Analyzing Clinton’s Nonsense on the Late Show

When we talk about “what happened” regarding the 2016 elections, we should always start with the clear point that in the bourgeois political extravaganza, no one is willing to take responsibility. And, obviously, the masters of not taking responsibility are the Clintons.

In the video, Colbert and Clinton spend the first two minutes on general fluff and wound-licking. Following that, Clinton says the point of her book is to figure out what happened, “so that it doesn’t happen again”. Of course, she receives raucous applause for this line. After all, she is on Colbert’s show.

What is “it” exactly? Bourgeois elections? The Democrats losing elections? I suppose she means the government of the Russian Federation “interfering” in the elections, but we’ll cover that a bit later.

She says at around the 3:40 mark, that she’s being as candid as she could be about “the mistakes [she] made, … but also, … everything from sexism and misogyny to voter suppression to the unusual behavior of the former director of the FBI and the Russians, and the Russians and you have been sounding the alarm about this, because I believe so strongly that they think they succeeded in messing with our democracy…”

We can unpack this more as the interview goes on, but you’ll notice how quickly she pivots from talking about her own actions to blaming everyone else. Throughout the rest of the interview, she fails to mention anything else about what she could have done to change the outcome of the election.

That’s not to say the other things aren’t important, but rather that in her perspective, she is not responsible for her own loss. Well, what the fuck? For someone who apparently extolls the virtues of the Amerikkkan political process, why is she complaining about it so much? I don’t remember any (literally, not one) of the other losers in my lifetime doing anything remotely like this.

BLM Clinton

“Russia made me say racist things in the 90s!”

Back to the video…

Around 4:30, she says that the “Russians” definitely were “influencing voters and, therefore, influencing opinion…”

Let’s assume, for a moment, this is true. What does that mean? The government of the Russian Federation supposedly bought ads on Facebook and published news articles that were particularly aimed at Clinton and her campaign, placing her in a bad light.

What’s the issue here?

Last time I checked, that’s perfectly legal and acceptable. In fact, that’s what you do in an election! You attempt to influence voters and opinion in order to help you achieve your personal desirable outcome.

Now, dear reader, you might protest that the problem is that Russia is a foreign government. However, I don’t hear anyone complaining about how Clinton received money and blessings from Saudi Arabia and Israel (along with countless other states).

So what’s the deal? Russia bought Facebook ads? And by doing so, influenced the election?

Good for them. They played the game and beat out other countries. It seems like if we accept the narrative that Clinton and Colbert are pushing, the whole process was merely a power-play between different countries. And in that power-play, Russia beat Saudi Arabia.

clinton saudi

Around 5:07, she claims that she’s “a bit of a Paula Revere.”

Can’t you hear it now? The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

This is fear-mongering and highfalutin bullshit at its finest.

So now we get to hear Clinton’s breakdown of Vladimir Putin’s strategy. Fasten your seatbelt, dear reader, because you’re about to get thrown through a whirlwind of garbage.

At 5:12, she begins:

“You know, you’ve gotta understand what Putin’s strategy is. He really doesn’t like democracy. He thinks its an inconvenient, messy process. And he doesn’t like us. And he wants to destabilize our country, sow doubt about our democracy. I mean, these latest revelations where you had Russians pretending to be Americans. You had fake Americans with fake news and fake stories and fake demonstrations. That wasn’t just because he’s bored and has nothing to do. He wants to undermine how we see each other, how we respect each other, how we support our institutions and our society. So, I think they believed they had a good outing in 2016 and I think they will be back in 2018 and 2020 unless we stop them.”

This analysis received applause. And it really shouldn’t have.

The hypocrisy here is so blatant and so shameless, I’m surprised it got past people at all.

Putin doesn’t like democracy? Putin is trying to sow doubt about “our democracy”?

Seriously?

What the hell is she talking about?

Who is the person who just wrote a book and is appearing on television to say that the most recent elections were illegitimate? Not Putin!

Who is the one saying that we had people faking citizenship and lying about facts in order to help their side? Not Putin!

Who likes democracy? Not Putin and certainly not Hillary Clinton!

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“I hate democracy as much as you do.”

At 6:30, Clinton speculates as to why Putin wouldn’t like her. She concludes that it’s because she questioned the legitimacy of the elections in Russia in 2011. She goes on to say that Putin is still upset about the dismantling of the Soviet Union and that he wants to “undermine the European-American alliance.”

I think there are probably a few other pretty good reasons for Putin to cheer for anyone opposing Clinton. It’s true, she did question the legitimacy of the elections in 2011 – as did everyone else, because it was obviously rigged.

So, that’s probably not the primary reason.

Who ran on the platform of shooting down Russian planes flying over Syria?

Who was Secretary of State and oversaw the total destruction of Libya?

Who threatened to give more money to the Ukrainian government and started peddling revisionist narratives of the events of 2013-2014?

Clinton has a very proactive record of military aggression against sovereign countries and trying to corner Russia into very tight positions. As the regional power, the Russian government has seen these maneuvers (rightfully) as threatening and has opposed them.

Obviously, Dumbass Trump has been little better, but we can all rest assured that, through incompetence, Trump has been unable to get as much done as Clinton would have.

And that’s a good thing for Russia (and everyone else, btw)!

Starting around 7:35, Clinton starts telling a story about a time she met with Putin “in his dacha” in order to demonstrate that Putin is a terrible misogynist.

It, of course, doesn’t take a genius to realize that Putin is a patriarchal piece of shit. His whole image is that of ultra-masculinity. However, we should ask ourselves the question: what’s the function of this story?

It’s to make sure that everyone is on Clinton’s side against Putin (and, of course, we must hate Russia, because we hate Putin).

Why doesn’t Clinton focus on other avowed misogynists?

Like King Salman or Bibi Netanyahu?

Or how about Bill Clinton?

hillary-clinton-shush-1

I’d like to end this with a story, just so we have the entire context here.

There was a significant event in 1996 that ought to be retold – the second election ever in the Russian Federation. Boris Yeltsin was running for re-election under very bad circumstances. He had been wildly popular in the beginning and watched that popularity dwindle as he did things like literally bomb the parliament building in central Moscow in 1993. At the same time, the economy was failing and the Russians were bombing Grozny to hell in the separatist republic of Chechnya.

So things weren’t going very well.

At the same time, a lot of people were looking back on the Soviet Union and realizing that they had lost a lot – public finances going to social security, healthcare, and education. Worker’s protections were also important. In Russia today, people refer to the 90s as “the wild 90s” and almost no one I’ve ever talked to has had anything positive to say about that time.

At this point, Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the newly-formed Communist Party of the Russian Federation (replacing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) looked like a superstar, promising to fix the economy and put Russia back on track as it moved into the 21st century.

Bill Clinton, president of the U.$. at the time, was not about to let a communist win the Russian elections.

In the run-up to the election, the U.$. and the IMF funneled money to the Russian government. Yeltsin was also given logistical help from the Clinton administration. Pretty much everyone agrees, in the end, Zyuganov would have won the election, but the government committed wouldn’t allow free and fair elections.

Zyuganov.jpg

Essentially, the Clinton administration made important moves (up to and including direct election fraud) in order to ensure that Yeltsin won the 1996 elections.

Following this move, the Russian economy continued to spiral, the Russian government continued the War in Chechnya (and admitted defeat just a month after the election).

So, allow me to pose the question to you, dear reader: who in truth has a track record of interfering in foreign elections? Is Russia really the bogey-man that Clinton and her minions are trying to paint it as? Or is it the case that the Russian government simply refuses to be a vassal of the U.$.?

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Olympics, Oligarchs, and Orientalism

The Olympics are underway in Russia right now. With countless people flocking to the southern city of Sochi, the internet has been transformed into a discussion about the current state of the Russian Federation.

People are buzzing with the talk of Pussy Riot, Mikhail Khordokovsky, LGBTQ issues, terrorism, Russian corruption and despotism, and the relationship between Russia and the West.

Most importantly, however, is the fact that Sochi doesn’t look like what journalists and athletes anticipated.

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Look at this mud! We don’t have mud like this in America!

This is evidenced by the brilliant, five-star reporting done by hard-hitting investigative reporters like those at CNN and the Washington Post.

Lack of hot water and internet? What is this!? Russia is awful!

At first, I too thought it was a little funny. I lived in Russia a few years ago and I’m also guilty of laughing at the seeming irrationality of the place. It’s certainly different than other countries I had seen. And those differences can be a little difficult to get used to.

But after the first 5 or 6 posts laughing at the unpreparedness of Sochi, I noticed something much more sinister about this collective Russia-bashing. It wasn’t situational. This is a very classical general attitude towards Russia – Europe’s stupid, backwards cousin.

The stereotypes of Russians abound, but the stereotypes of Russia are just as malevolent.

The stupid, backwards people can’t escape their stupid, backwards culture. And the worst part is that they don’t see how stupid and backwards they really are!

That’s why we, the Enlightened West, need to show them!

This attitude amounts to nothing less than Orientalism. Russia is a perfect case of Oriental despotism and savagery. Their government doesn’t look like ours, act like ours, or talk like ours. The people may look like us (white people), but they certainly don’t act or talk like us!

Therefore, we carry this disposition towards Russia that paints it as the embarrassing family member.

You know, the one you never want to talk to, but has a lot of money and influence. Your cousin Vladimir, drinking excessively and insisting that homosexuality “just isn’t natural”.

Sochi Olympics is Russian

“Extremely Russian” is code for the Huffington Post. It means “We’re about to make some stereotypical generalizations that if we said about People of Color would be considered incredibly racist.”

The worst part about Vladimir though? He doesn’t share your sacred values. He doesn’t appear to love democracy in the same way that you do. He doesn’t talk about free speech in the same way that you do.

After all, that’s what the whole Pussy Riot situation was about, right? Freedom of speech!

Despite the fact that Pussy Riot has said explicitly that the point is to actively break the law: “Our performances are always illegal, staged in unpredictable locations not designed for traditional entertainment.”

I’m not defending the Russian law, which I find absurd, but this outcry from the West over Pussy Riot is so overblown when compared with all the people who didn’t break the law and were still convicted of crimes.

It’s also interesting that the West is so quick to jump on the “lack of free speech” in Russia, but so quiet when “free speech” rights are transgressed by the United States. Why does everyone know about Pussy Riot, but no one knows about Tarek Mahenna?

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Thank God that Madonna, who has a totally consistent record of speaking out against human rights abuses, stood up for Pussy Riot!

What about LGBTQ rights?

This is one of the gems of the Enlightened West today. Russia is a den of homophobia, whereas Europe and America are shining beacons of equality for queers and transpeople! Of course, we ignore the fact that 8 U.S. states have basically the same anti-LGBTQ laws.

Coincidentally, no one wants to mention that while industrial capitalist Europe was getting over the first World War and fascist movements were growing, the Soviet Union was the first state in the world to decriminalize homosexuality.

God forbid we talk about history. That might require us to think about our stereotypes and how we focus on hot-button issues without talking about larger narratives.

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This leads to a more interesting point: our narratives, the stories we tell about ourselves and others, are one-dimensional and ridiculously unhelpful.

Why is that? Why is it that you can probably tell me a bunch of bad things that the Soviet Union did, but not one good thing? Really? 70 years and not one good thing?

But we like to have these hot-button issues. Pussy Riot, Queer/Transphobia, and Mikhail Khordokovsky are wonderfully convenient lightning rods. If you don’t know who Khordokovsky is, then you should probably be warned that he’s characterized as a “pro-democracy business tycoon.”

If you don’t see the silliness of the label “pro-democracy business tycoon”, allow me to explain.

Khodokovsky wants power in Russia and he’s against Putin.

This qualifies as the perfect West’s wet-dream of “democracy in Russia”. The same West who showered praise upon Boris Yeltsin, who was “responsible for the violent deaths of more Russian citizens than any Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin.

Khordokovsky is one of the people known in Russia as the Oligarchs. These people received huge amounts of private property after the collapse of the USSR simply by having it given to them by their friends. The Oligarchs have subsequently amassed huge amounts of wealth and basically run things along with the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country is still, 20 years later, languishing in the backlash of the dismantling of the Soviet Union.

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Funk. Soul. Brother.

Despite all of this talk about human rights and freedom, most Americans actually didn’t want the Olympics in Russia because of “security concerns” (although 4% simply answered “Don’t like Russia”). Sochi isn’t all that far from Chechnya and Dagestan and Americans are worried about separatists performing some spectacular terrorist act.

Before we talk about the prospects of terrorism, we should probably talk about the context.

After Yeltsin dissolved the USSR with two men in a forest (super democratic, by the way), the former Soviet Republics were given independence from Russia (or Russia was given independence from them). Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the rest of the Stans all became sovereign nation-states.

When this was happening, the people in the Caucasus saw a possibility to achieve victory in their centuries-long struggle for independence from Russia.

Yeltsin’s response was to invade and kill over a hundred thousand people (80% civilians). Putin, not to be outdone, escalated the second Chechen War immediately after being appointed president in 1999, killing 100,000 more people (and yet again about 80% were civilians).

Isn’t it interesting that the liberals who are so concerned with human rights aren’t calling for the independence of Chechnya?

Yet in 2008, when China hosted the Olympics, they were just oh so concerned with the independence of Tibet! Because the Dalai Lama remains the darling of the West. Of course, no one wants to talk about its brutal, theocratic past, because that would require a challenge of a standard narrative that all Tibetans are Buddhists.

And, unlike those barbaric Muslims, Buddhists are all passive and non-violent!

Why was no one talking about independence for Xinjiang in 2008? Why was no one talking about Canada’s occupation and repression of American Indians in 2010?

Those don’t fit nicely into our narratives.

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This doesn’t look like Tibet so I don’t care about it.

So are Americans justified in having security concerns about the Olympics in Sochi? Totally.

I’ve been saying that there should be security concerns since I saw Putin’s stupid speech about how great Sochi is. Terrorism is a real threat to any large event, because that’s how terrorists function. And terrorism does in fact occur in Russia.

But my question is this: where are all these Enlightened liberals calling for an end to the occupation of Chechnya and Dagestan? They seem to care more about Gay Pride Parades than the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Not that I don’t love a good Gay Pride Parade!

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Is “Blood-Lust” a double entendre here?

Ultimately, however, I think it’s obvious why American and European liberals aren’t talking about Chechnya. Chechnya happens to be a place more foreign to us than Russia itself.

It’s a case of competing Orientalisms.

Russians are stupid, backwards white people, but Chechens are Muslims.

Vladimir might be our drunk, homophobic cousin, but he’s still our cousin.

So all the liberals can go on watching the games and rooting for their respective national teams. Enjoy the games while the most expensive Olympics ever leads to more money in Putin’s silk pockets. Go ahead and continue to accuse Russia and the Russians of being backwards.

But don’t forget that Europe and the United States are no better.