Dem insiders now worried about dashing the scandal expectations of their base
When Hillary Clinton dreamed up the excuse of blaming the Russians for her defeat, as the book Shattered reports she did within 48 hours, it must have seemed like a good idea. And for the last half-year, the accusations have proven popular with the base, generating enthusiasm, crowds, and – most of all – donations for the pols and readers or viewers for the progressive media.
Lots of people on the left are making money and are buoyed by a level of anger and discontent among the Democrat base that has not been seen since the election of Abraham Lincoln. Just yesterday, Democrats in California, meeting at their state convention, disgraced themselves with a scene of mass vulgarity that has no precedent on American politics that I know of.
Along with money and enthusiasm, the Blame Russia Strategy has created soaring expectations among the base that President Trump will be removed from office because the evidence of treason – so far lacking -- just must be there, simply because they desire it so deeply. They see daily revelations in the mainstream media that have created an artificial atmosphere of certainty. Never mind that many stories – such as the Washington Post claim that Comey was fired after requesting more resources for the Russia investigation (supposedly based on 30 anonymous sources) – turn out to be false. The media they see never backtrack and apologize for their exaggerations and falsehoods. The drumbeat continues unabated, and the animal spirits of the mob exceed the ability of norms to moderate them.
Glenn Greenwald, a lefty, sees quite clearly the corner the Democrats have painted themselves into. Writing at The Intercept, he cites the knowledgeable Dems quietly warning the Dems to back away.
The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.” (snip)
Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.
Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.
Those “wildly inflated” expectations are a real and present danger to the Democrat leadership, who could well find themselves blamed as sellouts or worse.
“…several [Senate Intelligence] committee sources grudgingly say, it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.” One member told Watkins: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”
The Democrats now find themselves in the position of Victor Frankenstein, who created a monster that he could not control. He lamented: “I live in daily fear, lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness.” But of course, he maintained basic morality, which led to fears of wickedness being perpetrated. For the Dems, the sole consideration is the damage the monster they created -- which looks more like the peasants with pitchforks and torches storming the castle than it does like the monster himself – turning on them.