Hacking the DNC Is Not Hacking the Election

Perhaps the biggest foreign policy failure of the Obama Administration would be their so-called Russian reset. So determined to show their competence compared to the Bush Administration, Barack Obama had Hillary Clinton give the Russian foreign minister an actual button, mistranslated in Russian no less, that symbolized a fresh start to the relationship.

In 2012, when Mitt Romney noted Russia was a significant geopolitical threat to the United States, Barack Obama and his courtiers in the media ridiculed Romney and denied it was so.

Now, Barack Obama is expelling Russian “diplomats” who are most likely Russian intelligence officers, which makes one wonder why he was fine with them in the country until Hillary Clinton lost.

On top of all of this, the media would have you believe the Russians hacked the election. This is simply not true nor is there any evidence of it. Hacking the DNC and phishing John Podesta’s emails is not hacking or rigging an election.

At the same time, this does not mean we should dismiss the issue. It is still a serious issue. A foreign power hacked the email accounts of a major Western political party intent on disrupting that party during the election for a new national leader. This needs to be investigated and there should be repercussions.

But to say the Russian hacking of the DNC cost Hillary Clinton the election is not only not provable, but more likely than not simply not true. Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate who ran a terrible campaign with a terrible strategy based on the presumption that people already agreed with her when they did not.

Notwithstanding that, I think it is a safe assumption that had the Russians hacked NBC and found the Billy Bush-Donald Trump video and released it, the Republicans would be demanding an investigation and retaliation. They would be just as justified in doing so as Democrats are now.

But, again, to think hacking the DNC cost Clinton the election is an unserious proposition. Consider that the NBC tape, which had much more sustained multi-day coverage and repeated repudiations of Trump by prior endorsers than the DNC emails did, did absolutely nothing to stop Trump. Clinton was a terrible candidate.

There is no evidence of the Russians hacking into ballot boxes, voting machines, or anything else. We must absolutely take this seriously though.

Republicans who are flippantly saying the Russians just did what the media should have done are setting a dangerous precedent. When the time comes that China or Russia begins leaking damaging information about Donald Trump, the GOP will have surrendered any moral high ground on this issue.

Russian hacking should not be a partisan issue. It is serious. But it is also not a plausible excuse for a terrible and terribly disliked candidate losing an election.

About the author

Erick Erickson

View all posts