/ trump shaking hands with putin... /

Just two days ago, I posted an article concerning the revelation that Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said that in 2016 “we saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” We know for a fact that Ms. Manfra is speaking conservatively because she prefaced what she said with the fact that she could not address “classified information.” Perhaps the “exceptionally small number” is the unclassified volume of tampering, while the significant amount of tampering into voter databases remains classified.

I am mesmerized by the fact that this is not the leading headline in every paper on every single day until the “problem” is resolved. I do understand that we have the single worst president in our 200-something years of existence to address what amounts to a WMD attack on our democracy. It has been bandied about by serious people that what the Russians did was an act of war. Our “president” prefers to cast the intelligence agencies reporting on the problem as the bad guys, and believes Putin, who says that the Russians didn’t do anything, and, of course, would have no reason to lie about it. But that does not mean that this should not be THE news story until it isn’t, until it is resolved such that we can move on.

Where is the outrage?

I will tell you where the outrage is not. It is not on the right. The Republicans in power have given every indication that they prefer Russians to democrats, every time. If more people voted for Hillary in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, but the Russians found a computer work-around, deletion of votes, some other trick, the Republicans in D.C. right now appear to believe that such a circumstance represents a “just result” as it put them in power, and thus is a good thing. Give the average Republican voter today the choice of being governed by Putin, or any Democrat in America, and I am willing to wager that well over half would take Putin. Putin’s penchant for killing journalists, political opponents, gays, and other marginalized groups would be seen as a positive. The only issue many Republicans would have with Putin’s rule would be that he is decidedly not pro 2nd Amendment.

I am confident that over 50% of this country does recognize the horrific possibility that we may well be living under a defrauded presidency, and the president is the one who wants to do the least about it. But, could the nation handle the truth? Are we mature enough as a people?

Here’s a hypothetical to upset your lunch. What if tomorrow, the FBI and CIA released a statement, joined by intelligence agencies in Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada, in which they assert that they have proof that the Russians altered the vote totals for president in swing states. How would the “president” respond? How would the president’s supporters respond? Who would be the “enemy” to the average Republican voter? Would it be the Putin-regime that stole an American election? Or would it be the intelligence agencies that exposed the fact that the Russians instilled a Republican president?

I leave Charlie Pierce with the last word on the question:

In 2000, when the illegitimate involvement of the United States Supreme Court installed Bush, who’d benefitted from a number of low-level scams in Florida, before and after the election, by and large, the country came around to pretending that hadn’t happened at all. I didn’t like how easy it was to forget what happened, and I dread the possibility that something worse happened last November, and I also dread the possibility that, if it is proven to be true, we’ll simply wave it off in time the way we waved off Bush v. Gore. If we do, we’re dead as a self-governing republic. Simple as that.


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