Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.
The push among the American Left to discredit the results of last month’s presidential election entered a new phase last Friday with the White House’s announcement that outgoing US President Barack Obama has ordered US intelligence agencies to review evidence of Russian hacking in last month’s elections on behalf of President-elect Donald Trump.
The investigation itself is unlikely to lead to any conclusive results. The FBI, which is responsible for carrying out this sort of investigation, saw no evidence that Russian hacking was aimed specifically at assisting Trump’s campaign against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Despite this, Obama has chosen to make the probe the top priority of US intelligence agencies.
He urged them to finish their investigation before he leaves office. And, according to his deputy press secretary Eric Schultz, he aims to publicize as many the findings as he can.
Friday afternoon, Schultz said, “We’re going to make public as much as we can. As you can imagine, something like this might include sensitive and even classified information. When that report is submitted, we’re going to take a look. We want to brief Congress and the relevant stakeholders, possibly state directors.”
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden responded positively to Schultz’s statement. “This is good news,” he said. “Declassifying and releasing information about the Russian government and the US election, and doing so quickly, must be a priority.”
But why disclose the findings of an inconclusive investigation? There is only one reason to do so: to delegitimize the election results and so make the Trump administration radioactive for Democrats.
Once a pall of suspicion is cast over the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency by the outgoing Democratic White House, no self-respecting Democrat with a survival instinct will be willing to cooperate with the Trump administration.
It is no coincidence that Obama ordered the probe hot on the heels of Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s failed recount bid. The purpose of Stein’s recount, for which she raised more money than she raised for her entire presidential campaign, was identical to the purpose of the probe. There was no chance that the recounts in the Rust Belt states that swerved toward Republicans and sealed Trump’s victory would change the election results. The point of the recount, like the espionage probe and the “fake news” meme, is to keep the faithful believing.
They may not have Congress. They may not have the White House. But by God, they are going to make the other guys choke on their victory.
This has become the purpose of the Left, not only in the US but throughout the Western world over the past decade or so. As their promised panaceas to their nations’ problems have failed one by one, in country after country, leftist politicians, ideologues, financiers and activists have kept their movements going not by offering alternative policies that might actually work or by suggesting that they work with their political and ideological opponents for the betterment of their countries. They have kept their faithful in the tent by feeding them a steady diet of hatred for the other side.
This is how things work in Israel.
Long gone are the days when leftists argued passionately about their ideal of land for peace, a passion which informed their actions for a generation.
After the peace process with the PLO was exposed as a jihad, after unilateral withdrawals brought war from Lebanon and Gaza, the Left knows that its policies will never win the public to its side.
So it has moved on to the politics of personal and social destruction.
The most blatant aspect of this continuous campaign of destruction and delegitimization is the Left’s campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and, increasingly, their children.
Consider the ongoing criminal probe into Mrs. Netanyahu’s management of the prime minister’s residence.
A week and a half ago, Channel 2 broadcast alleged protocols from Sara Netanyahu’s 12-hour investigation by the national fraud division. According to the broadcast protocols, Mrs. Netanyahu was upbraided by investigators demanding to know why she told caterers that her dinner guests were foreigners rather than Israelis and why she claimed more people were coming to dinner than actually came.
She was grilled about a thousand shekel bonus paid to a worker at the prime minister’s residence who helped her take care of her aging father when his nurse was on her day off.
Even the reporters sitting in the television studio couldn’t believe what they were hearing. How is it possible that Mrs. Netanyahu was interrogated for 12 hours about schnitzels? The answer is clear enough. The purpose of the constant investigations of Mrs. Netanyahu is twofold.
First, they are aimed at demonizing the Netanyahu family as corrupt. It doesn’t matter what Netanyahu did or didn’t do. It doesn’t matter that the investigation appears to be entirely frivolous.
The point of the investigation isn’t to put Sara Netanyahu in jail. It is to tar her and her good-for-nothing husband as corrupt.
The second purpose of the prolonged chicken-dinner investigation was to make it impossible for Netanyahu to function. How can any husband work while his wife is being interrogated by the national fraud division? At around the same time that Mrs. Netanyahu was being interrogated about “schnitzel-gate,” the media were broadcasting daily headlines about an alleged corruption scandal related to Netanyahu’s decision five years ago to approve the acquisition of three more submarines from Germany. The media alleged – in stories blasted across page 1 headlines in the major papers and opening the nightly news broadcasts night after night – that Netanyahu’s decision to approve the submarine purchase was motivated by the fact that his personal attorney, and cousin, David Shimron, represented one of the German companies involved in the sale.
It took less than a week for the allegations to fall apart. But that doesn’t mean the story is over.
Just as Obama decided to use his last weeks in office to discredit Trump’s victory despite the FBI’s rejection of the allegation that Russia had a hand in it, so the Israeli Left uses the baseless allegations of corruption against Netanyahu and his family to incite its members to continue to view him as illegitimate.
Sunday night the Erel Margalit, the multimillionaire venture capitalist turned Labor MK turned populist rabble rouser, joined forces with Eldad Yaniv, Ehud Barak’s former spinmaster who has reinvented himself as a populist man of the people.
The two posted an online video calling for the public to join them in demanding that Netanyahu be investigated.
Yaniv and Margalit took the red headlines related to the German submarine purchase and peppered them with photos of Netanyahu smoking a cigar and laughing with his sons and wife, and living the good life with a friend on the beach. They alleged that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is the Netanyahu family’s consigliere and that Police Inspector General Roni Elshech is in his pocket.
Yaniv and Margalit brought no substantive claims.
Their montage was pure vilification. They argued irrationally that high food prices are caused by the submarine purchase.
The purpose of the film is obvious. Bereft of an attractive platform to sell the public, they are selling the only thing they have left to rally their ever dwindling base: hatred.
Since last month’s US election, a minority of Democrats have called for their party to moderate its policies. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan ran a failed bid against Rep. Nancy Pelosi to serve as Democratic minority chairman in the House of Representatives arguing just that case.
Ryan’s loss, like Obama’s espionage probe makes clear that the Democrats will not consider a more moderate course. The majority has no intention of changing its positions. Rather, they intend to keep their adherents on a war footing so that they won’t have the opportunity to even consider a course correction.
By veering from the recount to fake news allegations to the Russian hacking story, the radicals who control the Democratic Party keeps their activists on a war footing. The faithful are given no opportunity to reflect even for a moment on the substantive issues that formed the heart of the presidential race.
The glum conclusion from all of this is clear enough. With their policies rejected by voters, the purpose of the Left isn’t to govern. It is to render their societies ungovernable.