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October 15, 2019

Comments

I think she is correct to point out that the IRA is trying to use sock puppets and bots to give Gabbard more prominence.

And, in effect, did it for them.

Harmut: your analysis of the D motivations regarding the Iraq war resolution are (IMO) spot-on.

Experiment: posting GftNC's link from about an hour ago.

https://twitter.com/HamishH1931

And, in effect, did it for them.

When people push back against bad actors, it does give those bad actors more prominence. I guess covering up the crimes is a better strategy. Gabbard isn't yet running as a third party candidate. When she announces that dramatic move, people should be on notice.

So GftNC -- your typing out of the html looks fine, and I copied it above and it worked, so I have no idea what's going on. Have you tried it from more than one computer? A complete shot in the dark, but have you tried it from more than one browser?

Sorry for the sidetracking, just doing more experiments. GftNC, I took your original comment out of the spam filter and published it and that worked too. Your IP address isn't in the blocked list. I dunno.

Janie, thanks so much for looking into this! I can't easily do it from another computer at the moment, but I will try now from another browser and let you know.

OK, so I'm posting from Explorer, a review of a film I've watched twice over the last couple of months about Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, towards which I had two completely different reactions in my two viewings (sorry for the sidetrack, couldn't immediately think of anything else to post!)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/04/movies/marianne-and-leonard-words-of-love-review.html

OK, I just tried from Explorer (I normally use Chrome), and the same thing happened. I'll try and see if I can fire up my old computer and try again....

OK, here goes again with something from this morning's Observer:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/20/catastrophic-men-theory-history-step-forward-boris-johnson

I'm now posting from my old computer, and the same thing happened again. I am at a complete loss.

Thanks for the link, JDT. I need to read Sontag's the three steps to refuting any argument because I've never won any.

Regards,

I'm giving up, and will have to go on relying on the kindness of strangers to post my links (not strangers at all, of course, but ObWi compadres). It certainly concentrates the mind and makes one only post links one is absolutely determined to share! Thanks for trying, Janie.

what happens if you ditch the "http" part, like so? people could then just copy and paste your links at least

twitter.com/HamishH1931

Thanks, novakant, will try in due course when back at a computer as opposed to accursed phone on which I can't even copy and paste!

CharlesWT gets to the heart of my objection. If the Russian strategy is to push and exacerbate factionalism, then it's counterproductive to reinforce those factional divides. At that point Clinton becomes an asset as well.

Not that it helps a bit that our media is so deeply invested in the sports media model of political coverage that they are an even bigger asset.

This situation demands nuanced analysis and commentary and tremendous message discipline, and it requires that the media serve the public good.

Which is why we are doomed to our poo-flinging social media future.

@Hartmet: In the German armed forces the dispute about 'tradition' still has not ended

We can understand. After all, we still have big political fights over honoring traitors (Confederate generals) from a rebellion a century and a half ago. Even when we have to totally falsify the reasons for that rebellion.

This situation demands nuanced analysis and commentary and tremendous message discipline, it requires that the media serve the public good

is there a plan B?

If the Russian strategy is to push and exacerbate factionalism, then it's counterproductive to reinforce those factional divides. At that point Clinton becomes an asset as well.

There's a certain amount of factionalism built into a system of elections, which are competitive enterprises. Voicing one's opinion about a candidate seems well within the established Constitutional system. We're not assets when we describe our preferences and objections, or the reasons therefor.

I haven't been paying close attention to the details of this particular dust-up. But how feasible would it have been for Clinton to voice concern about Russian interference in 2020, mention them supporting a possible independent/third-party candidacy, and not float the name of someone who might be such a candidate? In other words, leave Gabbard out of it.

Maybe it wasn't possible in the circumstances. But at least with 20/20 hindsight, it seems like that might have been more effective at making the point.

If the Russian strategy is to push and exacerbate factionalism, then it's counterproductive to reinforce those factional divides. At that point Clinton becomes an asset as well.

If pointing out what the Russians are doing makes you an asset, what does silence make you?

Damned one way if you do, damned another way if you don't, that's what.

wj, Clinton did not in fact mention Gabbard's name. She did say "she." Other people (and bots, no doubt) put Gabbard in the frame.

In other words, leave Gabbard out of it.

i agree, but really i don't know if that was possible, since only one of the candidates has recently inspired columns about being a possible Russia-backed* spoiler: Gabbard. even if Clinton was vague about it, people would put 2 & 2 together soon enough.

* - even if the alleged Russia's assistance is presumably uninvited

And our clickbait media.

From CNN a couple of days ago, under the headline: "Hillary Clinton suggests Russians are 'grooming' Tulsi Gabbard for third-party run."

(CNN)Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Thursday the Russians are currently "grooming" a Democrat running in the presidential primary to run as a third-party candidate and champion their interests. The comment appears to be directed at Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has been accused of being cozy with Russia in the past. "I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton said, speaking on a podcast with former Obama adviser David Plouffe. "She's the favorite of the Russians."

Clinton never names Gabbard...

And yet look at the headline.

Here's how I think Clinton should have handled it. Say that analysts have seen that the bots and trolls have been rallying to support "even some Democratic candidates" in order to drive wedges into factions. Say that she is sure that none of the candidates want to be used by the Russians and that all of them have to be careful with how they speak about each other because even their biggest rival in the primary is a better choice than the man sitting in the Oval Office who has said out loud on multiple occasions that he's willing to be used by the Russians so long as he gets votes out of it.

"Which is why I get distressed when I hear candidates for our party's nomination play into those conspiracy theories about the DNC. The DNC is not the party pushing these divisions. That comes from outside."

Thank you all for the clarification about what was actually said.

nous FTW

nous FTW

Yes.

Too bad there's no viable pathway to putting conflict work on the curriculum.

In the meantime, we go to life as the species we are.

nous FTW

Yes.

Yes.

I agree that what nous said would have been most politic.

But shouldn't Gabbard be called out, at least by the other candidates, on things like this? I don't think that her candidacy should be taken at face value. No one, apparently, wants to hear this from Clinton, but someone should do it so more assertively than a tweet here and there.

But shouldn't Gabbard be called out, at least by the other candidates, on things like this

... or about going on Tucker Carlson's show to complain about HRC.

even if she's not a Russian stooge, she's acting like a Fox News stooge.

I don't necessarily see blaming Gabbard for "having full Kremlin support." It may say something about her positions. But it isn't, in itself, her fault. The Kremlin might agree with her on some things for entirely different reasons than she holds those positions. For example (I have no idea what Gabbard's views on the subject are) both a US candidate and the Kremlin could view China's activities in central Asia with distinct lack of enthusiasm.

Hiring someone like Chris Cooper of Potomoc Square Group, on the other hand, goes beyond mere poor judgement. I's not like there aren't lots of political consultants available. And who you choose to hire, especially to fill high level positions, says something about you.

And praising Assad? I'm at a loss to see how any person of good will and good judgement could do that.

i don't think the Kremlin is interested in Gabbard (allegedly) for her positions. it's more that she's decided to make the Democratic party one of her chief enemies. that's why Fox loves her, too. and there's a lot of love for that point of view out in the lefty-left where the evil DNC stalks the night, somehow forcing people to vote as it demands. she's not necessarily of the left, but she'll get some love for being an enemy of the same enemy.

There is nothing wrong with calling out Gabbard for her bad policy or for her love affair with authoritarians. And it's also fine to call her out for acting as if her own party is more of a danger to the US than is the ongoing constitutional crisis being abetted by the GOP. There are plenty of ways to call her out on those things without the Manchurian Candidate overtones of calling her an "asset." She can be an idiot all on her own for her own idiotic reasons. And the Democrats don't need to follow in the footsteps of the GOP by electing their own loose cannon.

No need to play Maddow and connect the dots like it's the plot of a thriller. Point out that those narratives play into the hands of the Russian trolls and keep your own hands clean. Point out the effect and the beneficiaries of that effect.

After a few outbursts people will draw their own conclusions about Gabbard's motivations. Let them.

Nick Merrill pretty much confirmed Clinton ws talking about Gabbard and it was obvious right from the start. This stuff has been floating around for months.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/hillary-clinton-says-russia-grooming-3rd-party-candidate-u-s-n1068786


The Russian bot meme is liberal Democratic McCarthyism. Yes, the Russians support people who criticize the US. They always have. They liked to point to our civil rights issues during the Jim Crow era and the response by white southerners was that this was divisive propaganda from communist agitators. And they were right. It was also true. A few Americans were attracted by communism and there really was a massive human rights problem in the US. Similarly, the US foreign policy elite really does think in terms of missionary work conducted with high explosives and whatever her other flaws ( which keep me from supporting her), Gabbard is the one pointing this out. Our political culture is too dishonest to have serious discussions on that issue. So they label people as Assadists. Similarly, if you opposed the Iraq War you were a Saddam lover. If you questioned any part of what was said about Saddam you were an apologist for his crimes.

As for Clinton and other Democrats who supported the Iraq invasion, I partly agree with Hartmut. It was a cowardly political calculation. But in the case of Clinton and some others, they are also hawks. Clinton was still deciding in 2007 whether she should be a war opponent as her first presidential campaign was starting. There was a NYT article about that at the time

The idea that she was fooled by Bush is risible. That would make her an idiot. Literally millions of people could see that the hysteria over WMDs was fake. Powell had as much admitted the Iraqis were contained before 9/11. I remember some of this, though the details are now fuzzy. But sure, the great foreign policy minds of the Democratic Party were tricked by Bush. Fine. Don’t run for freaking President. Retire and do the sort of work Jimmy Carter has done as an ex politician.

We would be a much better country if we were less tolerant of the endless hypocritical bull crap politicians spout on serious issues. Instead our pundits and party hacks encourage people to look for Russians under our beds. Tulsi said both parties are partly responsible for the carnage in Syria. Oh my, Russia says that too. Pass the smelling salts.

In 2002, Tony Blair agreed with Bush. I assumed, naively enough, that Blair wouldn't be peddling lies. It turns out that I was wrong, but I won't blame anyone else for having been taken in.

__

The Amin Maalouf reference is welcome. I recommend his novels.

The Russian bot meme is liberal Democratic McCarthyism.

screeching halt. no need to read any more.

There are plenty of ways to call her out on those things without the Manchurian Candidate overtones of calling her an "asset."

Democrats pull so many punches that most people in 2016 did not know that Trump was working for Putin, despite Manafort's maneuvering at the Republican convention, and all of the other things that were in plain sight. People still deny it, despite Helsinki and other events that make it obvious. Trump is working for Putin. That doesn't prohibit him from also working for himself. But he's not working for us. The "American people" sometimes don't do subtlety all that well.

Of course, Clinton saying what is apparent about Gabbard is a new Clinton scandal. Upside down world.

All that said, you're probably right. We should be much more scripted! But, then we're too scripted!

On the subject of HRC and what she should and shouldn't do, I realise it's comparatively trivial but I hope the consensus here is not against HRC's parody of Trump's letter to Erdogan? It's very funny, and personally I can't see it doing the Dems' prospects any harm. Am I wrong?

well, it's something Clinton did. so i'm sure there will be objections.

i liked it, though.

she got millions more votes than Trump. let her cheerlead if she wants.

Yes, well, the problem with the Trump/Russia narrative is not that the Dems didn't punch hard enough. Too much effort was spent trying to establish "co-ordination" when that is the simplest place to sow doubt.

Donald's study of the Russian interference shows that clearly enough. Showing that the effect of the interference does not deviate from the underlying uncertainty does not show that the interference was ineffective, just that the signal wasn't discernible from the noise at the macro level.

The problem is not whether or not Trump coordinated with Russia. The problem is that whether or not there was coordination, a significant chunk of the public discourse is being driven by trolls using disinformation to erode our sense of common cause. That will continue unabated even if Trump is removed.

Which is not to say that Trump doesn't matter. He needs to be removed because his actions in office are damaging the US. I'm just saying that removing him will not remove the influence exerted by the IRA, or by freelance trolls in Romania seeking clicks for ad revenue, or by alt-right assholes and threepers. The memes will change, but the buttons that are being pushed remain, and it's those buttons we need to work to disable.

Which is not to say that Trump doesn't matter. He needs to be removed because his actions in office are damaging the US. I'm just saying that removing him will not remove the influence exerted by the IRA, or by freelance trolls in Romania seeking clicks for ad revenue, or by alt-right assholes and threepers.

Hope you're sitting down, nous. Because you're having a conservative Republican agree with you entirely here. Because, after all, it's exactly true. (As sapient noted, it's an upside-down world....;-)

The problem is not whether or not Trump coordinated with Russia.

it kindof is because coordination of that kind would clearly be illegal, and worthy of impeachment. it's something that the country needed to know. and, the investigation was done by a Republican, under a Republican DOJ. and, if it wasn't for departmental restrictions, Trump would be charged with several counts of obstruction.

sure, trolls will exist.

we need to combat their influence. one thing that can help is to tell other countries that we're not going to stand for them interfering in our democracies.

does the US do it to other countries? yes. we should stop (and this could be a good inflection point for us). does that make it OK for others to do it to us? well, if it's bad when we do it, it's bad when they do it. and one can't be angry about the former and not the latter just because it feels good to complain about the US, or whatever.

assholes on the internet will persist. but state-sponsored trolling shouldn't be tolerated.

or maybe it should. everything's fair. fuck it.

Do not confuse "does not matter" as a political reality with "does not matter" as a rhetorical strategy.

Coordination absolutely would matter if there was a smoking gun. But as things stand now, banging on the "coordination" monkey is a counterproductive rhetorical strategy.

wj - I think the ignominy of agreement is survivable.

But shouldn't Gabbard be called out, at least by the other candidates, on things like this? I don't think that her candidacy should be taken at face value.

I think the last score or so of posts are pretty good support for the suggestion that the rest of the candidates, and Hillary herself, should roundly.... ignore Gabbard.
To do otherwise is to give her the publicity she wants.

Leave it to journalists, and if need be, surrogates. Don’t dignify the nonsense with a comment. That’s how Trump got to be taken seriously, bad joke that he is.

but state-sponsored trolling shouldn't be tolerated.

Of course not - but while Trump is in the White House, and has a Senate and Justice Department in thrall to him, it pretty well will be.

Which is why wining is important.

Yes, well, the problem with the Trump/Russia narrative is not that the Dems didn't punch hard enough. Too much effort was spent trying to establish "co-ordination" when that is the simplest place to sow doubt.

Yes. That was an egregious tactical mistake on the Dem's part. The air going out of the impeachment balloon when the Mueller Report was released was palpable.

I really do not give a rat's ass about Tulsi Gabbard, especially as some of my leftier-than-thou acquaintances are praising her to the skies for her so-called "anti-imperialism". As I have previously pointed out, her anti-war cred comes from a very strange place.

And I would agree with cleek that policies should be adopted to combat state sponsored trollery. But, to steal a leaf from those who so blithely dismiss public policy to adopt a system of government run health care---show me your detailed plan.

Shoe, meet other foot.

Dismantling Facebook might be a start. Telling Russia that we "are not going to stand" for such interference does not strike me as an effective response.

You'd better sit down, too, wj. This old wobbly agrees with you agreeing with nous.

Wining is, of course, important too. And a not inappropriate response to current politics.
But I did mean to say winning.

Whining, wining, and winning. All together now.

Am I wrong?

Absolutely not! That spoof is hilarious.

ignore Gabbard.
To do otherwise is to give her the publicity she wants.

It may be useful to differentiate between ignoring something like this when done by someone who is clearly not gaining any political traction, and calling it out when it is someone (like, say, Trump in 2016) who is getting enough attention to actually be a serious candidate. ("Serious" in the sense of having an effect. Not in the sense of being anything besides a performer.)

How you treat one doesn't necessarily mandate how you want to treat the other.

Of course - but in both cases, it’s imperative to realise when you’re being suckered into their narrative, and avoid it.

In Gabbard’s case that means paying her an amount of attention she doesn’t merit.
There is no wining volunteering to debate the questionable arguments of someone under 3% in the polls.

Nigel, if I'm not mistaken, you were a proponent of the theory that Clinton's use of the word "deplorables" was a factor in her failure to win in 2016.

My guess is that, if we lose in 2020, people will be blaming Clinton for the use of the word "groomed".

If this is true, we are well and truly f'd. And, if this is true, we would have been so whether or not Hillary Clinton were alive at all. If we're that ridiculous, we aren't really fit for democracy.

The Russian bot meme is liberal Democratic McCarthyism.

First, it's not a meme. It's a reality.

Second, pointing out that it exists is not "McCarthyism". It's pointing out that something real exists.

Showing that the effect of the interference does not deviate from the underlying uncertainty does not show that the interference was ineffective, just that the signal wasn't discernible from the noise at the macro level.

The problem is not whether or not Trump coordinated with Russia. The problem is that whether or not there was coordination, a significant chunk of the public discourse is being driven by trolls using disinformation to erode our sense of common cause. That will continue unabated even if Trump is removed.

wherein nous once again demonstrates his even-handed grasp of the situation.

Yes, Russian trolls will try to fnck with our electoral process. They'll do as much as they can get away with. They aren't bound by US law, so they'll just try on whatever they can get away with.

What happened in 2016 is that the Trump campaign understood that Russian interference was going on, that it was advantageous to Trump, and they therefore welcomed it. They did not participate in the illegal act of hacking DNC servers, so Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy. They merely welcomed Russian interference, and likely coordinated their own efforts to take advantage of it.

And then obstructed efforts to investigate all of that, which actually does cross the line of criminal and impeachable behavior.

And Trump would likely have walked away from all of that, except he couldn't help himself, and had to twist the arm of the Ukrainians to manufacture evidence that none of it ever happened, and that it was sekritly the Ukrainians collaborating with the (D)'s to pretend they were hacked.

Because he's a vain asshole. And that is probably what will sink him.

Calling anything to do with any of that McCarthyism is BS. Trump's a crook, and he's also a vindictive asshole who can't restrain himself from sticking it to people he sees as his enemies. Not a good combination, if you're going to be a crook, you need to be discrete.

So maybe he'll end up going down. I have no idea which way it's all going to play out.

But he is up to his freaking ass in corruption with the Russians, starting with his luxury condo business model, continuing through the 2016 campaign, and right up until today.

It is nothing like McCarthyism to point any of that out.

This isn't a freaking vendetta, it's an attempt to preserve our form of government. The guy is a crook, flamboyantly so. His actions merit investigation. So, they're being investigated.

That is what is supposed to happen.

There is a case for the former proposition, given the closeness of the vote in some of the states where the comment might have had salience.
In the end, unknowable, but it certainly didn’t help.

Of course Hillary is not going to lose the 2020 vote for the Democrats on the basis of a spat with Gabbard, a year before the election That still doesn’t make it anything but stupid politics.

And she is a better politician than that.

Nigel, if I'm not mistaken, you were a proponent of the theory that Clinton's use of the word "deplorables" was a factor in her failure to win in 2016.

US federal elections, for POTUS especially, are complex phenomena. How complex phenomena play out is pretty much never the result of one and only one factor.

"Basket of deplorables".
Comey's late-breaking crap about 'her emails'.
Russian agitprop in US social media channels.
(D) party general neglect of some of what had been traditionally (D) demographics.
The bizarre historical legacy that is the Electoral College.

All factors. You can probably add 10 or 100 more to the list.

No one thing caused Trump to win. Judging by absolute number of votes cast, Trump did not win.

The "basket of deplorables" thing was an impolitic comment. Trump mocked the profound physical handicaps of a reporter. That really ought to have been, not just an "impolitic comment", but grounds for somebody kicking his damned ass, publicly.

The man should have been shunned, by any and every human being with a shred of decency. There is more going on here than can be explained by a single comment of Clinton's.

She is not the most adroit retail politician of her generation, and she's not my favorite person ever, but she would have been ten times the POTUS than the toxic vain malicious SOB who holds the office now.

None of what's going on can be pinned on a single comment of Clinton's.

It's a vendetta. sorting the reasons he probably should be impeached from the dozens of things that are completely ridiculous is not worth my time.

But by any measure it's been a slow moving coup for three years in a few weeks. I mean at least admit that no one here cares how they get him as long as they do, kind of defines a vendetta.

How many legitimate bases for throwing this guy out have to pile up before we can stop calling any of this a "coup"?

The man insults the nation on a daily basis by his presence in office. If he is ever actually impeached and removed from office, it will only be due to his own actions.

Regarding "deplorables":

A late night anecdote, or boring story, whichever:

I worked with a colleague once, who was amusing and eccentric. She was (is) beautiful, proudly of Greek heritage. She was gossipy, and I was uncomfortable with that, but other than that I liked her a lot, and found her engaging and fun. We weren't close, but it was always great to see her. Our larger group of friends were progressive - many gay - not very racially diverse because of the particular work demographic, but seemingly welcoming of the few non-white people around.

She moved away for several years, but then moved closer in proximity, and I saw her in late November of 2016. The election trauma was a topic of conversation at all times. I don't know who mentioned it first after we had a sweet greeting, but she soon said, "I voted for Trump. Yeah, I'm a deplorable."

I will say hello and wave, but what's the point in being "friends" with someone who is proud of that? Now the children separated from their parents? Holy s^it.

Sorry, I just don't like those people.

Showing that the effect of the interference does not deviate from the underlying uncertainty does not show that the interference was ineffective, just that the signal wasn't discernible from the noise at the macro level.

The problem is that the margin of victory in the critical states was smaller, much smaller, than the aforementioned noise level. Mostly, in most elections, it would have been too small to matter. This time, it wasn't.

It's a vendetta. sorting the reasons he probably should be impeached from the dozens of things that are completely ridiculous is not worth my time.

But by any measure it's been a slow moving coup for three years in a few weeks. I mean at least admit that no one here cares how they get him as long as they do, kind of defines a vendetta.

Hogwash.

Certainly thete are those who have been working from Day 1 of the Trump administration to thwart anything and everything he has done. Which is firmly in the established range of acceptable political behavior -- see McConnell on his intentions at the beginning of the Obama administration. A coup, it is not. Nor a vendetta.

Certainly there are those who don't care how they get rid of Trump. But they are nowhere near enough of them to do it before the election.

However, there are others who don't disagree with much of his substantive actions. They just are decreasingly willing to tolerate his lawless behavior. Or just his massively stupid behavior. That, not politics, is what will bring him down before the election, if anything does.

vendetta; n. a prolonged bitter quarrel with or campaign against someone.

Hmmm....Clintons, right wing noise machine, 1992-present (you know, like 27 fucking years). Yup. Classic vendetta!

coup; n. 1. a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government; 2. a notable or successful stroke or move.

Hmmmm...nope. Not even. However, if Trump is run out of office before November, 2020, I guess the term would apply. And if it did...like so what? They guy is utterly corrupt. There is a Constitutional remedy for presidential corruption, and the GOP set the bar really low with Clinton, i.e., the President can rightfully be impeached and tossed from office for any fucking reason we care to dream up.

Your rules. Live with them.

Thanks, wj. Just to reassure you: if times were normal, I'm sure we'd disagree on a lot.

Hmmm. What people should or shouldn't say.

sapient, I'm sure we still do. It's just that sometimes, ya gotta set aside lesser disagreements to address greater problems. (And if the US and USSR could cooperate to take out Hitler, we can. Our disagreements are way smaller than that!) Unfortunately, this is one of those times.

Here's hoping we get back to arguing sooner rather than later.

Hogwash. Coup definition is great, Thus the words slow moving to recognize the difference. Vendetta is, as I said, accurate.

From day one there were those in power, and not in power, who have worked to remove him. Not, as in Obama's case, just to thwart his agenda. Completely different in kind

why would the blessed Founders put coup instructions in the Constitution?

seems like a mistake on their part.

From day one there were those in power, and not in power, who have worked to remove him.

the Russia allegations started before he took office. so, yes, investigating possible collusion between the President and a foreign adversary started from 'day one' (probably day -50 or so).

but since it's something that could possibly make "conservatives" sad, it must be illegitimate. tough.

don't elect a criminal next time. then maybe you have the problem of having your guy treated like a criminal.

Get your head around this: Trump is a crook, and he put himself in a position where that is not acceptable.

What is happening is what is supposed to happen.

Read 'em and weep.

Here's hoping we get back to arguing sooner rather than later.

Raising my coffee cup to that!

why would the blessed Founders put coup instructions in the Constitution?

seems like a mistake on their part.

Bunch of slavers...

Perhaps someone can clarify something for me. How is it a coup if the members of the other party are looking to replace Trump with someone of the same party? Not replace him with a Democrat, which might (assuming other criteria were met as well) be called some kind of coup. But with someone of his own party.

At least in my limited understanding, a coup would involve a party change. (Unless it was being driven by the Vice President's partisans, of course.) So what am I missing?

Trump est l'état

wj,one could (with a deranged enough mind) claim that Pence would be a puppet (or hostage) of the coupsters* given that he is also up to his neck in the corrupt schemes and thus vulnerable to blackmail ("either you do what we want or you'll get impeached next and then sent to jail"). And of course the true intent of the coupsters is to remove Trump and Pence together to put Pelosi on the throne.

*or would that be coupistas, coupisteros or something like that?

I think it's true that Rump was surprised by the backlash to his plan to host the G7 at Doral. He's so far gone ethically that he has little notion of where the lines are. His life's experience with regular, consequence-free rule-breaking has left him with a highly skewed (or just muted?) sense of right and wrong. He's such a twisted-up dude.

he was probably surprised that the GOP was upset. that's not how things are supposed to work for him.

Perhaps someone can clarify something for me. How is it a coup...

There is no clarity to be found in the arrant trollery of Clickbait and Fox News talking points.

he was probably surprised that the GOP was upset. that's not how things are supposed to work for him.

Certainly. Democrats being upset is meaningless, because they just don't like him and will complain no matter what he does (in his mind). That his plan was bad enough that his usual enablers took offense was something he couldn't foresee, even though what he wanted to do was so obviously wrong (to a normal person).

Seeing things from someone else's view (aka empathy) is just not one of his core competencies. See, for example, his obvious surprise when he got laughed at when he said somethong particularly detatched from reality at the UN a while back.

I agree, wj. And regarding his UN surprise, it's not merely a lack of empathy; he and his base are so divorced from reality that they truly believe the incredible bullshit they spout about how he and the US are now so respected because of his Presidency, whereas to everybody else in the world he and his enablers are a laughingstock. A bit like during the Iraq war, when that Saddam spokesman said the enemy's troops were nowhere near, were in fact being harried away, when in the newscast you could see the enemy's tanks and trucks coming in behind him. He was known as Comical Ali, to differentiate him from the horrific Chemical Ali, and Trump's lies and idiocies are exposing him to exactly the same kind of ridicule. If the White House had not confirmed the authenticity of his letter to Erdogan, the whole world would have continued to believe it to be a spoof.

For completeness's sake, I am trying one last time to attach a link using Firefox, which I have just downloaded. For the purpose of this test, I attach

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/21/john-bercow-denies-boris-johnson-second-vote-on-brexit-deal

If the White House had not confirmed the authenticity of his letter to Erdogan, the whole world would have continued to believe it to be a spoof.

I expect that the biggest defense he has against being laughed at is that most people, even now, have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that he is putting out stuff which otherwise would be just assumed to be a spoof from the Onion or something. Self-parody . . . except that it is, apparently, unconscious.

Now this almost undoubtedly did make a difference to the last election.

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/21/jeffrey-toobin-clinton-emails-053484
The Times, in particular, has faced scrutiny for its front-page treatment of Clinton email stories in the final months of the election, including after the Comey letter, and so it’s handling of the State Department having concluded its years-long investigation didn’t go unnoticed.

“For months, @nytimes put stories of Hillary Clinton’s email on its front pages,” Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione tweeted Saturday. “The final investigative report clearing all of wrongdoing? That is on page 16 today.”

The Times’ Amy Chozick, who covered Clinton in 2016, wrote last year how she “became an unwitting agent of Russian intelligence” in covering the hacked DNC and Podesta emails, though editors have largely defended covering those emails because they were released publicly and deemed newsworthy....

countdown to delivery of Fox-approved talking point starts... now.

Shades of Judith Miller.

If the Times is going to be called a left wing "tool" by the fascist GOP, then just when the heck are they going to start being one? They certainly are not very good at it, really fallen down on the job if you ask me.

From a BJ commenter (no link, but I've asked for one):

“Analyses by Columbia Journalism Review, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School show that the Clinton email controversy received more coverage in mainstream media outlets than any other topic during the 2016 presidential election.The New York Times coverage of the email controversy was notoriously extensive; according to a Columbia Journalism Review analysis, “in just six days, The New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election (and that does not include the three additional articles on October 18, and November 6 and 7, or the two articles on the emails taken from John Podesta).”

Far more than the New York Times coverage, it would be interesting to know what newspapers in the upper MidWest were saying. That, after all, is where the rubber met the road. What did the Chicago, Detroit, etc. papers feature?

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Tony Blair were the innocent victims of lies. They were part of the push to war. Ordinary people could be suckered by what most Republicans, some Democrats, and much of the press were saying. But the people in power and the press were the ones pushing extremely weak or nonexistent evidence that Saddam Hussein posed a serious threat to the US. Clinton was one of them. Biden and Kerry did this too. This was the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades and nobody involved should have been prancing around as a foreign policy expert. Well, unless they have a deeply cynical view of power and careerism, which is probably true of many of them.

https://fpif.org/five-lamest-excuses-hillary-clintons-vote-invade-iraq/

This issue mattered in 2008. As late as 2007 Clinton was refusing to say her vote was a mistake. But in 2016, she was portrayed as a foreign policy expert. This is incompatible with being part of the worst foreign policy catastrophe of a generation, but it didn’t stop people, because we don’t have honest discussions about much of anything in America. We have opportunistic, partisan, performances instead. And Clinton and Kerry and Biden have a resume, with all the little boxes checked off. They all have “ experience”. That’s all that matters.

On Russian bots, well, let me explain. I don’t argue much anymore because I don’t see the point. I am ranting now because I have been disgusted by recent events but it won’t last. What I actually think about most mainstream politicians and pundits would look like a Thullen post. Constant bullshit and pathological lying by a lot of people in both parties who ought to be in prison. For example, all the criticism of Trump and his betrayal of the Kurds is true. He set them up and then let the Turks and the FSA come in. But the BS is this— if tihis were genuine consistent humanitarian outrage, then it would have been in full evidence when Obama decided to help the Saudis bomb Yemen. That would have been front page news from day one. And you wouldn’t have to be a freaking obsessive to know that we were arming Syrian rebels who fought alongside Al Qaeda. All the people currently yelling about the betrayal of the Kurds by Trump would have been yelling then, but there was no yelling because we have a crappy dishonest press and right now people are busy whitewashing our previous Syrian policy. Kristof’s recent column— he whitewashes Obama. And he knows better.

Okay, Russian bots. I find it impossible to give a crap. It looks like liberals making excuses. The stolen emails might have mattered because they revealed genuinely interesting material. The social media campaign— well, sure, maybe some Clinton voter saw a picture of Jesus armwrestling Satan and decided to vote for Trump. Maybe we are such a weak pathetic democracy so incapable of having serious conversations about issues unless couched in partisan terms that literally any batch of idiots with a comparatively tiny amount budget could overwhelm our own native propaganda producers and steal our democracy out from under us.

I would suggest that people worry about actual election machine tampering coming from anyone and the solution there is paper ballots hand counted in public. To fight dishonest propaganda from numerous sources, foreign ( multiple foreign sources) and domestic, maybe have an honest press and politicians who don’t come across as people trying to please their rich donor base while tricking the rubes into voting for them. But lying is part of politics and Russian liars have no magical powers.

JanieM: Think that quote is referencing this piece in the CJR:

https://www.cjr.org/analysis/fake-news-media-election-trump.php

Thanks, nous. The BJ commenter presented what I copied as a quote, but it's not an exact quote from that CJR article, and the way she presented it, it's unclear where the rest came from, whether it was hers or someone else's.

No biggie, the gist is in the CJR article, so thanks for the link. Earlier today it wouldn't load into my browser, so I didn't want to include it. Why it loaded now but not earlier I have no idea. More gremlins, I suppose.

Republicans have killed irony.

the GOP really is a craven and deplorable organization these days. used to be, i could look at them and think, "ok, they are wrong." now, they don't even try for wrong. they just stand in the corner and fling feces.

show that the Clinton email controversy received more coverage in mainstream media outlets than any other topic

see also, the classic word could comparison:
https://news.gallup.com/poll/195596/email-dominates-americans-heard-clinton.aspx

doo de doo, nothing to give a shit about here.

Facebook on Monday said it removed a network of Russian-backed accounts that posed as locals weighing in on political issues in swing states, praising President Trump and attacking former vice president Joe Biden — illustrating that the familiar threat of Russian interference looms over the next U.S. presidential race.

Facebook said the network bears the hallmark of the same Kremlin-backed group that interfered in the 2016 election by sowing social discord, seeking to boost Trump and attacking Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The new disinformation campaign appears to follow the same playbook.

This time, a coordinated group of Russian accounts that appears to show some links to the Internet Research Agency largely took to Facebook’s photo-sharing app, Instagram, to post content this year about U.S. politics and memes targeting Democratic presidential contenders.

The operation demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of the schisms within the Democratic Party as it labors to choose a nominee to face Trump in 2020. One Russian account, which portrayed itself as a black voter in Michigan, used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to hammer Biden for gaffes about racial issues. Some of the accounts boosted one of his rivals on the left, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

a scheme in which a foreign government seeks to misinform and misdirect American voters in order to create distrust and dischord among them, and to ultimately ensure the re-election of the incompetent and stupidly-destructive Trump (exactly as it did in 2016), is just sooooo boring. better ignore that! better find a way to blame the Dems. that helps!

If you're sick of the new McCarthyism and warmongering by Hillary and her cohorts, then join our campaign. We need your support. Democrat, Republican, Independent — it doesn't matter. We need to unite to usher in a govt which is of, by, and for the people!

Tulsi Gabbard campaign tweet.

how coincidental.

the pile-on in comments in Gabbard's tweet is... remarkable. she's likely to lose her seat in the House out of this.

how coincidental.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean here, cleek. Does this mean you think Gabbard is taking direction from Moscow?

In other news, a local liquor store informs me that tariffs have been imposed on a variety of products from the EU.

French, Italian, and Spanish wine and cheeses, and Irish whiskey. 25%!!

Coastal elitists, to the ramparts! This aggression will not stand, man!!

Does this mean you think Gabbard is taking direction from Moscow?

i think Gabbard is an idiot who has set herself on a course which parallels the kind of course we already know Moscow likes, intentionally or not.

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