Putin is a threat to democracy, and Democrats want to invalidate the election to prove it

Dismissing the fact that Russia “intended to interfere with the U.S. election process” is a short-sided and partisan reaction to a genuine threat from an illiberal regime. Overreacting to these events, and creating the impression that Vladimir Putin possesses some transcendent power to overturn the system and control your votes, is equally unhelpful for anyone who isn’t simply attempting to delegitimize an election.

Despite the suggestion of some clumsy headline writers, there’s no evidence (so far) that Russians tampered with votes or changed the outcome of 2016 in any tangible way. Fortunately, even if Putin had tried, our regional, decentralized voting system — the sort of system many Democrats would like to federalize — makes it virtually impossible for anyone to hack an American election.

This fact hasn’t stopped some from making reckless charges about the legitimacy of Trump’s win. “Did the combination of Russian and F.B.I. intervention swing the election? Yes. Mrs. Clinton lost three states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — by less than a percentage point, and Florida by only slightly more,” Paul Krugman recently wrote. Neither he, nor any of the other people making similar assertions, have any real evidence to back up the contention.