As Democrats challenge the legitimacy of Trump’s election at every turn, they are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin accomplish one of his primary hacking goals – undermining faith in the U.S. democratic process.
The party’s willingness to play into his hands is a striking role reversal, as just a few months ago it was Republicans who stood accused of teaming up with Putin by eagerly publicizing the Wikileaks emails.
“It’s troubling that some experts tell us this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Hillary’s campaign manager said in July, criticizing Republicans for feasting on emails they knew probably came from the Russians.
The intelligence community partly vindicated that assessment in a report stating the CIA, FBI and NSA are confident Putin ordered and directed the hacks in order to hurt Clinton. Republicans, apparently, did serve as a bullhorn for Putin.
But the report also makes it clear Democrats have hopped into the driver’s seat of Putin’s interests, when it states all three agencies are highly confident one of Putin’s primary goals was to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.”
Hastily setting aside dark warnings about what would happen to the foundation of democracy if Trump didn’t accept the results, Democrats almost immediately began questioning his win. First it was FBI Director James Comey’s fault. Then it was the evils of the electoral college, and the explosion of fake news. The Clinton campaign funded recounts. Democrats encouraged electors to “go rogue” and try to upend the results of the election. Blame fell everywhere but on the shoulders of rational American voters participating in a free and fair election.
Then news broke of the intel consensus that Putin wanted Trump to win and the narrative was complete. More than 40 percent of Democrats now believe the election was rigged.
Several Democrats used the intel report to openly question Trump’s win on the House floor, taking one last opportunity to challenge the electoral vote tally before Trump was officially certified as the next president. The effort failed, of course, but that was never the point. Undermining the credibility of Trump’s win was the point, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated when she said it would have no impact on the results, except to “register concern.”
“It’s a way for some people to have fun,” Democrat Rep. James Clyburn told a reporter, referring to his colleagues’ decision to use a Russian meddling campaign aimed at discrediting U.S. democracy to question the validity of Trump’s win.
The extent to which Russia’s hacking campaign helped Trump or seriously undermined faith in the election is debatable. But as Democrats now take their turn dancing at the end of Putin’s strings, it’s Vlad who comes out looking like the real winner.
Follow Rachel on Twitter Send tips to email@example.com.