Hillary lost because she’s awful, not because of the Russians

Deal with it.

Supposedly U.S. intelligence believed months before the election that someone in Russia was hacking servers of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, and that they were trying to influence the election.

One would think this would be a major concern as soon as you knew about it, but it wasn’t until the election was over and Hillary lost that it became the massive emergency they’re now treating it as.

I’ll take a pass on assessing the evidence for or against Russia’s involvement or motives, or for that matter, on Donald Trump’s skepticism. He has information I don’t have, and he can defend his position if he wants to.

But I think we all need to step back and realize something:

Hillary didn’t lose because of the Russians. Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate, and because the majority of the voters in 30 states believed she would be a terrible president.

The Russians didn’t prevent Hillary from running any ads in Wisconsin.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to threaten the jobs of Pennsylvania coal miners.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to expose classified information to them, although they may well be benefiting even today from her having done so.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to give Anthony Weiner access to content on her non-secure server.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to call half the voters “deplorable.”

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to make shady deals with foreign nations via the Clinton Foundation.

The Russians didn’t make a video hectoring labor unions for not putting Hillary 50 points ahead of Trump.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to accuse Donald Trump of horrible things while defending her husband for doing far worse things.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to botch the situations in Syria and Lebanon.

The Russians didn’t tell Hillary to whip out that stupid “reset button,” although they certainly took advantage of the foolish notions behind it.

I have no idea if the Russians really preferred Trump to Hillary, or if so why. The political class would jump to the conclusion that Putin considered Trump easy to manipulate. If Putin believes that, I think he’s in for a surprise.

But I suspect that’s not the case. The Russians probably know even more than most Americans about who was owed favors by Hillary related to Clinton Foundation giving. It’s one thing to fear a tough U.S. president who will look out for U.S. interests that might conflict with your own. It’s another thing to recognize that an incoming U.S. president might be ethically compromised, and might do reckless things because she owes the wrong people favors.

At any rate, if the Russians came to the conclusion that Hillary would be a disaster as U.S. president, it’s a rare case of them and U.S. voters having something in common. American voters rejected Hillary because they did not think she would serve them well, and they were correct.

Nothing the Russians did or didn’t do is more important than that.