The Never-Ending Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory

The House Intel committee came to it’s conclusion:

The House Intelligence Committee has released findings from its upcoming report on the Trump-Russia affair — and its main conclusion is that it has discovered no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” the committee said in a one-page summary of its findings released Monday afternoon.

In addition, the committee took issue with the intelligence community assessment of Russian motivations in the 2016 election. The committee agrees with the assessment that the Russians did, in fact, try to interfere — the findings cite “Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord.” But the committee disagrees with the intelligence community judgment that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically tried to help President Trump win the election.

Of course, we all knew this, already. These findings, though resulting from an exhaustive investigation, won’t convince our Progressives nor the Never Trumpers that there’s nothing to see here. They are all too invested in it, and they are invested in it because all of them were deeply invested in Hillary winning. Not just in the sense of her, personally, winning but in her winning proving conclusive that everyone who backed Trump was a complete idiot. Make no mistake about it: there is a lot of ego involved here.

You might recall that I predicted the 2006 mid-term elections not just wrong – but so incredibly, stupidly wrong that, in hindsight, I had to be a complete fool not to have seen it coming. I had, in that time, let the wish become the father of the thought. I didn’t want the Democrats to win, and so I went about for months finding reasons to justify my pre-conceived notion. Everyone can fall prey to this. But, for me, it was an excellent learning experience. I mostly learned that things can always go very different from what you expect. From that day to this, you might have noticed that I don’t make hard and fast political predictions. I always hedge my statements – “may”, “might”, “could be”, and so on. I made my mistake, took my lumps and moved on – because I’m not an egoist. The Progressives and the Never Trumpers very much are. And they are hanging on to Trump-Russia because as long as it exists, it explains away their mistake. They weren’t wrong, you see? Russia colluded with Trump! That’s how Trump won!

Now, to be sure, you can’t nail these guys down. As Ace points out, they are like the “soft” 9/11 Truthers…they won’t specifically state what they believe, but they’ll glide around hinting at this or that statement which backs up the main part of the theory (in 9/11 Trutherism, that Bush knew about and/or planned the 9/11 attacks). If you ask Trump-Russia theorists to fill in the blanks: “Putin did (blank) to help Trump win in return for (blank)”, you’ll never get them to fill them in. They can’t – they don’t dare because anything put into those blanks is going to be so clearly absurd as to be laughable. There was nothing Putin could do to alter the election and there was nothing Trump could do that would help Putin. Period. But the true believers keep at it – because it is their security blanket. Their assurance that they didn’t just get it wrong.

Getting it wrong is about the worst feeling you can have, after all. When you’ve done something bone-headed, you just feel the worst. You’d rather have been caught robbing a bank or something. Nothing is worse than looking like a fool – at least, for most of us. A few saints have risen above such things, but most of us are slaves to our dignity…to our pride. Not seeing the obvious in 2016 – that Trump was running a campaign tailor-made to pull in disaffected Democrats and thus would likely get him over 270 – is a bitter pill to swallow. Only one Never Trumper I know has really swallowed it – he freely admitted after the election that he simply refused to see the proof that Trump at least had a solid shot (what he missed, most egregiously, was the massive shift in voter registration to the GOP in Pennsylvania).

The longer anyone keeps with a mistake, the more invested they get in defending the mistake. So we can rely on it that the people who still believe in Trump-Russia will keep on believing it. Twenty years from now they’ll still bring it up from time to time. Just as we still have people mumbling about 9/11, so we’ll hear mumbles about Trump-Russia forever. Fortunately, most of us can ignore it, if we haven’t already. There’s nothing to find because there’s no possibility it can be true. And the really good news is that people who are lashed themselves to the mast of stupidity will keep on being stupid, thus making it more likely we’ll win in years to come.