Tuesday, January 10, 2017


There is a lot about the Russian hacking into the Democrats that troubles me. I am surprised the Russians were so bold. Perhaps they are just so used to the U.S. ignoring their intrusions. I remember how they set up the "burning black churches" narrative through their U.S. church front during the Clinton administration and, while everyone knew it was untrue and it gave a black eye to the U.S. in the world, we ignored it. Clinton even joined in with the guilt and apologized for it. So maybe they have had such a charmed life with us it was too tempting. And, of course, the information they "leaked" was true; perhaps they thought it would be forgiven.

I am surprised about the press response as well. This is not news to them. Their approach--that this influenced the election--is predictable enough despite the report saying there was no evidence of it. (although I can not imagine how it did not. It did not influence my vote because I could not vote for either of them but the stuff in Podesta's notes was really offensive and I can not imagine it did not bother people. The problem is: It was true. So perhaps it should influence people. The popular notion seems to be that the intrusion was one -sided and somehow that disturbs our view of "fair play." Or maybe the Russians had a horse in the race. So the Rube-publicans are at fault because their security was better?) The main presentation --that the Russians actually interfered with the mechanics of the election through vote counting and preference--while untrue--continues through innuendo, at least, and, while it is a great disservice to the country, I do not think the powers that be will allow Trump to be a legitimate President.

This last point explains the Democrat's persistent complaints. They do not deny the truth of the info, only that we now know it. Somehow this helps in their diminishing Trump, who does not need any help in doing it himself, from all I can see.

I am astonished by Trump's response. If the Russians wanted to disrupt American intel, they could not do anything better than have the exec. and intel. at each other's throats. And for Trump to do it in public is even worse. I fear that he is un-teachable on this point and we may have to suffer though this reprehensible behavior for the length of his presidency.

It is curious that people have decided on Putin's motive here. There is no clear motive. From Forbes:
"An article in the Russian language publication, Regnum, entitled “Why Hillary Clinton may turn out to be better for Russia than Trump,” explains how the Kremlin planned to exploit a scandal-prone Clinton as President: First, Hillary as President would destroy the myth of the perfection of US democracy. Second, the wheelings and dealings of the Clinton Foundation would destroy the myth of transparency of the U.S. government. Third, the election of the 69-year-old Clinton would be a blow to the image of America as a youthful, vibrant nation. For Russians, it would bring to mind the era of decrepit Soviet party leaders like Leonid Brezhnev. Fourth, a Clinton presidency would be less likely to spark World War III than a Trump Presidency."
This theme, possibly false, that the Russians thought Clinton would win and their efforts were to delegitimize her administration is interesting, disturbing and largely ignored.
I think that ambition, the success they have had and their ability to get an even-handed hearing in the public space are the truly worrisome consequences of this event. We're easy. The argument that Podesta's notes are true and offensive also underestimates the potential here. What if the Russians chose to change something? Clearly they thought the info so damning they did not want to taint it with editing it--an amazing thing in itself-- but they have had a tremendous impact with the true info, one can only imagine what would happen with altered info.

I wish Obama were a stronger guy. I have always thought he excused inaction with abstraction. But this is a dangerous world and it is worse when you think everything can be managed reasonably and with negotiations. I think they were and are stunned that they could not broker a deal in Syria, even when Putin saw he could win. He's an attack dog; you can put antlers and bells on him and he still is an attack dog.

I hope we learn from this but, so far, I am not optimistic.

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