So why would Vladimir Putin be rooting for Bernie Sanders for US president?
The mainstream media have been doing their level best to claim that new intelligence reports about Russian meddling in the U.S. election, helping Bernie Sanders, are really all about Russia sowing chaos, or else getting Bernie up there on the Democrat slot to re-elect Trump. It's always Trump who's the real heart of these Russian affections, see, and Bernie is just a means.
The Russians have always had Sanders as a first-draft choice for president, not just in this election, but in the 2016 election, too. It was obvious enough from three things:
One, the content of the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails. What did those expose? Underhanded Democratic establishment activity to deny Bernie Sanders the 2016 nomination. Cui bono? The beneficiary was Bernie Sanders, who up until then had no idea this kind of conniving was going on. The meddling was viewed by the press and punditocracy as tied to Russia's bid to help elect Trump.
But somehow, it aided Bernie.
Two, Julian Assange, the chief of WikiLeaks, and a very believable Bernie-supporter, was commanding the Russians to send him leaks in order to help Sanders. The idea was to keep the Sandersnistas holding out against Hillary Clinton a little longer, before the party decided on its nominee.
In 2019, I wrote:
Assange up until now has always been a subject of focus for his solicitation of theft for U.S. military secrets — from the likes of then-known Bradley Manning and the like. Crimes related to that are what he's up on charges for and what the press is reporting.
But actually, he was soliciting Russian mischief back when Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were duking it out on the primary stage ... and looking to help Bernie. What's more, the Russians obliged.
In the end, Hillary Clinton couldn't stop blaming the tenacious Sanders for her eventual election loss to President Trump.
Three, the Russians themselves said they were on an individual level in favor of Bernie. I paid a visit to a Russian propaganda outlet in 2017 and asked a contact there whom the Russians were rooting for. The answer I expected was "Trump." Much to my astonishment, the answer I got was Sanders. The guy they were rooting for was Bernie Sanders to win the election, despite their not being communists. I wrote about this in 2017 here and in 2019 here.
Trump gets blamed for Russia's meddling and is accused of being the beneficiary of it, but the reality has always been that Sanders is where they've got their money.
As I wrote in 2019:
The Russians were rooting for someone all right — and it wasn't Trump. One can only wonder now what the Russians have planned for the man now that he's the frontrunner in this coming election, too.
We have our answer: they are still working to get Sanders elected.
So why would the Russians be rooting for Sanders over, say, supposedly Russia-friendly Donald Trump?
For sure Sanders's original hard socialism, essentially communism, similar to what the Soviets had, is noteworthy. Sure, Putin's not a communist these days, but one might be able to argue that he's pretty much allied with the communist ideology he grew up with. He has communist puppet allies in his ruling coalition. And Russia, like the U.S., still has a Deep State, and that Deep State still longs for the days of total control. Putin's the embodiment of Russia's Deep State.
But that's just ideas, and these days, the Russians are pragmatic. They no longer have ideology, but they do have interests. That keeps Bernie useful. And Bernie's interests coincide with theirs, to the point of slavish obedience. More likely, it's the relationship. Sanders wasn't just any Denmark-style garden-variety socialist, as he claims now. He spent his entire life aligned with Soviet-style socialism, not as an idea, but as a thing. He's sided with every Russia-linked position and ally that's come down the pike for decades. Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, he's been a champ of theirs whenever they came out. He got congratulatory notes from Russian diplomats upon his election to mayor of a Vermont city. He's never been a dissenter against them. In the earliest days of Soviet communism, the communists had something called "the communist international" or Comintern, which were communists abroad who supported the USSR no matter which way it tilted. When Hitler and Stalin were buddies, they cheered Hitler. When the pair had a falling out, everyone these Cominternists disliked was suddenly a "fascist." Sanders has never seen daylight between the Soviet socialists and his own positions. He did, after all, have the comradely commitment to spend his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. Someone like Putin might find someone like that useful — or have plenty of blackmailable materials to ensure he stays useful.
Here's how that works out in real life, from my 2017 piece (which was too kind to Bernie)
Then there was Bernie Sanders' lonely vote against Russian sanctions, which he said he did because he wanted to preserve the Iran Deal. By themselves, Sanders was ok with sanctioning Russia. But since it was attached to the Iran Deal, he said he was against it.
Wouldn't someone like Putin find Bernie useful? No wonder he's meddling in U.S elections in a bid to help Bernie.
Most important, he's been an ally of things Putin values - supporting Venezuela,. supporting Cuba, opposing sanctions on rogue states, all of these things are extremely valuable for Putin -- and firm objects of support for Bernie. Bernie may not directly support Putin, but Putin doesn't need that. Putin just needs someone who will support his positions, and what better place than the White House?
Lastly, Sanders' socialist proposals are sure things to destroy the U.S.economy and render the U.S. weak. Bad economy, limited America, Russia stronger in comparison. Open-borders economy, prepare for Putin. For Putin, this is perfect. Wouldn't Putin like a U.S. that's falling apart?
The best way to do that is it to get someone elected who really will make it fall apart. No wonder the Russians support Sanders.
Instead of blaming Trump, the mainstream press ought to be asking Sanders to explain why questions about why Putin seems to fond of him that he would take the risky step of entering again to meddle in the U.S. elections to help Sanders.
Why is Bernie so favored by Putin? That ought to give U.S. voters pause as elections come down.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with partial use of Skidmore image credited above and Needpix public domain source.