Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

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Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-06 10:07pm

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/06/dem ... hampioned/

Hillary was already aligning herself with neocons during the election, but the Good Work in that regard continues:

The general Russia approach that Democrats now routinely depict as treasonous – avoiding confrontation with and even accommodating Russian interests, not just in Ukraine but also in Syria – was one of the defining traits of Obama’s foreign policy. This fact shouldn’t be overstated: Obama engaged in provocative acts such as moves to further expand NATO, non-lethal aid to Ukraine, and deploying “missile defense” weaponry in Romania. But he rejected most calls to confront Russia. That is one of the primary reasons the “foreign policy elite” – which, recall, Obama came into office denouncing and vowing to repudiate – was so dissatisfied with his presidency.

A new, long article by Politico foreign affairs correspondent Susan Glasser – on the war being waged against Trump by Washington’s “foreign policy elite” – makes this point very potently. Say what you will about Politico, but one thing they are very adept at doing is giving voice to cowardly Washington insiders by accommodating their cowardice and thus routinely granting them anonymity to express themselves. As journalistically dubious as it is to shield the world’s most powerful people with anonymity, this practice sometimes ends up revealing what careerist denizens of Washington power really think but are too scared to say. Glasser’s article, which largely consists of conveying the views of anonymous high-level Obama officials, contains this remarkable passage:

...

In other words, Democrats are now waging war on, and are depicting as treasonous, one of Barack Obama’s central and most steadfastly held foreign policy positions, one that he clung to despite attacks from leading members of both parties as well as the DC National Security Community. That’s not Noam Chomsky drawing that comparison; it’s an Obama appointee.

The destructive bipartisan Foreign Policy Community was furious with Obama for not confronting Russia more, and is now furious with Trump for the same reason (though they certainly loath and fear Trump for other reasons, including the threat they believe he poses to U.S. imperial management through a combination of ineptitude, instability, toxic PR, naked rather than prettified savagery, and ideology; Glasser writes: “‘Everything I’ve worked for for two decades is being destroyed,’ a senior Republican told me”).

All of this demonstrates how fundamental a shift has taken place as a result of the Democrats’ election-related fixation on The Grave Russian Threat. To see how severe the shift is, just look at this new polling data from CNN this morning that shows Republicans and Democrats doing a complete reversal on Russia in the span of eight months:

...

The Democrats’ obsession with Russia has not just led them to want investigations into allegations of hacking and (thus far evidence-free) suspicions of Trump campaign collusion – investigations which everyone should want. It’s done far more than that: it’s turned them into increasingly maniacal and militaristic hawks – dangerous ones – when it comes to confronting the only nation with a larger nuclear stockpile than the U.S., an arsenal accompanied by a sense of fear, if not outright encirclement, from NATO expansion.

Put another way, establishment Democrats – with a largely political impetus but now as a matter of conviction – have completely abandoned Obama’s accommodationist approach to Russia and have fully embraced the belligerent, hawkish mentality of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, the CIA and Evan McMullin. It should thus come as no surprise that a bill proposed by supreme warmonger Lindsey Graham to bar Trump from removing sanctions against Russia has more Democratic co-sponsors than Republican ones.

This is why it’s so notable that Democrats, in the name of “resistance,” have aligned with neocons, CIA operatives and former Bush officials: not because coalitions should be avoided with the ideologically impure, but because it reveals much about the political and policy mindset they’ve adopted in the name of stopping Trump. They’re not “resisting” Trump from the left or with populist appeals – by, for instance, devoting themselves to protection of Wall Street and environmental regulations under attack, or supporting the revocation of jobs-killing free trade agreements, or demanding that Yemini civilians not be massacred.

Instead, [b]they’re attacking him on the grounds of insufficient nationalism, militarism, and aggression: equating a desire to avoid confrontation with Moscow as a form of treason (just like they did when they were the leading Cold Warriors). This is why they’re finding such common cause with the nation’s most bloodthirsty militarists – not because it’s an alliance of convenience but rather one of shared convictions
(indeed, long before Trump, neocons were planning a re-alignment with Democrats under a Clinton presidency). And the most ironic – and over-looked – aspect of this whole volatile spectacle is how much Democrats have to repudiate and demonize one of Obama’s core foreign policy legacies while pretending that they’re not doing that.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2017-03-06 10:38pm

Which democrats exactly are "maniacal and militaristic hawks" that want conflict with Russia? There isn't a single quote anywhere in the article. And Glenn Greenwald now agrees that Obama was a "skeptical dove"?!?

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Which Obama does he think he's talking about? Not anyone that ever existed.

Vympel, tell us what times you thought Obama was a "skeptical dove". Really, we're all curious, enlighten us.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-07 01:27am

Dominus Atheos wrote:Which democrats exactly are "maniacal and militaristic hawks" that want conflict with Russia? There isn't a single quote anywhere in the article. And Glenn Greenwald now agrees that Obama was a "skeptical dove"?!?

Image

Which Obama does he think he's talking about? Not anyone that ever existed.

Vympel, tell us what times you thought Obama was a "skeptical dove". Really, we're all curious, enlighten us.


A. The "skeptical dove" quote is from Politico, not Greenwald. He doesn't agree with that characterisation of Obama's Presidency, and neither do I. The way you focus on this is bizarre - rip a Politico extract out of the context in which its being used (that Trump and Obama's policy re: Russia is not all that different and even Obama appointees know) and then try and impute a belief from that extract about Obama onto Greenwald and myself as a way to discredit the article?

B. You can't swing a dead cat in Washington discourse without hitting ridiculously overwrought discourse about Russia from Democrats. Case in point:

Russian election hacking an 'act of war'

It's impossible to overstate how inflammatory, irresponsible and inherently war-mongering this kind of rhetoric is.

Or you can look at the lunatics telling their constituents that the government is being 'handed over to Putin' and try and pretend its something other than maniacal.

https://youtu.be/wwLgt4gqBBk

C. The mere fact that Obama's own policy (refusing to arm Ukraine or confront Russia in Syria) is being deployed against Trump as if its evidence of Trump-Russian treasonous conspiracy is prima facie of how unhinged the Democrats' attitude to Russia is.

D. Leaving aside the maniacal state of the discourse, asking for 'quotes' is a nonsense standard anyway. As the article sets out in detail, the Democrats have made common cause with well known GOP/neocon warmongers on this issue.

But yeah I guess apart from all that the Democrats aching to display Obama's foreign policy as treasonous when Trump does it isn't maniacal or hawkish in nature. They're totally chill. Since when does ginning up treason hysteria have implications for attitudes to another country and potential bad results for foreign relations? :roll:
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-03-07 09:28am

If Trump is simply continuing Obama-era policies towards Russia, he should say so.

...

What it comes down to is that almost nobody, even his enemies, seriously believed that Obama was compromised by his ties to Russia. Obama had no ties to Russia prior to his time in office. As a result, almost nobody, even his enemies, seriously worried that his policies towards Russia were anything other than the result of what he believed the best course of action towards Russia to be.

By contrast, a lot of people worry about Trump's ties to Russia. He has longstanding business relations with them, many of his associates are also closely associated with various figures within Russia. This raises concern that whatever his policies are, they may well be subject to a degree of foreign influence. Even if at the moment all the foreign influence does is say to him "keep doing what Obama was doing in 2015," that would hypothetically be a troubling development, if true.

...

Moreover, Obama's policies towards Russia were consistent with his policies towards other nations. Obama avoided confrontation with all the major powers, not just Russia.

By contrast, Trumpo willfully offends and shits on nearly any nation on Earth whenever he feels like it. Even our allies. Russia, somehow, is excepted from this treatment. What is it that leads this man to treat this one nation differently from all others? Why does he suddenly become circumspect when Russia is involved, after being a belligerent jackass towards nations on literally every continent at nearly every opportunity?

If Toupeeman is actually continuing Obama-era foreign policy in this one area, why isn't he doing it anywhere else? The political circles he moves in aren't normally known for being soft on Russia at the same time they're hardline on everything else in the world.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-03-07 12:13pm

I've read beforehand that Kerry was rather pissed that Obama didn't turn Syria into a parking lot or into Libya 2... and Obama was pretty pissed at Hillary too and they had a spat because Obama said "don't do stupid shit" and Hillary thought little of that. But they hugged.

I think the Democrat Russophobia is worrisome... Obama's approach was multi-faceted, lots of carrots but also I think he had an understated firm "no" at times... or ways that didn't look like "no" but were still lines. Call it self-defeating but he wasn't making everything easy for Russia or China.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-07 09:18pm

I think that the situation with Russia now, post-Ukraine, post-Syria, and especially post-DNC hack, is fundamentally different from what it was under Obama for most of his Presidency, so of course Democratic policies are going to change. That doesn't prove hypocrisy or dishonesty necessarily- simply that their positions have changed to reflect changing circumstances.

I will also note that the OP's approach of "Evil Washington elites are waging war on Trump" (which is almost a quote) is rhetoric that could pretty much be taken straight from the Trump camp.

Edit: I will acknowledge, however, that I have seen some on the Left (not in the highest echelons, though) portray Trump's Russia connections as treasonous, and that I do not agree with this. Even leaving aside that nothing has yet been proven in a court of law (though I think it likely will be, in time), I think that this is an overly-broad use of the term "treason", which is a legal term with a very clear and narrow definition, and that accusations of treason should not be used falsely or for political purposes.

Perhaps "corruption" and "espionage" would be more appropriate.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2017-03-08 03:35pm

This just sounds like more "let's ignore what's going on with Trump to talk about how awful those stoopid librals are".

While I do agree that some sources are blowing the Trump-Russia thing out of proportion, the basic problem people have isn't that Democrats all want to go to war against Russia or whatever other stupid strawman is being implied. (I mean, is anybody else tired of saying "Hey, maybe someone should investigate Trump/Russia just to make sure there isn't anything nefarious" being responded to with "OMG YOU'RE SO STUPID FOR THINKING TRUMP IS TREASONOUS WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BOTHER LOOKING INTO THE ISSUE BECAUSE DEMOCRATS ARE SO STUPID LOL"). The problem isn't so much that Trump wants a better relationship with Russia, it's WHY he wants a better relationship, and what exactly a "better relationship" means in Trump/Putin's eyes. Like, there probably isn't any treason or anything like that going on, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be alarmed that 1) there does appear to be corruption in Trump's camp, and that corruption just might be connected to Russia, and 2) Trump is exactly the type of person would be willing to let Russia impose it's poor civil rights record on other parts of the world in exchange for whatever kickbacks he wants from Russia.

(And, yes, Obama and the US in general don't have a great history in terms of global civil rights issues, but that's also utterly irrelevant to whether or not I think Trump's approach is a good idea, and saying otherwise is just another tired attempt at deflection. Yes, US's relationship with Saudi Arabia is awful and I wish it weren't the case. But that's not the issue, here.)

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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-08 04:04pm

I think part of the problem is: US relationship with Saudis is awful.

Russia is basically deteriorating into the northern version of Saudi Arabia, plus nukes - territorial amibions, regional imperialism, religious frenzy (albeit not to the same extent).

Why have another awful relationship with an awful country?
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-03-08 04:33pm

Wait, Stas, does that mean you are against Trump making an awful US-Saudi-style alliance with Russia... or you are against an awful belligerent stance towards Russia? (I honestly don't know which is awfuler.)
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-08 05:45pm

I'd say that as it is an expansionist authoritarian regime, we should be opposed to Russia, but not to the extent of taking any action that poses a risk of leading to actual war.

However, we absolutely must not tolerate interference by Russia or any other country in our elections (nor should the US engage in such interference in other countries).

And yes, the Saudi government is repellent, and the only thing that keeps me from unreservedly saying "ditch the fuckers" is the fear of what worse horror might be unleashed in the region if the US weren't propping up the Saudi regime. But that's a poor excuse, and it seems as though Saudi Arabia is only slightly short of being a Daesh state as it is.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Gandalf » 2017-03-08 06:29pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:And yes, the Saudi government is repellent, and the only thing that keeps me from unreservedly saying "ditch the fuckers" is the fear of what worse horror might be unleashed in the region if the US weren't propping up the Saudi regime.


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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-03-08 06:33pm

Like the Middle East having a war against Israel every ten years?
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-08 07:52pm

Or Saudi Arabia collapsing into anarchy and being a literal Daesh state instead of just almost one.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-08 08:21pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:I think that the situation with Russia now, post-Ukraine, post-Syria, and especially post-DNC hack, is fundamentally different from what it was under Obama for most of his Presidency, so of course Democratic policies are going to change. That doesn't prove hypocrisy or dishonesty necessarily- simply that their positions have changed to reflect changing circumstances.


Obama's 'don't arm Ukraine' policy is only a topic of discussions because what happened in Ukraine. It has no other application. Same with Syria. The idea that Democrats have demonized Obama's policy because of 'post-Ukraine' and 'post-Syria' makes no sense at all. And the idea that the war in Ukraine should be inflamed by escalation because the DNC's emails got spread around is not only ridiculous, but profoundly morally repugnant - the liklihood of people dying in a war in a foreign land should be increased because a corrupt sleazeball like Debbie Wasserman Schultz got embarrassed? That's some awfully progressive politics.

I will also note that the OP's approach of "Evil Washington elites are waging war on Trump" (which is almost a quote) is rhetoric that could pretty much be taken straight from the Trump camp.


Or, alternately, agitating for a Cold War conflict is bad.

Ziggy Stardust wrote:This just sounds like more "let's ignore what's going on with Trump to talk about how awful those stoopid librals are".

While I do agree that some sources are blowing the Trump-Russia thing out of proportion, the basic problem people have isn't that Democrats all want to go to war against Russia or whatever other stupid strawman is being implied. (I mean, is anybody else tired of saying "Hey, maybe someone should investigate Trump/Russia just to make sure there isn't anything nefarious" being responded to with "OMG YOU'RE SO STUPID FOR THINKING TRUMP IS TREASONOUS WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BOTHER LOOKING INTO THE ISSUE BECAUSE DEMOCRATS ARE SO STUPID LOL").


I like it how you pretend that the people saying Trump is a traitororous Siberian candidate are reasonable while those deriding an evidence free and outright ridiculous conspiracy theory are hysterical. It's an absurd inversion and it has no bearing on reality.

Mainstream 'liberal' news are boosting grifter conspiracy theorists who have asserted shit like Trump was recruited as a Soviet agent in the 1980s by Vitaly Churkin (that's why he's dead!) and Putin killed Andrew Breitbart (obviously!) - but sure, it's the people rubbishing this insane nonsense that are unhinged.

But yes, by all means let's have an investigation. This shit has gotten so hysterical and ridiculous its the only thing that might shut some of the people more amenable to reason up. This has pretty much nothing to do with the topic of the thread, of course.

The problem isn't so much that Trump wants a better relationship with Russia, it's WHY he wants a better relationship, and what exactly a "better relationship" means in Trump/Putin's eyes. Like, there probably isn't any treason or anything like that going on, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be alarmed that 1) there does appear to be corruption in Trump's camp, and that corruption just might be connected to Russia, and 2) Trump is exactly the type of person would be willing to let Russia impose it's poor civil rights record on other parts of the world in exchange for whatever kickbacks he wants from Russia.

(And, yes, Obama and the US in general don't have a great history in terms of global civil rights issues, but that's also utterly irrelevant to whether or not I think Trump's approach is a good idea, and saying otherwise is just another tired attempt at deflection. Yes, US's relationship with Saudi Arabia is awful and I wish it weren't the case. But that's not the issue, here.)


Of course you need to talk about how awful 'stupid liberals' (i.e. mainstream Democrats) are. It's a pre-requisite to effectively opposing Trump, because Democrats are worthless fucking losers, who attack Trump not on the basis of solid left wing principles that can activate voters, but stupid bullshit like this 'Trump-Russia ties!' nonsense. Hillary tried it during the election and they've learned nothing since. And as the article points out, is that contrary to a lot of voters progressive politics, Democratic politicians are really into enabling neocons and neocon policies and making common cause with scumbags like McCain and Lindsay Graham.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-08 08:45pm

Vympel wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:I think that the situation with Russia now, post-Ukraine, post-Syria, and especially post-DNC hack, is fundamentally different from what it was under Obama for most of his Presidency, so of course Democratic policies are going to change. That doesn't prove hypocrisy or dishonesty necessarily- simply that their positions have changed to reflect changing circumstances.


Obama's 'don't arm Ukraine' policy is only a topic of discussions because what happened in Ukraine. It has no other application. Same with Syria. The idea that Democrats have demonized Obama's policy because of 'post-Ukraine' and 'post-Syria' makes no sense at all.


Granted, Ukraine and Syria began under Obama's watch.

However, when Obama came in, and for most of his Presidency, the situation was more positive, so its not surprising that a reset in attitudes towards Russia would take some time. Moreover, the blatant Russian interference in the election is a very recent occurrence, is the primary cause for this increased hostility.

And the idea that the war in Ukraine should be inflamed by escalation because the DNC's emails got spread around is not only ridiculous, but profoundly morally repugnant - the liklihood of people dying in a war in a foreign land should be increased because a corrupt sleazeball like Debbie Wasserman Schultz got embarrassed? That's some awfully progressive politics.


No, you miserable apologist hack. Not because Schultz got embarrassed (and if you try to portray me as a defender of Schultz, I will laugh myself silly). But because a foreign despot hacked and illegally interfered with our election, targeting one specific party, for his own benefit, and it may have influenced the result. Is that suddenly okay, just because some of the targets (and Schultz was not the only one) were assholes? Does your respect for democracy and the rule of law only extend to the point where people you don't like become the targets?

That's not to say I want war in the Ukraine. But we need a government that is prepared to acknowledge that Russia is a hostile country, and not go out of its way to accommodate Vladimir Putin. The sanctions should stay, and Putin's annexation of Crimea should not be recognized by the US.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-08 09:53pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Granted, Ukraine and Syria began under Obama's watch.

However, when Obama came in, and for most of his Presidency, the situation was more positive, so its not surprising that a reset in attitudes towards Russia would take some time. Moreover, the blatant Russian interference in the election is a very recent occurrence, is the primary cause for this increased hostility.


See below then.

No, you miserable apologist hack. Not because Schultz got embarrassed (and if you try to portray me as a defender of Schultz, I will laugh myself silly).


ROFL - yes, I'm an apologist for accurately describing the actual effect of these oh so horrible hacks and juxtaposing them to the effect of policies Democratic hacks now support - as opposed to hiding behind the bullshit euphemisms you go on to employ:

But because a foreign despot hacked and illegally interfered with our election


No, Vladimir Putin didn't "hack" your election. Assuming the Russian government is actually responsible - for which there is no particularly convincing evidence no matter how many times it is repeated as acknowledged fact, what actually happened is that a private entity - the DNC - which has no effect whatsoever on the integrity of America's electoral system - got its private correspondence released to the public, following which it was justifiably and correctly reported on by the media. This resulted in a corrupt party apparatchik (Schultz) being made to resign because of the release of truthful, embarrassing information as to how the DNC functioned and its interaction with Hillary Clinton's campaign.

I know its a lot less sexy than "ZOMG PUTIN HACKED OUR DEMOCRACY" but your characterization is propaganda and mine is fact.

targeting one specific party, for his own benefit, and it may have influenced the result.[/i] Is that suddenly okay, just because some of the targets (and Schultz was not the only one) were assholes? Does your respect for democracy and the rule of law only extend to the point where people you don't like become the targets?


The notion that refusing to be hysterical about the voters having access to truthful information about the DNC and Hillary's campaign indicates lack of respect of democracy and the rule of law is utterly laughable. Does this extend to the release and reporting of any truthful information, or just when its alleged the Russians do it? Should reporters not report on anything that makes one party look bad unless they also have something that makes the other party look bad (as if Donald Trump and all of his problems during the election weren't bad enough)? And before you say anything - the information being obtained illegally is irrelevant. Reporters routinely gain access to and then report on information that has been illegally obtained by third parties all the time.

That's not to say I want war in the Ukraine.


But you apologise for policies that would tend towards that on the basis of Democratic sour grapes over "Russian hacking".

But we need a government that is prepared to acknowledge that Russia is a hostile country, and not go out of its way to accommodate Vladimir Putin. The sanctions should stay, and Putin's annexation of Crimea should not be recognized by the US.


Sanctions should only stay in so far as they're in the interests of the United States that they stay. Crimea's reunification with Russia should only be recognized if the Russians give something suitable in return. Interests aren't determined by nebulous, useless concepts like Russia being 'a hostile country'. There is not a single major national security issue where the United States would not benefit from Russian cooperation.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-09 01:43am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Wait, Stas, does that mean you are against Trump making an awful US-Saudi-style alliance with Russia... or you are against an awful belligerent stance towards Russia? (I honestly don't know which is awfuler.)

I am against an awful Saudi-style alliance with Russia, because it is bad in the long-term. Imagine two boots stamping on the face of the Earth in unison. "We have always been at war with Oceania", etc.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-03-09 02:23am

For those of us not well enough versed in Russia inner politics, could you expand on how Russia is becoming a Saudi-like state?
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Terralthra » 2017-03-09 02:26am

It's a petro-state with ever-increasing kleptocracy, only with nukes?

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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-09 04:25am

The US and Russia are never going to have a US-Saudi Arabia type relationship. Saudi Arabia is an over-mighty client state who the US constantly bows and scrapes to in order to 'reassure' them. There's no reason for that to ever happen in relation to Russia. It's sheer size, its military power, its military-industrial complex, its position as a check to US power and refusal to entertain encroachment of that power within its desired sphere of influence - none of that will ever go away.

As for Trump forming some sort of Trump-Russia alliance of any meaningful sort - yeah, right. There's pretty much no indication of that happening.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-09 12:16pm

Vympel wrote:The US and Russia are never going to have a US-Saudi Arabia type relationship.

Not the exact same relationship, sure. But they may, at some point, have a friendly relationship to the detriment of everyone else. The fact that they're both prime nuclear powers only increases the danger of such a development.
Vympel wrote:It's sheer size, its military power, its military-industrial complex, its position as a check to US power and refusal to entertain encroachment of that power within its desired sphere of influence - none of that will ever go away.

The US can stop the enroachment in exchange for a better relationship - not an alliance, no - and this would already have profound consequences.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-09 12:56pm

Vympel wrote:ROFL - yes, I'm an apologist for accurately describing the actual effect of these oh so horrible hacks and juxtaposing them to the effect of policies Democratic hacks now support - as opposed to hiding behind the bullshit euphemisms you go on to employ:


What "euphemisms"? I think, on the whole, I've been fairly direct in my position.

And you're an apologist because you consistently go out of your way to put the most positive possible spin on Putin's actions as they pertain to Trump and the election, and to portray anyone who even acknowledges the possibility of inappropriate collaboration between Trump and Russia as a liar, fool, or a conspiracy nut.

Here are some facts:

-The DNC was hacked by Russia.

-This was illegal.

-It was interference by an authoritarian foreign government in an American election.

-Said involvement was not about revealing the truth, but about targeting one party and candidate, supporting the other major party and candidate, who happens to be perhaps the single most unfit man to ever hold the office of the Presidency in power, and to undermine the integrity of our democracy.

Your argument in defence of the hacks amounts to "But its okay because Schultz is an asshole!" Which simply means that you have no regard whatsoever for the integrity of the law or democracy, as long as they are violated in the interests of attacking people you do not like.

No, Vladimir Putin didn't "hack" your election.


Yes, he did. The experts pretty much universally agree on that score.

But of course, they're all just lying/deluded... just because. :roll:

Assuming the Russian government is actually responsible - for which there is no particularly convincing evidence no matter how many times it is repeated as acknowledged fact, what actually happened is that a private entity - the DNC - which has no effect whatsoever on the integrity of America's electoral system - got its private correspondence released to the public, following which it was justifiably and correctly reported on by the media. This resulted in a corrupt party apparatchik (Schultz) being made to resign because of the release of truthful, embarrassing information as to how the DNC functioned and its interaction with Hillary Clinton's campaign.


True information can be used selectively and out of context to create a false impression. As you are doing right now, to portray the hacks and their results in a positive light.

I do not blame the media for reporting on it, of course (though I do blame them for spending disproportionate coverage on every little tidbit of Clinton's emails). However, that does not change the fact that the hackers broke the law, or that their motive was not to expose the truth (as a journalist would do), but to selectively target one party/candidate/campaign, for the benefit of another which is, frankly, objectively far more dishonest and corrupt.

Its funny, for all the apologist bleating about how the truth needed to be exposed and Schultz and Clinton brought down, you all never seem to care about the fact that these hacks were done to advance the candidacy of someone who is objectively more corrupt and dishonest.

I know its a lot less sexy than "ZOMG PUTIN HACKED OUR DEMOCRACY" but your characterization is propaganda and mine is fact.


Your characterization is cherry picking facts and trying to put a positive spin on them which amounts to "Its okay because the target was an asshole."

Which is a (ethically bankrupt) opinion, not a substantive rebuttal.

The notion that refusing to be hysterical about the voters having access to truthful information about the DNC and Hillary's campaign indicates lack of respect of democracy and the rule of law is utterly laughable.


Yes, supporting illegal foreign interference in the election, not for journalistic purposes but for partisan purposes, shows a disrespect for both he rule of law and democracy. And national sovereignty, though that's a principle that I don't put as much weight on.

But just call me "hysterical" and straw man my position in lieu of a real defence. That's definitely honest debating.

Does this extend to the release and reporting of any truthful information, or just when its alleged the Russians do it? Should reporters not report on anything that makes one party look bad unless they also have something that makes the other party look bad (as if Donald Trump and all of his problems during the election weren't bad enough)? And before you say anything - the information being obtained illegally is irrelevant. Reporters routinely gain access to and then report on information that has been illegally obtained by third parties all the time.


See above.

I am an advocate for freedom of the press, but this illegal hack was for blatantly partisan political purposes, not journalistic purposes.

But you apologise for policies that would tend towards that on the basis of Democratic sour grapes over "Russian hacking".


I am not certain how either maintaining the sanctions or refusing to recognize the annexation of Crimea would necessarily lead towards war. The sanctions would actually impede Russia's ability to fight a war, and I'm not saying we should actually attack Russia over the Crimea.

Sanctions should only stay in so far as they're in the interests of the United States that they stay. Crimea's reunification with Russia should only be recognized if the Russians give something suitable in return. Interests aren't determined by nebulous, useless concepts like Russia being 'a hostile country'. There is not a single major national security issue where the United States would not benefit from Russian cooperation.


I guess concepts like "support your allies" and "oppose expansionist authoritarian regimes" are a bit too idealistic for you.

Still, I would argue that anything that hinders the expansionist efforts of a rival nation without actually risking war is arguably in the US's interests.
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2017-03-09 04:44pm

Vympel wrote:I like it how you pretend that the people saying Trump is a traitororous Siberian candidate are reasonable while those deriding an evidence free and outright ridiculous conspiracy theory are hysterical. It's an absurd inversion and it has no bearing on reality.


I agree. The thing is, so far as I can tell, no mainstream or credible sources are actually saying that. It's a strawman argument that you are using to paint all liberals as being stupid. It's like saying that feminism is bad because somewhere out there it is possible to find a single lone-nut women who wants to kill all men. You basically ignored 90% of my post to just repeat your exaggerated, hysterical bullshit. (Continuing the long-standing ironic tradition of American conservatives working themselves into a hysterical frenzy over the perceived hysterics of the "snowflake" left. It's almost as if they have no self-awareness whatsoever)

Vympel wrote:Mainstream 'liberal' news are boosting grifter conspiracy theorists who have asserted shit like Trump was recruited as a Soviet agent in the 1980s by Vitaly Churkin (that's why he's dead!) and Putin killed Andrew Breitbart (obviously!) - but sure, it's the people rubbishing this insane nonsense that are unhinged.


I haven't seen any mainstream news sources propagate those conspiracy theories (also the fact that you think that mainstream news in the U.S. is overwhelmingly 'liberal' is definitely a red flag).

Vympel wrote:This has pretty much nothing to do with the topic of the thread, of course.


What? That's literally the exact topic of this thread. What are you even talking about?

Vympel wrote:Of course you need to talk about how awful 'stupid liberals' (i.e. mainstream Democrats) are. It's a pre-requisite to effectively opposing Trump, because Democrats are worthless fucking losers, who attack Trump not on the basis of solid left wing principles that can activate voters, but stupid bullshit like this 'Trump-Russia ties!' nonsense.


Are you burying your head in the sand and ignoring the constant criticism that Trump has received on a myriad of issues, from both liberals, centrist Democrats, and fellow conservatives? Or does your weird obsession with this issue in particular blind you? Heck, the Russia ties haven't even received the majority of the attention this week, with most of that going towards issues like the Obamacare repeal.

Not to mention, you completely and utterly missed my point to continue propagating your absurd strawman. There is a world of difference between saying Trump is a Siberian candidate, and saying, "Hey, Trump's administration has a lot of fishy shit going on, let's look into it". If you really can't see the difference between the two, then you're even stupider than you are accusing liberals/Democrats of being.

And as the article points out, is that contrary to a lot of voters progressive politics, Democratic politicians are really into enabling neocons and neocon policies and making common cause with scumbags like McCain and Lindsay Graham.


It's pretty ironic that just a couple sentences earlier you are referring to mainstream Democrats as liberals, then flip-flop and admit that they really aren't liberals and are actually pretty centrist (something every liberal in the U.S. has known for years). You should really try to focus in on one group to criticize instead of just blathering on semi-coherently.

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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-09 06:55pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:I agree. The thing is, so far as I can tell, no mainstream or credible sources are actually saying that. It's a strawman argument that you are using to paint all liberals as being stupid. It's like saying that feminism is bad because somewhere out there it is possible to find a single lone-nut women who wants to kill all men. You basically ignored 90% of my post to just repeat your exaggerated, hysterical bullshit. (Continuing the long-standing ironic tradition of American conservatives working themselves into a hysterical frenzy over the perceived hysterics of the "snowflake" left. It's almost as if they have no self-awareness whatsoever)


Oh what rubbish, go and swing a dead cat and watch some news. Rachel Maddow has turned into Glenn Beck with a chalkboard for fucks sake, pay attention to what is going on. We've even got Howard Dean going on twitter saying that Glenn Greenwald is being paid by the Russians. You are simply wilfully ignorant if you think that "Trump is a Siberian Candidate" is some sort of strawman. It isn't. It is a serious mainstream liberal view.

Vympel wrote:I haven't seen any mainstream news sources propagate those conspiracy theories (also the fact that you think that mainstream news in the U.S. is overwhelmingly 'liberal' is definitely a red flag).


That's because you're ignorant. Go watch some news. Everything I just said has been claimed by people (Sarah Kendzior, Louise Mensch) who have been given a platform or boosted by mainstream media. (MSNBC in the case of the former, The Guardian in the case of the latter).

What? That's literally the exact topic of this thread. What are you even talking about?


That Democrats embrace warmongering neocon policies and repudiate those of Obama in attacking Trump? Obviously?

Are you burying your head in the sand and ignoring the constant criticism that Trump has received on a myriad of issues, from both liberals, centrist Democrats, and fellow conservatives? Or does your weird obsession with this issue in particular blind you? Heck, the Russia ties haven't even received the majority of the attention this week, with most of that going towards issues like the Obamacare repeal.


Oh please, anyone who thinks that the Russia conspiracy isn't the chief line of attack being employed against Trump must be living under a rock.

It obviously is, and its being highlighted as a concern for Democrat and media credibility repeatedly. Most recently:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ta ... ia-w471074

We can't afford to bolster these accusations of establishment bias and overreach by using the techniques of conspiracy theorists to push this Russia story. Unfortunately, that is happening.

One could list the more ridiculous examples, like the Washington Post's infamous "PropOrNot" story identifying hundreds of alternative media sites as fellow travellers aiding Russia, or the Post's faceplant over a report about a hacked utility in Vermont.

There was the "Russian cybercrime arrests" story that multiple outlets incorrectly suggested was linked to last year's election, or the bizarre series of stories about Russia-linked murders around the world that are supposedly connected to this tale. (Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept noted the similarity between these latter tales and early anti-Clinton paranoia).

All of this noise matters. The pop culture realm is filled with bits like the SNL "Santa Putin" routine, the New Yorker's Cyrillic cover and the promiscuous use of terms like "Siberian Candidate." Even the new DNC chief, Tom Perez, got in the act with a tweet about a Trump's weekly address:

"Translated from the original Russian and everything."


To demonstrate the depth of the psycopathy on this issue, here's a blue checkmarked MSNBC contributor unironically arguing that repealing Obamacare is a plot by Putin to murder Americans.

https://twitter.com/funder/status/839857765015240704

If u were Putin & wanted to kill as many Americans as possible—wouldn't taking away their healthcare do the trick? #trumprussia #russiagate


But sure dude, its just a few kooks. Not the mainstream at all.

Not to mention, you completely and utterly missed my point to continue propagating your absurd strawman. There is a world of difference between saying Trump is a Siberian candidate, and saying, "Hey, Trump's administration has a lot of fishy shit going on, let's look into it". If you really can't see the difference between the two, then you're even stupider than you are accusing liberals/Democrats of being.


Absurd strawman my ass. That Trump is a Putin puppet is a serious mainstream Democrat view. This is just obvious to anyone with their eyes open:

https://medium.com/theyoungturks/recent ... .ewb8xhlzg

And yet you have Democratic congressmen and prominent media figures like Thomas Friedman pronouncing blithely that Trump is “compromised” by a hostile foreign power, and it doesn’t even occur to them that this is a charge of tremendous weight. If true, it would represent perhaps the most stunning crisis in U.S. history and perhaps even risk the implosion of the American political system. You’d think, then, that the burden of proof for such charges would be extremely high: we’d have to be extremely confident in order to just accept the accusations as conventional wisdom.

...

Especially troubling is that regular stalwart Democratic voters — the kind who show up incensed to town hall meetings — are buying into this Russia business with incredible vim. One of the people who stood up and fulminated about Russia at Schiff’s meeting proclaimed himself a leader of the “Hollywood-Silver Lake Resistance Posse.” So a guy who identifies as a steward of “The Resistance” has Russia foremost on his mind. Not refugees, not Muslim civil liberties: he’s worried mainly about Russia. For that, you can blame figures like Schiff and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) who also made an incendiary claim this past week about Russia/Putin. During a press gaggle of which I was part, Peters asserted casually that the U.S. government is in the process of being “turned over” to Putin.

Most galling was perhaps that Peters apparently had no expectation of being challenged on this extraordinary claim; like it was just normal, accepted wisdom and everyone who’s right-minded already agrees


I can point to Democratic politicians enabling their constituents' hysteria with absurd claims of Trump "turning over" the US government to Putin, but sure, I'm just engaging in strawmen and the Democratic 'Resistance' to Trump is really measured, thoughtful, and rational.

It's pretty ironic that just a couple sentences earlier you are referring to mainstream Democrats as liberals, then flip-flop and admit that they really aren't liberals and are actually pretty centrist (something every liberal in the U.S. has known for years). You should really try to focus in on one group to criticize instead of just blathering on semi-coherently.


No, you just don't know the difference between useless mainstream liberals (i.e. who are only 'liberal' in so far as they're substantially less racist and generally intolerant than Republicans) and actual progressives and leftists (i.e. who believe in actual left wing principles).
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Re: Democrats now demonize Obama's Russia policies

Postby Vympel » 2017-03-09 07:17pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:What "euphemisms"? I think, on the whole, I've been fairly direct in my position.


The "Putin hacked the election" euphemism, obviously. It's this dishonest euphemism that has large numbers of delusional low-information Democrats thinking the Russians hacked voting machines to favor Trump. That's in actual polls, by the way.

And you're an apologist because you consistently go out of your way to put the most positive possible spin on Putin's actions as they pertain to Trump and the election, and to portray anyone who even acknowledges the possibility of inappropriate collaboration between Trump and Russia as a liar, fool, or a conspiracy nut.


No, my opprobrium is reserved for people who think it's an actual serious concern.

Here are some facts:

-The DNC was hacked by Russia.

-This was illegal.

-It was interference by an authoritarian foreign government in an American election.

-Said involvement was not about revealing the truth, but about targeting one party and candidate, supporting the other major party and candidate, who happens to be perhaps the single most unfit man to ever hold the office of the Presidency in power, and to undermine the integrity of our democracy.

Your argument in defence of the hacks amounts to "But its okay because Schultz is an asshole!" Which simply means that you have no regard whatsoever for the integrity of the law or democracy, as long as they are violated in the interests of attacking people you do not like.


Restating your beliefs as fact isn't an argument. At no point do you engage with the substance of what I'm saying, so here's some facts.

- There is no remotely convincing public evidence that the Russian government perpetrated the hacks. The evidence free assertions of spooks is not 'evidence'. It is assertion. Learn the difference.
- Even if they did, the DNC is not 'democracy'.
- The identity of whoever perpetrated the DNC hacks - whether the Russians or whoever - is not relevant to the integrity of 'democracy'.

Yes, he did. The experts pretty much universally agree on that score.

But of course, they're all just lying/deluded... just because. :roll:


"All the experts agree that Iraq had WMD. Trust us. We can't show you the evidence, but we're really sure. We have secret evidence you can't see."

True information can be used selectively and out of context to create a false impression. As you are doing right now, to portray the hacks and their results in a positive light.


The American people received - from their own media - information of how their most powerful people function when they think no one is watching, and also got access to Hillary's private paid speeches to rich assholes that she consistently refused to release. That's just a fact. So sorry it made Hillary look bad. Maybe she should be a less terrible politician?

As for 'used selectively and out of context to create a false impression' - who's fault is that, if that's actually what happened - and it isn't? You do realise that Wikileaks released thousands of documents, right? The media - the American media - not Russia - reported on what it deemed newsworthy. Sorry you don't like it, but that's freedom of the press.

I do not blame the media for reporting on it, of course (though I do blame them for spending disproportionate coverage on every little tidbit of Clinton's emails). However, that does not change the fact that the hackers broke the law, or that their motive was not to expose the truth (as a journalist would do), but to selectively target one party/candidate/campaign, for the benefit of another which is, frankly, objectively far more dishonest and corrupt.


Journalists don't ever give a fuck what the motive of their source is.

Its funny, for all the apologist bleating about how the truth needed to be exposed and Schultz and Clinton brought down, you all never seem to care about the fact that these hacks were done to advance the candidacy of someone who is objectively more corrupt and dishonest.


And you think the American people didn't have sufficient information to determine Trump was corrupt and/or dishonest? Is that your complaint? :D

Your characterization is cherry picking facts and trying to put a positive spin on them which amounts to "Its okay because the target was an asshole."

Which is a (ethically bankrupt) opinion, not a substantive rebuttal.


No, you're totally missing the point. The point is that the illegal hack does not render Trump's election illegitimate, no matter how much you wish it did - because it was still newsworthy information that the American people were entitled to be told about.

Yes, supporting illegal foreign interference in the election, not for journalistic purposes but for partisan purposes, shows a disrespect for both he rule of law and democracy. And national sovereignty, though that's a principle that I don't put as much weight on.


Please explain how the release of correspondence of a private organisation interferes with US national sovereignty.

Did Russia release a mind control device that made all the Trump voters vote Trump when they otherwise wouldn't have or something?

See above.

I am an advocate for freedom of the press, but this illegal hack was for blatantly partisan political purposes, not journalistic purposes.


And yet it was reported on by journalists. So again - what did you want them to do? Not report on it? No one should read it?

I am not certain how either maintaining the sanctions or refusing to recognize the annexation of Crimea would necessarily lead towards war. The sanctions would actually impede Russia's ability to fight a war, and I'm not saying we should actually attack Russia over the Crimea.


I'm referring to arming Ukraine, obviously.

I guess concepts like "support your allies" and "oppose expansionist authoritarian regimes" are a bit too idealistic for you.


When they're that nebulous they're useless concepts, yes.
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