Russiagate, the media maelstrom of allegations that Donald Trump colluded with Russia in order to win the election, is showing itself more and more to be just a ruse to distract from how horribly Hillary Clinton lost in November. The vote count wasn’t so horrible, nor the electoral vote margin, but she lost to an opponent handpicked to assure her the presidency. As reported by The Intercept, Democratic Party leaders are not expecting for evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia to appear.
Michael Morell, who once served as Acting CIA Chief and also played a part in starting the drama by stating that Donald Trump was recruited as an unwitting agent of Russia, changed his tune at an intelligence community forum to cast doubt on the claims he helped start. James Clapper, once Obama’s top national security official, also stated that he had seen no evidence of any collusion in the months following the election. Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee are concerned about what happens when the evidence they’ve been hyping for months doesn’t appear.
Soon after the DNC Leaks were released, the tune of the Democratic Party was that Russia hacked the emails and gave them to Wikileaks, a claim that Wikileaks denies. In order to promote this idea, the DNC refused to allow the FBI to examine their “hacked” servers for free and instead opted to have the less qualified CrowdStrike investigate it for a fee, as reported by CNN. The only rational reason for such a move seems to be because CrowdStrike was willing to forge evidence on top of whatever actual investigation they may have done – though we have no direct evidence that this actually took place.
The leaks, including the later Podesta Emails leak, were 100 percent genuine, that isn’t disputed anymore. Democrats had originally stated that they could possibly be fake, though the one person who tried to claim a single email was fake, Donna Brazile, had it backfire on her and recently she finally admitted that she did, indeed, leak debate questions to Hillary, as reported by the Observer. Had even a single one been proven false it would have cast doubt on the whole lot. Some tried pretending that there was nothing important in there but a risotto recipe. But the generic response of the Clinton campaign was to simply dodge questions about the scandals contained inside by stating that Russia hacked the emails – still an unfounded claim and avoiding the point of the massive corruption.
After the election, when Clinton lost against the worst candidate that the Republican Party ever fielded – worse than Barry Goldwater who she campaigned for – it was a call for a serious reevaluation of the Democratic Party’s neoliberal agenda. Bernie was popular and he would have won in a landslide if she hadn’t stolen the primary. He represented a return to the New Deal politics that dominated the Democratic Party prior to the neoliberals taking over the party in 1992 and the party would need to move back to the New Deal to remain popular – but that could not be allowed to happen.
The fake news site, which many establishment Democrats refuse to acknowledge as such, Politicus USA, oblivious to the fact that there was no indication coming forth that Russiagate would reveal any actual collusion in the election, published an editorial by its co-publisher, Sarah Jones, which claims that the scandal is a green light for politics as usual. Lovingly, it suggests that those who oppose the neoliberal order are unwitting agents of Donald Trump. In particular, they claim these nonexistent revelations prove that Hillary didn’t run a poor campaign – something which is not only untrue, but which could not be revealed by Russian collusion in the first place. If you lose a foot race to an opponent that cheats, it doesn’t mean that you ran a good race. It speaks to your opponent, not you.
While fake news sites are not generally good sources for anything, ideologically driven news sites can be very useful insofar as you recognize them for what they are: an ideal of what they wish reality was. While the article is devoid of reality, it does reveal the reality of what neoliberals want and what the whole Russiagate scandal is and has been about. This scandal has been about distracting us from the absolute failure of neoliberal politics – and it has worked in part. I have come across numerous Bernie Sanders supporters – though seemingly in the minority still – whom will still join in the ranting about Russia interfering in the election. Nothing gels together warring factions like a common enemy and this fake scandal has managed to keep several in the Democratic Party fighting for change that will never happen.
Perhaps more importantly, however, it has kept a strong internal discipline line amongst neoliberals, some of whom may have been pragmatic electorally and realized that the “pragmatic” neoliberalism was going to cost elections. Part of preventing change is holding the status quo together – if they cannot hold together, they cannot stonewall change. However, it is those sticking with the Democratic Party, also affected by the lies, which are there to try to budge them apart – those least likely to create change.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]