There’s no hypocrisy like Capitol Hill hypocrisy. Congressional Democrats have been beating the dead horse of “Russian meddling” for nearly two years, obsessed with claims that “Russia hacked our democracy” and that a few Facebook posts from “Russia-linked” accounts are actually a massive Putin-led effort to make Americans lose faith in their democracy.
To date no evidence points to any significant or effective Russian government effort to alter the outcome of US elections in any way. With each passing day we learn more about how the “Russia hacked us” story is just a bunch of hot air. In fact just yesterday, award-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter published an extensive report demolishing a recent 10,000 word New York Times piece on the “influence” of Russian social media over US elections.
One of the loudest voices screaming “Russia is meddling in our democracy!” has been Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Last year she signed a letter to the Speaker of the House demanding that Homeland Security and the FBI brief Congress on “the Russian attack on 21 states’ voting systems” (a charge since disproven). The letter complained that “when a sovereign nation attempts to meddle in our elections, it is an attack on our country.”
To be fair, it is hard to disagree with Rep. Kaptur and her colleagues on that final point. No one wants a foreign country meddling in their elections, hacking their ballot machines, funding opposition parties, manipulating the media in favor of one side, etc.
But here’s the rub: Rep. Kaptur has just sent a letter to the State Department demanding that the United States government commit all of the above violations against NATO partner country Hungary!
Yes, Kaptur is furious over unproven claims that the Russians fiddled in our democracy while at the same time demanding that the US fiddles in Hungary’s democracy.
This week Rep. Kaptur (and 22 Democrat colleagues) sent a letter to President Trump’s Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Wess Mitchell, demanding the reinstatement of a canceled State Department program to send $700,000 to finance anti-government stories in Hungary’s media in advance of the upcoming 2019 local elections in that country.
“Supporting an independent media in Hungary should be a priority” for the United States, the Congressional letter says.
Do Kaptur and her Capitol Hill colleagues not understand the basic fact that when a foreign government funds a sector of another country’s media, that media can no longer be considered “independent”?
How is it not meddling in Hungary’s democracy for the United States government to finance stories attacking the democratically-elected Hungarian government?
In Lewis Carroll’s classic Through The Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty scowled at Alice for demanding that his words mean something. Dumpty said:
When I use a word…it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.
This is the world of Rep. Marcy Kaptur and all of Washington’s interventionists. They have been stricken with hysterical paranoia for two years over unproven claims that Putin was pulling our strings when we went to the ballot box, yet at every turn they demand that the United States government do that exact thing: manipulate the ballot boxes of other sovereign states.
As Lou Reed (among others) put it, “you’re going to reap just what you sow.”
Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.