Glenn Greenwald's ability to stay focused on one particular narrative over months, years, and potentially decades is nothing short of amazing. Regardless of mountains of evidence disproving whatever pet theory he has decided to adopt, Greenwald is unwavering in his belief that if he believes it to be true, it will be true.
Take for example, the Russiagate scandal that is unfolding in front of us. Every day, we are presented with unequivocal evidence that the Trump campaign team colluded with Russia during the 2016 election to defeat Hillary Clinton. We know that Russian actors infiltrated America's voting systems, set up fake social media accounts, and tried to hack Clinton's email server on the same day Trump asked them to under direct orders from Vladimir Putin.
And yet because this evidence does not fit Greenwald's narrative that centrist Democrats are responsible for the election of Donald Trump, this cannot be true. At panel on “fake news” hosted by Russian state propaganda outlet RT in Moscow last month, Greenwald parroted the Donald Trump and Fox News line that Russia is being scapegoated by political elites in America because they can't accept that Hillary Clinton lost.
“The American political system needed an explanation about why something like that could happen, and why they got it so wrong,” Greenwald told the panel. “One of the explanations about why it happened was the favorite tactic of governments, which was to say, it wasn’t anything wrong with our country, it was this other foreign country over there that was to blame. And that’s a major reason why fingers continue to be pointed at the Russian government.”
In reality, the fingers continue to be pointed at the Russian government because they played a large, extremely well documented role in helping to elect Donald Trump. And if we are getting technical, the American government is claiming the exact opposite -- that America was to blame, and not the other way around.
In Greenwald's estimation, Russiagate is a giant distraction created by political elites to detract from their own failures, and only hard-left candidates he personally supports can get liberalism back on track in America. So ardent is Greenwald's belief in this that he'll put aside whatever journalistic integrity he may have had and invent stories to bolster his case. Greenwald's track record on the Russiagate story is in fact so bad that you can officially discount almost everything he says about it.
Unabashed by the evidence and his own deeply embarrassing blunders, Greenwald took to Twitter today to use a story written by Vox's Matthew Yglesias about the supposed crumbling state of the Democratic Party to dismiss Russiagate and take a shot at Hillary Clinton and centrist Democrats:
If you read the article, as I did, you'll note that Yglesias's piece doesn't mention the Russiagate scandal at all, and isn't about blaming Democrats for everything. Yglesias carefully lays out the reasons why the Democrats are having such a hard time, pinning it on a mixture of "bad luck and poor decisions". In fact, the piece is mostly about strategy and why many of Obama's well intentioned policies have been so vulnerable to Republican attack. Here he is on Obama's climate change policy for example:
Obama’s climate change legacy is multifaceted, and some of it will endure. But an extremely large share of Obama’s most consequential actions have taken the form of Environmental Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. A Trump administration will roll these measures back as soon as possible. But more fundamentally, congressional Republicans will move legislation amending the Clean Air Act to permanently eliminate the regulatory authority — ensuring that even if Trump loses in 2020, an Obama-style framework can’t simply be recreated.
Yglesias also argues that, "the Obama-Clinton style of liberal incrementalism promised that while it wouldn’t deliver utopia, it would deliver wins and concrete results. And for a while, it did. But no strategy can guarantee an uninterrupted series of presidential election wins." No vicious blame games here, just a sober analysis of the political landscape and how the Democrats should think about taking on Trump in 2020. In his tweet, Greenwald asks "how do they explain this?" Had he actually read the piece rather than mischaracterize it to support his tiresome line about Hillary Clinton and the Russiagate scandal, he might have actually learned something. Unfortunately, when you've already made up your mind, this is almost impossible to do.