On Tuesday, a congressman from Connecticut told CNN that the Russian attempt to alter election results in 2016 was comparable to the attack on Pearl Harbor which pushed the United States into World War II.
“The Russian attack on our election system, on the very core of our democracy, is up there with Pearl Harbor in terms of its seriousness as a challenge to this country,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Ct.) declared in a CNN interview Tuesday. “The seriousness of that attack really makes it incumbent upon Congress to figure out a way to speak with one voice about what really happened.”
After the election, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report acknowledging that Russian hackers did not breach voting machines or computers that tallied election results, but claimed Russians were behind the hacks against the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Russians were reportedly ready to tweet about the end of democracy should Clinton have prevailed. While Russian bots reportedly used Facebook ads to target Americans, most of these ads ran after the election, and they did not all support Trump.
It seems Russian actors did indeed target American politics to some degree, and that is a serious issue. Comparing this attack to Pearl Harbor is no less absurd for that, however.
In the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces killed 2,335 U.S. soldiers and wounded 1,143 more. They sunk four battleships, damaged four others, damaged cruisers, destroyers, and other ships, and took out 188 U.S. aircraft. They also killed 68 civilians and wounded 35 more. Only 64 Japanese soldiers lost their lives.
Furthermore, Pearl Harbor represented the first full-scale foreign attack on U.S. soil in generations. The attack had a psychological impact comparable to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Very few events in U.S. history after the Civil War have come anywhere near having this kind of impact.
Himes’ remarks, first reported by NTK Network, seem akin to the kind of hyperbole the Left unleashed after the passage of the Republican tax reform bill last month. Following the bill’s passage, liberals said America was “over,” that millions of people would die, and that the bill was “akin to rape.” Democrats started attacking the Republican bill as “theft,” suggesting they no longer believed in private property.
The more Democrats like Himes engage in this kind of rhetoric, the less credibility they will have to address important issues like the Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
As an aside, could Mitt Romney have received any more vindication of his 2012 warning that Russia was America’s chief geopolitical threat? Could Barack Obama look any more foolish, having shot down Romney’s warnings saying, “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back”?
Watch Himes’ CNN interview below.