Democrats’ stupid blame game, Russia edition: Daily Bullshit, December 10-14, 2016 (updated 6x)

Updated for:

  1. Andrew Cockburn’s article in Harper’s[1] and for the Department of Education’s final decision on an accreditor used by for-profits[2]
  2. an open letter by six former intelligence agency employees casting further doubt on accusations against Russia[3]
  3. another desperate Democratic tactic, attempting to flip the electoral college, this time based on the dubious allegations against Russia[4]
  4. Jill Stein’s flavor of this stupidity: recounts.[5]
  5. more on efforts to overturn the election in the electoral college.[6]
  6. more of the allegations against Russia,[7] yet more on electoral college machinations,[8] and on the whole Hillary Clinton fiasco.[9]

If only the Democrats had put so much effort into nominating someone who was electable. Unfortunately, it appears I may have spoken too soon[10] when I wrote earlier that this nonsense will be over on Monday when the electors vote.[11]


Horse race

I comment on this in a new blog post, Blaming the Russians. Andrew Cockburn’s article is a long read but absolutely worth it. Between Cockburn’s article[12] and the open letter from former intelligence agency employees,[13] I now believe it is more likely than not that the accusations against Russia are substantively false and have updated the blog post accordingly.

It is a measure of just how bizarrely topsy-turvy this year has been that neoconservatives have been among the more sensible voices on the entire mainstream political spectrum. Rich Lowry, who objects to the maneuvers to overturn the election through the electoral college,[14] doesn’t even begin to address the chaos that would ensue should such an attempt succeed. Lowry is editor of the National Review which is mostly, but not entirely, neoconservative, so I tend to assume he is neoconservative. His argument is consistent with neoconservatism but is not, in my view, necessarily inconsistent with other tendencies of conservatism.

More clearly, Noah Rothman writes for Commentary, which is unmistakably neoconservative. His article is useful for detailing all the attempts Hillary Clinton’s supporters have made to shift blame for her defeat. You know, the attempts I’ve been striving valiantly to not keep track of, until I just couldn’t anymore. He concludes, perhaps a bit too generously:

Clinton’s loss can be attributed to many factors. No one explanation for her failure is sufficient. But Democrats engaged in a self-serving exercise to transfer blame from their own failures cannot escape criticism for long. Eventually, Democrats will tire of blaming everyone but Clinton and her team for losing to someone even more unpopular than she. The anecdotes of betrayal and foreign intervention will fade into history, and all that will be left in the minds of most Americans will be a bad candidate and her bad campaign.[15]

I would accuse Rothman of unwarranted speculation in claiming that “Democrats will tire” of all this or that those “engaged in a self-serving exercise to transfer blame from their own failures cannot escape criticism for long.”[16] We simply don’t know that yet. And in this year, it’s probably folly to rule anything out.

Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House,” Washington Post, December 9, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html

Juan Cole, “No, America, It Wasn’t Russia: You Did This to Yourself,” Truthdig, December 10, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/no_america_it_wasnt_russia_you_did_this_to_yourself_20161210

William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

Marc Levy and Scott Bauer, “Recount efforts end: Donald Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,” Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, December 12, 2016, http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6426779-181/recount-efforts-end-donald-trump

Agence France-Presse, “Vladimir Putin ‘personally involved’ in US hack, report claims,” Guardian, December 14, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/15/vladimir-putin-personally-involved-in-us-hack-report-claims

Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612

Kyle Cheney, “Trump lawyer cites 1876 crisis to rebuke Electoral College suit,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-electoral-college-232665

Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528

Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/

Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/


For-profit education

It appears to me that Donald Trump will be able to reverse this action. All the accreditor has to do is follow through on its claim that it will appeal in the courts. Then Trump’s administration can decline to defend against the suit.

Jeff Horwitz, “Accreditor of for-profit colleges loses appeal to stay alive,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 12, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges-loses-appeal-to-stay-alive/406085536/


  1. [1]Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/
  2. [2]Jeff Horwitz, “Accreditor of for-profit colleges loses appeal to stay alive,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 12, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges-loses-appeal-to-stay-alive/406085536/
  3. [3]William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
  4. [4]Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612
  5. [5]Marc Levy and Scott Bauer, “Recount efforts end: Donald Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,” Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, December 12, 2016, http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6426779-181/recount-efforts-end-donald-trump
  6. [6]Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/
  7. [7]Agence France-Presse, “Vladimir Putin ‘personally involved’ in US hack, report claims,” Guardian, December 14, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/15/vladimir-putin-personally-involved-in-us-hack-report-claims
  8. [8]Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528
  9. [9]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/
  10. [10]Valerie Richardson, “Harvard prof advising electors says 20+ Republicans may vote against Trump,” Washington Times, December 14, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/14/professor-20-gop-electors-may-vote-against-trump/
  11. [11]Kyle Cheney, “Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-democrats-intelligence-232612
  12. [12]Andrew Cockburn, “The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” Harper’s, December, 2016, http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/
  13. [13]William Binney, et al., “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Consortium News, December 12, 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
  14. [14]Rich Lowry, “Against an Electoral Coup,” Politico, December 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/against-electoral-coup-trump-lowry-214528
  15. [15]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/
  16. [16]Noah Rothman, “Hillary Runs Out of Excuses,” Commentary, December 14, 2016, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/hillary-clinton-runs-out-of-excuses/

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