Politics

Some On The Left Are Getting Sick Of DC Dems’ Russia Obsession

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Justin Caruso Contributor
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Washington Democrats, along with media sources like those used by the New York Times, Washington Post and MSNBC, have recently been devoting huge amounts of time and attention to allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 election and collusion with President Trump’s campaign.

And yet, even some liberals, progressives and Democrats outside of D.C. are growing weary of focusing too much on the Trump-Russia narrative.

Eager to see the Democratic Party move beyond the Russia story and instead to fight for liberal policy goals, some on the left are publicly downplaying the Trump-Russia narrative.

An article published yesterday in the New York Times, titled, “Outside Washington’s ‘Blazing Inferno,’ Democrats Seek an Agenda,” is an example of this. In the article, Nancy Keenan, the executive director of Montana’s Democratic Party, is quoted saying, “Russia is important to the American public, but health care hits home directly in people’s lives.”

“Regular Montanans are talking about the heck of a spring snowstorm we just had, this health care bill, the stuff that’s hitting them every single day. They know something is amiss in Washington, but in their everyday lives it doesn’t affect them right now,” she added.

Another section of the Times article reads, “the obsessions of the most intense partisans have not fully resonated with the broader electorate.”

The article also states that many Democrats think they should “draw more attention to the repeal of the health law than to the investigation of Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

Democratic strategist Anita Dunn is also quoted saying, “‘(t)here’s this Washington narrative, and then there’s a voter narrative.”

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“Significant parts of our base are following the Washington narrative very closely, but for voters who voted for Donald Trump or voters who didn’t vote at all, I think Democratic candidates are going to have to make the election meaningful to those voters’ lives,” Dunn adds.

It’s not just Democratic strategists who are getting the message that voters don’t care as much about Russia as Washington media does. Some progressives and other writers are seemingly skeptical of the nefarious Russia narrative, too. Many see it as a distraction or a dodge from championing legitimate progressive causes.

David Sirota, a journalist with Newsweek and The Young Turks, tweeted:

Ben Norton, a journalist who writes for AlterNet and previously Salon, tweeted last week:

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist famous for breaking key parts of the Edward Snowden story, has been skeptical of some Russia hawks’ intentions:

Michael Tracey, who formerly worked for VICE and now works for The Young Turks, has long expressed skepticism over Democrats’ Russia fixation:

Zaid Jilani, a journalist who writes for The Intercept, expressed skepticism over the narrative too:

Eve Peyser, a left-leaning writer for VICE, recently penned an article called, “Above All, Trump Is Just Really Dumb,” which argued that we shouldn’t “mistake the president’s blunders for signs of a grand conspiracy.”

Peyser ends the article by writing, “What does Russia ‘have’ on Donald Trump? The same thing everyone does: Trump is stupid.”

The post, though obviously sharply critical of Trump for his alleged incompetence, is still noteworthy for its movement away from the hegemonic narrative among left-wing talking heads about alleged ties between Trump and Russia.

Finally, the liberal website Vox ran an article this week that explained how many Democrats and liberals online are getting duped by fake news and unfounded conspiracy theories about Russia, such as the kind spread by Louise Mensch. (RELATED: Even Vox Admits: ‘Democrats Are Falling For Fake News About Russia’)

TIME Magazine recently ran a cover story that featured a photo of Moscow engulfing the White House.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has spent much time on her show since the election covering the issue. And Joy Reid, also on MSNBC, claimed on Saturday that Trump has an “affinity for all things Russia” and that he “emulate[s] Russian oligarchs.”

And of course, the New York Times and the Washington Post have both been pursuing Trump-Russia connections, scoring widely-covered scoops in the past week.

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