For Democrats, the Russian Investigation Is Less About Patriotism than It is About Politics

After a year of #RussiaGate, the Democrats have both their base and the entire country right where they want them.

It started out with a clear and forceful assertion: Vladimir Putin personally directed a cyberattack against the Democrats in order to damage Hillary Clinton and swing the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

The result of this year-long #RussiaGate campaign has been nothing short of a stunning success for the scions and power-brokers of the Democratic Party establishment.

The Economist/YouGov conducts frequent polls on American attitudes about a wide range of topics. Two of the questions they have asked for the past year have to do with the Democrats’ Russian narrative:

  1. Did the Russians tamper with the actual vote tallies in order to ensure a Trump victory.

First, regarding those emails:

While it has never been proven that the Russians had anything to do with the leaking of either the DNC or Podesta emails, and indeed these leaks are not mentioned anywhere in any of the indictments handed down by Mueller, it is a narrative that persists in Democratic circles, and one which has been strengthened over the past year:

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9 out of 10 Democrats now believe that the Russians hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s emails.

But there’s more:

What is surprising, however, is that the entire prosecution of the #RussiaGate narrative has resulted in a “supermajority” of Democrats now believing that Russia literally changed the vote tallies in the election to give the victory to Trump:

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Almost 70% of Democrats now believe that Russia actively changed the election results in 2016.

Over the past year, the #RussiaGate campaign has led 30% MORE Democrats to believe that the Russians physically altered the 2016 vote tallies in order to elect Trump.

This is a powerful result, as it completely vindicates the Democratic Party in the eyes of its base. No longer can anyone successfully argue that Hillary Clinton lost because she was so disliked, or because she ran a bad campaign. No — Hillary lost because of RUSSIA.

Beating Back the Berniecrats

Even the most casual observer can see that there is a civil war going on in the Democratic Party. Insurgent Progressives, led by Bernie Sanders and a group of left leaning organisations, fuelled by grassroots activists, are challenging the orthodoxy of the Democratic Party and the institutions and structure that have governed the Party since Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council pulled the Part to the right back in the 90’s.

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This is an example of the Russian Facebook posts that swung the election to Trump.

Democrats become the Party of National Security

Democrats are benefitting from the #RussiaGate narrative in another way: they have been able to out-manoeuvre the Republicans and get to the RIGHT of the GOP on matters of defense and national security.

But what about War?

There are some who worry that the #RussiaGate scandal is going too far, only because it has now become commonplace for Democratic Congressmen as well as TV anchors and newspeople to talk about the Russian “hacking” story as a “new Pearl Harbor” and a “new 9/11.” The idea being that FDR and George Bush reacted strongly once the US was “attacked”, and now we must criticise Trump for not “punishing Russia” as he should.

The Outlook for 2018

All in all, the #RussiaGate narrative has served the Democratic elites very well, and will continue to do so for as long as they can keep the Mueller investigation going, and as long as Rachel Maddow and the mainstream media continue to push the Russia story. Whether this is good for the country or good for the planet is another question.

Joe is a US Ex-Pat with dual US-EU citizenship, who travels Europe extensively, commenting on trends, attitudes, politics and more.

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