Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Like two actresses who wore the same dress to an awards show, the Biden administration and the Putin administration are acting huffy over the latest stolen election. The theft in question involves not just stealing elections, but stealing ideas for how to steal elections.
“The Russian government’s use of laws on ‘extremist organizations,’ ‘foreign agents,’ and ‘undesirable organizations’ severely restricted political pluralism and prevented the Russian people from exercising their civil and political rights,” State Department spokesman Ned Price sniffed.
That playbook ought to sound familiar because it’s the one Democrats used in 2016 and 2020.
Democrats invented a false conspiracy theory claiming that President Trump and his associates were Russian agents. They took a dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and passed it out to their associates in the DOJ, the FBI, and every three letter acronym in Washington D.C. After years of eavesdropping, trials, and investigations that destroyed lives and influenced elections, the “foreign agents” conspiracy proved to have as much substance as a Maddow vodka rant.
But that didn’t stop Democrats and their allies from using another variant of the Russia conspiracy theory to pressure Facebook into censoring negative stories about Democrats.
That included censoring news of an investigation into Hunter Biden by crying, “disinformation”.
Putin just took a page out of the Democrat playbook by expanding a law that allowed him to declare his opponents to be “foreign agents”. Ned Price might have some more credibility in complaining about the practice if he hadn’t spent years playing the same rotten game.
“Putin is essentially turning down a White House visit and, instead, summoning Trump to Moscow,” a typical Price tweet read. “This is what he paid for.”
Price could discover a conspiracy in a phone call in which President Trump offered Russia assistance with its wildfires, and repeated the conspiracy theory that the 2016 election had been rigged by Russia, and that Trump and Republicans were acting as foreign agents.
If restricting “political pluralism” by labeling your opponents “foreign agents” is okay in D.C., why shouldn’t it be fine in Moscow? When Democrats deploy 25,000 soldiers to Washington D.C. to “protect democracy” after a disputed election, who can tell apart D.C. and Moscow?
Putin was sufficiently impressed with Biden’s reliance on Big Tech censorship to rig elections to enthusiastically adopt the practice. And Google, which long ago traded its old motto of “Don’t Be Evil” for “Obey, Comrade”, did its part for the regime. YouTube censored opposition videos and Google Docs even removed documents being used to coordinate opposition voting.
The media is pretending to be outraged at this as if it hadn’t spent five years demanding that Big Tech censor conservatives in exactly the same ways. Why can’t the Russians also “protect democracy” and suppress “disinformation” from “foreign agents” and “extremists”?
After taking down Parler, Apple and Google also took down Russian opposition apps.
“We call upon Russia to honor its international obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to end its pressure campaign on civil society, the political opposition, and independent media,” Price lectured Moscow. But when is the leftist elite that Price represents going to end its pressure campaign on the political opposition and a free press?
In July, Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden White House was issuing demands to Big Tech companies to take down “problematic posts” that spread what she claimed was “disinformation”.
The Biden regime was even touting some sort of “robust enforcement strategy” and demanding that all Big Tech companies should censor the same people.
“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others,” she declared.
Putin would agree.
A decade ago, the White House could credibly condemn election suppression in other countries, now Biden’s cronies are complaining that Putin is ripping off their shtick without paying a fee.
In between complaining that Russia is using conspiracy theories to suppress the opposition, the Biden administration is already preemptively blaming midterm losses on a Russian conspiracy.
Also in July, Biden delivered remarks at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and alleged, “look what Russia is doing already about the 2022 elections and misinformation.”
Biden appeared to be referencing some sort of classified briefing dealing with “disinformation”.
If Russia or China’s leaders made remarks like that, we would all understand that they were preparing to tamper with an upcoming election. Now we know the same thing is true in the U.S.
What is Russia doing about the “2022 elections”? It’s secret, but you can bet it will require a lot more censorship of conservatives. Maybe Google and Apple will need to delete a few more apps, and Amazon will need to cut off cloud services to the political opposition. And then maybe Visa, MasterCard, Stripe, and PayPal can cut off donations to enemies of the state.
Under Biden, the ODNI had already issued a report claiming that Russia had tried to help President Trump while advancing claims about Biden and his family’s corruption.
If you think something might be off about Hunter Biden’s business, you’re spreading Russian disinformation: “election integrity” and “protecting democracy” requires silencing you.
And if you think that’s a theoretical scenario, ask Twitter and the New York Post.
The State Department still delivers its familiar lectures about free elections even as its political bosses plot to federalize elections, a trick they picked up from Putin, and its security colleagues are coming after the midterm elections by blaming Russia, so no one takes it too seriously.
There was a time when Americans laughed at foreign diplomats who believed that General Douglas MacArthur’s return foreshadowed a coup. Such things didn’t happen in America. But these days a lot of things happen in Washington D.C. that would have once been unthinkable.
What would have been unimaginable a decade ago has become almost routine. America’s elections now take place under the shadow of states of emergency and counterintelligence operations and while Putin still holds the lead in contrived suicides and radioactive teas, the Democrats have learned from him and he has learned from them. At the end of Animal Farm, the farm animals couldn’t tell apart the pigs and the men. It’s getting hard to tell them apart now.