The REAL start of the Trump administration is being planned right now. The Trumpers are going to assume full control of the Justice Department. The Mueller investigation will end.
Worse than that. The Justice Department will be used to besmirch not just Hillary Clinton but the entire Democratic party. The forthcoming pseudoscandals will place all Dems at an enormous disadvantage going into the 2018 elections. It'll be a rout. The Republicans will gain many seats.
How will they do this? The same way it's done in Russia: By making use of false evidence. As we speak, the Justice Department is being cleansed of anyone who might stand in the way of this plan. The Justice Department is, in the words of Jonathan Chait, being weaponized.
Once the Trumpers attain full control, they will unveil their Ultimate Weapon -- their Wunderwaffe. Our collective psyche will be walloped by the greatest smear in the history of smears, a smear that is to other smears as the H-bomb is to a stick of dynamite.
The White Rabbit. What will be the nature of the new smear campaign? I think the "White Rabbit" meme circulating on the far right side of the web tells you everything you need to know. A psy-war campaign of that sort does not spring up spontaneously; see this historical precedent. The propagandists are putting a great deal of energy, time and money into spreading the White Rabbit meme. Meanwhile, everyone who gets information from mainstream sources is snoozing or snickering, because they have no idea what is about to clobber us.
I predict that his nation will be hit by a pedophilia scandal.
In fact, I've been predicting such a scandal for a while.
It will probably begin in Hollywood. You'll see worse-than-Weinstein allegations leveled against well-known names. These allegations will seem convincing and may, in fact, be true. Or true-ish.
The way is already being prepared: See here and here and here.
Once that scandal hits, few will be able to think straight. We will experience one of those national "shocks" that Naomi Klein talks about in her book The Shock Doctrine.
After the shockwaves have resounded throughout our culture, we will be psychologically primed to believe anything -- even allegations that would, in normal times, seem "iffy" or absurd.
At the precisely correct moment, while we are still trying to process the Hollywood pedo scandal, a non-right-wing media organ will present "evidence" (note the quotation marks) which will seem to confirm every Pizzagater's darkest dream about Hillary and Bill.
Liberals won't come to the defense of the Clintons, just as they did not defend the Clintons during the Whitewater anti-scandal. Nobody in the establishment really likes the Clintons. The Democratic leadership will do what they did in the case of Al Franken: They will sacrifice the innocent and try to staunch the bleeding.
Just as Dems start to acclimate themselves to the idea of a Clinton-free future, just when they think they can put the pedophilia scandal behind them, the scope will widen. New pedo charges will be leveled against any Democrat who might stand between Bernie Sanders and the 2020 nomination. (Trump wants to run against the very beatable Sanders.)
Who will level these charges? What evidence will back them?
Remember: Trump's partner Tevfik Arif has been linked to a prostitution ring which uses underaged girls. The Russian mob controls underaged prostitution. We know from the Virginia Roberts Complaint that Jeffrey Esptein uses his coterie of underaged girls to compromise politicians and other important people. Epstein is Trump's friend. (In previous posts, I've given my reasons for suspecting that the mystery of Epstein's billions may involve Russian oligarchs.)
If one of those girls speaks, she will be believed. Even if she lies. Especially if she cries while she lies. A woman's tears are more powerful than an entire nuclear arsenal.
Go ahead: Scoff. Now that you know my ultimate fear scenario, I bet that you're rolling your eyeballs.
Days before the first allegation against Franken, while everyone was still reeling from the Weinstein shock, I told an old friend who works in Hollywood that this whole "Believe women" movement was being orchestrated by the Roger Stonian ratfuckers of the right. He scoffed at me, just as you are scoffing at me right now.
Weinstein is genuinely evil, my friend said. Why would you make excuses for him?
I was doing no such thing, of course. I simply know how these psy-war operations go.
Of course the "Me Too" movement started with someone genuinely detestable, as Weinstein is. Once the Weinstein revelations prepared the way, we got pummeled with bullshit allegations against Al Franken. I predicted two days ahead of time that Franken would be targeted. (I admit that I thought that Franken wouldn't be hit until he started making noises about a presidential campaign. Turns out I wasn't cynical enough.)
How did I know that the Weinstein scandal would morph into a Franken scandal? Simple: Rather late in life, I learned that if you want to play chess, you've got to think several moves ahead.
Franken was the target of questionable charges levied by a model with strong links to the right -- someone who picked that moment to act affronted by something that allegedly happened on a USO tour quite a few years earlier. Somehow, Roger Stone got advance word of what she was going to say. Funny how that happens.
In his initial statements, Franken made clear (without offering specifics) that events did not actually transpire as Leeann said they did. At that point, someone obviously told Franken: Just apologize to Leann and don't question her story. Be sheepish and humble. She has privately informed us that she'll drop the matter if you apologize. You can get past this.
Franken took this bad advice. I would have told him: "You'll be better off if you fight back tooth and nail. Leann may say that she forgives you, but so what? After she steps aside, you'll be hit by a whole conga line of false accusers. If you stipulate to Leann's accusations, you'll give credibility to every stupid thing said by the others."
In fact, I said something similar to those words in this very blog.
Franken wasn't the only one who got smeared. Charges -- some of them "kinda, sorta" credible, but most of them iffy -- were brought against a whole host of liberals, including Garrison Keillor and Ryan Lizza. Not coincidentally, Lizza wrote the expose of Roger Stone.
Only liberals were hit. All conservatives (except Roy Moore) were given a "get out of jail free" card.
Exactly as I predicted.
I lost a couple of friends -- perhaps the last friends I have left -- when I said that Republican ratfuckers were weaponizing feminism. But I was right.
I wonder, sometimes, how my friend in Hollywood -- the one who mistakenly thought I was defending Weinstein -- reacted when Franken and all of those other liberals drowned in a tidal wave of smears. I imagine that at some point my friend must have had an Elmer Fudd-ish epiphany: "Hey, you know what? Dat was da WABBIT!"
It's going to happen again -- but this time, it's going to be much worse. This time, the "WABBIT" will be a White Rabbit. If the "Believe Women" movement touched a raw nerve, the upcoming "Believe Children" movement is going to drive this nation completely batshit crazy. The Satanic Panic of the early 1990s was nothing compared to what we're about to see.
I hope I'm wrong.
As you know, my usual method of forecasting the future is twofold: 1. Imagine the worst. 2. Sit back and watch it happen. Yes, this method has misled me in the past, as when I foresaw a Doug Jones loss in Alabama. (Then again, so did most other people.)
But I also predicted a Trump victory in 2016, even when Hillary's lead seemed insurmountable. And I predicted that Franken would be hit by sexual assault allegations two days before Leeann Tweeden made her first public comment.
It seems safer to be too cynical than not cynical enough.
By the way: Steve Bannon, instead of spilling Trump's secrets, has decided to kiss his Master's orange ass. There has to be a very good reason why Mr. Honey-Badger-Don't-Give-A-Shit has turned into Mr. Good-Puppy-Goes-Where-He's-Kicked, because obsequiousness just ain't in that guy's nature. Similarly, there has to be a real good reason why Lindsay Graham has gotten with the Trump program.
Methinks Bannon has been briefed about the grand plan being finalized at Camp David.
Nobody on Team Trump is acting like the Orange One is in danger. Think about that.
The decent left cannot successfully compete with the right in psywar. The achievement of our aims involves the increasing use of logic and the spread of unmanipulated discussion among people who think for themselves and who uphold decent values; but these times are ones in which false consciousness is so deep and widespread that the right has an open field.
The internet is a right-wing dream come true. So are smartphones.
We could get women's tears and nuclear war. The nuclear meme is being injected into all sorts of discourses, ratcheting up the desensitisation.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to make a guess at which "advanced" country will be hit by famine first. I mean the one in western Europe with a population of around 60 million and an economy based on a mile high square mile of financial scams, in which the media are currently spreading the idea that its government is thrashing about desperately trying to reorient its imports and exports in the framework of a trading pact with countries like Singapore and Chile - a "life is totally fucked, and don't expect food to keep coming to your table" message if ever I've encountered one.
posted by b : 4:42 AM
I agree entirely. Few people understand the insidious nature of a narcissist. Trump is pathologically driven to maintain his ego at all costs and he has had a lifetime of grasping at straws, of holding out for favourable breaks and slandering all the way. This kind of toxic personality can never be reasoned out of office however damning the evidence. Moreover, his persistent self promotion attracts the easily led who can later never admit that they got it so wrong. The same is true of our media agencies. They have spent so much time carrying Trump muck, minimising criminal and outrageous behaviour, that they too will grasp at any confected explanation that allows them to save face. He said-she said will reign supreme. The Russia scandal will be shouted down and the Hillary scandal (and a lot more) will be resurrected. Expect a complete assault upon reason, sanity and democratic principles. Lies, BS and raw police state power will be the new norm.
posted by fred : 5:17 AM
It is wrong to dismiss the legitimate claims of women who have been assaulted by various public figures as some kind of psy ops. Franken could have stayed in office and fought the accusations if he were being falsely accused. The problem is that he compromised himself by behaving badly and that undercut his ability to fight his political enemies.
You almost seem to be suggesting that women must take one for the team in order to prevent the right from attacking the left. No, that isn't going to happen, especially not when the claims are real and not manufactured by the right. It is time for men to clean up their act and stop providing ammunition to the right. That is the proper call to action, not your suggestion that any accusations be treated as falsehood and psy ops.
posted by Anonymous : 9:55 AM
I must say, it's been interesting watching the pliant press dredge up the Bill Clinton sexual scandals to be intricately re-examined in the "new" light of our present days. But I never saw a news article about Clarence Thomas. Simply amazing, but not at all surprising.
posted by Anonymous : 11:57 AM
Mr Cannon you made me feel the same way I felt on Nov. 9th 2016. Despair.
posted by Anonymous : 3:05 PM
Anon: Don't worry. I've been assured by liberals that Gillibrand hypocritically saying Bill should've resigned for Monica is fine and that no one cares about the Clintons anymore. No, they assure me, it isn't playing into the right's hands for the left to finally do what the right has been trying for 25 years which is to destroy the Clintons. Democrats can finally wash their hands of them, which for some unspecified reason is a good thing, and the right won't be emboldened to then subsequently destroy Obama's, and consequently the Democratic party's, legacy. Gillibrand isn't a dupe; she's just a good, principled politician doing what the base demands.
posted by nemdam : 4:22 PM
Isn't someone who Trump abuses going to sue him some time? He has called Michael Wolff a "fraud".
That's more likely to increase sales of the book than damage them, but it's defamatory surely?
posted by b : 5:40 PM
The LA Times posted this today, Jan. 6, 2018: He was the pride of East L.A. when he won Olympic gold. Now, he's accused of molesting young boxers
In response to the "It is wrong to dismiss the legitimate claims..." post from Anonymous: The charges against Franken were not credible. The first of them was a Roger Stone special, courtesy of a right-wing radio host. The rest of them were either anonymous accusations (to which no weight should be given) or transparently NOT instances of groping or harassment. Franken was accused of putting his hand on a woman's waist while posing for a picture -- not groping. (The woman who did this also said that she didn't even allow her husband to touch her in public. Presumably if he had, she would have accused him of groping her.) Franken was accused of calling up a woman he had appeared with on a radio show to argue with her -- not harassment. We are not defending women when we embrace slanderous stories that were made up by the likes of Roger Stone, one of the people most responsible for putting Donald Trump in office.
Remember: None of these stories were vetted by credible news organizations. They mostly came out of publications like The Huffington Post. They wouldn't have held up to any sort of serious scrutiny. That's why the fake stories kept coming -- to force Franken out of office. The Democrats finally just panicked and dropped the ball.
Why do you think there haven't been any more accusations since Franken resigned? Wouldn't a senator given to groping women during photo-ops have left hundreds of victims in his wake? Where are all of them?
posted by J.D. : 8:44 PM
Why did Franken resign if there was nothing to the accusations?
posted by Anonymous : 11:38 AM
Anon, since I do not like you, I suggest you follow the rules and adopt a name or nick next time.
Franken was told by the party to move aside because they felt that the focus would be on him instead of Trump. It's pretty clear that if, when, the Mueller probe is deep-sixed, the Dems plan to attack Trump relentlessly on the sexual abuse allegations. That won't be effective if they are continually defending Franken.
I think this strategy is mistaken. If the Dems go after Trump on the sex angle, then the Republican ratfuckers will simply pay for more accusers to make more false accusations against other Dems.
You do like me. I am Corby. We just disagree about this.
posted by Corby : 5:06 PM
JC, I'm afraid you are right as usual. The Democrats do not have the spine to fight fire With fire; that's why we will lose, again.
posted by Not the ass-whole anonymous : 1:25 AM
Franken resigned because he had more than two dozen Democrats in the Senate telling him to step down. And that happened, in large part, because Franken had no plausible way to defend himself. What could he possibly have said that wouldn't have made the situation worse? If he'd said that his accusers were lying, that wouldn't have gone over well; people would have called for him to resign for suggesting that accusers shouldn't be believed at all times, in all circumstances. What if he'd said they were telling the truth, apologized, and promised to do better? The same people would have called for him to resign so he could be "held accountable." It's all very reminiscent of "Catch-22."
posted by J.D. : 3:48 AM
Corby, so where are the high profile accusations against Republicans and other right wingers? Strange that there don't seem to be any (except Roy Moore, who is obviously not suffering any repercussions from his party over the accusations against him). Women are fully capable of lying for the right price or the right ideology. No doubt many of the accusations are true, but again, focused completely on the left. Perhaps that means lefty men are more prone to sexual assault than righty men? I find that very hard to believe, considering the scandals of the past involving right wing male politicians. No, it's pretty obvious Franken was set up. The entertainment industry guys, no surprises there if the allegations are legit (and they appear to be, for the most part).
I'm not convinced the right started this "me too" movement, but there is no question at all that they are taking advantage of it and paying or otherwise getting women to come forward with accusations, true and false. If you think there will be any Dems standing to "clean up their behavior", you will be disappointed. The longer Republicans have control of the government, the quicker you can say goodbye to the reforms of the past 50 years that have been designed to help women. Republicans and right wingers want women to "know their place" again, and this is just another step in that process for them.
posted by Gus : 11:36 AM
Wow. Just wow. Lindsey Graham speaks the truth. They're all boot licking slaves to power. It's as simple as that.