The correct word to describe hacking’s effect in the election is…

Chait and Drum and a few others are in conniptions that Trump has said Russian hacking had ‘no effect’ or ‘zero effect’ on the election. They accuse him of lying, based essentially on the matter of truth that the Russian hacking / leaking happened. Cuz, because it happened, there’s then a non-zero chance that it impacted the election. If something happened one should assume there’s impact amirite, even if it’s not easily measurable.

This is not wrong…. Russian hacking / leaking did happen, so it did have an impact. … But this argument is a little bit Boolean theoromy and pedantic.

Thing is, there’s about 5 great superseding, easily discernable (in hindsight), understandable as truth reasons why Hillary lost. They are:

** The two term pendulum swing.

** that Hillary was going to underperform Obama significantly no matter what, just because she’s a terrible, uninspiring candidate, deficient in comparison to Obama by several leagues. Do I need to elaborate on this? (No.) Just recall that Obama had a convincing victory in ’08 and a comfortable victory in ’12. If Hillary was not of Obama quality to attain either ‘convincing victory’ or ‘comfortable victory’, what’s left was ‘possible victory’ and ‘defeat’. So it was dicey for her to start. Especially in collision with “two term pendulum swing”

**After that, one must acknowledge the Brexit-ish nature of this country’s political mood right now, which has a bit to do with xenophobic-ness and whatnot… Let’s generalize and say Hillary and the Democrats want open borders. Hillary had the disadvantage of being the non-Brexit candidate at a moment when the country’s mood was Brexit-ish. This was demonstrated by some Wikileaks material but not revealed by it. We knew this already, no one voted for Trump because of the Goldman Sachs speeches. I would assert Stein got some votes because of the Goldman Sachs speech reveals, and the ‘Nader vote’ in this election was not an irrelevancy.

**For an election where the result is constantly characterized as so racial, there’s not a lot of explicit articulation for what this is all about: a white prole and bourgeois reaction against BLM. Hillary and the Democrats are ostensibly BLM sympathetic, Trump is ostensibly “law and order”… it’s right to sense some votes were swung from nominal Democrats to Trump on this topic. [The blog here is fairly pro BLM, btw.]

**You’d think we’re in an era where all the nominal Democrat votes in the heartland that can be swung to the GOP have been, but its probably right that there were XX,000 new ones this time that got swung as a reaction to the Democrats contemporary emphasis on gay wedding cakes and trans bathrooms. [The blog here is pro marriage-equality, btw.]

If the victory depends on 100K votes in WI, MI, OH, and PA, those 5 reasons can explain all 100K votes. At that point, the Russian hacking / leaking is…


That’s the correct word to use, and literally accurate where ‘no effect’ and ‘zero effect’ are not. Trump doesn’t use inconsequential, but that’s not because he’s a lying liar (which he is, generally)… it’s because he’s a man limited to 3 syllable words by his Queens goombah vocabulary.


It’s not like I think this pussy footing with the Russians is a great thing. I don’t.

We can admit Mitt Romney was right now, can’t we, the Russians are the biggest threat…

In a world where Pax-Americana is dead , by the consensus of all, and we don’t give a shit about enlarging the spheres of American style western democracy, I don’t see how Trump is wrong that the logical course is American/Russian collegiality for its own sake (while the Russians continue on as the barbarians that they are…).


One thought on “The correct word to describe hacking’s effect in the election is…

  1. pm1956

    Haven’t read Drum on this, but I have read Chait, and I think that you do not do his argument justice. First, Trump has tried and tried to deny that there was any Russian hacking. Now that he is backed into a corner, he is finally admitting that it probably happened, but that it had no effect. Chait’s point is that we cannot know what the effect was (without holding the election again, and without the hacking this time), but we can be reasonably certain (indeed, almost 100% certain) that it did indeed have some effect.

    There is nothing wrong with this argument, and it is correct. The thing is, all of this points out Trump’s insecurities and his incredibly thin skin. The guy is 100% ego, , blames his loss of the popular vote on fraud, tries to deny help/assistance from the Russians, gets in fight with movie stars constantly, and can’t help comparing himself to Schwarzenegger (when he should be concentrating on all sorts of other priorities.

    All of that said, Chait never said that, without the Russian hacking, that Clinton would have won. Indeed, Chait has been a critic of Clinton’s, on a whole host of issues. I agree with your five points about Clinton’s performance, but I still do not think that that makes the results of the Russian hacking “inconsequential” .

    As for the Russians, I do not think that they are enemy # 1, at the moment. I still think that we can look to terrorists for the top ranking. Putin and the Russians are an irritation, and have been slowly and staedily declining as a world power. Indeed, they no longer are a world power, but really a regional power. Highly opportunistic. Not to be ignored. They take risks only in their areas of influence (Ukraine, Syria) or where the potential costs (to them) are low–this hacking.

    All of that said, there certainly are areas where we can work with them, and we should–where it makes sense for us to do so. Recognizing, constantly, that they will stab us in the back as soon as they can (if it serves their purpose).


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