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Old 05-02-2019, 12:41 PM
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Why would Russia tinker with the presidential election?


If Russia did attempt to sway the Presidential Election, what could have been their motivation? Did they all think that Trump would cede Alaska back to Russia? Did they think Hillary would imposes sanctions against Russia?
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:46 PM
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With all due respect, but where have you been for the last three years? This has been discussed to death on every available media outlet available to mankind.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:46 PM
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As I understand it, their larger long-term motive is to destabilize American democracy and reduce the confidence of the American population in American institutions and government.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:48 PM
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This has been discussed to death on every available media outlet available to mankind.
I haven't seen it in Highlights Magazine.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:53 PM
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I haven't seen it in Highlights Magazine.
Oct 2018: "The Timbertoes And The Russian Ambassador". Same issue: "Goofus Gets Elected"

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-02-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:53 PM
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I can't imagine how a blow hard narcissistic conman with no experience becoming the US president could throw confusion into global institutions. It's baffling really.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:58 PM
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Oct 2018: "The Timbertoes And The Russian Ambassador".
Gallant reports contacts from foreign powers offering stolen intel to the FBI.

Goofus agrees to take a meeting and tries to pretend its about orphans.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:01 PM
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Hey, you can't take my poor joke and turn it into better jokes!
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:02 PM
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Hillary was a pretty hawkish person. Trump was much less savvy about geopolitics and possibly easier to take advantage of. Made sense for Moscow to favor Trump.

Incidentally, if future elections feature a hawkish Republican vs. a dovish Democrat, I'd expect Russia to back the Democrat.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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Hey, you can't take my poor joke and turn it into better jokes!
We tried to make it into a worse joke, but it just couldn't be done.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:04 PM
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We tried to make it into a worse joke, but it just couldn't be done.
That hurts, man.




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Old 05-02-2019, 01:04 PM
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They would rather have someone incompetent than competent in charge of the US. It makes sense. They view us as a strategic rival. Would they rather have someone who has 30 years of government and foreign policy experience who has served as Top Diplomat in the US for multiple years as well as at the highest level of government, or someone whose primary skill was marketing in charge of what they see as their chief rival? This is a no-brainer. It has served them very well. The US has essentially ceded Syria to the Russians. Venezuela is another spectacularly failed American venture. Putin has essentially severed Crimea from Ukraine and Donetsk oblast is de facto Russian and there has been no real outcry from the Trump administration. Since Trump took over, Russia has positioned itself as the regional strongman of the Middle East, with billions of dollars in arms sales to the UAE, strengthening relations with the Saudis, investment in Qatar, oil and gas deals with both sides in Libya and even Lebanese arms deals. Basically, they are being seen in the ME as the people that get things done and it has seriously eroded American soft power there. Shoot, even Israel has had more meetings and calls with Putin over the last year than with Trump. We are in very real danger of completely ceding power in the ME to Russia and the Trump administration doesn't even seem to realize it, let alone formulate a coherent policy to deal with the situation, which is pretty much exactly what Russia wants.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:08 PM
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What has happened to the US over the last 3 years?

We're hated by our traditional allies. Our traditional allies have turned to Germany and away from America for leadership of the free world.

A century of soft power in global affairs is going to waste. The state department is running on less than a skeleton crew. We're ending programs and closing facilities designed to increase American influence around the world. We've lost countless, invaluable human leadership and connections that the US has spent a century, countless careers, and lots of money building up. Our influence of the world has declined incredibly in just three years.

We've had the credibility of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies attacked and discredited, especially in regards to foreign influence and cyberwarfare in our country.

We've deliberately weakened our election security (not only did the Republicans stonewall election security reform and budget increases, but they actually voted to decrease security funding) so that foreign agents can more freely interfere in our future elections.

We've changed our foreign policy to be far more pro-Russia than it was before, or that it would've been under Hillary. When Trump became the nominee, the GOP quietly added to their platform legitimacy to the Russian seizing of the Crimea.

We're not enforcing sanctions and other legal controls on Russia, and no one is holding the executive accountable for doing this. Congress has sent a clear message - with some sanctions bills receiving unanimous support - but these have simply gone unenforced with no consequences.

We've pulled out of arms limitations agreements rather than punishing Russia for their violation of those agreements, essentially rewarding their behavior in acting towards a new strategic arms race.

We've seen a massive push to use Russia's firehose of falsehoods propoganda model on the US to undermine confidence in actual legitimate news sources and to boost confidence in foreign-backed propoganda and fake news.

We've done nothing at all to punish Russia for their cyberwarfare against us and influence in the 2016 and 2018 elections. Our president is willing to insult and make demands of our traditional allies, but is completely subservient to Vladimir Putin. The one person in the world he seems to be unwilling to criticize.

In general, pretty much every action of this executive serves to weaken America's standing in the world, America's global power, and status as leader of the free world, and to weaken trust in her institutions.

If this all wasn't basically the greatest intelligence operation in history, then it's a mighty big coincidence that it looks exactly like that. Russia, with an economy smaller than Italy, has managed to do more damage in 3 years to the power and standing of the United States than the Soviet Union managed to do in 50 years of the cold war. Historians of the future will marvel at it - one of the world's greatest empires undone by a clever old ex-KGB officer.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:11 PM
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If Russia did attempt to sway the Presidential Election, what could have been their motivation? Did they all think that Trump would cede Alaska back to Russia? Did they think Hillary would imposes sanctions against Russia?
Basically, Russia isn't a superpower anymore. They want everyone (especially Russians) to THINK they are, though. So, how do you do that? Well, you do that by weakening the lone superpower, as well as get yourself in the spotlight, internationally, doing stuff. So, I think it's a combination here...Russia needs to weaken the US, and one way to do that is to interfere in our elections, pretty much the heart of our democracy. If they also manage to gain some influence with the person/party they help in, well, that's good, but the key is to weaken the US and also to muddy the waters and cause internal strife. This gives Russia some breathing room, takes some of the pressure off of them (perhaps) and also spotlights that they still matter, that they are still a power. So, from Putin's perspective, it's a win/win/WIN! No, they didn't expect the US to cede back Alaska, though they might have hoped for the sanctions to be eased. But whether they were or not, it wasn't the key to why they did what they did...and continue to do what they continue to do. And they aren't the only ones doing this. This board focuses on Russia, but ignores the fact that China is not only doing this in the US as well, but in a lot of our allies political systems too, and also putting pressure on many of our companies to toe the Chinese line. They are doing it for much the same reason though...because it weakens us and strengthens them.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:23 PM
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If you can get internal factions fighting each other for the cost of a few Facebook memes you spend the few thousand.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:33 PM
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If you can get internal factions fighting each other for the cost of a few Facebook memes you spend the few thousand.
And if you can get the side you are attacking the elections to benefit to constantly and ridiculously downplay your actions then all the better!
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:50 PM
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And if you can get the side you are attacking the elections to benefit to constantly and ridiculously downplay your actions then all the better!
If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:52 PM
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If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
We know already that it was not just memes, but it can be explainable for living under the sea.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:53 PM
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If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
The saddest thing about all of this is how willing so many Americans are to turn a blind eye to another country attacking us simply because it help their side. George Washington and the other founding fathers are turning over in their graves right now at how far the right has fallen in this country.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:02 PM
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That hurts, man.
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If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
So, IOW, because it benefits your side AKA "make teh Libruls head essplode, hyuk hyuk!" it's all good. Okay.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:24 PM
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If Russia did attempt to sway the Presidential Election, what could have been their motivation? Did they all think that Trump would cede Alaska back to Russia? Did they think Hillary would imposes sanctions against Russia?
I’ve seen speculation that they just hoped to make Hillary’s expected win as pathetic as possible for her — you know, weakening her mandate by shrinking the margin of victory? Emboldening the opposition she’d face from a GOP majority in the Senate, because (a) they’d be more likely to defer to her following a landslide that may reflect a widespread sentiment, but (b) they’ll maybe just start talking about impeachment on Day One if it looks like she came shockingly close to losing?

Except, well, then came the real shock...
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:32 PM
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Putin's "Useful Idiot"

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The phrase “useful idiots,” often attributed to an earlier Vladimir, referred to Westerners who had been successfully manipulated by Soviet propaganda. But even Lenin would have to smile at the way Putin exploited Americans in 2016 to support Trump, or at least to oppose Hillary Clinton. Mueller’s indictment is full of nauseating detail about how Putin made fools of Americans.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:34 PM
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1. Hillary Clinton spoke out against putin and his fraudulent elections when she was secretary of state, which made putin want revenge against her.

2. Trump has ties to Russia going back years (he laundered money for them via his real estate). So putin felt he could be an asset.

3. Putin wants to destabilize democracy in general. He meddles in lots of European democracies too.

4. Putin felt trump would support Putins geopolitical agenda. Destabilizing NATO. Degrading the United States. Lifting sanctions.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:38 PM
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From former Soviet Russia, electoral college lead to DEgrade inflation.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:42 PM
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Fantastic summary, SenorBeef. Thank you for putting it all so succinctly.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:45 PM
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If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:51 PM
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If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
Go to war over Donald Trump? Ew. Just find some low-hanging impeachment fruit, get rid of him, and be more vigilant in future.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:59 PM
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If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
There are fundamental problems that made this possible, and one of them is the willingness of many Americans to support and justify terrible things (and terrible people) because they hate the other side and want to hurt them more than they love the good things and fundamental principles that make our country great. This exists on both sides, but right now it seems very clear to me that it's much more prevalent on the pro-Trump side than the anti-Trump side.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:05 PM
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Russia themselves described it as an act of war.

As for sanctions, shortly before the election, a half-trillion-dollar oil deal between Exxon and Russia was blocked by sanctions. After the election, the CEO of Exxon was named Secretary of State. This isn't even connect-the-dots: This is a single giant dot labeled "1" that fills the entire page.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:12 PM
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If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling.
I think you left out the weaponizing part.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:19 PM
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Russia themselves described it as an act of war.

As for sanctions, shortly before the election, a half-trillion-dollar oil deal between Exxon and Russia was blocked by sanctions. After the election, the CEO of Exxon was named Secretary of State. This isn't even connect-the-dots: This is a single giant dot labeled "1" that fills the entire page.
Has it been unblocked? According to this, Exxon ended up abandoning the deal.

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HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil is abandoning its joint exploration ventures with the Russian oil company Rosneft, retreating from what was one of its most promising investments until Western sanctions got in the way.

During the early years of the Obama administration, when there was a brief warming of relations, Exxon Mobil signed an exploration deal with the Russians. Exxon and Rosneft, which is only half-owned by the Russian government but state-run, agreed to invest $3.2 billion to search for oil in deepwater fields in the Arctic and elsewhere.

After Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the United States and its European allies applied several sanctions on Moscow, eventually freezing Exxon’s investments.

In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, Exxon said that it had decided late last year to abandon the ventures this year and would take an after-tax loss of $200 million. “The corporation and its affiliates continue to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations,” the company said.
Has this changed? I didn't see anything indicating that it has, but maybe I missed it?
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:21 PM
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If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
Yes. Countries do shitty stuff to each other all the time without it leading to war.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:26 PM
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If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
From what I have heard the US is de facto at war with both Russia and China and have been for many years. When I first heard that (back in 2007 or so), I used to dismiss it, but now I am pretty sure they were correct. This war is not a hot war, but is instead fought using cyber weapons, disinformation, propaganda campaigns, and economic manipulation. The people that told me this were civilian contractors working with the US intelligence community. Some of them still are and they are very actively involved in the fight even with the current administration denying it and weakening our assets.

Personally, I think the current crop of Republicans in congress are at best playing a very dangerous game with our security and at worst are treasonous. I think the Trump administration is inept and crooked, but will be survived. The Republicans that refuse to stand up to them and are allowing them to weaken us at every turn should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they pay a heavy price.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:30 PM
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The saddest thing about all of this is how willing so many Americans are to turn a blind eye to another country attacking us simply because it help their side. George Washington and the other founding fathers are turning over in their graves right now at how far the right has fallen in this country.
Some easy steps from octopus consulting Inc. to prevent the most qualified candidate ever and supporting crew from being future shenanigans.

1. Don’t keep the default password on your equipment.
2. When you do change your password don’t change it to password or 123456.
3. When browsing the SDMB between conference calls and fundraising resist the urge to click on the browser hijacking ad that promises a free iPad.
4. ????
5. Win the election.

If those 5 easy steps were followed we’d have a President Clinton right now. It wouldn’t have hurt to visit the rust belt either.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:35 PM
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From what I have heard the US is de facto at war with both Russia and China and have been for many years. When I first heard that (back in 2007 or so), I used to dismiss it, but now I am pretty sure they were correct. This war is not a hot war, but is instead fought using cyber weapons, disinformation, propaganda campaigns, and economic manipulation. The people that told me this were civilian contractors working with the US intelligence community. Some of them still are and they are very actively involved in the fight even with the current administration denying it and weakening our assets.

Personally, I think the current crop of Republicans in congress are at best playing a very dangerous game with our security and at worst are treasonous. I think the Trump administration is inept and crooked, but will be survived. The Republicans that refuse to stand up to them and are allowing them to weaken us at every turn should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they pay a heavy price.
You think the current crop of political flunkies is corrupt, inept, or treasonous? Think of all the technological secrets that have been given or have been stolen including nuclear secrets over the past several decades. Our government doesn’t seem to be a united nor competent/loyal group since before WWII. This isn’t new.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:35 PM
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Some easy steps from octopus consulting Inc. to prevent the most qualified candidate ever and supporting crew from being future shenanigans.

1. Don’t keep the default password on your equipment.
2. When you do change your password don’t change it to password or 123456.
3. When browsing the SDMB between conference calls and fundraising resist the urge to click on the browser hijacking ad that promises a free iPad.
4. ????
5. Win the election.

If those 5 easy steps were followed we’d have a President Clinton right now. It wouldn’t have hurt to visit the rust belt either.
What does this have to do with creating fictitious accounts on Facebook or promoting special-interest groups where the real special-interest was Russia?
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:42 PM
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What does this have to do with creating fictitious accounts on Facebook or promoting special-interest groups where the real special-interest was Russia?
Ok. Part 2 of octopus consulting Inc. which is directed at the American people. Don’t take as gospel clever sound bites from motivational posters that include an image of Jesus on a velociraptor or a frog. That’s it. Jesus on a velociraptor is not good source.

You know, we might actually be screwed.

Last edited by octopus; 05-02-2019 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:43 PM
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From former Soviet Russia, electoral college lead to DEgrade inflation.
Pretty good multi-layer Russian Reversal!
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:45 PM
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If Russia did attempt to sway the Presidential Election, what could have been their motivation? Did they all think that Trump would cede Alaska back to Russia? Did they think Hillary would imposes sanctions against Russia?
Putin would like the United States to be weakened by having an incompetent President running things. A weakened America would be less able to stop Russian aggression around the world.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:46 PM
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Gallant reports contacts from foreign powers offering stolen intel to the FBI.



Goofus agrees to take a meeting and tries to pretend its about orphans.
I really have nothing to add except this is fucking hilarious. Thank you.

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Old 05-02-2019, 03:48 PM
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Yes. Countries do shitty stuff to each other all the time without it leading to war.
Right. What's particularly outrageous this time is that the guy who's our President encouraged them, didn't report their efforts to authorities, did a wink and a nod has they openly helped each other, and something like 35% of the population think he's doing a fine job.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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If Russia did attempt to sway the Presidential Election...
"If?" Has there been anything more carefully examined and proven in literally all of history?

Last edited by TimeWinder; 05-02-2019 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
I accept the reality that hostile countries like Russia are going to make attempts to weaken America. But Putin is not subject to American laws and we're not responsible for Putin's actions.

The crime is not that Putin offered aid to Trump. The crime is that Trump accepted that aid.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:53 PM
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Mueller’s indictment is full of nauseating detail about how Putin made fools of Americans.
Let's not give Putin too much credit. Most of the people who voted for Trump were already fools.

Propaganda wouldn't have worked if there weren't people dumb enough to be influenced by it.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-02-2019 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by octopus View Post
If a country is so fragile that memes are its undoing something went wrong far sooner then the meddling. Fixing that is too hard though so let’s focus and cry about another country doing what we do.
Oh sure. Toxic conservatism already laid a lot of the groundwork that Putin just hijacked. The schisms were there. The propaganda outlets (Fox News, conservative radio, chain e-mails your grandma sends, etc.) were already there. The hatred, the "party over country" values were already there. The "as long as my enemies seem like they're upset, I must be winning" retardation was there.

Conservatives were using hateful dog whistles to rile up their base for a long time now. All Trump did was come along and stop masking it. Stop making it subtle or a hidden message. Just flat out come out and be hateful. This appealed to their voters even more than dog whistles, this was a guy who "tells it like it is." Of course he doesn't tell it like it is. He's a pathological liar, he lies about easily, obviously provable things constantly. What they mean is "he's willing to say the things I want to say but feel like I'd be socially punished for it" - he tapped into all that hate that the Republicans were encouraging and exploiting and just was willing to do it in a much more direct way than them, and their voters responded to it.

If you remember, it wasn't clear that this was going to work at first. A lot of Republicans were "never Trumpers" - they thought this blatantly anti-Christian, racist, hateful, stupid, senile man was going to make a mockery of their party, that people would see through it and it was going to blow back on the Republican party.

And then it didn't. Sure, they lost a tiny slice of their supporters who hadn't already been driven out by their actions over recent years, but the Fox News, "he tells it like it is" base developed a fucking cult of personality over Trump. Most perverse, Evangelical Christians decided that one of the least Christ-like men on Earth was God's chosen to lead them.

Once it was clear that the republican base had turned into this cult that would support him literally no matter what, they all fell in line. Famous anti-Trumpers became his biggest cheerleaders, purely out of opportunism. Absolutely disgusting.

Additionally, Russia hacked both the DNC and the RNC. But they only leaked the DNC information. This was because the DNC information was far less damaging and therefore less valuable for blackmail. They used both sides of that information - they used the RNC information to blackmail Republicans in power, threatening to release their secrets - and then they leaked the DNC information, changing the election in favor of the Republicans. This both makes good on their mob-style threat - "we could do to you way worse than what we just did to the democrats" and also puts the people who they now have blackmail leverage over into power.

It's not just Trump-Russia. It's not Republicans-Russia. They're all in. Russia is illegally funding Republicans through the NRA, and who knows what other methods. Republicans were proudly posing with a Russian spy as part of that operation, and no one seems to give a shit. It's basically right here in front of us, and only thing stopping us from admitting is:

1. It is a news media that presents false balance to us - the idea that both sides are always just as bad, so if we correctly and accurately go after one side for being basically traitors, then we'll be accused of being left-leaning, so we better just completely abandon our jobs and pretend like this is just normal politics.

2. We simply don't want to believe this to be the case. We've all got friends or relatives or whatever that are Republican, and they're good people, aren't they? They don't openly support the racist or misogynistic stuff. And they love their country, surely they wouldn't support a guy that was installed by a foreign enemy, would they? No, this is just politics. They're misguided but this must all just fall within the realm of normal politics. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that we're in the middle of a soft, slow coup, so I'm going to pretend it's not happening.

3. The most hateful, most partisan, most shitty people honestly don't even care if they are being used as tools in this way. They can see what they're doing is leading to their hated enemy being upset, and losing, and they relish in that victory. Even if they're hurting themselves in the process. As long as those they see as their enemy are suffering, they are happy. They'd burn this country to the ground if it would elicit one more "librul tear."

In retrospect, people in the future are going to look back at this particular period of American history as a bizarre mass insanity. They won't be able to understand how we let this happen to ourselves. But the people who are in it - both the people who are actively making this happen, and the people who refuse to see it for what it is and truly fight for it - can't see it. Refuse to see it.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-02-2019 at 04:04 PM.
  #46  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:03 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
Right. What's particularly outrageous this time is that the guy who's our President encouraged them, didn't report their efforts to authorities, did a wink and a nod has they openly helped each other, and something like 35% of the population think he's doing a fine job.
43%. If you're this far off on basic numerical facts, it doesn't bode well for the accuracy of the rest of your post.
  #47  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:03 PM
Velocity is offline
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Originally Posted by Uniqueorn View Post
If it were finally publicly accepted by both houses and the Government that Russia interfered in the election, would there be any other option than to declare war?
Declaring war wouldn't even be in the picture. It's not like Russia launched a nuke and killed a million Americans, or invaded NATO. At most, maybe some diplomatic sanctions.
  #48  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Oh sure. Toxic conservatism already laid a lot of the groundwork that Putin just hijacked. The schisms were there. The propaganda outlets (Fox News, conservative radio, chain e-mails your grandma sends, etc.) were already there. The hatred, the "party over country" values were already there. The "as long as my enemies seem like they're upset, I must be winning" retardation was there.

Conservatives were using hateful dog whistles to rile up their base for a long time now. All Trump did was come along and stop masking it. Stop making it subtle or a hidden message. Just flat out come out and be hateful. This appealed to their voters even more than dog whistles, this was a guy who "tells it like it is." Of course he doesn't tell it like it is. He's a pathological liar, he lies about easily, obviously provable things constantly. What they mean is "he's willing to say the things I want to say but feel like I'd be socially punished for it" - he tapped into all that hate that the Republicans were encouraging and exploiting and just was willing to do it in a much more direct way than them, and their voters responded to it.

If you remember, it wasn't clear that this was going to work at first. A lot of Republicans were "never Trumpers" - they thought this blatantly anti-Christian, racist, hateful, stupid, senile man was going to make a mockery of their party, that people would see through it and it was going to blow back on the Republican party.

And then it didn't. Sure, they lost a tiny slice of their supporters who hadn't already been driven out by their actions over recent years, but the Fox News, "he tells it like it is" base developed a fucking cult of personality over Trump. Most perverse, Evangelical Christians decided that one of the least Christ-like men on Earth was God's chosen to lead them.

Once it was clear that the republican base had turned into this cult that would support him literally no matter what, they all fell in line. Famous anti-Trumpers became his biggest cheerleaders, purely out of opportunism. Absolutely disgusting.

Additionally, Russia hacked both the DNC and the RNC. But they only leaked the DNC information. This was because the DNC information was far less damaging and therefore less valuable for blackmail. They used both sides of that information - they used the RNC information to blackmail Republicans in power, threatening to release their secrets - and then they leaked the DNC information, changing the election in favor of the Republicans. This both makes good on their mob-style threat - "we could do to you way worse than what we just did to the democrats" and also puts the people who they now have blackmail leverage over into power.

It's not just Trump-Russia. It's not Republicans-Russia. They're all in. Russia is illegally funding Republicans through the NRA, and who knows what other methods. Republicans were proudly posing with a Russian spy as part of that operation, and no one seems to give a shit. It's basically right here in front of us, and only thing stopping us from admitting is:

1. It is a news media that presents false balance to us - the idea that both sides are always just as bad, so if we correctly and accurately go after one side for being basically traitors, then we'll be accused of being left-leaning, so we better just completely abandon our jobs and pretend like this is just normal politics.

2. We simply don't want to believe this to be the case. We've all got friends or relatives or whatever that are Republican, and they're good people, aren't they? They don't openly support the racist or misogynistic stuff. And they love their country, surely they wouldn't support a guy that was installed by a foreign enemy, would they? No, this is just politics. They're misguided but this must all just fall within the realm of normal politics. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that we're in the middle of a soft, slow coup, so I'm going to pretend it's not happening.

3. The most hateful, most partisan, most shitty people honestly don't even care if they are being used as tools in this way. They can see what they're doing is leading to their hated enemy being upset, and losing, and they relish in that victory. Even if they're hurting themselves in the process. As long as those they see as their enemy are suffering, they are happy. They'd burn this country to the ground if it would elicit one more "librul tear."

In retrospect, people in the future are going to look back at this particular period of American history as a bizarre mass insanity. They won't be able to understand how we let this happen to ourselves. But the people who are in it - both the people who are actively making this happen, and the people who refuse to see it for what it is and truly fight for it - can't see it. Refuse to see it.
Shoot, Russia aside from nukes is barely relevant. Chinese are a far greater threat and the powers that be have turned a blind eye, when they aren’t aiding, the transfer of knowledge that made Chinese ascension so rapid. That’s what’s insane. Not a bit of dirt on a few politicians.

And nothing going on nowadays compares with the pro-communist folks in the west who gave up nuclear secrets to Stalin.

Last edited by octopus; 05-02-2019 at 04:20 PM.
  #49  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:23 PM
SenorBeef is offline
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That's what's so amazing about what Russia is doing. They are nearly irrelevant. They are not a world power politically, militarily (outside of nukes), or economically.

They are doing all of this through clever means. They're good at espionage and propaganda. Finding and exploiting schisms. This is why I called it what may be the greatest espionage operation of all time. A relatively impotent Russia is going to take out arguably the most powerful empire in the history of the world simply through clever espionage. The vastly more powerful Soviet Union wasn't able to do it. But now this minor player kleptocracy, with a very needed assist from toxic conservatism, is pulling it off. It's incredible. We're watching one of the all time great historical events and everyone refuses to see it.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-02-2019 at 04:24 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-02-2019, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
That's what's so amazing about what Russia is doing. They are nearly irrelevant. They are not a world power politically, militarily (outside of nukes), or economically.

They are doing all of this through clever means. They're good at espionage and propaganda. Finding and exploiting schisms. This is why I called it what may be the greatest espionage operation of all time. A relatively impotent Russia is going to take out arguably the most powerful empire in the history of the world simply through clever espionage. The vastly more powerful Soviet Union wasn't able to do it. But now this minor player kleptocracy, with a very needed assist from toxic conservatism, is pulling it off. It's incredible. We're watching one of the all time great historical events and everyone refuses to see it.
I wouldn’t characterize it as toxic conservatism. I’d call it spoiled brat syndrome.
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