Matt Taibbi writes that Democratic party establishment and its media allies have resorted to Cold War fear mongering rhetoric, epitomized by Hillary Clinton suggesting that Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein are “Russian assets”,
Hillary Clinton is nuts. She’s also not far from the Democratic Party mainstream, which has been pushing the same line for years.
Everyone is foreign scum these days. Democrats spent three years trying to prove Donald Trump is a Russian pawn. Mitch McConnell is “Moscow Mitch.” Third party candidates are a Russian plot. The Bernie Sanders movement is not just a wasteland of racist and misogynist “Bros,” but — according to intelligence agencies and mainstream pundits alike — the beneficiary of an ambitious Russian plot to “stoke the divide” within the Democratic Party. The Joe Rogan independents attracted to the mild antiwar message of Tulsi Gabbard are likewise traitors and dupes for the Kremlin.
If you’re keeping score, that’s pretty much the whole spectrum of American political thought, excepting MSNBC Democrats. What a coincidence!
Democrats now are assuming the role once played by Republicans of the Tom Delay era, who denounced everyone opposed to the War on Terror as “Saddam-lovers.”
The #Resistance has come up with all sorts of words for such fifth-columnists and deviationists: they are “false-balancers” or “false equivalencers,” “neo-Naderites,” “purity-testers,” “both-sidesists,” “whataboutists,” “horseshoe theorists,” “Russia skeptics” or “Russia denialists,” and “anti-anti-Trumpers.” Such heretics are all ultimately seen as being on “team Putin.”
Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.
Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”
All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?
Unfortunately, the answer is likely to be no. It is so easy and so satisfying to believe that all one’s problems are caused by others.
Resorting to explanations of your problems that place the entire blame on other parties that you can do nothing about is just a way to avoid critical self-examination. I encountered this in my work in the university’s teaching center when some faculty would quickly ‘explain’ away poor student performance or bad evaluations by blaming the students. I would advise them that blaming the students should be the last resort, turned to only when all other possibilities that are within your control and can do something about have been tested and found wanting. It was a message that some found very difficult to accept.