So It’s Settled Then

Well that was quick! I, like many of you out there, had for a moment thought that perhaps Hillary Clinton’s pathetic loss to what should have been the weakest presidential opponent in modern American history might be a catalyst for some serious soul-searching within the Democratic party. Perhaps it would lead to a process that would finally rectify the great betrayal of the early 1990’s, when the party abandoned its base and its principles, ironically under the aegis of Hillary’s husband. There was a small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Democrats would wake up and start listening to what people like Thomas Frank had been trying to tell them for a couple decades now. Turns out I was wrong.

No, folks, the DNC and Hillary have totally got this figured out. They know what went wrong. It was the Russians. Specifically Russian hackers. See if I were going to blame the Russians, I’d try to find Russian links between the Kremlin and the utter morons running Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Please show me what agent of the SVR or GRU was telling Clinton not to worry about the Midwest states because they were totally in the bag. Bring some serious evidence and I’ll at least give the hypothesis a once-over. But hackers? No. Just no.

The saddest thing about all of this is that establishment liberals, in their full-fledged embrace of this idiotic deus ex putina, are in many ways showing themselves to be just like Trump and his supporters. They are always right, they are always brilliant, and if anything goes wrong it’s always someone else’s fault. If you can’t recognize their brilliance, it’s because you’re uneducated. You’re uninformed. Go watch Samantha Bee, Colbert, The Daily Show, John Oliver. You just don’t get it.

They’re so incredibly intelligent, educated, and informed, and yet they’ll fall for such a weak narrative, often touted by utter charlatans with no real knowledge about Russia or Putin, never learning the real message of Putin’s interest in interfering in American politics and ultimately acting exactly as Putin wants them to.

What they don’t understand is that in terms of propaganda and Western liberal democracy, Putin can be compared to the Joker in the Alan Moore Batman comic The Killing Joke. Basically the story is that the Joker tries to prove that one really bad day, one horrifying event is all it takes to turn an ordinary person into a murderous madman like himself. Anyone can become the Joker under the right circumstances. We see a similar theme behind the same character in The Dark Knight, where the Joker performs “social experiments” by putting people in extreme situations meant to break their social conditioning and make them revert to sheer animal survival instinct. Both stories carry a message about how the heroes are good because they won’t let trauma or fear make them abandon their values and sink to the Joker’s level. Essentially, Russia’s state trolling of Western democracy is like a social experiment on the West- and Hillary’s fan club is failing the test miserably.

The Kremlin’s propaganda never said that Russia is more democratic or freer than the West. Nobody in Russia would buy that. What the propagandists tell their audience is that despite the appearance of function democracy and society in the West, it’s really no different from Russia’s system. The West is just better at hiding it. All it takes is a little economic crisis, a terrorist attack, or a war, and the rotten system will be revealed.

Now the Democratic meltdown and Russia-blaming can be spun to show that these leaders are just as unaccountable and arrogant as those in the Kremlin. “Yes, we blame our problems on America, but look- they’re blaming their failures on Putin! It’s all the same!”

Congratulations to all those super-intelligent over-educated geniuses at the DNC. You didn’t just lose what should have been the easiest election in modern American history, you also got outsmarted by one of the dumbest propaganda machines in the industrialized world. I’d say you deserve a pat on the back but it looks like you’ve got that covered.

19 thoughts on “So It’s Settled Then

  1. Dima

    Hillary would be better with better Cabinet than Trump, so at this point the goal is to derail Trump and Russian melding is the most viable option, the soul searching must be done, but it is irrelevant in this circumstances, the democrats simply use the best possible option at the time.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      She would pick a better cabinet, but she’d only buy us four years before another, possibly worse Trump appeared.

      The fact is that there’s no evidence to show that it was the hacks that swung the election Trump. Whatever effect they had on polls was outweighed by her extremely poor campaigning in key states, something even Obama mentioned.

      There’s also the issue of the leaked emails content, none of which was disputed. It may have been highly distorted, but to a certain degree it seems the DNC is just mad that they got caught.

      1. DM

        Oh yeah, I agree that Hilary’s poor articulation against Trumps populism was the key factor. All I’m saying is that they are focusing on the Hack and blowing it out of proportions only because they see it the most viable option to derail Trump right now, but not because they believe that the Hack influenced the election to the point where it tilted it in Trump’s favor. It is the fact of the election being meddled by a foreign power that favored Trump is what is setting off alarms in the US.

  2. AndyT

    Meanwhile, mainstream media has labelled Putin as “the World’s most powerful man” (again) – it really looks like they cannot give up on this love-hate affair with him.

    When the man passes away, some 90% of Western “mainstream” journalists will lost any reason to keep writing…

  3. Mr. Hack

    I strongly suspect that the stranglehold that the Democratic party has held over the working class masses in the Mid West has evaporated as a result of the disastrous effects of what we know of today as Obamacare. Instead of coming up with a system that helps middle class citizens better insure their needs for healthcare, Americans have been given an out of control system that seems to only benefits the pharmaceutical giants. Already high premiums are doubling every year! This is no exaggeration. By the time Trump runs for a second term, he’ll easily come up with something better than what’s in place now, and will consolidate his populist image as the ‘friend of the working class’, supplanting this sacred cow image long held by the Democratic party. Yup, the Democrats can only blame themselves for truly abandoning the working class and strongly embracing big Pharmaceutical!

  4. armoured

    This post totally exaggerates the position of Democrats. They won the popular vote. Razor-thin loss in three states. An opponent who in his own way is a media/psychology genius. Despite two term curse (very few candidates from same party repeat). And with a mediocre candidate with a lot of baggage.
    In that context – especially popular vote – I don’t think objective analysis tells us they need to fundamentally rejigger their stance/core groups. You’re dreaming if you think they need to get that lesson (and I say this despite the fact I’m sympathetic to it – it’s just the analysis is wrong).
    They need a better candidate, period. Someone who made HRC’s policies appealing would work. And they probably need a few years of Republican govt under Trump to see how much e.g. health care under nonObamacare will cost.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      A lot of that popular vote is just surplus votes from states like California though. It does no good, other than the fact that we at least know that far more people in America were anti-Trump.

      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I agree, but in the US there’s actually a good argument for the electoral college- without it, the country would essentially be run by the big cities, mostly on the coasts.

        It seems to me the most realistic compromise would be either the interstate compact or better yet- ending the winner-take-all system.

    2. sglover

      “An opponent who in his own way is a media/psychology genius.”

      Oh my God. This must be Act II of the big Dem blameshift wallow. When we can’t get any more mileage out of the Russkies, Dems are going to yammer on — in dead earnest seriousness — about the unbeatable “genius” of Donald Fucking Trump!!!

      About half the country thought little enough of both “choices” on order that they stayed the fuck home. Guess “the genius” didn’t dazzle **them**.

      The first step in Dem reform should be truth in advertising. Move the Dem “brand” up to modern understanding, and rename it the Veal Pen Party. Then again, why reform at all when Nancy Pelosi herself sez, “Change? Everything’s going completely according to plan!”

      1. armoured

        Even if you don’t accept that Trump seems to have real media chops – making him perhaps an evil genius or a Rain Man of appealing to voters – you made the opposite point above. If both parties saw their voters stay home, the answer for the Dems is not to massively shift their ‘program’, but get a less flawed candidate. No, I stand by the point that those who desperately want the Dems to become ‘more lefty’ (or more anything, really) are over-interpreting. The first order of business is a far better candidate, and everything else is second-tier importance.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        But the Democrats only did an extreme version of what they’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) for 8 years now- courting Republicans at the expensive of their base.

        But of course Hillary’s flaws aren’t only related to her rigid status quo policies. But if she’d been more bold, perhaps more people would look past her repuation.

      3. armoured

        This runs into the classic problem of ‘she lost because of [insert desired cause here].’ She lost in part due to all of those reasons – but it is definitely overinterpreting to say that it’s ‘because’ of Dem policy being completely wrong for some long period. Obama got elected twice; Hillary was barely beaten. That does not support the thesis that there is something definitively wrong with Dem politics – as much as many would like to believe so. What data we do have suggests (as pointed out by others here) that she just did not energize Dems to get out and vote – she was a deeply flawed candidate – and Trump did swing new/more voters in states that added up to a win in the electoral college. Add in the half-dozen other bad image issues with HRC – the foundation, the emails, the connection with Wiener, Comey’s double intervention, etc – and it’s more than plausible it was primarily her, not some foundational issue with the Dems. Wanting it doesn’t make it so.

      4. sglover

        Sorry, ‘armoured’, but you’re showing the same myopia that pretty much defines the Democratic Party, now. In particular, you’re focusing on Clinton’s loss. That’s one very obvious example of incompetence, but what you’re ignoring is what a shriveled outfit the Dems have allowed themselves to become. Republicans have a solid majority of state governments — that is, governors **and** legislative majorities. That’s where people actually encounter government on a day-to-day basis. That’s where winning coalitions are built. Whether it’s by governing well, or keeping the other guy’s voters from casting ballots — an effective strategy for Republicans — that’s where the real action is for anybody who’s serious about politics.

        After 2008 Dems did nothing to extend or preserve the coalition that got Obama into the White House (though they did do a great job either ignoring or outright belittling their own left wing) so that already in 2010 they were getting hammered in congressional and **state** elections. Of course, 2010 was a decennial year; you’d think the genius strategists in Team Dem might have paid particular attention to an election which would determine voting districts for a **decade**. Nope.

        Aside from that strategic idiocy, Dem neglect of pretty much every office outside of the White House means that there’s not a whole helluva lotta talent left in the “Party”. This is nothing new; it’s why Obama got as far as he did. So you can talk all you want about a “better” bland centrist than HRC — can you name one?

      5. sglover

        Forgot to mention that one Dem policy that very definitely had huge costs was the idiotic devotion to “trade” deals like the TPP. That’s practically the essence of centrist Dem theology, and I suspect it gave Trump as many votes as any of his clowning. It says a lot about our “scholar” president that he was actively pushing the thing right up to the election. It says a lot about the Dems in general that it took an outsider like Sanders to even get them to discuss the monstrosity.

  5. sglover

    I’m getting the sense that one result of this Putin hysteria might be our “leaders” coming together to propose even more surveillance measures. All to “protect” us, of course. Of course, Dems can’t think that far ahead, although in truth most of them don’t really have any problems with making more and more of life a police matter.

  6. A.I.Schmelzer

    I think Trumps media chops are pretty much indisputable. I also think Trump is a lot less smarter then he thinks he is, and also a lot smarter then most Dems think he is.

    Concerning Russian hacking, what did worried me at one point was a potential major cyber war. You see, the actual DNC hacks were pretty drat average, and quite in line with the state of DNCs cyber defense (or lack thereoff). My own intuition is (fairly consistent with the evidence) that this was a “patriotic browny point” operation of some random Russians engaged in not quite legal cyber activities, since they believe that sufficient amounts of brownie points collected can be get out of jail cards, or “get milked instead of busted by FSB” cards.

    There is also evidence/statements that it was a leak rather then a hack, and I may add that DNC getting hacked does not exclude an insider leak. As a matter of fact, if the cyber crime guys got an inkling of an insider sending his stuff to wikileaks, this would devalue their own operation so they would have an incentive to go public and thus claim a part of the credit/brownie points.

    If the NSA or the DIA actually believed that the DNC hack is indicative of GRU/SVR/”whateverFAPSI calls itself right now” level of hacking, they would conclude that they would win a cyber war with Russia, and thus be tempted to start one.

    The pretty significant NSA hack (someone hacked the equation group, someone calling himself “ShadoW brokeRs” the Russophones may draw an inference from the choice of capitalization) may well have been a “look, this is how it looks like when we actually hack something” stunt by either SVR or FAPSI.

    For the record, in case of a Cyber War between Russia and the USA, first place would go to China and second place to Israel. France may get a third place. Russia and USA would both lose, probably quite massively.

    As far as the theory for state vs. state cyber things goes, if state A uses a certain program or exploits a certain weakness, it is a one time thing and he is unlikely to be capable of utilizing it against any other state. Actors with good cyber capacities, such as the current top 5 which are US, China, Russia, Israel and France, monitor each other extensively. If for example China and the USA would have a go at each other, the other 3 would be able to gain a lot of insight.


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