Here it is already Easter in the Spring after an election year, yet it’s still hard to keep up with all the political back-and-forth since the election in November (and previously, of course). But it’s becoming clear to me what is behind the endlessly-flogged story that The Russians Tried to Influence the Presidential Election in Favor of Donald Trump. The tale has become an article of faith for every two-bit Congressman, every half-bit pundit in print and online (bloggers don’t count as ‘pundits’), not to mention every quarter-bit talking head on cable news (even Fox).
According to this tale, the dastardly Russians under orders from Vladimir Putin ‘hacked’ into computers at the Democratic National Committee and stole bags of email, then gave them to Julian Assange and Wikileaks, so the Republican nominee could Trumpet the juicier bits at campaign rallies and interviews. Then, just to stick the knife into the Democrat’s nominee, the Russians are alleged to have seeded social media and obscure websites on the Internet with ‘fake news’, e.g. the notorious claim that the Clintons were associated with a child-trafficking ring run out of a pizza shop in Washington, DC. The assumption, of course, is that bottom-feeding Internet denizens in the USA were not competent at spinning their own erotic speculations into fabulous absurdities—they had to rely on secret conspiracy-mongers in the Kremlin.
There were also rumors that the Russians might be able to penetrate eletronic voting machines, but nothing seemed to come of this, even in the wildest conspiratorial dreams of the Democrats.
In fact, no one has produced any evidence that the alleged Russian hacking or ‘fake news’ had any effect whatsoever on the election November 8th, other than giving partisans more to talk about over an evening beer or two.
Nonetheless, we have now been treated to months of non-stop headlines about investigations and dire warnings about insidious foreign influence on our ‘most-sacred’ institution, the Presidential election. Never mind that there is widespread evidence of perfectly mundane voter fraud, which somehow always seems to benefit Democrats the most, and which Democrats are always admantly against any measures to prevent (like voter ID).
The great mystery is how such an implausible and fanciful story ever came to prominence in the halls of Congress and the national (Democrat) media. But the solution is becoming clear: it’s a cover story.