The hysteria emanating from the Democratic Party and mainstream media over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is hitting a fever pitch.
It’s perhaps a somewhat coordinated effort to shake loose a few Republican electors before the Electoral College meets on Monday — generating an embarrassing story meant to undermine the president-elect.
In the end, Russian hacking didn’t cause Clinton to disobey federal law on emails; to ignore Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan; and to forget to offer a populist economic agenda.
The liberal media and the Democrats are in the bargaining phase of their grief, with the cold, numb shock of President-Elect Donald Trump’s victory still affecting them. But as the media pitches a post-election narrative that posits that the Russians were the crucial factor in this election, there are a number of points being missed.
Some of the points involve the hypocrisy of the finger-pointers. The other points are simply microwaved rehash that the voters heard well before Election Day. The talking points just don’t matter — the voters had full knowledge of the allegations and made their decision.
Leaking Insider Information
By liberal and media standards alone, leaking isn’t bad.
Many on the Left see it as a way to keep the government honest, even if the data is extremely sensitive.
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In 2015, buses in Washington, D.C., were adorned with large ads that read: “Thank you, Edward Snowden.” The ads were run by the left-leaning Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
Snowden, of course, infamously exposed methods and data he accumulated when he worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency. Despite living in Russia now, he is a hero of the Left.
But not all leaking is punished or pursued by the government.
On May 10, 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan called The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham to implore The Post to stop a story slated to to run on a spy named Ronald W. Pelton. The story involved an important operation that involved tapping the Soviet Union’s telecommunication cables deep in the sea.
According to the Associated Press, the program was a “long-running and successful U.S. submarine operation that used sophisticated equipment to intercept Soviet communications. This was one of the gravest U.S. intelligence losses to the Soviet Union, the Post said, quoting intelligence sources it did not name.”
The AP says The Post altered some of the story after the call, but it was too late. The Soviets were able to read all about the program in the U.S. newspaper.
To The Post, this scoop helped build its image as the fearless paper of record when it came to federal policy, international affairs, and more. It would print leaks, even sensitive ones, if it meant the public was better informed — even if some in the audience were America’s enemies.
To the Republicans, it was yet another example of The Post undermining federal policy.
The Era of New Peace
The Russian hysteria is also odd given President Obama’s rhetoric when he came into office.
He promised the world a new era of peace and understanding. He even won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Now many on Obama’s side seem to be seeking a new Cold War with Russia.
It’s understandable that Obama is angry with Russia. The Russians should not have annexed Crimea. But if you go by Obama’s playbook, the solution should be negotiation, a “reset” — not a chill.
The election is settled.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even accused Trump of being a Russian puppet at a presidential debate, in front of millions of viewers. The voters responded — against her.
Anyone who suggests Russian hacking is an election issue, post-election, is simply trying to undermine the incoming administration.
Hacking in general is a serious threat. The greatest hacks in U.S. history happened under President Obama, including the loss of millions of security-clearance files that contain Social Security numbers and mental-health information. The Chinese likely stole that information.
It’s clear why the media and Democrats care so much about how the Democratic National Committee was hacked, and not so much about how the Chinese hacked into the Office of Personnel Management. The alleged Russian hack offers them an excuse for their embarrassing loss and a tool to undermine the president-elect of the opposite party.
The Hack Influenced the Election
Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri recently told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that her soul was crushed when she saw a Washington Post story on alleged Russian hacking aimed at electing Trump.
Palmieri actually suggested the “Access Hollywood” audio tape of Trump engaging in lewd talk hurt the Clinton campaign. Why? Because it happened on Oct. 7, when the Obama administration began to warn of Russian interference in the election.
Yet Oct. 7 was also the day WikiLeaks began publishing emails from the Gmail account of John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman. The emails were indeed somewhat damaging to Clinton. They showed Clinton suggesting open borders to moneyed audiences.
But did it matter? The news was buried by the media.
The Media Research Center found in late October that post-convention coverage saw the major TV news networks gave 440 minutes to the personal controversies involving Trump, but only 185 minutes to controversies about Clinton.
Most of Clinton coverage didn’t even involve WikiLeaks. Instead, it focused on her personal email scandal at the State Department.
In the end, Russian hacking didn’t cause Clinton to disobey federal law on emails; to ignore Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan; and to forget to offer a populist economic agenda. Don’t expect The Post and The New York Times to remind their readers of that.