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Press Release

Some Democrats Realize Russiagate
Is a Dangerous Losing Strategy

July 2017

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

July 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—Democrats who wish to win elections and avoid war, are waking up to the need to dump "Russiagate."

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe show today, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running for Governor in 2018, said,

"‘The Russia story’ doesn’t do anything for Democrats at all. It’s not going to get one of our state Houses back. It’s a loser, and I don’t know what more evidence you need.... It doesn’t do anything for the Democratic Party and our agenda. So, unless we deal with the issues of economic anxiety, cultural issues, in a substantive way, and we get in the ‘how’ business, [and] we actually demonstrate with some acuity and strength in terms of the fate and future of this country, then we’re never going to take back these statehouses."

In a June 26 article in The Huffington Post, Norman Solomon wrote, "The plan for Democrats to run against Russia may be falling apart, after squandering much of the last six months." Now, he says, "Democrats in Congress and other party leaders are starting to face an emerging reality: The ‘winning issue’ of Russia is a losing issue." The Hill reported June 24, that in sharp contrast to their spokespeople, rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, "who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages, and the cost of education and healthcare." An increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging that "swings the focus from Russia to the economy."

A Harris-Harvard national poll revealed, June 23, "risks inherent for the Democrats" going with the Russia line:

"The survey found 58 percent of voters worried about Trump’s business dealings with Moscow, while 73 percent are worried that ongoing investigations are preventing Congress from tackling issues more vital to them."

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)

Those quoted who advocate abandoning ‘Russiagate’ include Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont.): "It doesn’t create an agenda"; Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pennsylvania.), who said that if he appears to treat Russia and criticisms of the President as a secondary matter, "It’s because that’s how my constituents feel about it."

But top strata of the Democratic National Party, especially the Clinton wing, are determined to keep blaming Russia for Clinton’s defeat, consequences be damned.

"Polling data indicate how wrong such claims are," says Solomon, who says, "Top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Putin than scrutinize how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters," thereby increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia.