The Russians have been using the internet to manipulate the American people for awhile now, long before 2016. I was interning at the State Department when the Georgia War broke and witnessed this cyber propaganda first hand. We did not have a plan to counter it then and we do not have a plan to counter it now.
Look, I voted for Sanders twice and still think Clinton and Biden are mediocre candidates. They are not the devils the right and left make them out to be and not the angels their supporters think they are. We elect human beings, not angels. I think they both would have done a much better job than the asshat we got now, and that’s the decision Americans are stuck making every four years until we make serious structural changes to our electoral system to make it genuinely democratic. It’s definitely not gonna happen right now, so we should focus on reducing harm to vulnerable people and restoring balance to our politics. Electing Biden and defeating Donald Trump accomplishes that.
The Reade story just seems too good to be true. Trump is losing by double digits to suburban women whose defection gave the Democrats the house majority in 2018. Closing their deficit while getting enough Sanders supporters to sit out the election is a key objective of Russian intelligence going back to 2016. The media has an understanding of objectivity that amounts to not picking a side by pointing out the flaws on both sides. This has the affect of actually amplifying questionable Democratic foibles like Burisma or Reade or emails or Benghazi into false equivalencies to the litany of crimes, corruption, and incompetence the Trump administration has engaged in.
We already saw this playbook in 2016. Russian intel uses outside interlocutors like Bannon and Stone on the right and Assange and Greenwald on the left to cast just enough suspicion on the Democratic nominee to depress turnout and encourage third party defections. There’s no accident Justin Amash, another Russia dove, is launching a serious third party campaign the same week Reades allegations meet the press. If he can attract enough Never Trump Republicans, Bernie bros, and independents turned off by Biden, even in just his home state of Michigan, Trump wins the election.
Let me state unequivocally that Reade deserves a full third party investigation into Bidens alleged misconduct and he should cooperate with that effort. If that investigation turns up evidence implicating Biden, he should step down and another nominee should be selected to take his place. Let’s make no mistake though, this has all the hallmarks of another gaslighting campaign from the same Axis of A$$holes that gave us President Trump.