Sunday, October 08, 2017

64 hours in October

The video above is a short (31:48) Yahoo! documentary, “64 hours in October: How one weekend blew up the rules of American politics”, about a few days of news back in October 2016 and how they unfolded. On the face of it, this shows how those days were typical of the way things happened in the 2016 US elections—the breakneck speed, that nothing much influenced voter attitudes, how bizarre and abnormal the news cycle was. And yet, there are also so many unanswered questions, even now.

In hindsight, the “Access Hollywood” video seems the most problematic, and as I watched the documentary I began to feel we’d all been played. Who leaked the video and why? Coming right after the US Government publicly accused the Russian Government of trying to influence the US election, the timing of the leak about the man who became US President and his bragging about sexual assault seems, well, awfully convenient. The question is, for whom?

Certainly the Russian Government would’ve wanted to change the subject very quickly, and they’d know how eagerly the US newsmedia would eat up the revelations about the Republican nominee and his foul language and terrible attitude toward women. But how could they know that it wouldn’t destroy their chosen candidate’s campaign?

The other folks who stood to gain were running the Republican campaign itself. Although they deny any involvement in the leak, it gave them the opportunity to do their little stunt with women who accuse Bill Clinton of having allegedly committed inappropriate sexual behaviour with them, and also to try and paint Hillary Clinton as some sort of “bully” who, they said, “went after” the accusers. That changed the subject again, and it played directly to his fervent base.

Moreover, the Republican campaign would have known that the accusations agains their candidate would have no affect whatsoever on those core supporters, and probably wouldn’t affect anyone who wasn’t already against the Republican nominee, at least, not in the long run, especially if they could distract people, as they did with their stunt with the accusers. Their goal was to keep their base riled up and to discourage voting by people who didn’t support the Republican nominee, but who also weren’t enthusiastic about voting for Hillary Clinton.

But what if there was actual collusion between the Russians and the Republican nominee’s campaign? We know there were an awful lot of high-level contacts between them, and we know there was at least some advance notice that the Russians were about to use Wikileaks to release emails they’d stolen. Could that collusion have been deeper and far more serious?

The Russian Government’s 2016 attack on the USA was just a test run. Because they were so successful we can be sure that if they’re not investigated and stopped, they’ll be back at it in 2018 and 2020, and probably with similar results. The current regime in the White House has not only displayed a total lack of any curiosity in what the Russians did and how, they continue to deny it even happened. Why?

It’s constantly alleged that the man elected president in 2016 allegedly has many financial ties to Russia, and so allegedly has a personal vested interest in deflecting and denying anything to do with the Russian attack on the USA, or that it even happened. If the allegations are proven true, though, that wouldn’t explain the collusion of many of the others—what did they stand to gain?

If the Republican nominee, whoever he is, wins the 2020 US presidential election, none of this will ever be investigated. It probably won’t be if Republicans retain control of Congress in the 2018 elections. All of which leads one to wonder: Aside from protecting their 2016 presidential candidate, is there anything else they’re trying to hide?

These are all questions that won’t get investigated, much less answered, if Republicans remain in power. That leaves as the USA’s only hope the investigation of Robert Mueller. If he indicts senior figures in the Republican 2016 campaign, or from the regime installed on Inauguration Day, then some of the questions will be addressed in court at their trials—assuming, of course, that the man currently acting as president doesn’t pardon all the folks who criminally helped him get there.

Still, this documentary can be taken at face value, as merely a fascinating look at October 7-9, 2016, and how those days were typical of the way things happened then. In fact, the article about it posted online does exactly that. But the documentary left me with far more questions than answers. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

No comments: