If nothing else was learned during the two House committee hearings featuring former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, (besides obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations, and perjury) it’s that not enough has been done to prevent Russia from attacking our elections. A separate bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee showed that Russia hacked into the election apparatus of all fifty states. Except in the mind of Donald Trump who asked a reporter recently, “You don’t really believe this, do you?” It’s well understood that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election with the intention of helping Donald Trump and little has been done to prevent it from happening again.
“You don’t really believe this, do you? — Donald Trump
After the first Democrat debate when Kamala Harris put Joe Biden on his heels on an issue he felt was a strong point and threatened Biden’s strong support from black voters. The Democrat establishment circled the wagons and started making comments either in support of Biden or chiding Harris. Prior to the debate, Jim Clyburn told America for no apparent reason that the two black candidates, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker weren’t getting traction and Harris had done little to explain her policies.
After the debate, former Senator Barbara Boxer who had endorsed Kamala Harris when she ran to take over the Senate seat Boxer retired from; reminded America that Harris had previously supported Biden without mention of the issues she critiqued in the debate. I wrote an article then saying, “The Long Knives Are Out For Kamala Harris,” I didn’t know the extent that Russia would come out against her as well. The question is why?
After the second debate during which Kamala Harris was criticized onstage by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on her history as the Attorney General of California. Russian bots went all-in on the Internet in declaring Harris’s candidacy all but over. Like clockwork, Fox News reiterated everything said on the Internet. Make no mistake, Kamala Harris’s record on any issue is fair game to be discussed and debated which is true of any of the candidates. A campaign to misrepresent that record by Russians supporting Trump is another thing entirely.
Not long after the second debate, the hashtags #KamalaHarris Destroyed, #KamalaDestroyed, and others, began appearing with hundreds of retweets showing “bot-like-activity” according to the Wall Street Journal. Previous activity on Twitter tried to suggest that Kamala Harris wasn’t eligible to run for President because her parents were immigrants. That tweet was pushed by Russian accounts and Donald Trump, Jr which may well be one and the same.
Russian activity in 2016 was designed to support the candidacy of Donald J. Trump. Given that they pretty much have gotten what they paid for in terms of the current administration leaving the door open for future attacks and looking the other way in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, and elsewhere. There’s no reason to suspect they won’t be backing Trump again. Are they coming after Harris because they perceive her as a formidable candidate against Trump should she make it to the general election? There’s no doubt that once the Democrats have a nominee, the Russians will single out that person for their interference. But for now, their strategy appears to be to try picking off those that present viable threats to Trump, starting with Harris.
The Russians are doing what they can to bring down Kamala Harris, using the playbook they used to attack Hillary Clinton. Like in 2016, many Americans are unwittingly supporting those efforts by retweeting and helping spread their narrative. Real black people are buying into what the Russians are saying and helping bring down one of two black candidates. I’m not saying don’t challenge Harris’s record. I am saying research it for yourself and reach your own decisions.
Most of the attacks on Harris focus on her record as Attorney General of California. There are claims she participated in the mass incarceration of people of color. She’s alleged to have locked up 1,500 people for marijuana use while laughing for having done the same thing. These and other charges were looked at more closely by Politi-fact which provided additional information. Don’t take their word either, do your own research before taking Russia’s or anyone else’s word for it.
There are some other attacks on Harris that concern me but it is the right of others to make them. One notable writer criticized the grammar in one of her tweets. There are online discussions about her white husband and what that means, or her long-ago romance with Willie Brown who was a much older man and separated from his wife at the time. Are we applying a double standard for a black woman? Congress is full of former prosecutors who have rarely been condemned for putting people in jail. Twenty-six former Presidents were lawyers, some have a record of prosecuting cases. Jeb Bush’s failure to become President wasn’t related to his Mexican-American wife.
The attacks on Harris today will become the attacks on Joe Biden, or Bernie, or Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete, or even Tulsi Gabbard should success come her way. Be wary of the Internet claims about any candidate. the next one under attack may well be your own.