Russia “hacked” the election in some way. The only questions that need answers pertain to how involved they were and who gave the orders. Did Vladimir Putin or senior government officials sanction it? Did they literally hack Democrats or were they simply using their influence and social media meatpuppets to sway perspectives? Denying any involvement is almost as silly as believing it isn’t a common practice by every powerful nation in the world, including the United States. That’s what governments do.
With that said, the chances that Russia’s influence made a difference in the outcome is equally ludicrous. If Trump won by one state or if his margins of victory in the swing states were smaller, then a case could be made. As it stands, Trump would have won the election if Russia kept all their bots locked up in Siberia.
This is by no means an attempt to condone the practice. It’s wrong and governments should stay out of every other sovereign nation’s elections, but that’s not going to happen.
With all of this coming to light, President Obama has announced he will “take action” against Russia over the hacks. Technically, that’s not true. He’s not going after Russia because of the hacks. He’s threatening to go after Russia because Hillary Clinton lost. If she had won, nobody would be concerned about Russia’s attempt to sway the election. If anything, it would be briefly trumpeted as an example of attempted outside influence thwarted by the American voters. Since she lost, the President and his minions will do what they can to hamstring the Trump administration before he’s sworn in.
This should concern Americans. It should have the press in an uproar. It should have politicians pointing out the obvious hypocrisy. Strangely, it’s not. President Obama’s declaration that he held off on pursuing Russia before the election because he assumed Clinton would still win is one of the most outrageously asinine actions he’s taken (which is saying a lot). The administration is validating selective pursuit of justice based solely on an unexpected result. That should have people on both sides of the aisle screaming about the President’s double standard when it comes to law, order, and national security.
Regardless of whether Clinton or Trump won, if there’s evidence that Russia hacked us, they should have been aggressively pursued immediately. The fact that Trump won does not make this a national security issue. It was a national security issue regardless of the outcome of the election.
Despite leftist leanings by the press, this fallacy in President Obama’s judgment should be getting at least a little play in the mainstream. As for conservative journalists, one might expect them to be much more vocal than they have been since the news broke Thursday, but this particular story seems to have slipped under the radar. That’s indicative of how the President has conditioned the media on both sides. He’s able to do insulting things and offer bogus justifications without fear of reprisal from the press. What makes this incident compelling is that he’s being more transparent than normal. He’s coming out and admitting to the hypocrisy up front. Why? Because he’s learned over the last eight years that a story can be diffused if he addresses it first rather than waiting for the news to be broken by others.
Here’s what sanity dictates: Russia has been allegedly caught with their hand in the election jar. Since November 9th is behind us, the opportunity to go after them is history as well. The Obama administration, which apparently had knowledge of Russia’s involvement well before election day, should have called out Russia the moment they had strong evidence. The fact that they chose to do nothing is the latest demonstration of how justice and national security are relative in President Obama’s mind.
When tough choices have to made, we have grown accustomed to President Obama taking the easiest road. He hasn’t deviated from this posture of leading from behind and he wasn’t going to do it now.
It comes down to consistency. With consistency comes trust. How can we trust our government when they make decisions based upon expectations of favorable results to their party? Is what Russia did more wrong because Trump won? Would it have been acceptable to give them a free pass if Clinton won? Hopefully, the next administration will not practice this type of national security relativism.