Home / General / Is the Potential Russian Influence on the 2016 Election a DISTRACTION From the REAL ISSUES?

Is the Potential Russian Influence on the 2016 Election a DISTRACTION From the REAL ISSUES?

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Vladimir-Putin-s-Gymnast-Girlfriend-Underage-When-they-First-Met-16415

Projection is a hell of etc.:

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The first problem here is obvious:

I can’t speak to MSNBC. But among both the Democratic base and Democratic public officials, the claim that the “overarching issue” since the election has been Russia strikes me as utterly absurd. Certainly, this particular cesspool of perfidious neoliberalism has been much more concerned with TrumpCare and the Muslim ban and other awful policy initiatives, and Jeff Sessions and other horrible cabinet appointments, than with Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign. (Hell, I even thought that the substantive policy effects of a Trump presidency were more important than such admittedly very important and not-at-all distracting issues like “Hillary Clinton hired a PUBLICIST!” before the election!) I think any reading of liberal media sources would find that we’re representative in that respect. (Vox created a special daily newsletter on health care, not Russia.) If townhalls have been more concerned with Russia than with health care, it’s been very well hidden by media reports.

There has, in short, been plenty of opposition against Trump from a variety of non-Russia angles, some of which has already been successful. This idea that Democrats are too obsessed with Russia to oppose Trump — and this isn’t the first time Glenn has claimed this — is a fiction. The Russia obsession is Glenn’s; most Democrats have had no problem being focused on the many awful things Trump is doing even if they also care about Russian influence on the election.

But there’s a more subtle bad argument here too. As Jeff Hauser observed on Twitter, he’s raising the bar beyond what’s actually necessary for investigations to be useful in at least two ways. First, whether the administration’s ties to Russia have a “chance to sink the Trump presidency” is not the important question — for that matter, stopping TrumpCare and the Muslim ban won’t sink the Trump presidency, as indeed nothing will unless a majority of Republicans want Trump gone. Politically, if the investigations make him less popular and make it harder for him to advance his agenda, that’s plenty good enough. (Christ, Republicans rode investigations of Hillary Clinton that turned up pretty much nothing on issues that were often of much less import straight to the White House.) And whether the “Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election” is far from the only relevant question. If Russia ratfucked the election, this is important even if it wasn’t done in active collusion with Trump. And the ties of various Trump officials to Russia are potentially important even if they didn’t involve active collusion to alter the results of the election.

In short, investigations into Russia’s alleged attempts to influence the 2016 election an its ties to the Trump administration are perfectly defensible substantively and they’re good politics. It would be bad if they were interfering with other forms of opposition to Trump, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that this is happening. The opposition to Trump can — and will have to — do many things at once.

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  • wengler

    This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

    The heavy lift in this statement is the phrase ‘high levels’.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Also, Glenn doesn’t know what “evidence” means. For him, “absolutely no evidence” = “no video of a crime happening”.

      • bizarroMike

        …and signed affidavits from all parties confirming they’re in the video. I’m not sure what the outlines of the Kremlin-Trump connection are, but there’s enough evidence to suggest that an investigation would be a really good idea. At least if you aren’t committed to the idea that the Kremlin is a-okay just fine.

        • Hogan

          Prosecutor: Mr. Chappelle, what would it take to convince you that R. Kelly is guilty?

          Dave Chappelle: Okay, I’d have to see a video of him singing “Pee On You,” two forms of government ID, a police officer there to verify the whole thing, four or five of my buddies and Neal taking notes, and R. Kelly’s grandma to confirm his identity.

          R. Kelly’s Grandma: That’s my Robert, always peeing on people.

          • Lord Jesus Perm

            Man, this comment isn’t getting the love it deserves, but I got you.

          • Crusty

            Consider the like button pressed.

          • One of my favorite bits.

        • nemdam

          The thing is it’s not just Russia. If any campaign had such close contact with any country they were covering up while that country intervened in the election to help them, it would warrant an investigation. If Hillary’s campaign had extensive contact with the UK, and the UK covertly intervened to get her elected, that would demand an investigation. At a minimum, I have a feeling Jason Chaffetz would agree.

          • Scott Lemieux

            I’m sure Cheffetz really regrets doing that Benghazi investigation, because it didn’t turn up any hard evidence of misconduct by Hillary Clinton.

          • Mike G

            Chaffetz’s Criteria for an Investigation:

            Is there a D after their name?
            Investigate anything and everything.

            Is there an R after their name?
            Investigate nothing up to and including high treason and theft of nuclear weapons.

          • nemdam

            Guess I meant to say Jason Chaffetz would agree to investigate Hillary if she was colluding with the UK to get her elected.

            • Shantanu Saha

              Guess I meant to say Jason Chaffetz would agree to investigate Hillary if she was colluding with the UK Democrats to get her elected.

              FIFY

              • nemdam

                Tough, but fair.

      • nemdam

        I thought Glenn’s definition of evidence was if Wikileaks says it’s true? Especially if it involves a campaign hiring a publicist.

        • efgoldman

          I thought Glenn’s definition of evidence was if Wikileaks says it’s true?

          I don’t think much of GG, if I think of him at all, but I thought he could at least read English at the high school graduate level.
          Now I admit that I haven’t seen every single report of every congressional/senatorial town meeting, but pretty much every one I’ve seen made it clear that the main protests were about the ACA and health care.
          Is it possible that all of those reporters from all over the country have been subject to an Obama/Pelosi/Clinton mind meld which caused false reporting all in the same vein?
          I suppose.
          It’s possible that little green guys from Mars are gonna’ come clear the ice out of my driveway with magic ray guns, too.
          But I’m not holding my breath.
          That GG has any credibility at all outside of glibertarian middle school students and Alzheimer’s patients is astonishing.
          What’s the conversion rate of rubles to dollars?

          • Hiring little green illegal immigrants from Mars to de-ice your driveway and taking dollars away from blond Real American Boy Scouts? Have you, Sir, at long last no sense of shame?

          • los

            I haven’t seen every single report of every congressional/senatorial town meeting, but pretty much every one I’ve seen made it clear that the main protests were about the ACA and health care

            The lugengruvenpress reports only the protestors paid by THE SOROS!
            PROOF! The lugengruvenpress never asked me!

            THE SOROS pays the lugengruvenpress to report only the protestors!
            PROOF! The lugengruvenpress never asked me!

            /infojones

        • rea

          Not to make nasty comments about GG, but how much US TV does he get to watch in Brazil before telling us what Democrats are saying on TV? Maybe he’s preoccupied with murderous Brazilian football players and just going with his gut about what must be happening up here?

          • Cheap Wino

            Holy shit. Is it possible to have a more what the fuck is wrong with humanity link than that? The club is pressing on with the signing despite. . . I’m not even sure how to elaborate on how depraved the “despite” is.

            I’m dropping the NCAA down to 4th in the despicably evil sports organizations ranking behind the Brazilian Football Confederation. Going to take some research to figure where the BFC fits with the IOC and FIFA among the top three.

            • Schadenboner

              I retired the NCAA, IOC, and FIFA to the ESO Hall of Fame years ago.

            • rea

              Yeah, it’s like Aaron Hernandez getting resigned to a whopping contract, except what the guy did in Brazil was worse.

      • UnderTheSun

        Neither do you. For you, evidence = either someone’s guesswork at best or lies.

        In short, investigations into Russia’s alleged attempts to influence the 2016 election an(sic) its ties to the Trump administration are perfectly defensible substantively and they’re good politics.

        If these investigations were the result of an anonymous tip off, I might agree but they’re the result of specific allegations made by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, both of whom have serious trust issues for the general public (not the Clintonist diehards). If it turns out these allegations were plucked out of thin air as seems likely, those trust issues will get far worse. For Hillary Clnton it doesn’t really matter as she’s now “retired”, but the DNC is a different matter. I suppose in a few months when no evidence has been found, we’ll hear claims that Hillary Clinton and the DNC either didn’t say what say they did or that they were misquoted, and GG will be subject to further attacks for reporting what was actually said.

        But among both the Democratic base and Democratic public officials, the claim that the “overarching issue” since the election has been Russia strikes me as utterly absurd.

        The origin of the word overarch is understood? It meant and means to build an arch over something. The “Russian” issue has been active as an issue from the day after the election through until to-day, in the meantime, over issues have come and gone. So, yes, the “Russian” issue has been the overarching issue which is not the same as an all-embracing issue.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    “suffocating attention for other issues” — my god, I do not know how willfully naive you have to be assert that.

    Or stupid.

    • JustRuss

      Yeah, I just don’t get Greenwald. He used to strike me as a reasonably thoughtful reporter who did some good work, but he seems to have completely lost the plot. He’s so out in left field he’s not worth paying attention to, even to mock.

      • rea

        He’s so out in left right field he’s not worth paying attention to, even to mock.

    • Exactly. Unlike their conservative opposites, most liberals can actually hold more than one issues in their heads at one time. I know that from a Republican point of view that’s a feat to amazing as to be considered impossible, but there you have it. We’re a multi-issue group.

      • And whatever happened to the damn edit button?

        • efgoldman

          And whatever happened to the damn edit button?

          President Bannonazi zeroed it out in the budget.

          • Domino

            An Edit button welcomed the flood of refuges on the beach in The Camp of the Saints , didn’t it?

  • Anna in PDX

    Literal treason – not a big deal!

    What the hell is the “real issue” that we’re distracting from, by caring about this?

    • bizarroMike

      Whatever issue you’re interested in is not the real issue. The true real issue shifts as required to make certain people more important. It is tricky like that.

    • Hogan

      The epic catastrophe that was the Clinton nomination and campaign, the almost complete lack of hairshirts and self-flagellation among her supporters, and the arrogant refusal to hand the DNC office keys and network passwords over to Susan Sarandon.

      • pseudalicious

        lolsob

      • Oh geez. This comment is too true.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Sorry to be a stick in the mud about this, but it’s not treason. As defined by the Constitution, treason needs to involve a nation (or entity) with whom we are in a state of war. We are not at war with Russia. Thus, no relationship to Russia can constitute treason.

      • witlesschum

        I was going to say this. I think defining treason as narrowly as possible is a good thing. Trump paling around with Russian strongmen can be bad or even disloyal, but not treason.

      • los

        “Cold War heating up”

        this time, Cold Treason warming up…

        • trollhattan

          “Power companies are terrified of this cold treason in a jar on my workshop bench!”

      • Anna in PDX

        Hm so would that mean that Jonathan Pollard, e.g., was not a traitor?

        What term can I use for such people?

        • What term can I use for such people?

          “Spy” does nicely. Pollard was convicted of espionage (as, presumably, defined in the Espionage Act), not of committing treason as defined in Article III, section 3, of the Constitution (though I suppose it could be argued—wrongly—that “treason” as defined there is meant to apply only to officers of the United States).

          • Anna in PDX

            Thanks, “spy” it is. So Donald is a “spy” – I like it. And he can be convicted of espionage. I think it’s pretty big of me to agree to step down from treason. Heck he can serve the amount of time Pollard did and then be let free, I am so generous like that.

      • Anna in PDX

        Also (wish there was an edit button but there’s not so two replies) I don’t have the constitution in front of me but “nation or entity” that we’re at war with troubles me, how can a state have a true state of war with a non-state? I always thought that using “war” with “entities” that aren’t states is mere rhetoric (e.g., war on terrorism/drugs) but does not have the actual legal/constitutional meaning.

        So what I’m saying is that I have two questions/issues:
        1) Fine I will cop to misusing the term treason but now I really want a very negative term that is actually accurate, any suggestions? and
        2) “entity” is really problematic, if we’ve decided that we have to have a “state of war” in order to be traitors. This means that if I send a donation to, e.g., a nonprofit, and someone says it’s actually affiliated with Hezbollah, and we’re actually technically at war with them, I’m an actual “traitor” while Donald, who conspired with a foreign power to steal an election for personal gain, is not. I find that absolutely horrendous, and if that’s what the constitution says then I think it needs amending.

        • Pete

          No worries about being a traitor for donating to Hamas-relateed charities (for example). AFAIK no one has ever been prosecuted for treason for aiding a terrorist group. Those prosecuted for aiding or trying to join AQ or ISIS have been prosecuted under other Federal statutes; for reasons likely including “no formal declaration of war.”

        • JMP

          It’s weird how now donating to an organization that might possibly have some vague and obscure tie to Hamas or Hezbollah is considered the worst form of treason possible, yet when I was in grade school in the 1980s I knew plenty of kids who would brag about how their family donated directly to the IRA and no one seemed to think there was anything wrong with that. I wonder what shade of difference colors the perception of those different groups and gives their activities a different hue?

          • I’m sure it’s nearly impossible to locate any possible connection.

          • Brien Jackson

            That’s more religious history based than racist I’d say. Remember that the kind of people who are self-aware about their racism aren’t exactly prone to being big fans of Jews.

            Also people with Irish ethnicity are heavily concentrated in the Washington-Boston corridor and thus have a strong influence on American media.

        • rea

          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open court.

          It’s not completely clear to me that “enemies” necessarily requires a formal declaration of war, although admittedly I haven’t done exhaustive research. My practice, though broad, has not presented me with the issue.

          • Azza

            ‘adhering to their Enemies’ appears to be an alternative to levying War. And the Trump campaign appears to have adhered very tightly indeed.

        • los

          Anna in PDX says:

          Donald, who conspired with a foreign power to steal an election for personal gain, is not.

          Putin committed treason by conspiring with America’s enemies.

          /lockhimup deporthim lockhimup deporthim lockhimup deporthim

    • FMguru

      The REAL issue, as any fule kno, is that Hillary Clinton once gave a speech at a bank. A BANK!

      • efgoldman

        Hillary Clinton once gave a speech at a bank. A BANK!

        Not only that, an investment bank!!

    • leftwingfox

      Well it's NOT RUSSIA, I know that for sure.

    • los

      Anna in PDX says:

      What the hell is the “real issue” that we’re distracting from, by caring about this?

      The Real Issue is The Edit Button, The Edit Button! Nobody has even Once comented about The Edit Button!

      /how many times must we… before The Edit Button …

      • los

        comented

        Won’t somebody stop all this Russian collusion talk, and do something about THE SOROS’s Edit Button?

        • rea

          Ha, ha, losers! I’ve got my edit button still! [Ed.–now, where’s my tax break?]

  • bizarroMike

    “Have you ever tried to walk and chew gum? Basically impossible.”

    –Glen Greenwald

    • Majorajam

      Slow clap

  • nemdam

    First, I just want to thank you for this piece. This perfectly captures the absurdity of this “Don’t talk about Russia!” argument. I will also note that those who make this argument almost always use it to whine that their pet issues isn’t being talked about enough. In Glenn’s case, this is that Hillary and the Democrats suck.

    Regarding the specifics in the Russian scandal, I’m starting to lose faith that there will be any kind of smoking gun with Trump himself. But if you’ve been following this closely, it seems virtually certain that Trump has been extensively financed by Russian oligarchs connected to the government. While this may not prove collusion, it’s still a BFD and voters will absolutely care that the President is in debt to a country that is trying to subvert our democracy and that he responds by giving them the most favorable treatment any President ever has. The campaign slogan writes itself. “Let’s elect someone who will serve America’s and not Russia’s interests first!”

    • Alex.S

      I strongly doubt that there will be a direct connection between Russia and the Trump campaign. There will be indirect connections (for example, a leading figure in the Trump campaign might have called for Russia to hack their opponent). But there’s no real requirement for Russia to be working with Trump — defeating the Democratic party and disrupting America was reward enough for them.

      However, there is enough evidence out there to ask for an investigation. There is also enough evidence out there to ask for an investigation into “Hey, Russia is hacking Americans to attack democracy. Maybe we should do something about that.”

      • rea

        a leading figure in the Trump campaign might have called for Russia to hack their opponent

        Mr. Trump himself did, on national TV.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          I’m pretty sure that’s what nemdam was alluding to :-)

  • humanoid.panda

    Since the crucial issue of our time, on which reasonable conservatives, sensible centrists and honest leftists all agree is that liberals and Democrats are a bunch of hysterical girls, I think your are being very unfair to Greenwald.

  • Warren Terra

    I’m really not interested in debating the “Distraction” question, but it’s certainly true that, whatever communications strategy would be best, we’re on the receiving end of a firehose stream of horrors and it’s hard to keep up.

    In the latest thing I’ve seen – meaning, more recently than I saw all the budget proposal atrocities – ICE has decided to rejigger visa policy and ban Canadian health care specialists who otherwise might treat American patients.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      But by banning the Canadian nurses, Trump can cite the declining patient care to “prove” that Obamacare is a disaster.

      Nah, I’m overthinking it. Trump saw something on TV about the problem of Canadian geese poop and this is his response.

      • efgoldman

        Trump saw something on TV about the problem of Canadian geese poop and this is his response.

        Occam says it’s the local border patrol putting their Gestapo on.

        • Warren Terra

          No, it’s apparently a centralized policy decision to force people currently using a (cheap, quickly processed) NAFTA professional visa instead to get an expensive, slow-to-process, capped H1B visa.

  • Brien Jackson

    Glenn reminds me of a lawyer on Dateline swearing that just because his client’s semen was found on the body of a woman he’d apperently never met before isn’t proof that he killed her.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Unless the victim died due to being ejaculated on/in, then the lawyer would seem to be correct from a proof beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standpoint.

      • vic rattlehead

        No it’s not, don’t be a dumbshit. At least in NY, I don’t see you overturning a conviction on sufficiency of the evidence. You have that in conjunction with evidence, perhaps circumstantial, of them meeting shortly before she was killed, how old the semen is/time of death. There’s a shitload of potential circumstantial evidence* you can pile onto that to convict someone.

        *And let’s not play TV lawyer-people get convicted based on circumstantial evidence, even circumstantial evidence alone, all the goddamn time. Have a word with Scott Peterson, currently on death row in California, if you don’t believe me. There are tons more but that’s a good example.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          I know nothing about whatever the case is beyond what Brien Jackson said, which literally was only that (1) the defendant’s semen was found on the victim’s body (2) whom he’d allegedly not previously met. Without more facts, there’s no way that establishes a defendant killed a victim beyond a reasonable doubt. (I’d say the facts provided wouldn’t even satisfy preponderance of the evidence standard.)

        • rea

          Pretty much all evidence is circumstantial. The defendant was seen shooting at the victim; the victim died of a gunshot wound; mere circumstantial evidence (it may be mere legend, but supposedly Lincoln argued that to a jury and won).

  • UncleEbeneezer

    I guess I’m gonna have to redirect my local Indivisible group. We’ve been focussing on silly things like ICE detainments, police reform, swingleft, local environmental issues etc. Maybe if we could see Russia from our houses we wouldn’t be such failures of Greenwaldian, Dem stereotypes.

    • Brien Jackson

      Just today I’ve passed information to two interested people on running for local office, done a training session on how activists should try to maximize their presence at a townhall, and I’ve got two more meetings yet!

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Focus, man, focus. Russia must be our only concern!

        I asked this on BJ but didn’t see anyone respond so I’m gonna ask here as well: Does anyone have any good links or resources for the coordination of the multiple local groups now in action? I’m admin’ing my local Indivisible and seeing tons of actions involving OfA, SwingLeft, SisterDistrict, PP, as well as issue specific groups (police reform, immigration etc.) I’m trying to figure out how to approach getting them all to work together to maximize effectiveness. Is there typically any larger (perhaps National) org that oversees everything? I’ve connected with other nearby Indivisibles already and we are trying to keep everyone in the loop on what we are all doing but I’m wondering if there is any plan to unite the various groups (or if that is common in organizing.) I’m hoping to meet with a local organizer who was hired to do just that for our local ACLU, NDLON, Tennants’ Rights, Education groups but I thought maybe someone here might be able to speak from experience.

        • Brien Jackson

          Go to as many meetings as you can, talk to the organizers, and tell them you want to coordinate efforts. Secret groups on Facebook are very good for this.

  • AMK

    I’m pretty sure Greenwald is also on the FSB payroll at this point.

    • rfm

      He does kind of sound like a guy calling the cops telling them his neighbors are obsessed with the totally normal smell coming from his crawl space.

      • petesh

        Nice. At least it passes the sniff test.

    • DamnYankees

      Nah. I think this is a pretty useless and unfair accusation. I think GG’s just a zealout with a big ego who can’t admit fault, so he digs in his heels.

      Sort of like someone else who is in the news a lot.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Agreed. Anyway, he would be delighted if we all started accusing him of being paid by the Russians — “SEE? THE NEW MCCARTHYISM!”

        I think he’s just a blowhard and a hack. He’s collecting clicks.

        • MyNameIsZweig

          I read past this quickly and initially thought it said “collecting dicks.”

      • Rob in CT

        Yeah, I don’t think he’s bought/blackmailed or any such thing.

        People can do stupid/bad things without being paid for it. Including people who have some admirable traits and/or who have done good things in the past.

        Ralph Nader actually did something useful once, did he not?

        • efgoldman

          Ralph Nader actually did something useful once, did he not?

          Lots of people do good things, get famous, and then their ego takes over.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Nah. I think this is a pretty useless and unfair accusation.

        Exactly. There’s no mystery here; “why aren’t liberals talking enough about how the Democratic Party sucks?” has been the drum he’s been beating constantly since roughly February 2009.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Indeed. If there is someone who is an expert on talking about only one thing at a time, it is Greenwald.

      • Aexia

        That someone else in the news is also likely heavily indebted to the Russians.

      • njorl

        “zealout”
        Is that a zealot who has sold out?

        • FlipYrWhig

          I was gonna say! If that was a typo, it just invented a word we BADLY needed.

          It’s also works pretty well as a contraction of “Zephyr Teachout.”

    • witlesschum

      If he were, I think he might behave a little more subtle about it.

      • Greenwald? Subtlety? Surely you jest. The man is constitutionally incapable of subtlety.

    • The most credible sounding conspiracy theory I’ve heard to this extent (and also, strangely, the one that comes out making Greenwald seem least horrible) is that the FSB or some similar organisation is threatening Snowden if Greenwald doesn’t cooperate or something along those lines. Still not sure it’s true but I’d believe it more readily than Greenwald simply being on their payroll.

      • vic rattlehead

        I’m beginning to wonder what’s morally worse-letting the Russkies cap Snowden or using his position of influence to publish this poison.

  • Rob in CT

    “No evidence” or just “circumstantial evidence that isn’t enough to prove it happened?” I agree with the latter, but the former sure seems like a stretch to me at this point.

    Anyway, “the overarching issue” is that Trump is horrible, on all fronts. The Muslim bans, the American Wealthcare Act, the farcical “budget” he released, and on and on. That is, there is no 1 issue we’re focused on.

    • Mike in DC

      This. I get a twitch at the “no evidence” claim, when what they mean is “no direct/conclusive evidence “. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence in support of reasonable suspicion of collusion, and certainly enough to justify a full blown investigation. Actual direct evidence would tend to moot the need for further investigation, because there’d be enough already to form a conclusion and advocate for action against the sitting president.

    • vic rattlehead

      I want to add that circumstantial evidence isn’t frivolous bs, especially if there’s a lot of it. People get convicted based on circumstantial evidence all the time. So let’s not downplay the evidence we have by talking about it this way.

  • Downpuppy

    When something is reasonably well supported, important, and hasn’t been investigated, but someone is trying to stop the investigation, isn’t it a fair assumption that they stand to lose something once the truth gets out?

  • The idea that possible Russian interference is merely a distraction is utterly preposterous.

    It sounds particularly absurd coming from commenters who’ve spent many weeks arguing (badly ) that the 2016 result was due solely to the rottenness of the Democrats in general and Clinton in particular, who nonetheless insist that due to talk of Russia there has been “no discussion” of Clinton’s faults or those of the Democrats.

    • DamnYankees

      These are also the same people who thought Clinton was in hock to the Saudi’s and other foreign government because they made charitable donations, and thought that was a mortal sin.

      Good faith this is not.

      • nemdam

        I am shocked, SHOCKED that we still made an arms deal with the Saudis even though Hillary’s not in office.

      • Rob in CT

        Indeed. Funny how taking money from Saudis and using it for charitable purposes is terrible, but cozying up to Vladimir Putin is just fine and if you criticize it you’re a warmongering McCarthyite.

  • simonmd341

    How do you continue to read this clown.

    • simonmd341

      That is, GG.

      • efgoldman

        That is, GG.

        I don’t, and I reflexively slag him in every post about him. But some of our broderist commenters take umbrage, and it’s not worth fighting about.

        • MyNameIsZweig

          Meh, until he demonstrates that he’s no longer automatically deserving of a good slagging, slag away.

        • brewmn

          I don’t think you understand what “broderist” means.

  • Matty

    There was an article at Jacobin today with a thesis similar to Greenwald’s. It makes me wonder what Democratic party they’re watching. My senators, random party flacks I see on the news, Perez and Ellison, and even Schumer are all talking about how the Trumpcare is a massive transfer of wealth to the 1% and pointing out that Gorsuch ruled in favor of your employer’s right to order you to freeze to death or be fired and other fun little “equality and solidarity” talking points.

    I’ve come around on the idea that Clinton’s advertising was too heavily tilted to “Trump is aberrantly bad and I am the only reasonable choice,” but this idea that somehow the Dems are running a contentless opposition is … not founded.

    • DamnYankees

      As far as I can tell, very few Democratic politicians push the Russia thing, mostly because they know it is out of their hands. The FBI will do their thing. What else can they do? If it comes out, it’ll be damaging – the Dems don’t need to push it, really.

      • efgoldman

        very few Democratic politicians push the Russia thing, mostly because they know it is out of their hands.

        Also, they’re smart enough to shaddup and wait in case there’s no there, there. That way they avoid the obvious “evidence free lynch mob” from the RWNJ assholes.

    • rfm

      It’s not the Democratic Party that exists, it’s the Democratic Party they need to exist to justify their position towards it.

    • They’re not paying attention to the party at all. They’re getting in arguments with people on Twitter and extrapolating from that plus their own preconceptions of how the Dems “are”.

      • Matty

        I think this is why Jacobin and the most aggressively public bits of the DSA* are a want-to-like for me. They spend a bunch of time talking about the Rotting Hulk of the Corrupt DNC without noticing that the median Dem voter and candidate are gliding closer to them every day.

        • Matty

          * Their twitter presence, basically. Which having crossed paths a couple times with out local DSA, I realize might not be 100% representative, but…

          (also, where did that edit button go?)

        • This is my fundamental beef with that crew. The left has a generational opportunity to play a major role in the future of the Democratic Party, but these guys seem to just be constitutionally incapable of recognizing, acknowledging, and taking advantage of their successes.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            I get two slightly contradictory impressions from those guys: their thing is they aren’t satisfied to “play a major role”, they want to *be* the future of the party

            but I’m also not sure they want that, even. Sometimes I think all they want is to maintain their moral certainty by staying outside the party even as they attempt to drive it in their preferred direction

            • rea

              The last thing in thee world they want is to be saddled with the responsibility of governing the country. They want bad things to happen so they can complain.

    • brewmn

      Rachel Maddow has been spending large portions of her show on the Trump-Russia connection for several weeks. It’s been quite fascinating to watch.

      But it’s still stretching things past the breaking point to claim that her coverage is blotting out the Democrats’ criticisms of a myriad of Trump’s horrible actions and policies. But, if you’re in a certain type of bubble, I can kind of see having that opinion.

      • Owlbear1

        Talking Points Memo as well.

        It is easy to see how Maddow and Marshall have become the entirety of the Democratic party for Glen.

  • DamnYankees

    Ignoring GG for a moment, I’d be really curious to run a poll of LGMers (both front page and commenters) asking these questions:

    (i) Do you believe the Trump campaign knowingly coordinated with Russia whereby Russia was promised certain treatment (either specific or general) in exchange for either performing hacks, or releasing hacked information to help Trump win the election?

    (ii) If yes, do you think Donald Trump was personally involved and/or aware of it?

    (iii) If yes, do you believe there exists any concrete evidence of this.

    (iv) If yes, do you believe it will actually ever come out?

    I’d be really interested in what people think. Because I sort of think the answer to all of this is no. That’s not to say there’s nothing shady going on, but I tend to feel like the most likely explanation is just “Trump has business relationships with Russia, is disposed in favor of Russia for social and financial reasons, including possibly political reasons both because he likes authoritarians and he sees a kinship in Russia’s posture as the savior of white Europe, but there was no quid pro quo”. It’s frustrating to realize I’ll probably never know the truth, though I hope I’m wrong.

    • I’d have thought it highly unlikely that the Trump campaign would be stupid enough to directly collude with Russia, if it weren’t for the fact that folks involved with the Trump campaign have met with Russian representatives and then lied about it

      • UncleEbeneezer

        And 45’s apparent belief that he can get away with anything.

    • Rob in CT

      I think basically the Russians wanted to help Trump, Wikileaks wanted to help Trump and Trump & his campaign were happy to have that help.

      So I think your explanation strikes me as the most likely, but I think (i) and (ii) could really be yes (I mean, Flynn, and Sessions…). The others, no.

      Re: quid pro quo, the specific change to the GOP platform re: Ukraine could be fishy, but it can also be explained by “Trump has business relationships with Russia, is disposed in favor of Russia for social and financial reasons, including possibly political reasons both because he likes authoritarians and he sees a kinship in Russia’s posture as the savior of white Europe” as you put it.

    • petesh

      OK, I’ll bite:
      (i) If the “Trump campaign” extends to include Roger “rat-fuck” Stone, definitely yes. On a slightly narrower penumbra, probably yes.
      (ii) Aware? Maybe, he’s a cunning weasel. But cunning enough to maintain plausible deniability.
      (iii) Yes and I damn well hope Stone gets what he’s been deserving for aeons.
      (iv) I wouldn’t bet my 2002-vintage car; but I’d put down a portrait of Franklin at even money.

      • Anna in PDX

        Consigned with the addition of Manafort

    • Morse Code for J

      (i) Yes.
      (ii) Yes.
      (iii) Yes.
      (iv) Yes.

      Trump was a terrible risk for any normal financial institution after being forced out of his casinos, but Russian financiers saw him as a worthwhile risk for properties developed abroad (i.e., away from federal scrutiny of large foreign capital transfers). Maybe Russian financiers just like an underdog, but I suspect the reason they favored Trump was that he provided a conduit for stolen or siphoned state funds to reach Western financial institutions, in return for his name on the deed and maybe a handling fee. Trump is somebody they could trust to keep his mouth shut about suspicious activity if it were to his financial advantage, because Trump is terrified of seeming foolish or weak in his business dealings.

      The strongest public evidence of quid pro quo is circumstantial, but actively intervening to change the party platform on Ukrainian sovereignty and appointing a Secretary of State who made an oil deal that only works if sanctions are lifted? Do you really just do that because you admire a shirtless dictator who’s not afraid to murder people who piss him off?

      • nemdam

        (i) Yes. It seems borderline naive to think Trump’s campaign didn’t coordinate given how extensive Russian interference was, how much Trump has given them in return, and how many Russian ties exist between the two.
        (ii) Yes. I don’t think he was involved, but I would bet that at some point one of his goons informed him that Russia is giving him a leg up. “Russia’s gonna release Podesta’s emails through Wikileaks. Let’s plan how we’re going to use them.”
        (iii) Probably not. But if there are transcripts of members of Trump’s campaign talking with tapped Russians, it’s possible. Or if people flip, but that would involve the Trump DOJ actually charging any of them.
        (iv) Yes. If it exists, it will come out.

        • nemdam

          Sorry, meant to reply to DamnYankees, not you.

    • humanoid.panda

      (i) Do you believe the Trump campaign knowingly coordinated with Russia whereby Russia was promised certain treatment (either specific or general) in exchange for either performing hacks, or releasing hacked information to help Trump win the election?

      No, but I think there was some wink winking going on.

      • DamnYankees

        But what do you think that means in real life terms? Not to be a pedantic asshole, but “wink wink” is a metaphor, and I genuinely don’t know what it would look like in this situation. Who was in a room with who and gave a nudge how? Or do you mean the “wink wink” is what we saw happen in public view and there’s nothing else to know?

        • humanoid.panda

          I think I made this comment, but imagine situation.

          Your name is Bob. You are running for mayor of small New Jersey town against Jim.

          The local mobster, Tony, sends his people to help you: nothing blatant, just ripping Jim’s signs, maybe beating his canvassers, having his wife and adult children send you the maximum allowed donations.

          At the same time, you are meeting Tony every couple of weeks to discuss his legitimate business interests and how as mayor you will help him create more jobs in the city.

          This is what I imagine happened: the Trump campaign knew about the hackings, but kept meeting Russians to discuss foreign affairs and possible avenues of collarboration if Trump is president. Which is absolutely legitimate activity AND a signal to the Russians the campaign is grateful and can you keep it up.

          • DamnYankees

            Which is absolutely legitimate activity AND a signal to the Russians the campaign is grateful and can you keep it up.

            Yeah, I think this is likely. But there’s really nothing in this which would harm him. It’s very difficult to see how this is distinguished from Trump having good faith support for Russia, and Russia working to elect a candidate who supports them. It’s like the relationship between any lobbying group in America and the politicians they support – oil companies work to support Republicans, teacher’s unions for Democrats.

            The fact that support for Russia is morally bankkrupt isn’t really sufficient to hurt him.

            • Hogan

              just ripping Jim’s signs, maybe beating his canvassers

              working to elect a candidate who supports them

              Umm . . .

          • rea

            meeting Russians to discuss foreign affairs and possible avenues of collarboration if Trump is president. Which is absolutely legitimate activity

            18 USC 953:

            Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

            But of course this historically has been subject to IOKIYAR

            • humanoid.panda

              The Logan Act? If I recall correctly, no one ever was indicted under it. And if we took it seriously, every think tanker would be in jail

    • witlesschum

      I tend to agree with your view. The Russians helped elect Trump for their own reasons, Trump and his people have ties to Russia/Russian elites and are friendly toward them also for their own reasons, but even more so since they proved themselves to be useful friends.

      Would I be shocked to be wrong? No, because the Trump administration are both evil and pretty incompetent at stuff, so nothing they turned out to have done would really shock me.

      • nemdam

        I agree, but it seems tough to believe that they wouldn’t try to coordinate, even in a small way, such a mutually beneficial relationship. The coincidence seems to large.

    • leftwingfox

      (i) Not exactly. I think they made promises to Russia, and they didn’t care that the help Russia provided was in the form of hacking.

      (ii) I think Trump made some deals to help his businesses in exchange for policy. The hack is incidental to those.

      (iii) Yes to the personal enriching deals, no to direct hacking connection.

      (iv) Again, yes to the former, no to the latter.

      • I agree with this, with a caveat: I think Roger Stone’s foreknowledge of the Podesta leak is strong evidence that he served as a go-between between the Trump camp and Russia. I think there was a certain degree of “blind coordination” in the same way a Super PAC and a campaign can work together toward a common goal without actively exchanging plans.

        • leftwingfox

          Good point.

    • Downpuppy

      Your best case version involves secret and ongoing business relations with a foreign state, probably to the level of an impeachable offense.

      • DamnYankees

        Well, sure. But that’s where we are.

      • nemdam

        We take for granted that Trump commits multiple impeachable offenses. But her emails…

    • Aexia

      Yes Yes Yes Yes

    • Pete

      (1) No, because the most likely conduit for that was Paul Manafort, and he is far too experienced and cagey about sleaze and corruption to say that which need not be said — a wink and a nod, at most;

      (2) Even less likely…DJT is not good at keeping his mouth shut, not a man you’d trust which such things, and he doesn’t have to “know”;

      (3) Not likely;

      (4) If it existed, it might. DJT has ensured that a lot of people are looking at it now.

      The Trump Campaign/Administration’s inept handling of all the Russia-related issues has been a significant self-inflicted wound, I think. Caused by a remarkable combination of ego, inexperience, poor judgment, managerial incompetence and wing-nuttery between and among the Big Man and his inner circle. It has been an absolute gift to the Dems.

    • Kerans

      I have at different times felt strongly “Yes” and “No” on all four points. Clearly their 11 dimensional chess is working on me and my shuffling mind. Right now, I feel like your view is very reasonable but the Stone butttweeting, the extensive Russian investments (more found every day), and Trump’s brazen belief that he can get away with any lie and any action puts me at maybe a threat level teatime, if your view rates a threat level brunch.

    • Justin Runia

      Let me preface this by saying that what you and me and Zoe down the street think happened doesn’t add up to very much as all, since we spend zero minutes doing the work of gathering evidence…

      That said, I think portions of the Russian state went in pretty hard trying to FUD the 2016 election, in the event that if Clinton won, she would be weighed down with allegations of election misconduct. I think there were more level-headed members of the Russian Ambassdorship who recognized the potential for blow-back if and when any of the ratfucking was tied to Russia, particularly because the Republican party as a whole had no particular allegiance to Russia and would be more than happy to escalate things to prove their American allegiance. So I think Kislyak was feeling out members of the Trump admin to get a sense of how Trump’s Foreign and Domestic prosecutors would be willing to stray from the Presidential line, especially given that Sessions was a pretty big Russia hawk up until he signed up to the Trump camp. I think Donald Trump has no documented ties to the Russian State, but probably runs in the same circles as Russian officials, given the high money of money-laundering that takes place via real estate transactions in major cities like New York.

      So, even if the investigation doesn’t uncover direct collusion between the Russian government and Trump, it will have a bodycount, as all manner of shit gets dredged up regarding Russian money laundering. Which I got no problem with.

    • Mellano

      The thing is, if either (i) or (ii) is yes, then (iii) is also yes, because the Russians will have kept records. And to that extent, (iv) is probably no, unless circumstances somehow change that it’s useful for the Russian government to release their tapes.

    • brewmn

      Yes to all four. I just don’t think they’ll ever find the smoking gun that will force the Republicans to take any kind of disciplinary action against him.

      I’d also like to ask Glenn if it’s McCarthyism to make the claim that Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s business interests in China are benefiting from recent policy decisions made by Trump as regards the One China policy:

      https://thinkprogress.org/jared-kushners-chinese-miracle-d8276f35b795#.ebfuntljm

      Or dealings with Iran’s revolutionary guard in Iran:

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj25Yfj2NzSAhUJwYMKHXVMDawQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Fmagazine%2F2017%2F03%2F13%2Fdonald-trumps-worst-deal&usg=AFQjCNH42UQqUSldKLDgTS5DrM2R_psyzA

      Trump is utterly, irredeemably, corrupt. Journalists are going to keep pulling on these threads until something unravels. Whether Gleen Greenwald likes it or not.

  • ochospantalones

    The Russia stuff has already led to Michael Flynn being fired and replaced with HR McMaster. If nothing else ever comes of it that’s already an enormous win for the health of the country.

    • rea

      And you know, the Flynn stuff was already the smoking gun–top campaign aide in discussions with Russians about lifting sanctions.

  • Alex.S

    It is to be expected — Greenwald has a long history of not being concerned with governments hacking foreigners.

    • Aexia

      Greenwald has a long history of caping for brutal authoritarian regimes as long as they’re nominally anti-American.

      • CP

        These people really have become exactly the right wing parody of what the left is.

  • Gwen

    I’ll be 35 next month, and I’m thinking about running for President in 2020 as a vanity/darker-than-dark-horse candidate on a platform of “declare Glenn Greenwald an enemy-combatant.”

    • Gwen

      Incidentally, I was born in 1982 / graduated high school in 2000.

      So it’s now possible to have a Millennial President.

      America is d000m3d!1!11!one

    • The Great God Pan

      That would arguably be the greatest vanity candidacy in US history. An emotionally intelligent person would ignore it but I think it has the potential to send Greenwald over the edge.

    • I could be persuaded to support this campaign. I, too, will be old enough to run for president next cycle, but don’t really want the attention.

  • ap77

    Has Greenwald always been this insufferable? I have a vague recollection that he used to be better than this, but holy hell is he awful now.

    • God yes. It’s just that at one point, he was attacking the Bush administration, so people forgave him for it. Some still do forgive him for that because they see him as a hero for that long ago past.

      • FlipYrWhig

        As I recall he maintains that he only started paying attention to politics after 9/11. When he was just an ingenuous naif of a mere 34 years old.

        • sibusisodan

          I know that’s what he claimed. I read an old article recently with long-time associates claiming he was into talking politics at college. Will dig up the link tomorrow.

    • petesh

      He was always insufferably long-winded and self-absorbed but when he started long-winded opponents of the Iraq invasion were relatively scarce and thus prized. If anyone nit-picked him, even then he was awful.

      • DamnYankees

        I remember back in 2006 or so when I first started reading him, I admired how dogged he was in his opposition to torture. But after a while I just couldn’t read him – his articles were way too long, way too detailed – it was just mind numbing. And he did it like every day! I admired it but couldn’t really read it.

      • Aexia

        Greenwald supported the Iraq War.

        • petesh

          At first. He was against the Iraq War when he was building his audience. He didn’t/doesn’t like to admit he changed his mind.

          • CP

            Wait, he was for it until he was against it? Oh, that’s funny. Doesn’t that make him exactly like Hillary Clinton?

            • Aexia

              No, he was being principled both times while Clinton was acting out of political expediency both times.

              • CP

                Naturally.

          • liberalrob

            He was duped like a lot of us, believing that there was no way they’d actually have the balls to start a war based on a pack of lies.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      I have the same “didn’t he use to not be completely worthless?” question about Jack Shafer.

      But the available evidence indicates that at the least Greenwald hasn’t gotten noticeably worse.

      • efgoldman

        Did anyone ever see Glennie and Freddie in the same room together?

        • The Great God Pan

          There would have to be some stellar, Hollywood-level makeup artistry going on there, either to make Glenn look like a normal ex-fratboy or make Freddie look like a fish-man from Innsmouth.

        • Justin Runia

          Eh, two different pathologies; FdB is the punker-than-thou dude who is constantly trying to compensate for his legacy adademic privilege, Greenwald has the mania of those people who have ‘converted’ to progressivism from conservatism (meaning, they zealously adopt a facet of progressive thought and purity-troll everyone else), like Cenk Uygur or Doug Henwood, or John Cole until he chilled out a bit.

    • pillsy

      Yup. It was more tolerable when he was right about more stuff, and more important stuff, but he’s always been thin-skinned and preposterously long-winded.

  • Jackson87

    On a scale of 1-10:
    That the Russian govt actively tried to interfere in our election:2
    That Trump minions aided and abetted efforts:6
    That Trump has been laundering money for various criminal elements for at least the last quarter century: 9

    YMMV

    • petesh

      On the laundering: isn’t it possible he could skate on that, given time served elapsed? But it would be a lovely way to kneecap him politically.

  • That dark patch over Putin’s eye makes him look like a Droog. Well, more like a droog.

  • heckblazer

    Something that’s been overshadowed by the DNC and Podesta hacks is that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was also hacked. This lead to lots of internal campaign documents getting made public, which is really fucking damaging for a campaign.

  • Dan from Delaware

    Who are we to complain about “election interference” anyway? The CIA has been interfering in other nation’s elections since Italy in 1948, right up through Russia in 1996 in support of Neoliberal drunk Boris Yelstin.

    I wonder how many Americans realize this. The world is so much more complicated than America as the “good guys” and Russia as the “bad guys”. Real life is not cowboy movie.

    • pseudalicious

      If we do a bad thing, and someone does a bad thing back to us, we are not allowed to be mad about it, investigate it, or even talk about it. Got it.

    • Who are we to complain about “election interference” anyway?

      People who don’t like reactionary authoritarian regimes helping to install a reactionary authoritarian regime in our country to rule over us, that’s who!

      I wonder how many Americans realize this

      I suspect not very many, but I also suspect that telling people not to complain about it happening in this country isn’t going to make Americans care about their own country’s history in this area.

      The world is so much more complicated than America as the “good guys” and Russia as the “bad guys”

      True. There are plenty of “bad guys” in this country. But the whole allegation here is that the Russian “bad guys” helped the American “bad guys” take power.

      • CP

        I suspect not very many

        No, but based on the few years I’ve spent on this blog, I also suspect the vast majority of LGMers fall in that “not very many,” making this a singularly inappropriate place to whine about it.

        • based on the few years I’ve spent on this blog, I also suspect the vast majority of LGMers fall in that “not very many,” making this a singularly inappropriate place to whine about it.

          That is also true.

      • Dan from Delaware

        Is Trump any more reactionary than the Clinton Junta? Neoliberal a have been running the USA into the ground for decades, more money for the globalist One Percent and foreign wars, peanuts for everyone else.

        How many Wesson parti s did your hero Obama blow up?

        Remember when under Clinton noted “democratic” “humantarian” said that he millions upon millions of innocent Iraqi children killed under US sanctions regime was “worth it”?

        Has Russia ever used depleted uranium? USA did in Iraq Libya and Kosovo.

        Whose the real imperialist ?

        • Dan from Delaware

          *wedding parties did Obama blow up

        • CP

          Clinton Junta

          Aaaaaaaaaaaaand we have a troll.

          • Yeah, I should have recognized. Below he’s suggesting that LGM is a den of Douglas MacArthur fans, and that MacArthur “massacred” the Bonus Army, “little different from Tiananmen Square”. I guess two orders of magnitude difference in casualty numbers isn’t anything to worry about when you’re railing against the Junta.

        • Is Trump any more reactionary than the Clinton Junta?

          Yes, on just about eveery level you can imagine.

          your hero Obama

          Your unwarranted assumptions are showing

          BTW, the notion that Russia cannot be an imperialist power because it has not used depleted uranium in its weapons (if in fact that is true) is truly bizarre, especially since most empires existed long before the days of depleted uranium. Just sayin’

          • Furthermore, what does the use of depleted uranium, or even the deadly nature of US sanctions on Iraq in the 1990’s, have to do with the issue of whether Americans have the right to investigate and defend themselves against foreign interference in their elections?

      • Dan from Delaware

        Almost anybody in the current Neoliberal parties are “bad guys”.

        Globalist corporate capitalism…endless war…state survelliance…Wall Street cash…they’re all involved. It’s all one ball of wax.

        • It’s all one ball of wax.

          Nope, there are many balls of wax. Which one have you burrowed yourself into?

    • CP

      I know, it’s mind-boggling that those of us who generally don’t approve of American attempts to steal other countries’ governments would also disapprove of other countries’ attempts to steal America’s government.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Real life is not cowboy movie.

      Hans Gruber, is that you?

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I was thinking Boris Badenov

    • SatanicPanic

      Neoliberal drunk Boris Yelstin

      Good thing they replaced him with someone better, right?

      • Dan from Delaware

        Are our seriously suggesting the average Russian was better of in 1995 than in 2017?

        • SatanicPanic

          Why yes, I am.

          • Dan from Delaware

            LOL!!! Do you have any idea what Russia was like under Yelstin?

            • SatanicPanic

              Probably sucked. Doesn’t mean I’d rather live in a country with no free press, no opposition party and a leader that thinks gassing the hostages is how hostage negotiations are supposed to go down.

              • Dan from Delaware

                Is the US press really “free” or just free for the rich (corporate media?) is there really an opposition party or is it just two sides of the same neoliberal coin?

                Google “inverted totalitarianism”–this is not “the land of the free”.

                • US democracy is indeed quite limited in many ways, but Trump’s regime proposes to limit its scope considerably. Anyone who is sincerely concerned about oligarchic power in this country would not consider Trump to be just “more of the same”. Not would they consider Russia’s own oligarchic regime to be a model.

                  Some of us who aren’t rich like to be able to say what we want and to be able to read news stories and articles that are critical of the President and even stand a chance of getting rid of the President, instead of being stuck with a dictator for life who will brook no serious challenge.

                • witlesschum

                  You know who else is kinda random with his quote marks….

                • Hogan

                  And what about the Negroes in the South?

                • witlesschum

                  +1917

              • Dan from Delaware

                As for gassing hostages, was not Cheney ready to shoot down Flight 93?

                • SatanicPanic

                  So Putin was worried that terrorists would fly that theater into a skyscraper?

                  OK I’ll stop feeding the troll

                • Dan from Delaware

                  Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Bonus Army…

                • Scott Lemieux

                  So Putin was worried that terrorists would fly that theater into a skyscraper?

                  OK, that’s troll engagement even I can approve of.

                • liberalrob

                  Waco, Ruby Ridge,

                  Dammit, the rule of 3 says I need one more…what’s a 3rd instance I can mention of when the government forcibly ended a standoff…think…think…aha!

                  the Bonus Army…

                  I’ll just let that … on the end imply there’s many more, even though I can’t think of any.

                  Waco = Religious nuts
                  Ruby Ridge = Survivalist nuts
                  Bonus Army = WW1 vets demanding promised benefits

                  One of these things is not like the others.

                  FAIL.

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  Something about the lack of even basic reasoning ability that is just…awe-inspiring, in a way.

                • Dan from Delaware

                  The Bonus Army was massacred by Gen. Doug MacArthur, no doubt a “war hero” to many on this blog–also a cold-blooded murderer.

                  The massacre of the Bonus Army was little different than Tianammen Square. Guess which gets more attention from the MSM?

                • “No doubt a war hero to many on this blog”

                  Again, don’t let any pesky doubts get in the way of your utterly unwarranted assumptions.

                • witlesschum

                  You know what year that happened, right? And, while obviously a deeply shameful action, it killed three people, one a child. Not comparable to Tianamen Square which killed hundreds or thousands.

                  I’ve never hear anyone around here express any particular praise for Dugout Doug but I couldn’t say what their opinions of George Dewey or William Sampson are particularly either.

              • Dan from Delaware

                And what about Waco if you think what Putin did was so bad? ATF and the federal government incinerated innocent children.

                • liberalrob

                  I can’t even see the rails from here…

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  What do we call this? Whataboutery? Or whataboutism? Anyway, this example is going in the textbook.

                • I think it’s whatbaoutism.

                  Also, as liberalrob points out, it’s a derailment,since these digressions about Waco and this and that and the other have little if anything to do with the issue of whether it’s appropriate for Americans to be concerned about possible foreign meddling in their elections.

                • David Koresh and/or his followers incinerated those children, according to the vast majority of available evidence. You are pretending to be a leftist but your true intentions are revealed by your use of reactionary propaganda.

                • Hogan

                  What do we call this? Whataboutery? Or whataboutism? Anyway, this example is going in the textbook.

                  I’ve called it argumentum ad what about that one time when, but that’s clearly not Twitter-ready.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  Tu quoque is the correct Latin term, Hogan.

      • Oddly enough, Putin was Yeltsin’s hand-picked successor.

  • pseudalicious

    Remember: if you’re horrified and disgusted at the atrocities wrought in the name of American imperialism, it means you can never be horrified and disgusted at wannabe imperialists like Putin. That’s why everyone who hates Hitler loves Charles Manson. Pretty sure that’s true. Right?

    • SatanicPanic

      They claim that Putin will act as a barrier to the USA interfering with other countries. So far I haven’t heard any explanations on how or why they would actually do this.

      • I don’t think they even claim that. They basically say “serves you right!”

        • Oops, I actually thought I was responding to something else here.

          I suppose that if there are multiple powers rather than just one superpower, the US is in less of a position to dictate terms to countries if another power can offer them a better deal.

          Mind you, I don’t know what “better deal” Russia is actually prepared to offer anyone, aside from President Assad.

        • SatanicPanic

          I’ve heard this claim, but it might not be representative

      • Brien Jackson

        It’s all a piece of their reliance on hyper simplistic good guy-bad guy narratives. If the American state is the bad guy, there needs to be a counter-balancing good guy, and Putin is just laying around there….

  • John Revolta

    That’s the guy who GWB looked into his eyes and saw his soul. O_o

    • Vance Maverick

      I was just looking into them and wondering if they have two distinct shades — bluer and greener. Equally Bond-villainous regardless.

    • liberalrob

      When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares also into you.

      • pseudalicious

        In Soviet Russia…

  • pillsy

    This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

    I’m old enough to remember someone from the very highest level of the Trump campaign going onto fucking television and publicly asking the Russians to meddle with the election. Evidently this isn’t evidence because who the fuck knows.

    Of course, this is the general pattern of all charges brought against the Administration and the creepazoids that infest it. Whether it’s colluding with the Russians, being racist or antisemitic, or just being plain old corrupt as balls, every new piece of evidence is met with a new, higher standard of proof that precludes even considering it.

  • Is it weird to find the idea foreign powers interfering in our elections upsetting? I mean, if Russia had interfered on Hillary’s behalf I’d still be freaking out. Because A.) it’s fucking unfair (on a fundamental level, I just don’t believe Russia should be picking our presidents) and B.) I’d be afraid it’d cast so much doubt on her legitimacy.

    These don’t seem like crazy concerns to me.

    • John Revolta

      It would almost be worth it, to see the GOPivot back to Red Scare days.

    • nemdam

      And cuz, ya know, an adversarial nation has committed a hostile act against us in order to weaken our country. Regardless of the actual effect it had on the election, it would be like Russia funding 9/11. It’s a direct attack on our country and to not investigate and respond is to tell them to keep doing it.

      • pseudalicious

        it would be like Russia funding 9/11.

        I agree with your sentiment, but given how we’ve handled Saudi Arabia since then, perhaps funding 9/11 isn’t the best example… /nitpick

        • nemdam

          I hear ya, but to make your analogy complete, it would be all of our intel agencies said Saudi Arabia funded the attack through Al-Qaeda, and Bush went ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Look at it from the Russian end. The operation has all the hallmarks of overreach, the classic temptation of spooks. See Brzezinski’s bear trap in Afghanistan, the KGB’s claiming it had the President of Finland as a signed-up agent, the ousting of Mossadegh, etc. The hypothesis is that the FSB went beyond cultivating Trump and throwing him untraceable favours to rigging the US election in his favour. This will inevitably come out and severely damage Russian interests in the long run, perhaps the short run if it leads to Trump’s ouster. I don’t think that they would have tried to make Trump a witting agent, he’s far too volatile, untrustworthy and indiscreet.

  • liberalrob

    The Russia obsession is Glenn’s

    The evidence does seem to be mounting. I was prepared to defend him arguing that Russia was being used as a distraction by the Dem leadership last November; but saying that Dems in general are being distracted by it to the exclusion of all else in the present day is a bit much. I think it’s pretty clear we are not.

    The remainder of the column seems to rely excessively on articles from BuzzFeed, which I’m not sure I accept as a reputable source of information. And one of those BuzzFeed articles appears to be based on some kind of analysis of Twitter activity which as far as I’m concerned is the same as relying on the National Inquirer for statistical data.

    So overall, not a good column.

    I blame Twitter. Seriously. I think Twitter has exacerbated a certain oversensitivity of his to commentary and criticism that has been detrimental to his objectivity and the quality of his writing. Just as Twitter is the constant nemesis of Trump, enabling him to thoughtlessly blast out whatever reactionary nonsense floats into his head before he can take any time to think about it or gather information that might cause even he himself to reconsider; so constant use of Twitter has afflicted Glenn with a blind spot, a sort of lens that is slightly out of phase with reality skewing his perception. I don’t think Twitter users are a good sampling of anything, much less the thinking of the Democratic Party base. He needs to avoid basing columns on his own or others’ analyses of Twitter or what is currently “trending” (I guess is the term) there.

    • Rob in CT

      I, for one, appreciate the change in your stance on this.

      Also: twitter is self-evidently awful.

      • I as well.

        I have never been a regular reader of Greenwald’s, although some years back on occasion I would read something of his in the Guardian and at least find some merit in it. But for some time he has clearly had an ax to grind against “liberals” in general and the Democratic Party in particular, and while there are many valid critiques one can make of both (Obama was pretty bad on certain issues Greenwald focuses on), Greenwald’s dislike of liberalism has led him to make some very bad political analysis, as in this case.

        • Rob in CT

          Liberals failed Glenn, basically, by acting like partisans. As a group, we weren’t as hard to Obama as we would have been on hypothetical President McCain. Therefore, both sides do it.

          As I tried pointing out on Outside the Beltway for years, it’s not that Both Sides Don’t Do It. It’s that both sides do it, but one side does it MUCH more. There is a large difference of degree, if not kind.

  • Robert Farley

    You people…

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