Donald Trump makes some otherwise reasonable people crazy. Russia and Putin make some otherwise reasonable people crazy. Combine the two and for some people it’s double the crazy.
Ever since the fakenews story about the alleged Russian “hack” of our election broke, certain commentators have totally gone off the deep end. The combination of their antipathy for Trump and their antipathy for Russia and Putin is apparently too much for them to handle and has driven them to madness as demonstrated by their Twitter feeds and other ravings.
Take for example former independent NeverTrump Presidential candidate Evan McMullin. His entire campaign was based on grandstanding about alleged conservative “values” and “principles” and PC preening that could compete with the best efforts of Salon and Slate. Unfortunately, he overlooked that fundamental conservative value and principle of not turning our country permanently Blue through immigration, likely because it conflicted with the latter PC preening. McMullin’s conservatism by incantation was never taken seriously outside the ideologically brain addled confines of the movement conservative bubble, but this fakenews Russian ‘hacking” business has turned him into even more of an unserious sideshow, which is no mean feat. Read his Twitter feed. His obsessive invocations of the alleged Russia menace read like a McCarthy era Cold Warrior on speed.
There is nothing in McMullin’s background that suggests he should be this fragile. He is a graduate of BYU and the Wharton School of Business. He has previously been a CIA operative, an employee of Goldman Sachs and a Republican functionary. This is the perfect profile for a globalist stooge, which is apt, but not a preening hysteric. Doesn’t the CIA screen for mental health issues and hardiness?
Because of his CIA background, some cynics have suggested that McMullin’s whole campaign might have been a work, and it is, I guess, possible that his current act is just part of an ongoing psyop, the CIA’s (or elements within) way of maximizing the impact of the Russian hacking fakenews story that started as a “leak” from them. If this really is an operation and not evidence that McMullin has completely lost it, one of his handlers at the CIA needs to tell him to tone it down. There is feigning outrage and there is making yourself look like an unhinged clown. McMullin long ago sped passed that line.
Another commentator whose tenuous grip on reality has been exposed by the Trump/Russia/Putin trifecta is David Frum. Frum has always been a bit hard to characterize. Initially a hardcore neocon, over time Frum has drifted to what could be described as more of a reformist and centrist position which is reflected in his move from National Review to The Atlantic. However, he has never been able to give up his foreign policy interventionism even if he has become somewhat less overtly hawkish over the years. Given this trend, it has been somewhat surprising to see Frum lose it so badly over the fakenews Russia hack story. What is it about neocons, even if recovering ones, and Russia that makes them lose all their remaining good sense, realizing it’s tricky to invoke good sense when discussing neoconservatives? I’m no fan of Frum, but he isn’t dumb. Apparently intelligence doesn’t guard against susceptibility to blatant propaganda. One look at his Twitter feed reveals the kind of sputtering Russian paranoia that is usually associated with fringe anti-Communist bitter enders who still think the fall of the Soviet Union was really a clever Communist ploy designed to lull us all to sleep.
Relatively unknown “futurist” and author Eric Garland went on a 127 tweet rant which collectively has been referred to as a Twitter easy. I’m told this is an emerging form. This essay was apparently so compelling to others in the Trumpophobe and Russiophobe communities that it quickly made Garland a Twitter celebrity with such peddlers of elite opinion as Kurt Eichenwald and Patton Oswald singing his praises. The problem is that his little Twitter essay is a paranoid rant totally lacking in introspection and self-awareness. It is so tone deaf that it even drew a rebuke from Sam Kriss at the normally safe confines of Slate. Dude, when Slate calls you out for your tone deaf lack of awareness, you know it’s bad.
As over-the-top as McMullin, Frum and Garland have been, Keith Olbermann wins the prize for farthest ride on the crazy train. Olbermann, formerly of MSNBC and ESPN, has now been reduced to pontificating from some made up platform apparently sponsored by GQ Magazine. Perhaps this is because his act has grown tired or perhaps it is because he is an obnoxious jerk who is notoriously hard to work with. Either way, why is GQ hosting this clown act anyway? Aren’t they supposed to be a fashion magazine? Anyway, Olbermann has always been a ranter, but since this Russian hack nonsense, his commentary makes Alex Jones look calm and composed.
I’m convinced that much of the noise about the alleged Russian “hack” is a deliberate ruse by anti-Trump forces with the aid of a complicit mainstream media to undermine the President Elect and make it impossible for him to govern, but I’m not sure McMullin, Frum, Garland, Olbermann et al understood the memo. They don’t appear to realize that it’s all a ruse. If they do, then they are wildly overacting.