I want to float a theory about Bernie, Chris Mathews and Russiagate.
Chris Mathews' conflating democratic socialism with communism under a dictator demonstrates a rabid hatred of policies that help average Americans. It also demonstrates that he is an idiot, but that is beside the point. Let's assume for second that his radical pants pooping hysteria against a strong public safety net, healthcare and higher education is a fear shared by many of the 1% and their surrogates. Although most aren't as vocal about it as Chris Mathews, I am confident that his blind abhorrence for any program or politician who helps the 99% is common in the DNC and their billionaire donors.
Now let's go back to the 2016 primary. Remember, President Hillary was a sure thing in 2016 and she would certainly be the nominee again in 2020. So Bernie wouldn't have a chance to implement any of his policies for at least 8 years, if ever. But when Trump won that all changed. Even with Hillary and her surrogates lying and cheating their asses off, and utilizing all of her media and deep state connections, she still barely beat Bernie, and ultimately lost to Trump.
It was at that point, when she lost to Trump, that the establishment had to suspect that Bernie would be back. Because they had thrown everything they had at him in 2016 and he damn near won anyway, against all odds. Even though they botched 2016, they learned something important for 2020. They learned that there was a public appetite for Bernie's policies, and that he could possibly win without taking big donor money. They also learned that people weren't buying the policies that the DNC is selling. Which is a huge problem since their big donors won't allow them to sell anything else.
So immediately after their loss to Trump the neo-liberals assembled all of their brightest rocket surgeons to concoct a way to shut down Bernie before he would become a problem in 2020. So how do you smear a guy like Bernie? Regular smears like sex scandals or corruption allegations would not stick to a guy like Bernie. They would have to go after his polices. "Hey! Why not smear his policies as communist?" They reasoned. The problem with that approach in 2016 is that the word communism doesn't really evoke fear like it once did. In order to be successful they would need to incite anti-Russian hysteria. And so Russiagate was hatched. Once they thought about it they realized that they could blame all kinds of shit on the Russians, and at the same time avoid accountability for their own incompetence.
* Demonizes Russia, lays groundwork for future smears of Bernie's policies as communist.
* Blames Russia for Hillary's loss so she doesn't have to admit that she is a failure.
* Removes need to re-examine neo-liberal policies, which makes billionaire donors happy.
* Fosters cold-war mentality which makes the MIC billionaire donors and deep state happy.
* Provides a scapegoat for election irregularities if DNC is investigated by Trump DOJ.
This is speculation, of course. But Russiagate was pulled out of someone's ass. And I am just trying to cobble together a reasonable theory about whose ass and why. After watching Chris Mathews blubber and pee his pants because he's afraid if Bernie becomes president that Fidel Castro's ghost will take a shit in his mouth while he's sleeping, it makes sense to me that Russiagate may have been inspired by a deep-seated fear of Bernie's policies, and an attempt to smear them before they take root for 2020.