Your attention please, everyone. I have just received some pictures of the real hackers of the US elections. Here’s one of them:
Gee, he sure looks Russian to me!
And here are three more:
I could swear I saw these babushkas on the steppes, waiting for a troika.
Perhaps you’re familiar with this lovely couple?
Yeah, they’re hackers too.
And here’s a whole slew of Twitter avatars corresponding to Russian election hackers:
Very sinister collection of Rooskies there, no?
And finally, here’s a picture of some actual Russian election hackers at work, caught RED-handed:
And yes, we even have a confession from Vladimir Putin himself, telling how he directed the whole operation personally. With the help of his robot bear, Boris.
Ahem. Now, let’s get serious here.
I’m totally with Juan Cole on all of this, but especially this bit:
I have already said that the allegations of effective Russian interference in the US election do not make any sense to me. There is no point at which anything Russia is said to have done can be shown to have determined the election outcome.
The things that appear to have hurt Clinton late in the election were her “deplorables” comment about Trump supporters, and the Comey letter about the new emails the FBI had found on Anthony Weiner’s computer. Neither of these incidents had any Russian connection.
I don’t doubt that Russian intelligence was interested in sowing discord in the US around its election. I am saying that there is no evidence that it succeeded.
And, be it noted, repeated assertions by the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security, without sufficient proofs offered to back them up, do not constitute “evidence that it succeeded”, either. Repetition of tenuous links or even outright bullshit does not magically convert it into truth. Remember Karl Rove?
Of course, the intel agencies will insist, lamely (and without sufficient proof, again) that to show their work and how they arrived at their conclusions, as we were all taught to do in math class and essays from an early age, would “compromise” their “agents in the field”, or some such rubbish. Never mind that faces can be pixel-blurred during on-camera interviews (if the need for such should ever arise), voices can be disguised on audio recordings, scenarios can be re-enacted by actors, and all compromising details can be black-barred out of documents in which they appear. These are all tried and true media-redaction methods used to protect persons whose identities cannot or should not be revealed by an investigative report.
And yet, none of them have been employed here. Which makes the whole “just take our word for it, the Russians did this” business sniffy as hell…and the media, too, for going along with it. At a time when everybody is supposedly so concerned about stamping out “fake news”, isn’t that…well, just a wee bit awkward? And, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for here — hypocritical?
Fact-free assertions that the US election was rigged by Russia have dragged the whole ghastly mess from tragedy to farce. Are the Democratic Party establishment going to insist that Russia has also hacked their primaries to ensure that a losing establishment candidate would “win” over an actually popular one? Or how about that shambolic anti-democratic bomb, the Electoral College, which privileges “electors” from sparsely-populated states over the actual popular vote?
Seems to me that when you have a partisan system that allows questionably-valued “superdelegates” to determine, over and above the party rank-and-file, who gets to be your candidate, you have a systemic intra-party problem that doesn’t require outside hacking.
Ditto the Electoral College, which is a flaw built right in (and has a horrific history, too, of supporting first slavery, and later systemic racism).
And of course, let’s not forget all those deplorable assholes in the stupid pro-Drumpf shirts. After all, those fucking morons voted. They voted out of sheer spite and glee, just to be “politically incorrect”, never paying attention to policies that will end up hurting them worse than ever. They voted to punish women, non-white people, immigrants, LGBT people, workers, and basically anyone who benefited from having a black president in the White House. And, knowing that they did not represent anything near a popular majority, they supported gerrymandering, disenfranchisement, and the down-and-dirty tactic of voter intimidation, too.
Are you going to accuse them of being secret Russian agents? If you are, you just might be a deplorable idiot yourself. These people have been morons, politically speaking, since the days when Russia was ruled by czars and no threat to anyone but its own serfs. These are the descendants of those slave-state yokels who may not have owned slaves themselves, but by God, they were going to fight for the “states’ rights” to let rich white people buy poor, miserable black people!
So, dear establishmentarian Democrats, take this to heart: You didn’t need any Russian hackers to fuck up your democracy. You can also quit blaming the “Bernie bros”, and quit falsely accusing them of turning to Drumpf out of spite. You did all that yourselves, within your own party, by rigging its selection process until it broke.
And you let it happen on a nationwide scale, too.
You can stop wondering now how Germany “let Hitler happen”. When every supposed “safeguard” built into your electoral system misfires at every stage of the way, from the primaries down to the final certification, and you’re STILL too busy pointing fingers in all the wrong directions, blaming the other factions instead of pulling together to stop corruption before it can happen in your own midst, well…there’s your explanation of “how could it happen here”. Germany found this out the hard way in the 1930s, and now it’s your turn.
If you cannot do democracy right, even within your own party, you haven’t a hope in hell of staving off fascism. And you bear the blame right along with the deplorables who actually voted for it.
PS: And now it’s official. The FBI, with no help from Russia, hacked the US election too. At long last, can we FINALLY start blaming home-grown misrule?