Russiagate Hysteria Continues To Snare Innocent Victims

Today the Democratic Party pulled out the big guns against a leftist sheep who had left the flock – presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard. Yes, you guessed it, it now seems that this veteran of the Iraq War is a Russian agent, at least if you believe the corrupt legacy media. Of course in reality, her real crime was not colluding with Russia in order to bolster her image on social media for the American public. No, her real crime was daring to run for the presidency, even though she was not the preferred choice of the Democratic Party fat cats and king makers.  

This has been a recurring theme for the last two years – anyone deemed in the way of the Democrats gaining and maintaining power, are conveniently deemed puppets of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The hysteria has reached epidemic proportions and is ensnaring legitimate businesses and public figures in the process. You don’t have to look very far for glaring examples of this phenomenon.  

Just in late January, NBC News and MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann on Tuesday asked Rep. Eric Swalwell(D-Calif.) if he thought House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes(R-Calif.) had “been compromised by the Russians.”  

“Congressman Nunes, your chairman,” Heilemann declared to Swalwell. “It is suggested not by me but by people who follow these matters closely, could possibly be someone who’s been compromised by the Russians. Is that something you consider a possibility?”

Of course Nunes would be a prime target of this new red scare as he was the most effective investigator of FBI corruption during the lead up to the ‘Trump-Russia’ investigation before, during and after the 2016 election. The rabid Left also accused Nunes of having ties to Russia due to an investment in a California winery that sells Russian cognac. Enough said.

In late January, another wild theory popped up on message boards and left-wing websites—that President Trump switched from advocating a concrete wall at the southern border to one made of steel slats in order to funnel money to Russian steel magnate Roman Abramovich. The fact that the Border Patrol requested this type of barrier so agents could see through as to what was happening on the other side was not to be considered; there were too many Russian agents to worry about. Even the Leftist ‘fact checker’ Snopes had to throw the ‘false’ flag on that one.  

Zev Shalev, the executive producerof a Canadian far-left talk show and a Russiagate blogger, recently came out with a another complicated conspiracy theory: a wealthy Russian (Dmitry Rybolovlev, who’s already been targeted by Russiagate because he boughta house from Donald Trump back in 2008, never mind that he also boughta NY penthouse from Clinton donor Sandy Weill), was laundering money—through the world’s most expensive painting—as part of “a multinational conspiracy of at least four countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel” to elect Donald Trump. Art insiders didn’t take long to debunk the idea that someone massively overpaid for the painting to secretly send money to Israel to hire a troll farm to get Trump elected.  

Artnet.com laid it out in three points. 1 – The world’s most expensive painting — Salvator Mundi,by Leonardo da Vinci — was not lost as Shalev says, but simply being cared for by professionals as it deserved. 2 – Rich people overpay for paintings all the time. 3 – There is no evidence of any conspiracy.  

“Call me a Russian plant if you will, but I’m gonna propose that maybe its just a case of stupidly wealthy people spending a stupid amount of money on something,” declares the website.  

Shalev’s rant only underscores the extent to which paranoia has set in. 

This hysteria is dangerous on any number of levels. For one thing, it sets up a McCarthy-style hunt in which anyone with any connection to Russia, no matter how innocuous, comes under crushing suspicion. This masks those cases which might genuinely have a problematic connection to a foreign power, while blowing out of proportion countless normal business relations. It also weakens democracy by creating a toxic atmosphere of paranoia, and causes those who are deep down the Russiagate rabbit hole to miss signs that the Trump administration is actually being very tough on Russia, from bruising sanctions to, pulling out of the INF arms treaty, to killing hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria with American airpower.

Even that grand icon of Americana, the annual NFL Superbowl, was caught up in the ‘Russia hype’ when the Trump-supporting New England Patriots won for a stunning sixth time, becoming the greatest team ever in the history of the sport. The next day, the Twittersphere was ablaze with — wait for it — allegations Vladimir Putin hacked the game.  

Allegations such as these would be funny if the subject wasn’t so serious. Such are the times we live in.

Originally posted at the Washington Times

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