A recent Washington Post article accusing the Russians of spreading fake news is further proof that it is very dark up there where the WAPO heads are. They still don’t seem to get it that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE lost the election for many clearly identifiable reasons.
Their implication that her 9/11 swooning episode caught on video is fake news and that numerous physicians, including me, were bots controlled by Russia producing and spreading “fake news” when we questioned the former secretary of State’s health is preposterous on its face. Russia did not make her use a private server or make all the other decisions that doomed her quest for the presidency. Those were not “fake news” stories.
It is more than probable that Russia participated in a propaganda campaign — nothing new there. That game has been played by both sides since 1946. Remember the “United States Information Agency,” “Voice of America” and “Radio Free Europe”? The technology has changed from radio broadcasts and leaflets dropped from airplanes to the cyber world. It’s newer, certainly more effective technology, but the same game with the same players. Both sides have tried to influence the thinking of the other’s populace for a long time.
One unasked question, however, is why Russian’s president, Vladimir Putin, would even want to side with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE — he fed at the trough very well with Clinton at State and Obama as president, why would he want to take a chance on a different dynamic?
America stood by while he invaded Crimea and sponsored a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine. We diddle while Putin reassembles the old Soviet State. We backed down in Poland. We alienate Israel. We pulled out of a relatively stable Iraq and created the vacuum being filled by ISIS. We have botched Libya, Syria, Iran, Turkey and the Philippines. Russia is benefiting by all those missteps. The list goes on. Our standing in the world has been diminished and Russia’s has been enhanced.
Regardless, The Washington Post seems incapable of acknowledging that Clinton lost the election because she and the Democrats erected a brick wall she could not get over. The following “bricks” were all created by them, not by the Russians or by Trump and the Republicans.
- Clinton was an uninspiring and mechanical candidate with very negative “likability ratings” who ran a terrible campaign despite raising and spending huge amounts of money.
- She spent more time fundraising than campaigning.
- She disappeared from the campaign trail down the stretch for extended periods of time.
- She hid from the press (and therefore the public).
- She and her campaign did not pick up on the impending problems in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan and foolishly spent resources in Arizona and other places that ultimately didn’t matter.
- She exuded an attitude that she “deserved” the presidency because of her gender and just because she was a Clinton.
- Her ties to Wall Street and Goldman Sachs and her refusal to release her speech transcripts lost her some voters.
- Her ties to globalism ran counter to the populist, nationalistic mood occurring throughout the West.
- Her contrived and condescending Southern drawl and “black accent” when appearing in the South, especially when addressing black audiences, was noticed and not appreciated.
- She tied her wagon to the Obama legacy in a year when voters obviously wanted change.
- She was the ultimate insider in a year the voters wanted to throw all the bums out.
- She embraced the Black Lives Matter movement while distancing herself from law enforcement.
- Her haughty “basket of deplorables” comment was a major misstep.
- Her comment that she and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonVirginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt” was outrageous.
- Her refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” reinforced the belief that she would be soft on terrorism.
- Her promises of a liberal immigration policy was not popular with the majority of the voters.
- Her email server scandal and the destruction of emails and destruction of devices was not taken seriously by her campaign early on, allowing it to grow into a major issue.
- She was saddled with Bill Clinton’s baggage and poor campaign performances.
- She was tied to ObamaCare as it began to disintegrate amid double- and even triple-digit premium increases.
- She had obvious health issues (as clearly demonstrated by the video of her collapse on 9/11 and the abnormal eye movements caught on camera numerous times).
- She was caught in so many lies about so many things that the words “liar” and “Hillary” became synonymous in the minds of the voters.
- Benghazi and the “what difference ... did it make?” comment captured on video when she testified before Congress was another major misstep.
- The ethical questions surrounding the Clinton Foundation, foreign money and influence peddling gave voters one more reason to vote against her.
- The Democratic National Committee messes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile putting their thumbs on the scales for Clinton soured many voters, especially Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE’s supporters.
- She was seen as part of a political dynasty, and as Jeb Bush learned, the voters in 2016 didn’t want that.
- The mainstream media was so blatantly biased in her favor that it backfired with the voters.
- WikiLeaks bled her at the end, keeping the campaign on its heels and off message.
- The initial Comey report that “cleared” her actually documented her misdeeds and casual attitude toward classified material.
- The private meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport right before the FBI report about her email server and classified documents was viewed as inappropriate.
- FBI Director James Comey put the cherry on top of the whole mess — but she created that mess.
For the liberal Kool-Aid-drinking folks at The Washington Post to invoke the Russians and not credit all the stuff above for her defeat is further proof that they are in total denial. Clinton and the Democrats own this result, not Putin. The real “fake news” this cycle appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
Only a bad candidate with a bad message badly delivered could lose to someone like Trump, but Clinton pulled it off.
John R. Coppedge is a retired general surgeon living in Longview Texas.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.