When I watched special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony yesterday, I was struck by a) how little the man seemed to know about the report that bears his name and b) his quiet admission that he did, indeed, not have anything on President Trump with regards to collusion or even with regards to obstruction of justice. Additionally, it was amazing — if not shocking — to see how he bumbled and fumbled through his testimony. If I didn’t know any better, I’d be convinced we were dealing with an elderly grandpa shocked to find himself sitting in front of the camera.
Be that as it may, The Washington Post was struck by something else altogether:
MUELLER’S 2020 WARNING: You might have missed it amid the clipped one-word answers, political grandstanding and punditry. But former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III issued a sharp warning on Wednesday regarding foreign interference in the 2020 election:
“It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign,” he told the House Intelligence Committee of Russia’s tampering in American elections.
There was no topic that the halting and reluctant witness spoke more forcefully and extensively on, telling lawmakers that efforts by Moscow — and other foreign entities — to interfere in U.S. elections are “among the most serious” challenges to U.S. democracy.
Ah yes, that grand old Red Scare™ again; a scare Mueller was all too happy to fuel during his testimony. And after that, the Washington Post couldn’t wait to jump on it so they could once again frighten Americans into believing that a) the Russians are targeting them on a massive scale and b) election results really can’t be trusted.
Speaking as a foreigner, and with all due respect: stop it. America is always trying to influence elections everywhere. President Obama tried to get rid of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. He also sent his people to Britain in order to help the socialist Labour party take down the ruling conservative Tories. He failed both times, but not for a lack of trying.
However, the mainstream media didn’t have a problem with any of that. There were no reports of “American election interference” abroad. Obama tried to get rid of two foreign conservative governments! Who cares!? In fact, more power to him!
But when those other governments return the favor? Oh my! That’s unacceptable! How dare they “interfere” in “America’s democracy!”
Just. Stop. It.
Of course, one needs to protect one’s electoral process against (hostile) forces. That goes without saying. But it’s absolutely ludicrous — not to say hypocritical and downright absurd — to pretend that this isn’t par for the course. Governments of one country will always try to affect the outcome of elections in another country if doing so benefits them. The U.S. does exactly the same thing. There’s nothing secret or new about that. Perhaps that Russia is using different tactics now compared to 20 years ago, but that’s solely due to technological developments.