that the investigation was re-opening — was absolutely 100% false, and not just because they were auto-forwarded.

      Remember how the e-mails turned out not to be pertinent? And how the investigation and decision on whether or not to charge her was unchanged?

      It’s pure gullibility (or, because you’re a reasonably smart guy, perhaps willful ignorance — or at least confirmation bias) to think this was anything more than a political hit job. Because if it were to avoid the appearance of hiding something, then of course Comey would have also revealed the active (and potentially far more harmful and far-reaching) investigation of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia.

      1. “Remember how the e-mails turned out not to be pertinent?”

        No, I don’t — because I live in the real world rather than in some fantasy-land and they clearly WERE pertinent. Pertinent does not mean incriminating or otherwise actionable, but when you are investigating the security of a communications system and you discover thousands of messages from that system in a place where they don’t belong, it is the very definition of pertinent.

        “And how the investigation and decision on whether or not to charge her was unchanged?”

        Yes, I do remember that part — “here are all the things she did that would be charged as felonies if she wasn’t Hillary Clinton but, well, dammit, she’s Hillary Clinton and therefore above the law.”

        1. I think we have been slowly devolving into increasingly ridiculous territory in our discussion. Not sure there’s anything more that can be said when you reach that level. Enjoy your life.

Comments are closed.