Seriously, I read the Jonathan Chait piece mentioned here. It was so long and full of holes I could instantly tell it was gas lighting nonsense.
Are the Russia-gate Fanatics Crazy, Or Just Cynical?
The kookification of the “mainstream” continues, with none other than Jonathan Chait – the most conventional sort of boring corporate liberal – producing an unhinged diatribe purporting to prove that Donald Trump has been a Russian agent since 1987 – and that his path to the presidency was paved by his Russian handlers, who were planning it all along. And not to be outdone, formerly rational person Marcy Wheeler, whose investigations as “emptywheel” won her some renown, is now claiming that she not only has definitive proof of Trump’s collusion with the Kremlin, but that, as a result, she was forced to turn one of her sources into the FBI for some vague cloak-and-dagger-ish reason.
I looked in on the Chait production, and came upon his reiteration of the Alfa Bank computer link – this was a story, you’ll recall, that claimed there was a stream of communications between this “Kremlin-connected” bank and the Trump organization. This, we were told, was almost certainly Vladimir Putin sending instructions to his zombie-agents in the Trump White House. Yes, this was actually the story, backed up by several computer “experts” – except it turned out to be advertising spam. Chait repeats this story, adding it on top of the several dozen other conspiracy factoids he throws in the mix – but without mentioning that the computer signals were simply ad-bots. On the basis of this, and a string of other “interactions” with Russians, we are supposed to believe that the omnipotent Russian intelligence agencies hatched a plot 30 years ago to put Trump into the White House. This is a conspiracy theory that’s so shoddy and far-fetched that not even Alex Jones would touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Which brings us to an interesting question: do these people really believe their own craziness?
In some instances, it’s pure psychopathology. That’s the case, I believe, for Marcy Wheeler, Louise Mensch, and the more active online Twitter-paranoids. These people have been so shocked by the unexpected – the election of Trump – that they have been forced into a dubious mental state bordering on insanity.
However, in the case of Jonathan Chait, it’s pure viciousness and cynicism. He even says of his own theory that it’s “unlikely but possible.” It’s just a show for the suckers. The same is true for most of the other journalists who have enlisted in #TheResistance and given up any pretense at objectivity: they are simply doing what they do best, and that is taking dictation from their spookish sources. The treatment of Russia-gate in the media parallels precisely what occurred with Iraq’s storied “weapons of mass destruction” – reporters are taking it all on faith, and they don’t even necessarily believe it. Thus the biggest hoax since Piltdown Man is reported as “fact.” And of course all this is coming to the fore as Trump takes on NATO and our European “allies.”
For anti-interventionists, Trump’s trip to Europe could not be more timely or enlightening. He went to the NATO meeting with a few admonitory tweets up front, complaining that America pays far more than a fair share of the alliance’s monetary costs, and no sooner does he get off the plane than he notes that for all the anti-Russian rhetoric coming out of our allies, the Germans are cuddling up to the Russians on the energy front with the Nord Stream II pipeline. Merkel shot back that Germany is, after all, an independent country and can do what it likes. True, but then why the weird contradiction between claiming that Russia is a military threat and also setting up the mechanism of energy dependence?