During a long and rambling press conference, President Obama today blamed talk radio and other “partisan news venues” for the impact that “Russian propaganda” allegedly had on our presidential election. Trying to sound presidential (a difficult task even after almost eight years), Obama argued that the real threat to America isn’t Russia, but rather not being true to our own values — in other words, “los[ing] track of who we are.”
In particular, Obama continued, it’s the “hyper-partisanship” of our country that threatens us. Thus, in Obama’s view, what we have learned from this election is that when “foreign propaganda” is “released into the political bloodstream,” its effect will be magnified if voters have been hearing “almost identical reports” from “domestic propagandists.”
But wait! The “propaganda” from Russia that may have influenced some voters consisted of emails written by Democrats. Russia, or whoever it was, didn’t inject content of its own into the “political bloodstream.” It simply released, or caused the release of, the reflections of John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, and their associates.
It’s quite true that these reflections were consistent with what conservatives had been saying on the internet and talk radio. In some cases, they were also consistent with what leftists had been saying about Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s treatment of Bernie Sanders.
But it’s ridiculous, and hyper-partisan, to blame our nation’s woes on “hyper-partisanship” that consists of true statements that are ultimately corroborated by the words of Democratic officials and operatives. And it’s absurd to do so when the true statements come from both the left and the right.
Obama returned to this “conservatives are doing the Russians work for them” theme at the end of his long session. This time it took the form of a claim that some voters and elected officials have “more confidence and faith in a foreign adversary than they have in their neighbors.”
Again, though, during the campaign few were paying attention to the statements of America’s adversaries, much less weighing them against what “neighbors” were saying. They were paying attention to what important Democrats said in emails. And why not?
Obama then complained that some voters and elected officials found Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign to be a bigger threat to democracy than “you know, our government going after the press if they’re issuing a story they don’t like.”
It’s true that many conservatives were critical of the First Ladies anti-obesity campaign (I wasn’t). But which conservatives thought that this was worse than government attacks on the press?
By now, the press conference was starting to resemble therapy.
President Obama came off as bitter and tired. And when he discussed Russian hacking and its effect on the election, he came across as highly confused.
Or maybe we were just witnessing his trademark dishonesty.