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Adjutant
 
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Post 10 Dec 2016, 6:53 pm

I haven't weighed in on politics here in quite some time. But I think it's time I threw my hat back in the ring, at least long enough to weigh in on this one.

At the risk of inviting a mass deluge of ad hominem arguments, the following stories all allege that the CIA is now concluding Russia helped Trump win.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-team-dismisses-report-russians-hacking-was-help-trump-win-n694271

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/10/505072304/cia-concludes-russian-interference-aimed-to-elect-trump

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/10/us/politics/trump-mocking-claim-that-russia-hacked-election-at-odds-with-gop.html

If this is true, then it's an unforgivable act of aggression. Yes, yes, the United States has done the same around the world; but this time, one nuclear-armed great power has done it to another, a very dangerous thing to do in today's world. But putting THAT argument aside for the moment, will this hurt him?

Several electors, including a republican from Texas, have already said they'll vote for a moderate Republican. The Electors vote on December 19. It would be terribly unusual in this day and age for the Electoral College to surprise us like that. And, it would take 36 GOP electors to do the same thing for it to happen. Maybe that's a fantasy. But if I were a Republican congressman, my thought would be, do we dump Trump with the stroke of a pen, now; or have to go through a lengthy impeachment process later? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. But let's not be too quick to assume that because someone's a Republican, they love Donald Trump.

I will of course wait to see how much worse this gets. But Trump, who formerly looked like the Kremlin's buddy, now looks more like its actual stooge. Not good.
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Post 11 Dec 2016, 8:46 pm

This will sound unabashedly cavalier but I can't help but say who cares?

So a foreign country attempted to influence our election. Why is this so shocking? We're talking about world politics. Who knows what their reasons were? Maybe they saw Trump as more serious about fighting ISIS?

If this is true, then it's an unforgivable act of aggression. Yes, yes, the United States has done the same around the world; but this time, one nuclear-armed great power has done it to another, a very dangerous thing to do in today's world. But putting THAT argument aside for the moment, will this hurt him?


An unforgivable act of aggression? I don't get it.

Do you have to put THAT argument aside? Why is it dangerous? Do you mind clarifying?

Our spies and operatives are everywhere. So are theirs. This goes on all the time. We are constantly attempting to influence other countries to align with our foreign policy. What's new here? The fact that they were found out?

Maybe that's just poor spymanship on their part?

Please explain and thanks.
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Statesman
 
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 7:31 am

dag
So a foreign country attempted to influence our election. Why is this so shocking? We're talking about world politics. Who knows what their reasons were? Maybe they saw Trump as more serious about fighting ISIS?


They see him as a useful idiot.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 8:32 am

I predict that in 2020 Russia will do the opposite.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 11:35 am

dag hammarsjkold wrote:This will sound unabashedly cavalier but I can't help but say who cares?
Surely true patriots would care if their country's election were subverted by a major power?

Certainly when the US does the same - and yes, I agree that you do - it is often vocally opposed and unwelcome. Of course, given the power imbalance usually, the US doesn't just use a bit of espionage, but aids coups (Iran in the 1950s, Chile in the 70s).

So a foreign country attempted to influence our election. Why is this so shocking? We're talking about world politics. Who knows what their reasons were? Maybe they saw Trump as more serious about fighting ISIS?
Maybe they thought he would turn his head away from what Russia is doing in Ukraine and other republics near the border - I bet they liked his stance on NATO.

Actually, I don't think they cared who won, but wanted to have whoever did so forced to preside over a divided nation. And that has been achieved.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 12:14 pm

If all of their efforts were to see to it that he presided over a divided nation then I would suggest they save their energy and simply read up on our history. We've been a divided country since the 1840s. And if they haven't been paying attention in the last 20 years that tradition has continued unabated.

Who knows why they wanted Trump. I completely disagree that they think he is an idiot. On the contrary, my guess is Putin sees him as dumb as a fox. I would bet they welcomed his anti-Islamic rhetoric.

They may have seen him better suited to work with in Syria.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 12:25 pm

Danivon wrote:

Surely true patriots would care if their country's election were subverted by a major power?


So I should be concerned when a lying, cheating, scheming regime attempts to influence an election between a lying, cheating and scheming candidate against another lying, cheating and scheming candidate?

I would be writing a thank you note to Putin if he would have helped the only morally intact candidate win. But wait, no, Sanders never had a chance due to a lying, cheating and scheming political party.

Outside of local politics where you can still find good and relatively trustworthy civil servants, it's a miracle our communities manage to muddle on in America.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 12:59 pm

dag
Who knows why they wanted Trump. I completely disagree that they think he is an idiot


For the Russians a useful idiot is a person perceived as a propagandist for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.
Trump meets that definition in his cheerleading for Putin, and his seeming acceptance of Russia's positions. His mania for making everything transactional as oppossed to long term strategy makes Putins job at sowing discord in the western alliance much easier.
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 2:38 pm

danivon wrote:
dag hammarsjkold wrote:This will sound unabashedly cavalier but I can't help but say who cares?
Surely true patriots would care if their country's election were subverted by a major power?


I'm leaning toward Dag here. What they actually did matters a lot. If they hacked systems and changed votes after the fact, then we have serious problem. If they hacked the systems of the Democratic committee and then released information, and made voters better informed, good for them. We should welcome radical transparency. Would it have been better if they released both the GOP and Dem info? Of course, but I'm never going to say, "It would have been better if I had known less."
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Post 12 Dec 2016, 5:47 pm

geojanes wrote:
danivon wrote:
dag hammarsjkold wrote:This will sound unabashedly cavalier but I can't help but say who cares?
Surely true patriots would care if their country's election were subverted by a major power?


I'm leaning toward Dag here. What they actually did matters a lot. If they hacked systems and changed votes after the fact, then we have serious problem. If they hacked the systems of the Democratic committee and then released information, and made voters better informed, good for them. We should welcome radical transparency. Would it have been better if they released both the GOP and Dem info? Of course, but I'm never going to say, "It would have been better if I had known less."


Sure. Investigate.

There is zero evidence that they changed votes. And, the numbers would have to be a clue. No one has even a decent theory of how Russia could have directly affected the election.
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Post 13 Dec 2016, 11:33 am

geojanes
We should welcome radical transparency. Would it have been better if they released both the GOP and Dem info? Of course, but I'm never going to say, "It would have been better if I had known less."

If the transparency is not complete then it is more likely to be manipulative.
As Bernie said about the release of the Clinton camp discussion concerning him and his campaign.
"Look, if they'd released the conversations my campaign team had they would have heard some pretty awful stuff we said about hsoe guys." (I'm paraphrasing..)

Consultation, discussion, debate can all be private and you still don't know less. Its the public positions that represent the candidates resolved position that matters.
It can all be open and you might not really know more. After all what does debate tell you except the notions that were discussed before the position was resolved? And what debate would not consider all points of view?

But if is released in bits and pieces, you can be sure you are being fed a line and being purposefully mislead.
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Post 13 Dec 2016, 6:54 pm

NYT on the Russian hack job...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

A thorough report for sure but once again, so what?

So the NYT is furious that their star lost the election? Because it wasn't fair? HA! Because voters were let in on the back room deals that go down to win nominations? Talk to any Sanders supporters about this election being fair. The universe has a sense of humor after all.
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Post 16 Dec 2016, 6:57 am

The Russians hacked the DNC and reported the insider findings. It was hardly earth shattering stuff. Honestly, it only showed how lax their security was and in turn might have proven how Hillary's private email server was just as vulnerable. It really did paint the entire party as being a bit careless.
They did nothing as far as finding state secrets, did not alter election results, etc.

I am not supporting it in any way and yes it should be admonished but on the other hand it's hardly any different than what the US does herself. What's that saying about rocks and glass houses?
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Post 16 Dec 2016, 8:05 am

tom
The Russians hacked the DNC and reported the insider findings. It was hardly earth shattering stuff. Honestly, it only showed how lax their security was and in turn might have proven how Hillary's private email server was just as vulnerable. It really did paint the entire party as being a bit careless.
They did nothing as far as finding state secrets, did not alter election results, etc.
I am not supporting it in any way and yes it should be admonished but on the other hand it's hardly any different than what the US does herself. What's that saying about rocks and glass houses?


The Russians also hacked the Republican National Committee and deployed a campaign of information warfare, involving fake news and tweets
.
If one cares about the viability of liberal democracy, the disinformation campaign (of which the release of hacked emails was only part) should be as frightening as the historical examples of: use of the spreading of lies about an international jewish conspiracy, the red scare tactics of mccarthyism, the slanders concerning new immigrant groups, and the deliberate lies used to justify authoritarian actions by governments up to and including war. At its worst, outrageous disinformation campaigns have been part of the run up to every genocide in history. At the least attacks on privacy is an attack on everybodies liberty.
The right to privacy is a constitutional right. Its surprisinging that defendants of the constitution and liberty aren't a great deal more upset about a foreign governments intrusions. I guess as long as my personal rights were affected it gets a pass... ?

I dare say that if the RNC information that was hacked had been released, instead of the DNC's, there would be a different response by many.
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Post 16 Dec 2016, 9:28 am

It's a big deal that Russia tried to influence our election (and may have succeeded) and we need to retaliate in a proportionate way to make sure they realize they can't do it again. Democracies cannot tolerate other countries trying to undermine the integrity of their elections. I just don't understand the response from Tom and Dags that it is no big deal. Making sure our elections are free from outside interference is a very big deal and Russia will get even more aggressive if we do nothing about it.

And Dags is like since Sanders was screwed then whatever else happened does not matter. It's completely shocking that the establishment DNC would favor Hillary over an outsider candidate. Like the RNC did not try to do everything they could do to stop Trump. If Sanders was strong enough what the DNC did to favor Hillary would not have mattered. And in any case Russian interference in our election is a larger issue than any personal animus against Hillary or the DNC. At least it should be.