Compromat. Get used to this Russian word, for it contains the full meaning of last night’s bombshell report about Russian election hacking. We must learn to use it early and often, especially when discussing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Russia’s role in the hacking and publication of internal Democratic Party emails has been known and widely…

Guest Voice
  • Markus1

    It seems that a Mexican sneaking into the country to mow lawns for sub-minimum wage money is a big danger while the machinations of the Russian intelligence services are no problem. Thanks, GOP.

  • Shannon Lee

    The real problem here is Russia blackmailing Republicans with hacked emails. Who knows what sort of deviate emails the Russians have uncovered.

    • KP

      That would be my concern. It used to be compromising images and pictures, now it could easily be e-mails. They need to be very careful (If that’s possible) in the way they conduct their lives.

      • epiphyte

        It’s too late for that! Undoubtedly in many cases the deeds are already done, and Putin already has the evidence. Now many of our most prominent politicians (on both “sides”) are faced with a difficult personal choice; betray their country by acceding to blackmail, or sacrifice themselves by refusing to do so.

        I wouldn’t care to give odds on even a single one of them opting to do the right thing, even when the alternative is unmitigated treason.

        • KP

          In some cases, like Weiner, it is too late, and I am sure there are more who can be embarrassed. However, there is still a future (for the time being) and maybe elected officials got a wake up call.

          The fact that it is front page news and we are discussing it is a good thing. It should be a message to our elected officials to “shake yourself”.

          There is a reason America doesn’t use our best cyber warfare against a country; if we do, it is no longer a secret, may be less effective going forward and it may be used against us.

          If the best Putin can do is shed light on silly e-mails within the DNC and Hillary’s re-election camp I am not too impressed. Many of them actually made some KEY Dems look good.

        • KP

          Now many of our most prominent politicians (on both “sides”) are faced with a difficult personal choice; betray their country by acceding to blackmail, or sacrifice themselves by refusing to do so.

          That may be quite a stretch. Not everybody in elected office are as careless as Weiner and Hillary. Secondly, life doesn’t end with being horribly embarrassed (ask Petraeus), it just probably feels like it the first few weeks.

          I wouldn’t care to give odds on even a single one of them opting to do the right thing, even when the alternative is unmitigated treason.

          I am not sure that is a healthy or accurate portrayal of current circumstances. That’s just my two cents. It’s possible your two cents is worth five of my cents :- )

          • epiphyte

            @KP – There is indeed life after horrible embarrassment. But some people will always opt for the less immediately painful alternative to lancing that particular boil, which is one reason why blackmail works.

            Another is that sometimes the skeletons in people’s closets, especially those with plus-sized egos who believe that the rules don’t apply to them, are more than merely embarrassing.

          • KP

            You nail it, epiphyte.

            It’s no wonder the most qualified no longer want to serve in elected office. I seem to recall Colin Powell’s wife paraphrasing “no way” when he considered a run.

            I respected her … and Colin for listening. Between character assassination and embarrassment it has become hard to serve in office unless your goal is to withstand all of that for riches.

            Maybe that is the good to come out of the hacking, ie, less money and more character. Is that possible?

          • KP

            …sometimes the skeletons in people’s closets, especially those with plus-sized egos who believe that the rules don’t apply to them, are more than merely embarrassing.

            Sounds like a good Agatha Christie novel. Perhaps “Murder on the Orient Express” :- )

          • epiphyte

            OMG. The headmaster’s wife at the boarding school which I attended from 8-13 years old was a huge fan of Agatha Christie… which was why her books were pretty much the only paperback novels which any of us were permitted to read.

            Somehow though, “Five Little Pigs” seems more apposite…

        • Shannon Lee

          I wonder how many closet homosexuals we have in Republican Party? These are the kind of emails that can destroy a person professionally and personally. this is the kind of stuff I am worried about.

  • Robert P. Coutinho

    I think Bruce Bartlett got it right.

    • epiphyte

      Was about to say something flippant here…. but then I looked at Bruce Bartlett’s twitter feed for today – and he certainly got this right!

      The question isn’t why Russia interfered in our election, the question is why did in interfere on behalf of Trump & the GOP.

      … but that can’t be what you were referring to, because he tweeted it after your post. So I’m intrigued as to what it is to which you were alluding?

  • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

    I read somewhere here:

    Now many of our most prominent politicians (on both “sides”) are faced with a difficult personal choice; betray their country by acceding to blackmail, or sacrifice themselves by refusing to do so.

    McCain, Graham, Schumer and Reed do not see it as “a difficult personal choice”:

    Read their joint statement on Reports That Russia Interfered with the 2016 Election
    Sunday, December 11, 2016 :

    “For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.

    “Congress’s national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done. While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society. Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks.

    “This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”

    • KP

      Well done Dorian.

      I don’t always agree with people of integrity but I strive to respect their integrity.

    • epiphyte

      @DDW I Don’t disagree at all – but the people you are referring to are not the ones I’m worried about. Both houses of congress undoubtedly have more than a few bad apples, and it is they who will likely fail to meet the challenge when faced with the choice to which I alluded. In doing so, they might prevent even a mostly united congress from acting to forestall an effective takeover of the US government by foreign and corporate interests. It doesn’t get any more treasonous than that.
      In the coming weeks we will see members of both houses, on both sides, resisting any effort to shed light on reality, let alone do anything to correct the consequences of the attack that has been successfully perpetrated upon the people of this country. They will claim that they are doing so in the interest of peaceful transition, continuity of government, looking forward not backward, but in truth their actions will be borne of nothing more or less than cowardice in the face of the enemy.

      • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

        I am a realist when it comes to our politics. epi, and, like you, I am skeptical that anything good will come out of this. But the other side of me in matters of generally seeing the good in people, — the eternal optimist — I say that it has to start somewhere and just hope that the Senators I mentioned are that start and more “bad apples” will convert.

        • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist

          Just watched McConnell’s news conference and that hope got dashed quite a bit. What a pathetic partisan, political diehard!

  • JSpencer

    Not so long ago, I believe knowledge of this type would have been devastating to a president elect, and also to the party who accepted it as OK, but it’s clear we now live in an era where partisanship and tribalism transcend the principles of the democratic republic itself. We are between a rock and a hard place, and people like Mitch McConnell seem to think that’s just fine. Does the difference between right and wrong, shame and honor matter anymore?

    • epiphyte

      Does the difference between right and wrong, shame and honor matter anymore?

      Absolutely it does. It does to you. It does to me. It does to most of those reading this. And to those to whom it doesn’t seem to matter, all I can say is, “Wake up, you fools!”

      • JSpencer

        Thanks epiphyte..