Democrats are deeply bothered by the new CIA revelations that Vladimir Putin attempted to influence the presidential election in order to help Donald Trump. They’re right to be upset – the notion that one of the world’s worst dictators hacked the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to boost a candidate to power should be deeply troubling.
But they haven’t typically been upset about such things in the past, when they benefit Democrats.
Take, for example, Barack Obama.
Go all the way back to March 2012, when Obama met with Putin stooge and then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Obama was caught on a live microphone telling Medvedev, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space.”
Medvedev replied, “Yeah, I understand, I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
To which Obama said, “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev answered genially, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
Democrats were fine with that one. In fact, they then proceeded to spend the rest of the election cycle mocking Republican candidate Mitt Romney for stating that Russia posed the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama himself mocked Romney by stating that “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” He then handed control of Syria to Putin, and followed by doing little as Russia invaded Ukraine.
Let’s go back a bit further, to 1983. Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-MA) wanted to run for president, and so he sent a friend, John Tunney, to Moscow. In Moscow, Tunney told the head of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, that he wanted a deal. According to Forbes:
Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”
He offered to help Andropov get TV interviews in the US, and he offered to visit Moscow.
The deal didn’t work out. But Democrats ignored the reports when they finally broke in 2009.
Or check out 1960. Here’s Craig Shirley and Andrew Shirley reporting:
In 1960, they held U-2 pilot Gary Powers after his plane crashed illegally in Russia, and specifically delayed his release until after the presidential elections. They used Powers as a bargaining chip, and, according to Khrushchev himself, it worked. In his memoirs, the Soviet leader stated, “We kept Nixon from being able to claim that he could deal with the Russians; our ploy made a difference of at least half a million votes, which gave Kennedy the edge he needed.”
Democrats complaining about Russian elections interference are breaking with historical precedent. It is also worth noting that so are Republicans, who suddenly don’t seem to care about Russian involvement so long as it benefits their guy.