Michael Tracey, the “Progressive”

During my investigations into certain other matters on Twitter, there was a name that had a habit of coming up. This name rang a bell, but I couldn’t really place a finger on when or where I heard it. I eventually got curious and looked around on Google. After reviewing some data on Michael Tracey, I noted that he called himself a progressive, had been on The Young Turks, and that some consider him controversial. I quickly found out why.

My search led me to his Twitter account and I immediately noticed his public statement which opposed arming Ukraine. I had just been reading about the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers and it struck me as incredibly odd that he didn’t seem to consider those deaths at all. As you probably are aware, Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a prolonged conflict in the Donbas region due to Russian incursions. It seems that Tracey might be unaware (only kidding).

That tweet linked to an article he wrote, wherein he alleged a sinister plot is typically to blame whenever there is bipartisan agreement on a topic. I disagree with this ‘logic’ and I’m not sure how he could believe this to be anything other than pushing a conspiracy theory with zero evidence to support it.

Reading beyond that, he didn’t mention the death toll that Ukraine has sustained, and he didn’t mention Russia’s activities. And when it came to Russia, he used a pleasant euphemism by only talking about their ‘sphere of influence’ and not the real world impact of their actions.

That piece further piqued my interest and I put on my detective hat (with built-in ear warmers). While reviewing further data, I noticed he had written a rather inflammatory tweet directed at a person who Rudy Giuliani has recently been targeting with accusations. But Tracey tweeted about Andrea Chalupa back in 2017.

In this strange segment, Russia conspiracy activists Chalupa & Kendzior warn everyone to brace for “false flags”

Here’s the thing. That segment wasn’t on one of the major broadcast networks. It was on The Rick Smith Show. And this show advertises itself as “Bringing #TheResistance to your Radio daily.” Michael Tracey notably has a big issue with ‘Resistance Warriors,’ so it wouldn’t seem that this show would be one he’d follow. He doesn’t mention it in his tweets except for that one instance. What are the odds that he just so happened to come across this by accident?

I digress. While glancing through some other data, I noted that he had this tendency to write the word “progressives” in quotation marks and that he considered some of them to be inauthentic, somehow. It is not often clear who he is precisely talking about or how he determines this. These insinuations are not rare for him, in the slightest.

Regarding that last tweet, Democrats haven’t seen any signs from Bernie Sanders that he would have secret communications and meetings with people representing a hostile nation. So, that hypothetical doesn’t hold any water. I also don’t quite follow his logic, where he is casting hypothetical dispersions on Sanders in order to justify his very controversial opinion.

Additionally, the FBI should always be vigilant in defending our Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic. That’s part of the oath they swear to uphold. Moreover, if any Democratic candidate were to engage in the activities that the Trump campaign engaged in, I would hope the FBI would thoroughly investigate it. No one should be above the law.

I also considered this in context of that earlier article. He was more than happy to cast doubt on the FBI for doing their job. He was more than happy to allege an unfounded conspiracy perpetrated by seemingly most Americans for wanting to help Ukraine.

After a bit more reviewing, I concluded it would be more than fair to question his basis for calling himself progressive. There were just too many tweets and writings that raised concerns. Not just about whether he is a progressive, but about something a bit bigger than that, which I’ll cover towards the end.

The next question revolved around Tulsi Gabbard. His first tweets which mentioned her name were regarding a proposal she wrote about arming off-duty feds, in which he proclaimed, “Another red flag for Gabbard.”

But his position soon changed, as he mentioned her while tweeting out a related link to a Wikileaks post and then 7 days later wrote:

I don’t see any prominent Democrats other than Gabbard cautioning against war with Russia. Who am I missing?

From that point forward, he was on board with Tulsi. In fact, from August 1st, 2019 through the morning of October 6th, 2019, when I compared his mentions of Tulsi Gabbard to his mentions of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, she ranked second only to Biden. He mentioned Biden 99 times, Tulsi 83 times, Bernie 70 times, and Warren 41 times.

Most of his mentions about Biden did not suggest he was a fan, and these weren’t entirely promotional tweets. However, with Tulsi it was a very different story. Below is a selection from that timeframe, but I could find not a single critique of her anywhere within that period.

In contrast, he’s not always in agreement with Bernie Sanders. There was even a moment when he stated that he’d “probably vote for Bernie.” Not seeming 100% committed there, but this was after the heart attack, so it’s understandable.

His major disagreements with Bernie seemed to revolve around very specific topics. A selection of those divergences is provided below.

Bernie Sanders called out the Russian government’s interference in our election. That’s where the link in the second tweet leads. And from this simple statement by Sanders, Tracey alleged a “militaristic conspiracy theory” by the FBI/CIA and that Bernie was part of the rot.

Tracey has already shown a penchant for crafting completely baseless conspiracy theories about Americans in defense of Russia. Yet, Sanders calling out Russia is rotten. He doesn’t really seem to be a fan of most Americans, so far.

Regarding Warren, he seems to be quite interested in painting her in an unusual light. He has a tendency of writing tweets about her where he mentions her supporters being “progressives.” Which is strange that he doesn’t see the contradiction when he mentions that she’s drawing in some of Bernie’s supporters. If Bernie’s supporters aren’t progressives, then who is a progressive in his mind?

Occasionally, he turns his mentions of Warren into discussions about what he considers unfair treatment of Tulsi. It is almost as though he’s trying to drag Warren’s name into an unrelated accusation.

Finally, he is critical of the media talking about Warren’s selfies, yet he’s part of the media and he discussed her selfies twice not long before his media criticism. Part of that criticism for the media revolved around Tracey’s interest in knowing her foreign policy positions. This will tie into the later subject matter.

So far, he has not really shown much support for Warren, he certainly hasn’t shown what one might call support for Biden, and isn’t fully on board with Bernie, considering the heart attack and Tracey’s heated disagreements with Sanders about Russia. The only person he’s on board with 100% is Gabbard. At least that’s what is reflected in his 83 Gabbard posts from August 1st onward.

The DNC draws significant public ire from him. He even makes allegations of rigging over the most benign topics. Such as, “DNC has rigged the primary such that Bernie can’t even get a glass of water.” He also has turned Gabbard being excluded from one debate into a narrative of unfairness from the DNC, as he does here and elsewhere.

He also had a tendency of promoting division.

That last tweet is striking. He’s discouraging division along partisan lines, yet doesn’t have an issue with division, as a tactic. If we’re not talking about partisan division, that would leave the Democratic Party as the target for fostering division, per his recommendation.

When considering his promotion of division, the previous trends regarding how he publicly discussed the candidates is cast in a slightly different light. It is certainly worth pondering.

For the record, being progressive is not separate from being a Democrat. I don’t think I can name a single Democratic rep who is opposed to all progress. For instance, every single one of the candidates has been agreeable to some form of progress on the healthcare issue.

Furthermore, we are all Americans. That’s my position. I don’t agree with the notion that just because we disagree on issues, sometimes fundamentally so, this inherently means we should be divided. I reject that line of thinking, especially in consideration of all that I’ve been studying about hostile actors who seek to promote division.

Moving on, I’d be remiss to not mention his interview with George Papadopoulos, wherein Tracey promotes GP’s book Deep State Target, and says he’s read it.

Below this tweet is his subtweet with a link to the Youtube video. At 4:45, Papadopoulos asserts that “What my book fully exposes, with first-hand experiences and accounts, is a spying scandal, which both the Obama administration and foreign governments were colluding and complicit in. So this shouldn’t be viewed as a partisan issue … ”

He further asserts that the CIA and FBI were weaponized to affect the 2016 election. After GP finishes making this assertion and others, Michael Tracey doesn’t push back at all on this. He merely moves on and asks a question about Papadopoulos’ role in the Trump campaign.

Worth mentioning, the American people didn’t learn about the FBI’s investigation until after the election. In fact, James Comey wrote a book and part of it was dedicated to explaining why that information was kept from the public, due to many public questions about that choice. He also attempted to explain why, during the same election cycle, he chose to send information to Congress about Clinton, with less than two weeks to go until the general election.

Not only did Tracey ignore GP’s false assertion, he also ignored the conspiracy that GP pushed. Meanwhile, he has numerous public statements where he lambasts anyone who thinks it is corrupt for a presidential campaign to have a plethora of secret contacts and even meetings with Russians.

Yet he could not muster even a small critique when Papadopoulos asserted that the Obama administration colluded with American allies. The context here is that the FBI was investigating those secret contacts that the Trump camp continuously hid and then lied about when they were discovered.

Typically, people lie about and hide information when they think they’ve done something improper. Surely, Tracey is aware of this. According to this tweet in 2015, he certainly is.

Lies, misrepresentations, obfuscations, distortions, etc — some kind of wrongdoing. “Walk back” lets ’em off the hook, usually.

Furthermore, throughout 2016, he made it clear on Twitter that he viewed Hillary Clinton as a liar and that this was a serious problem for him. Why the substantial difference? Lastly, Papadopoulos disingenuously called it a non-partisan issue while making it a very partisan issue, via those accusations directed at the Obama administration.

There seems to be a reason he doesn’t push back on any of this. For one thing, he wholly endorses investigating Obama directly.

But there’s much more to it than just that. On July 24th, 2016, he was inexplicably very interested in trying to claim that the Trump campaign didn’t alter only the ‘arming of Ukraine’ part of the RNC platform. He even went on a Twitter investigation, looking for any straw he could find to justify sending this tweet to the writer.

You claimed that Trump’s reps intervened only on the Ukraine issue; that’s provably, undeniably false.

The writer was quite astonished, given that Tracey’s assertion was incredibly flimsy, by any reasonable standards. It was almost as if he knew that this platform change was going to be of some significance later. Or maybe it was because it involved Russia. Considering that tweet I referenced earlier in this piece where he was opposed to arming Ukraine, it seems he has a long-standing bias on this issue.

Which got me wondering. What exactly were his thoughts on Ukraine? Did he ever express any concerns on Twitter over Ukrainian soldiers dying? Not that I could find. He also had more than a few choice things to say about Ukraine and America’s Ukrainian policy.

Speaking of Syria, he said some notable things about that, as well.

On both Ukraine and Syria, he takes a position that he knows is perceived as one that “advances Russian interests.” He can try to deflect away from the obvious conclusion reasonable folks would come to, but the evidence is piling up. Also, it’s very notable that back in May 2019, he was trying to tie the CIA into the topic of our elections. What exactly does the CIA have to do with it? The Mueller probe was the FBI/DOJ. Why exactly was he targeting the CIA, I wonder?

Returning to the Russia investigation, he has a variety of tweets attempting to throw inflammatory labels at those who rightly perceived that Russia interfered in our affairs. He called Clinton a “dangerous zealot” regarding Russia after one of the debates. Then he doubled down after someone disagreed with his tweet.

He had also already made up his mind before America even started seeing any of the evidence. Like in this tweet on the 24th of July, 2016 (which coincided with the earlier tweets regarding the RNC platform).

It’s enough to say: we have no conclusive evidence that the source of the Wikileaks release is connected to Russia

The DNC leaks via Wikileaks started just two days prior on Friday the 22nd and his tweet was on Sunday. Did he expect that they would have the whole investigation done in two days? This is extremely quick to be jumping to this conclusion, especially for a journalist.

This trend has gone on like this since then. There is not much deviation. The rhetoric might change slightly, but the meaning remains the same. He’s even said, “Investigating the origins of the Mueller investigation is perfectly legitimate.”

He used Devin Nunes’ memo to cast dispersions, even though Nunes himself said that he never read the source materials before he released it. He targeted Bill Browder on several different occasions. In case his name isn’t striking a chord, he was involved in the Magnitsky Act that resulted in sanctions being placed on Russia.

Additionally, Tracey seemed to get a bit perturbed over the nickname ‘Moscow Mitch.’

Using a nickname that implies Mitch McConnell is somehow compromised by Russia has to be one of the dumber Russia-related talking points of the past few years, and there have been many dumb Russia-related talking points

Regarding Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions, he made markedly similar complaints about media coverage.

When it came to Russia/Trump, he targeted his former employer with criticism and he’s directed condemnation at Team Bernie. He accused the Dems of swindling voters in 2018 and called them liars over the Russia investigation.

I sensed a recurring theme. Bill Browder, Andrea Chalupa, Wikileaks, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, and of course the Russian interference. On that matter, he didn’t just deny Trump conspired. He repeatedly denied Russia had anything to do with any interference. So, I looked further back. His very first tweet that included the word Russia was this:

Russia Today has a lot of good guests, but Alex Jones for your Osama coverage? Come on. http://bit.ly/igznr4

This was back in 2011. This would not be the last time that he publicly promoted Russia Today. He did it on numerous occasions since then, including here:

Greenwald is a name I’m familiar with. In fact, I wrote a piece that he featured prominently in. It’s quite informative, if I do say so myself. Do note that in the link for assortment of Russia Today posts, I had to search with the term “RT.” The results also include instances of him using RT as a retweet reference. I could not filter those results out, so keep that in mind.

In 2012, Michael Tracey had this to say:

Most bizarre aspect of the debate last night was Paul Ryan’s repeated attempts to pick a fight about Russia. Why?

I searched throughout the extensive record of his mentions of the term ‘Russia.’ I just couldn’t seem to find him criticizing Russia at all. I found him criticizing all sorts of other people for their perspective on Russia. Didn’t matter who they were. Even Bernie, as discussed. Remarkably, he often lauded Tulsi specifically about her stance towards Russia.

Now perhaps I missed a few negative Russia tweets, because the number of mentions were excessive and I did not review every single one. I reviewed them in chunks and within each chunk, I didn’t see anything negative at all.

That’s not to say that he didn’t occasionally offer any mild critiques. It just means that within the vast majority of his content and in everything I reviewed, he had a very consistent stance on Russia. For the record, during that same timeframe from August 1st through this morning, he mentioned Russia more times than he mentioned Warren, 47 to 41.

I highly recommend you scroll through this list, to see it for yourself. I’ve created an archive of the vast majority of the tweets I’ve linked throughout this work, so if you need the archive, let me know. I could include far more examples on most of the subjects I covered, but I suspect if you want to read more, you’ll click through on the provided links. There’s substantial material to look through.

To sum it all up, Russia is not progressive. Michael Tracey has made it plainly clear via many of his tweets and the aforementioned article that nothing is more important to him than Russia. His topics of interest and the stances he takes align quite well with Russia’s known positions. So, I just don’t see how that could qualify as progressive. Do you?