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Friday, November 18, 2016

Did Trump win using Obama's filthy tactics? I'm just ASK-ing

The bulk of this post is about the Trump/Obama election connection. But before we get to that, we must take care of a related issue.

Eighteen hours ago, Kurt Eichenwald tweeted:
The stupid acceptance of fake news and propaganda is both a left and right problem, and both believe it's THEIR propaganda that's true.
Case in point, from Daily Kos:
The following brief excerpt is from a recent Huffington Post article:
New Pre-Election Poll Suggests Bernie Sanders Could Have Trounced Donald Trump
The DNC failed our party and we lost, not just the Presidency but many down ticket races. In fact, Democrats have been losing election cycle after cycle at every level because the DNC has been interfering in party democracy to effect a result that fits their ideology and keeps like-minded Democrats in power.
And so on. You get the picture. On the insanity scale, this rates right up there with the madness spewed by the fake right-wing news sites described here and here.

That poll is meaningless, since there was no media opposition to Bernie Sanders. It's easy to become a nationally-beloved figure when you receive nothing but slippery slobbery deep-dish fellation from writers on both the right and left.

We know from Eichenwald that the GOP had a massive oppo file on Sanders, including video of Bernie participating in a Nicaraguan rally (back in the day) when chants of "The Yankee Must Die!" filled the air. There also seems to be video of Bernie singing the praises of the Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran. Sanders wanted to increase middle class tax rates to match those currently imposed on Bill Gates. Sanders has a history of links to groups which explicitly promote the end of capitalism and the state ownership of the means of production. Sanders promoted Big Government at a time when 69% of the electorate says Big Government is our greatest problem. Polls make clear that, for the vast majority of American, the word "socialist" is a deal-breaker -- and no amount of otiose argumentation over the true meaning of the S-word can change that number.

In short and in sum: Bernie Sanders would have lost all 50 states.

As for the supposedly all-powerful DNC -- I refer you to this important piece by Eichenwald, referenced in an earlier post.
The DNC, just like the Republican National Committee, is an impotent organization with very little power. It is composed of the chair and vice chair of the Democratic parties of each state, along with over 200 members elected by Democrats. What it does is fundraise, organize the Democratic National Convention and put together the party platform. It handles some organizational activity but tries to hold down its expenditures during the primaries; it has no authority to coordinate spending with any candidate until the party’s nominee is selected.
The RNC had no power to stop the rise of Trump. What makes anyone think that the DNC had the power to deep-six Bernie?

Even if it possessed such power, the DNC did absolutely nothing to impede Bernie Sanders. This is not a matter of opinion; it's a matter of provable history. The Eichenwald article mentioned above establishes that point beyond rational debate. Anyone who reads that piece and still believes that the DNC backstabbed Bernie is either a fruitcake or a paid propagandist.

All of which functions as prelude to our main story: The Obama/Trump connection. I am heartened to see a flurry of articles about the serious problem posed by fake news stories circulating on Facebook and Reddit. Even Obama has weighed in on this issue.
But instead of basking in the glow of his valedictory tour of Europe, Mr. Obama used the moment to make a passionate and pointed attack on bogus news stories disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms, twice calling such false reports a threat to democracy in his hourlong news conference.
Good to know. But we must also understand that left-wing sites are a prime target of these bots and deceivers. We must further understand that Obama himself attained office in 2008 through the use of such tactics.

In an earlier Cannonfire piece, I wrote the following of the first election Hillary should have won:
That year saw not just a fevered political campaign but the creation of a genuine cult of personality. Big blogs like Daily Kos and TPM were inundated with comments from individuals never seen before or since, and they all spread horrific lies and rumors about Hillary and Bill Clinton while lauding Obama in reverential, almost messianic terms.

Were these personas? Were the Obots actually...bots?

Don't be silly. The question isn't even a question.

My own blog, humble as it was, got battered by a "vitriol monsoon." The hate-spew came every few minutes, day and night. Software was obviously involved. A large amount of that hate commentary -- including several death threats -- came from the same ISP in Chicago, Illinois. The home of the Obama campaign.

If that happened here, it surely happened on a much grander scale on Kos and HuffPo.

Obama's campaign attack dog, David Axelrod, runs a little-known company called ASK, which -- surprise, surprise -- manipulates public opinion through the creation of astroturf (fake grassroots support for a policy, company or candidate). "Persona software" was created for the purpose of astroturfing. You know damned well that a cutting-edge firm like ASK has a copy of that software.

We have discussed ASK in a previous post. One of Axelrod's campaigns involved spreading a completely false revisionist history of the California energy crisis; he did this in order to help a public utility drum up support for a rate hike.
Answer honestly: How do Axelrod's tactics in 2008 differ from what we see here?
An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University.

The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would send messages on Twitter based on a topic, usually defined on the social network by a word preceded by a hashtag symbol, like #Clinton.

Their purpose: to rant, confuse people on facts, or simply muddy discussions, said Philip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute and one of the authors of the report. If you were looking for a real debate of the issues, you weren’t going to find it with a chatbot.

“They’re yelling fools,” Dr. Howard said. “And a lot of what they pass around is false news.”
“The use of automated accounts was deliberate and strategic throughout the election,” the researchers wrote in the report, published by the Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda and Digital Politics at Oxford.

Because the chatbots were almost entirely anonymous and were frequently bought in secret from companies or individual programmers, it was not possible to directly link the activity to either campaign, except for a handful of “joke” bots created by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, they noted.

However, there was evidence that the mystery chatbots were part of an organized effort.
Michelle Obama said "When they go low, we go high." She lied. Trump went low -- and won -- because Obama went low -- and won.
I agree that Bernie would have lost, but that doesn't mean that HIllary was our best candidate. The field was cleared for her, Bernie ran because nobody else would. Certainly we can all think of far better candidates who should have run.
Conspiracism loves the passive voice, joseph. "The field was cleared for her"...that phrase implies the existence of an all-powerful THEY. THEY cleared the field. THEY have field-clearing powers. You can't give me their names and you can't explain how they do it, but you know that THEY are there and THEY clear fields.

As an experiment, try restating your sentence without the passive voice. Name names. Name the people responsible for this alleged field-clearance.

The job suddenly gets a lot tougher, eh wot?

Nobody stood in the way of (say) Martin O'Malley. Hardly anyone even bothered to criticize him, other than my humble self. He simply lost. If you think otherwise, then I ask you: Can you name the name of this field-clearance expert who made sure that we couldn't vote for O'Malley?

And I don't think that there were a whole bunch of others who were better than O'Malley. Warren didn't want it. I would have loved a chance to vote for Feingold, but he couldn't even win back his old seat in WI. Biden? We've talked about him. Kaine? With more debate experience, he could be a decent candidate -- but he clearly wasn't ready. Besides I've seen no evidence that he would have run if not for those pesky invisible nameless field-clearers.
If there were a list of prime suspects for field-clearing, Kaine's name would be top of the list.
Why didn't Warren run? Brown? Any real liberal? I voted for Hillary, even gave her some money, but the idea that we are simply going to train people for jobs is silly. Jobs are disappearing not to trade, but to robotics and its about time someone leveled with the American public and told them we can be Luddites, who by the way lost, or we can deal with the new reality.
Who cleared the field for her? The leadership of the Democratic Party. Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz. CFO Brad Marshalls. Press secretary Mark Paustenpach. Countless others. The Super Delegates who threw in and refused to change their stance even when the states they were a part of went the other direction (hey, we should absolve that Electoral College thing, amirite?).

Would Bernie have won? Possibly not. But then, we all knew Clinton wasn't going to win but it was "her turn." So much so that Joe Biden, an easy-win compared to most of the Republican nominees abstained because a silly reason that's emotionally charged enough no one could dare oppose it.

If others would've stepped up, maybe we could've found someone better, but it was "her turn."

So, now it's Trump's turn, and now it's a shambles and your party lies broken and you've lost the middle America that works for a living.

Instead of addressing that, you'll come up with trumped up poutrage against Bernie Sanders, who's no longer a thing. He's dead, he's gone, he's back in VT as a piddly little independent who no longer has any bearing.

But you can't let it go because otherwise you have to address the truth that you were wrong and Clinton stank.

For a guy who likes to talk down to young people about their shitty manners, you're acting every bit as spoiled and petulant as any twenty-something or teenager I've ever met.

And no, you're not that much older than I am.
Sorry if this is off topic, but it is about tactics, post-election tactics. We now know several Trump WH picks for his cabinet and so forth. It's like a thumb in the eye and yelling "Kitschy-coup!"

So I think: the cabinet, DOI, CIA positions are negotiable with the Senate, like a real-estate first offer.

Then again it could be a way to reduce the deficit with the really huge spike in expensive U.S. Passport applications.
You didn't even READ that Eichenwald piece, did you, you motherfucking lying BernieBot?

None of those people have the powers or the inclinations which the BernieBot propagandists ascribe to them. You fell for a shitload of propaganda generated in St. Petersburg and regurgitated on propaganda sites similar to the pro-Trump fake news sites now being (belatedly) exposed by the mainstream media.

You have the rest of the internet in which to romp and stomp and spread your lies. No more BernieBots and Clinton-haters will be allowed to post here.
Thank you, Joe.

It's bizarre how you instantly assume anyone who expresses a contrary opinion to yours must obviously be a paid Russian sockpuppet.

Your head is in the sand, you're wrong and the world is leaving you behind.

It's a shame, as I said in previous entries, I've been here since the Bulge. I've come to enjoy your cantankerous old man routine, your erudite political interests, and above all the old Sunday off topics about art, music and culture that I normally don't find interest in.

I guess all that's gone, then, because you're a one man crusade to point out how wrong everyone else must be, shrilly and with as many insults as you can.

You're as bad as the Republicans you decry in that, you're no different than the masses of youthful SJWs who plague the Internet and allow no difference of opinion, the very people you claim to argue against.

I dunno, Joe. I dunno. I felt for you at times, from the days of Bella's declining health (BTW, IIRC this accused Russian donated a couple sheckles to the fund, but I may be misreading my memory), the cross country move, and even your latest health scare in which I hoped that you'd pull through because even though I didn't always agree with you, I valued your difference in opinion and your unique little niche in the world.

But, I guess not. You want a echo chamber.

Good luck, Joe. I wish you that luck in any endevours you may pursue to the betterment of America, art, and music and most of all I hope you experience the moment of clarity that shows when you pissed off that many more of the people who came here for your unique perspective.

I won't be back. I'm not wanted here, and you're too hung up on your perceived notions of who or what I am to realize that I'm just a regular ole American joe myself.

Fuck you. And I'd say those words if you were my own brother.

Please notice that you STILL weren't able to defend you're inane propositions. Debbie Wasserman Shultz did not "clear the field" for Hillary; you can't provide any evidence for that oft-heard piece of BernieBot propaganda. Why the hell should the Supers have changed when they were pledged to support the candidate who was, in fact, receiving the most votes? And I was always infuriated by the hypocrisy of the Sanders supporters who at first detested the very idea of Superdelegates and then demanded that the supers vote for the losing candidate.

I've come to detest the Sanders supporters so thoroughly that I would gladly have voted for Trump over Bernie, for the same reason Abraham Lincoln once said that if the Know-Nothings came to power, he'd prefer to move to Russia: Tyranny is best taken pure, unfiltered by hypocrisy.

Don't boot the bros, Joseph. I haven't heard terms like "sock puppet" in ages.

Remember the scene in "Good Will Hunting" when Will schooled the pretentious undergraduate idiot in the bar? You've got the same thing going on here, and it's fun to watch and even funner to do.

Bernie and the bros are beginning to realize the extent of the contempt that they're going to face for the next four years. Their scramble to shift blame is funny to watch.

The most progressive platform in decades will never be advanced beyond a proposal because of Bernie and the bros.

The Supreme Court is going to take a sharp turn to the right for at least a generation because of Bernie and the bros.

Thousands of federal jobs rebuilding our infrastructure will never be created because of Bernie and the bros.

The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will be gutted by our newly appointed AG because of Bernie and the bros.

Bernie's ego and personal ambition and the bros ridiculous bandwagon mentality and abject gullibility are root causes of the dystopia that Trump is in the process of creating.

I guess Bernie and the bros really showed us!

You're not in this alone, Joseph. And as for echo chamber, and one-man crusade, there are others who recognize that Sander is despicable:

Strange how this "regular old American joe" calls the Democratic Party "your" party. Clinton did not stink, but this whiffball sure smells like a stank Berniebro to me.

Like another poster we know, big speeches about leaving rarely mean anything.

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