Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wikileaks, Vladimir Putin, and the American election

The Democrats claim that the Wikileaks emails can be traced back to Russia and Vladimir Putin's attempt to discredit the Democratic Party in order to influence the election.  I think that's partially true, but stops short of the mark.

Peter has a post up that delves deep into the emails and what it says about the current American political establishment:
What I've found stunning over the past couple of days is the clear, unmistakable evidence coming out of Wikileaks that the establishment does, indeed, regard the people - those who live with that daily reality - with contempt, disdain and derision.  We've always known this in theory, of course, but I've never before seen it admitted so plainly and with such bland assumptions of superiority. 
His is deeply thought out and lays out the landscape clearly.  You need to go RTWT and then come back, because I'm discussing what Mr. Putin's motives might be.

On the surface, it makes no sense at all for the Russians to leak these emails.  They are very, very damaging to Hillary Clinton, but there is no doubt that she would be a pushover to a leader like Putin (and the Chinese, and the Iranians, and so on).  We know this because we've seen this - her tenure as Secretary of State was a foreign policy disaster.  The United States is much weaker internationally now than before she stepped into that role, and there's no reason to think that she would be any more competent as President than as SecState.

So if Putin wants to weaken the United States (and allow Russia to fill some of that power vacuum), aren't the Wikileaks emails counter productive?

Tactically, perhaps.  But strategically, undermining the existing establishment political class will cause disruption like the world has never seen.  Remember, this is a global revolt against the elites - at least in the West.  Brexit was only the opening salvo - the Trump phenomenon here as well as movements like France's Front Nationale, Germany's Alliance fur Deutschland, and nationalist parties all over Europe are all a reflection of the discontent that Peter describes so well.

And now imagine a Hilary Clinton administration that wins by a narrow margin, with wide spread voting irregularities and a sense not just that the Democratic Party used dirty tricks against Trump, but the the Republican Party joined in as well - what claim to legitimacy can the new government claim?  What sort of follow on political movements (dare we say Revolutionary Cadres?) can we expect both here and in Europe?  How is the U.S. Government supposed to govern?

The punch line, of course, is that all Putin has done is to expose what the global Western political elites have been doing all along.  It's not Putin that's brought the West to the point of crisis - it's the Western political establishment itself.  To blame Putin for trying to exploit this situation is to blame a compass for point north.

And so, Hillary is quite right to complain that the Wikileaks disclosures are Russian attempts to influence the election.  Where she goes wrong is thinking that her complaints will change the attitude of the electorate, either before or after the election.

What a miserable, short sighted, venal, and corrupt excuse for an "elite".  That's the problem.  Expecting Hillary to be able to fix short sighted, venal, and corrupt is to expect a compass to point south.

So what about Trump?  Perhaps the fix is already in, driven as much by the GOP as by the Democrats.  They likely think that they will have the last laugh.  What they ignore are the chortles wafting on the breeze from the Kremlin.


LSP said...

Excellent post -- I especially like "shortsighted, venal,and corrupt."

And notice how the rainbow warrior Hillzebub is ratcheting up the war talk.

Let's hope Putin gets hacking in earnest.

Old NFO said...

Can't disagree with either post... dammit...

LSP said...

Excellent post -- I especially like "shortsighted, venal,and corrupt."

And notice how the rainbow warrior Hillzebub is ratcheting up the war talk.

Let's hope Putin gets hacking in earnest.

Lawrence Person said...

Don't forget that Hillary's campaign manager is a registered lobbyist for Putin's bank.

One reason Democrats are making such a noise over Trump's theoretical Putin links is to hide their own proven ones...

genericviews said...

My take is that Putin is not acting to weaken the USA or our influence abroad. We already did that without his help. He is siding with Trump because he wants to avoid a pointless, bloody war. Hillary, Lurch, and Obama have been blundering us into war all over the world with no restrictions from our constitutional process, no discussion in congress and zero coverage by the press. If you listen to the press, this election is all about Trump being an uncontrollable horndog, not about the damage another 4 years of feckless foreign policy will do.

There are good reasons to go to war and a nation should not shirk from it when those circumstances arise. There are none of those circumstances present today, anywhere. Hillary will literally blunder us into war we the people do not want with Russia.