The whole election-meddling distraction is remarkable in both comic and tragic ways.
The tragedy can be summed up in three words: New Cold War. At a time when the U.S. and Russian governments ought to be working toward nuclear disarmament, relations are deteriorating dangerously. As the estimable Australian writer Caitlin Johnstone, notes, despite Donald Trump’s campaign promise of détente with Russia,
America’s unelected power establishment doesn’t care about impeaching Trump, it cares about hobbling Russia in order to prevent the rise of a potential rival superpower in its ally China.
All this lunacy makes perfect sense when you realize this. The US deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump.
Of course, removing Trump from office would be a cherry on top.
If the drivers of Russiagate can’t have that, at least they can leave the impression that Hillary Clinton would be president today were it not for the diabolically cunning Vladimir Putin and the inherently depraved Russia in cahoots with their tool, Donald Trump. (Putin’s opponents in Russia are irritated that Americans portray Putin as virtually omnipotent.)
Russiagate promoters in the Democratic Party deny they intend to right the wrong of 2016, but I don’t believe them. Surely they are trying to delegitimate the election on the grounds that Trump and Putin stole it from its rightful owner. (For the record, I think all elections are illegitimate but not because of foreign involvement.)
On the comic side, Russiagate is a new theater of the absurd, featuring Americans running around with their hair on fire over alleged official Russian actions that amount to nothing significant: it was an act of war — another Pearl Harbor — no wait, another 9/11!
Another comic aspect is the national arrogance of it all. How dare anyone interfere with our election! What’s so funny is that some people who express such outrage really have no idea how many times the US government has interfered in other countries’ elections (including Russia’s), not to mention far worse things, like perpetrating assassinations, coups, and invasions. (See Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. This sordid history is summarized here.)
Any way you look at it, Russiagate is ridiculous. Of course it serves some people’s interests. But it harms the rest of us, most of all by bringing us closer to conflict with Russia, perhaps even to nuclear war.