About that new report on Russian election interference

I wonder what Ian Fleming’s original James Bond would make of the post-Cold War Cold War. Memes have replaced missiles, trolls have replaced spies, and bots (not cars and briefcases, bots) are being weaponized. While he’s getting used to the idea over a cucumber sandwich, I wonder how Mr. Bond would react if he knew that her majesty’s Conservative government was just fine with the status quo and wasn’t going to lift a little finger at teatime to change it.

That it’s the same story across the pond would present a further puzzle to our intrepid hero. It would appear the West is just fine with a little Russian election connivance, provided, again, that it happens to the advantage of the current conservative (small “c”) government. All thanks to Putin, Vladimir Putin.

It would also appear that, like the United States, the UK government “badly underestimated” the Russian threat and the response it required, according to a recent inquiry. “Carefully misunderstood” might be a better way of putting it. Like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson wanted no part of an official inquiry until he was safely elected, and he went to great lengths to ensure that no information would be released until well after said election. Now that Johnson is safely elected it doesn’t matter anymore. Besides, now is not the time to speak of it, old boy.

Meanwhile, again back in the United States, Joe Biden has this to say in a newly minted tweet: “Today, I am putting the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice: If elected president, I will direct my administration to impose substantial and lasting costs on those who interfere with American elections.”

I felt compelled to troll Trump with Biden’s words. After all, turnabout is fair play. From my twitter account (@RAHarrington) I wrote, “Pay attention Trump! Unlike you and your Republican bootlickers, President Biden knows that conservatism is inimical to democracy — and that’s why Russia backs Republicans and not Democrats, because the Russians know it too.” (I hope you’ll indulge me when I call Joe Biden “President Biden,” and not accuse me of tempting fate just now. Biden has been far more of a President to me than Trump ever will.)

Anyway, it’s beginning to appear that Russia interfered with Scotland’s 2014 “leave” initiative. Scotland wanted to become an independent country, and Russia wanted it too. Apart from that one, Russia didn’t lose another election thereafter, having successfully overseen Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the election of Boris Johnson, all according to Russia’s plan.

Russia’s next goal is to get Trump re-elected, for the simple, observable expediency that Trump is bad and disruptive to America, and that’s just exactly according to Russia’s, and hence Putin’s, taste. Let’s ruin their plans, shall we? And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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