Democrats are angry — and this time it isn’t at President Trump. Instead, they’re fuming over revelations about the Obama administration’s decision not to go public last August with information about Russia’s attempts to intervene in the US presidential election.
As one former Obama official told The Washington Post, “I feel like we sort of choked.”
But the real problem here is not so much Barack Obama’s failure to act as the most plausible reason for his inaction: Vladimir Putin’s capers didn’t impact the election results.
Many on the left think that, regardless of whether Republicans colluded with Moscow — a charge for which there is still no proof — the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton. As The Washington Post breathlessly wrote, the Russian hacking was “the political crime of the century.”
That’s why Obama’s decision not to publicize the crime frustrates the left. They think he threw away a golden opportunity to ensure that Trump — the alleged beneficiary of Putin’s scheme — would be defeated.
While Democratic operatives like John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chair whose e-mails were hacked by the Russians, are willing to grant absolution to Obama, the explanations we’re hearing from the Obama camp are unpersuasive. The claim that Obama didn’t want to be seen as intervening in the campaign is laughable.
More plausible is the notion that he was sure Clinton would win anyway and making a big deal about the hacking would undermine the legitimacy of an election the Democrats thought they had in the bag.
But there’s a simpler, even more plausible explanation for Obama’s inaction: The president saw that the hacking was having almost no impact on the course of the campaign and thus wasn’t going to mess with the results. Far from the crime of the century, it was, at worst, a minor annoyance to Clinton that Obama obviously felt didn’t warrant a major dustup with Putin.
It’s true that…