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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Salon's outrageous attempt to rewrite history: The Sanders smear machine

Headline from Salon, the formerly liberal website:
Hillary Clinton’s “dirty politics”: Bernie Sanders is experiencing the same nasty tricks that Clinton’s campaign dealt Obama in 2008
"Nasty tricks"? Is writer H.A. Goodman totally insane?

What's next, Goodman? Are you gonna write a book about 1939 in which Poland invades Germany?

Longtime readers know how thoroughly engaged I was in 2008: this blog discussed every cough and quiver of that contest. Readers will also recall that I began as an Obama supporter, and that my original stance was ABC -- Anyone But Clinton.

I changed that stance after becoming thoroughly disgusted with the behavior of Obama's supporters. It was Team Obama, not Team Clinton, which continually pulled "nasty tricks." The record was not mixed: One hundred percent of the evil -- and no, that is not too strong a word -- came from the Obots.

They astroturfed the comments section of every blog on the internet, large and small. They harassed, insulted and even threated anyone who did not toe the Obot line.

I know this for a fact. Although my C-list blog would not seem to be worth the trouble, abusive comments (allegedly from differing authors) showed up every minute of every hour of every day from the same IP in Chicago. You know goddamned well who was behind that 24/7 astroturf operation.

The same thing happened to blogs less widely-read than mine. Everyone got hit.

On every liberal site, Axelrod's trolls continually used words like "cunt" and "bitch" to describe Hillary Clinton. The things said were back then unbelievably vicious. And I'm not talking about just a few sad examples: This was a river of lava, and it flowed for months.

Even today's Trump supporters cannot match the violent obscenities heard during that era. I documented much of this monstrous behavior at the time, and will be happy to republish, if so asked.

The Axelrod astroturfers accused Hillary of killing Vince Foster. On a daily basis, they repeated every anti-Clinton smear made famous by Rush and the WSJ.

Make no mistake: Axelrod was behind it all. He ran a little-known company called ASK, which pioneered the use of astroturf on the internet. Obama bears personal responsibility for the anti-Clinton smears of that era.

The worst offender was the Daily Kos, then a paid arm of the Obama campaign. That assertion is not in dispute: Markos Moulitsas made a lot of money from Obama ads. The moment that deal was set, Moulitsas censored all pro-Hillary sentiments and transformed his site into a cesspool that made the Breitbarters look comparatively sweet and rational.

Sample headline from that era: “Senator Obama please take your foot and step on her throat!” The Obama campaign subsidized those words.

People now accuse Trump of using violent language to appeal to the lower parts of the psyche, but throughout 2008, the Obots were far worse. You might say that Obama taught Trump how to do it.

Clinton was on the receiving end of the Darkened Video smear, which was the key incident that turned this former Obama-leaner into a reluctant Hillary supporter.

Do you recall the NAFTA smear? Obama won the Ohio primary with fliers falsely promoting himself as a NAFTA opponent; of course, he was no such thing. Obama then sent Austan Goolsbee to Canada to assure Ottawa that all of Obama's anti-free trade talk was a lie (which it was). When Goolsbee was found out, the Obama forces flooded liberal blogs with the Big Lie that Hillary -- not Obama -- was the one who did what Goolsbee did.

Then there was the time when the Obama forces doctored a video clip from The War Room to make it seem as though Mickey Kantor (a key Clinton aide) had used the word "nigger." The editing also made it appear that the Clinton forces had insulted the people of Indiana.

The Obot forces claimed that Hillary blocked Nixon's impeachment -- a lie that keeps coming back, no matter how many times rational people knock it down.

Then there was the time when Josh Marshall claimed that Hillary Clinton received the largest donations from Wall Street, even though Obama was the one who held the record.

We were told incessantly -- and falsely -- that Hillary was sending racist signals in order to win over all of the racially-motivated voters who supposedly exist within the Democratic Party: This, despite the fact that David Plouffe himself admitted that all of the racially-motivated voters were already in the Republican camp.

There was a group called Women's Voices, Women's Votes which tried to increase voter turnout in the general election. It was ran by a woman named Paige Gardner, who was pro-Hillary. The Obama forces smeared her as a racist who was trying to disenfranchise black voters. 

The Obama campaign completely lied about Hillary's health care plan.

I could go on and on and on. Hell, I haven't even mentioned the scurrilous tactics of the Obama forces in the caucus states.

If history-fakers like Goodman want to refight 2008, I stand ready. Throughout that year, I spent a massive part of each day investigating each Obot smear. I wrote it all down and linked to my sources.

The Obama campaign of 2008 was the single filthiest political operation in the history of democracy. Hillary Clinton was the victim, not the perp. 

Let's take this further.

Just as Obama bears personal responsibility for what happened on Daily Kos in 2008, Bernie Sanders bears personal responsibility for the smear campaign being waged by Goodman and other Salon writers.

Sanders may say that he has nothing to do with the slimeball tactics employed by his defenders, but so what? Do you believe Donald Trump when he insists that he has nothing to do with the smears peddled by his pal Roger Stone?

If Sanders wanted the smears to stop, they'd stop. Stone is to Trump as Salon is to Sanders.

Bernie Sanders bears no small amount of personal responsibility for the lies told by people like Goodman. Who turned Salon into a septic tank? Blame Bernie.

The most important Snowden document concerns psy-war, and the one key truth of psychological warfare is this: People make decisions based on group-think. If you use astroturf and similar tactics to create the illusion of consensus, people will become emotionally wedded to lies and smears.

That's what the Sanders campaign is doing right now. He has created a mob.

Bernie brags about never running a negative campaign. Well, he sure as hell is running one now. I used to think he was just a nice old socialist of the old school. Now I know better: That man is slime.

I'm not attacking him for reasons of political strategy: Hillary Clinton already has the nomination in the bag. Until today, my instincts were to promote party unity. Until today, I've stipulated that I've always have always had a high opinion of Bernie Sanders, and might even have supported him if he stood a chance of winning in the general.

I'm attacking him now for one simple reason: He deserves to be attacked.

I've had enough of the lies told by Salon and the Berniebros -- lies for which Bernie Sanders himself bears ultimate responsibility. Someone has to fight back.

Bernie Sanders has shamed himself. The crusading socialist has morphed into...well, into Obama.

Great rundown, thanks, Joseph.

I wondered if you've read up on Nate Silver's latest? I noted some Bernie bros crowing about details supposedly being unreported, but did not read up on the details.
Seems to me that the Democrats could have put up a candidate that does not have stigmas attached. As much as I hate to say it, Trump will end up winning because Sanders has been painted as a socialist and Clinton is equated to the Bush family dynasty. People are tired of the same old same old and one would think the head honchos in charge would realize that, but no, just put up candidates that no one really wants.
Thank you Joseph, but I think it's already too late. Sanders voters will never vote for Hillary. They'll be happy to see a Trump or Cruz presidency just so long as she loses. They're tools being used, and they're utterly clueless as to this fact.
Other Obama tactics in 2008 that are worth mentioning. Illinois moved up their usual primary date that was the end of March, to the beginning of February, 2008. The plus 54 delegates Obama picked up while freezing the delegate counts for Michigan and Florida are the reason he was able to get such a big push in February from all of the caucus contests and take the lead.
And In Michigan, Obama, Richardson and Edwards pulled out of the Michigan ballot on the final day one could do so, never notifying Hillary Clinton of their plan. Then all three bashed Hillary Clinton in Iowa for supporting Michigan moving up their voting date into January. While some may call that genius and clever political moves, I think it sucked because it allowed Obama to lie about why Hillary Clinton's name was still on the ballot in Michigan.
If Hillary Clinton had taken her name off of the ballot in Michigan, Obama, Richardson and Edwards would have stayed on the ballot and then attacked Hillary Clinton for being against Michigan, and Michigan's votes would have counted.
North Carolina received 28 bonus delegates for not moving up their primary date. So states that supported Hillary Clinton and moved up their primaries were punished, and a state that backed Obama as given bonus delegates for not moving up their primary date.
I cannot believe how far down the ratfuker hole Salon has gone.
Spot on, Joseph.

I've been stewing for a few weeks now. I've come to despise Bernie. What the hell is he doing? Were he to be elected, what would he accomplish? What has he accomplished? Why is he attacking the one person capable of demolishing the right wing? Why does he have such despicable people working for him? Why does he rant and rave and wave his finger like a foolish old man? Why is he promising things that will never ever happen? I am almost his age, and I find his lack of self-awareness to be appalling. Revolution, my ass. Why is he not supporting the Democrat, since he knows he can't win the nomination? Why is he not supporting the female?

Salon and that Goodman jerk are intolerable. Herd mentality. The in crowd. Attack Hillary. Always attack Hillary.

Trump will not beat Hillary. He is already exhausted. And just because the right wing has smeared Hillary for years does not mean she shouldn't run. In fact, the smearing shows that the right wing has always been afraid of her. She is the strongest candidate on that ground alone. But, although she is not everything that I would like, she is really the strongest candidate because of her intelligence, her knowledge, her ability to solve problems, and her endurance. No one can match her endurance. Certainly not the angry red-faced old man.

It's time to unite.

I was right there in the middle of the Obot swarm, death threats and racism accusations burned through my blog. though I deleted them as fast they came in, given work etc. Anyway, the single worst image I've ever seen was on Uppity Woman's blog last week. The "oral" scene featuring SOS Clinton and Trump was proudly created by a 19 year female BernieBot, who said she was taking donations for the Sanders campaign for her "art." And yeah Salon has been a trash pit for quite a while and it keeps sinking to new lows. Maybe the Bitch Karma will come calling for some of these people come next year. (I agree with Trump on one thing--- public figures who are consistently lied and slandered by the same people should have some recourse.)

"Granted, there's a lot of brutal rhetoric directed against Hillary Clinton from Sen. Sanders's more impassioned supporters, many of whom appear ignorant of the fact that they are recirculating propaganda fomented by the right-wing industry dedicated to slandering both Clintons for going on 25 years."--Gene Lyons

The whole column.
I know it's a lot of work, Joseph, but yes, please be the documentor of record for both the Obama and Sanders smear machines.

I don't know if you use labels for your posts, but that might be a way to group the ones you want to highlight. Then a search for the particular label can become a link on the home page. If you need technical help with that, let me know.
My blog gets so few comments I'm not sure you can even call it a D-list blog. A P- or a Q-list perhaps. And back in 2008 whenever I posted anything with Obama's name in it, I'd get instant comments shouting that I was wrong, all wrong, totally wrong. No actual arguments or evidence, just assertions. So, yes, the Obots were everywhere.
Hang on a sec, I don't get it. The issue seems to be that Salon is accusing HRC of smearing Obama in the first Obama election and doing it again in this election to Bernie. I agree, this is clearly untrue. Obamas campaign was not clean. But that is not something one can hold against Bernie. Taking this one piece in isolation you seem to be condemning Bernie ' s campaign based on that one line in a Salon piece.

What have I missed? My guess is there is other abuse if HRC going on. But lots of people have issues with HRC. I have issues with the money she had accepted from banks etc. I have not taken my cue from Bernie. I have formed my own opinion based on stuff I have read. I don't know if Sanders campaign is smearing her, but certainly I have not heard those smears from any source other than the Republicans.

Also, everything I read suggests Obama is currently batting for HRC. If the core issue was Obamas sleazy tactics in prior elections what does that say about today's campaigns?

I am probably taking out of context, but it seems like you are taking one offensive comment by a Salon journo, and assuming Bernie would intervene to correct some comment pertaining to the Obama campaign from 8 years ago. I don't think that follows.

I still think he is an old civil rights campaigning socialist still. This post has not changed my mind but maybe I should read down a bit and see what I have missed recently.


I felt from the beginning that Hillary was likely to be the one "chosen" to be the next President. Now I can see I was correct. It's pretty obvious which way the wind is blowing. Of course, I agree with you about Sanders "supporters" (I put that in quotes because I have a lot of friends who are Sanders supporters who don't engage in anything you mention here, and I'm pretty skeptical that many of the people who engage in this behavior are not being paid to do it by some org or another....just like with Obama back in 2008). No, I think Hillary is the one who will be President this time, as both Trump and his "supporters" and Sanders and his "supporters" are doing all the right things to get her into office (well, to be fair, I think Trump himself is doing all the right things to get Hillary elected, as I believe most Americans are relatively sane people who, when it comes down to it, will realize the insanity of voting for someone like Trump). Frankly, with the Trump craziness (and general craziness in the Republican party these days), and the religious fervor of the Bernie supporters, it's not surprising that Clinton appears pretty darn reasonable in comparison (Hillary is not someone I'm terribly comfortable with as President for many reasons, but she's definitely sane). So, that status quo wins yet again, big surprise there.
" Is writer H.A. Goodman totally insane?" Yes.
"Status quo" is not a woman POTUS.

--NW Luna
So you'll be attending the establishment liberal coddled buffoon George Clooney's gala?

Cannon, all's fine in the Elite world. For example, read Larison's latest on Obama's helping Saudi decimate Yemen. Axelrod and Hillary are totally on board with that. Where the blood flows the Elite rows.

Everything you cite could be taken, by a visitor from another planet that Hillary would never agree to be part of an Obama Administration, much less offered. Or never be offered much less agree, your pick.
But a visitor from another planet would not be expected to understand petty diversionary
intramural squabbles.
Then again, Clinton might appoint Sanders to get the banks nationalized, what do I know?
Right Joe?
NW is if the woman herself is completely and totally on board with the status quo. Hillary is.
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