A Year In Review: Democracy Betrayed By Democrats, Not Russia

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by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Over the course of the last year, the ‘Russian hacking’ narrative has steadily deteriorated into accusations of nebulous Russian “collusion,” before morphing into claims of nefarious ‘Russian trolling.’ During this time, establishment interests have overtly attempted to use accusations of Russian interference to deflect from the DNC email’s revelation that the Democratic Party was caught red-handed in the destruction of the American democratic process. By the end of the year, the investigation into Russian meddling had devolved into an outright retaliatory witch-hunt, and the subversion of Democracy shown by the DNC had gone largely unaddressed.

The DNC emails published by Wikileaks were a flashpoint in two crucial facets of the 2016 Presidential election, and in controversy surrounding the results that continued well into 2017. First, DNC emails showed the Democratic establishment acting in a clearly partisan manner against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton. The Observer wrote, in their article titled,”Wikileaks Proves Primary Was Rigged: DNC Undermined Democracy,” that: “Instead of treating Sanders with impartiality, the DNC exhibits resentful disdain toward him and the thousands of disenfranchised voters he could have brought into the party.” Quartz described the DNC’s antagonism towards Sanders: “The emails showed, among other things, that supposedly neutral DNC staffers were actively hostile to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.”

Though the American democratic process had shown obvious signs of corrosion prior to the publication of the DNC emails, their release proved a revelation and a vindication for millions of American citizens who felt that the effectiveness of their vote had steadily worn away in previous election cycles. The emails showed the degree to which the democratic process had been stripped of its integrity in a stark, shocking light.

Secondly, the publication of the DNC emails served as the starting point of the constantly mutating Russian hacking narrative, which, like some type of bacteria initially annihilated by antibiotics, morphs in the face of evidence within the chrysalis of media salivation from accusations of a “hack” to accusations of “collusion,” and finally, to accusations of mere Russian social media “trolling.” As Michael Tracey points out, even Russian ancestry is now treated as sufficient pretext for suspicion.

As an aside, it seems quite telling that establishment media views Clinton as such a weak candidate that despite the help of a legion of her own social media trolls under the direction of Media Matter’s “batshit crazy” David Brock, she could not surmount $100,000 in Facebook ads (roughly half of which were published after her election loss).

Soon after the DNC email’s initial publication, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sanders supporters who argued that their donations had been given to the DNC under the pretense of the Democratic party establishment’s impartiality towards primary candidates. As the DNC emails readily showed, this was not the case. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the suit included Jared and Elizabeth Lee Beck. During the proceedings, DNC defense council Bruce Spiva infamously argued that the party had the right to take donations and then pick a candidate. Spiva said in court:

“But here, where you have a party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right…”

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