Two different Senate committees probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have formally requested documents and material related to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign.
Jill Stein played a gigantic role in denying the presidency to Hillary Clinton, who Putin hated, blamed for all his domestic woes, and was determined to ruin.
Any Democratic activist present on Facebook for the 2016 election cycle will tell you. There were people online among the Green left and the Bernie or Bust crowd who you simply could not talk to.
They were so full of hatred and lies for Hillary Clinton that you really had to be there to understand. It was as if they were living underwater. It was only after we learned about what Russia had been doing that any of it started to make sense.
Stein posed as the true progressive champion during the campaign, reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters with a message declaring Clinton more dangerous than Trump. It stands to reason to conclude that her votes came from the left side of the political spectrum.
Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were the three Rust Belt states that Trump was able to steal from Clinton. In each state, the difference between Trump and Clinton was less than the total Stein received.
This is clearly the role she was meant to play, and is probably why she was at that famous luncheon with Putin, Manafort, Flynn and the rest two years ago this month.
And so it came to pass that the left fringe of American politics cost the Democratic Party the White House, for the second time in sixteen years.
It struck a younger me as being very odd, that even though the Greens had a set of goals that were so similar to ours, we always ended up at odds. In 1999, I read their platform, agreed with most of it, and cheered for Ralph Nader– in the early days.
I wanted to see the Greens get their 5% of the vote and make it onto the ballot in all 50 states. It struck me as democratic. Democracy is a magnificent, vital, living thing, evolving according to the will of the collective- It all struck me as a worthy underdog cause to root for.
But then, Nader kept campaigning in Florida, and other swing states, in a race so close that a few hundred votes in Florida ended up deciding it. Nader got nearly 100,000 votes in Florida. He ruined us.
I remember that I couldn’t understand it. Couldn’t he try for his 5% in less crucial areas? He had only to win popular votes, not electoral ones. Why was he not out in California, where the Green Party’s base- and an eighth of America’s citizenry- might have easily given that to them, while still remaining comfortably blue?
Why would any man of sense and progressive values possibly be so foolhardy as to risk the coming to power of another Bush? It only made sense under one scenario- that he was not fully sincere, and that he valued power over policy.
When we found out Karl Rove’s PAC had been paying to run ads for his campaign in swing states in 2004, nobody was really surprised.
But how does this tie into the Russian plot? Why have Robert Mueller’s investigators become interested in the Green Party and Jill Stein?
It reads like a grocery list.
“The Russian embrace of Jill Stein was anything but subtle,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Russian state propaganda outlets like RT had a field day with her strident attacks on the U.S. political establishment, and they seemed to work hand in glove.”
Even her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, has been known for years as someone on the fringes of pro- Russian conspiracy theories. He has repeatedly appeared on infamous Holocaust denier Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad radio show.
“Someone wrote about three weeks ago that we should expect false flag, a major false flag operation in eastern Ukraine that’s going to be blamed on the Russians. And that’s exactly what has happened,” said Baraka at the time.
For all these reasons and probably others we don’t know about yet, Stein has been a Kremlin favourite since her first run as the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2012.
Her radical base and her love of castigating our government seem to have made her a choice selection to the Russians, whose strategy all throughout Europe has been to finance and incite both ends of the radical spectrum.
They seek to add polarity to our liberal Western atmosphere to destabilize it and take at its expense. Radical groups like the Green Party are their bread and butter.
Clint Watts, an NBC News analyst who has been tracking Russian election interference at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that Russia’s intelligence agencies “sought to play both sides of the political spectrum to elevate Trump and turn down turnout for Clinton.”
Added Watts, “On the left politically, they sought to dissuade Bernie Sanders voters from turning out to the polls and increase turnout for Stein.”
Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and an NBC News analyst, said that Stein “most certainly influenced the outcome of [the 2016] election, given the outcome was decided in three states and by 78,000 voters.”
Despite receiving only 1.07 percent of the national vote total, her showing in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan was greater than Clinton’s margin of defeat and arguably denied Clinton an Electoral College victory.
It was Ralph Nader and the 2000 presidential election all over again.
I think about that picture of that gala banquet in December of 2015, and in my mind’s eye, I just keep seeing that cunning look on Stein’s face as she held up her champagne glass.
It was the look of someone who feels they’ve finally made it. Someone who, at long last, is getting the importance and recognition they have so long felt unduly denied, is loving it- and doesn’t want to think about the Faustian bargain made in the process.
In this world, there comes a time when we all have to realize that the sum of our choices defines who we are. Time to wake up, Jill. Reality has arrived at your front door. You are out of time.