Campaign watch: It took a village named Mitt Romney!

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2016

In search of the national press:
We haven't watched Mitt Romney's full speech about Candidate Trump. That said:

Perusing a transcript of the speech, we were struck by this excerpt:
ROMNEY (3/3/16): Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark.

He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq.

Wrong. He spoke in favor of invading Iraq.

He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.

Wrong. He saw no such thing. He imagined it.

His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.
Concerning those alleged "thousands of Muslims," Romney is being too kind, of course.

It isn't clear that Trump "imagined" that event. It's just as likely that he simply made it up.

At any rate, he kept insisting the event had occurred long after it became clear that it hadn't. Romney's statement seems to be true:

"Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark."

Romney cites two remarkably bogus claims. Because Romney is playing to the anti-Obama crowd, he skipped a third heinous example—Trump's endless claims, in 2011 and 2012, that he had sent investigators to Hawaii, and that these investigators were stunned by what they were learning about President Obama's birth status.

Obviously, Trump was lying about that. By any normal standard, his conduct was disgraceful, appalling.

Today, Romney cited two episodes in denouncing Trump's dishonesty. To see a few more of Trump's crazily inaccurate policy claims, read Kevin Drum's recent post.

(Also, do you remember the time he said he got friendly with Putin?)

Today, Mitt Romney has denounced this deeply strange behavior. We ask you to ask yourself this:

Why did Romney have to do this? What ever became of the nation's "national press?"

As a candidate, Trump has engaged in a pattern of apparent lying which is basically without precedent. You'd never know this from the treatment he has received from that "national press."

Simply put, the national "press corps" has refused to address Trump's apparent pathological lying. Their avoidance of his birtherism is the ugliest case in point.

Good God! When Trump announced his candidacy last June, a few reporters actually tried to ask him about his repeated birther claims. Trump told them he no longer wished to discuss that topic—and they bowed to his request!

We haven't seen a single news org revisit that ugly, destructive episode or challenge Trump about it. In all the Republican debates, the topic has never been raised. As the national "press corps" fumbles about, looking for lies they can pin on Clinton, they've all agreed to turn tail and run from that ugly, destructive history.

In fairness, the "press corps" has also turned tail and run from Trump's ridiculous claims about Iraq. From the blatant craziness of his blatantly crazy tax proposal. From the endless series of giant misstatements about a wide range of policy matters.

Still, of all the lunacy they've agreed to avoid, the ugliness of the birther claims is the most egregious. This brings us back to the strangest press event of last year—Rachel Maddow's behavior when Trump announced he was running for president.

As you may have heard by now, MSNBC's corporate brass changed the channel's orientation during the course of the past year. Presumably, the decision to rework the channel's mission has been reflected in the massive dumbing-down of Maddow's now-ridiculous program.

That said, Maddow's a world-class hustler. She hustled the liberal world hard last June, back when Trump announced.

We discussed her bizarre coverage of Trump's announcement in real time, when it actually happened. Long story short:

On Day Two of the Week of Trump, she completely ignored the ugly speech with which Trump had launched his campaign. On Day One, she weirdly stressed the fact that she had nothing against Mr. Trump:
MADDOW (6/15/15): In 2014, he said he was going to run for governor of New York. At the last minute, he decided he wouldn't run for governor of New York after all.

Now, apparently, we are on the eve of him announcing whether or not he is going to run for president this time, in 2016, as a Republican.

And here we get to the limits of my abilities as a person who has a job like this. Because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have.

It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.


I do not recognize—what's going on here is that I don't recognize, I cannot see that what he is doing is something that might conceivably, to anyone, have any political appeal.

[...]

Frankly, I think he is going to run. I think he is also very easily going to make the debate cut, when a lot of serving Republican governors of major states are not going to make that cut.

But at a very base and a very present level, I just don't understand this. I don't know how this works politically. I don't know how to analyze this phenomenon because part of me does not believe it is real. It is real. Republican voters believe it is real, but I do not get it. I do not understand it.
It wasn't that she disliked Mr. Trump! People, it was nothing like that. It wasn't qualitative at all!

Forget the fact that Maddow couldn't see the political appeal to a Candidate Trump. What amazed us was the way she stressed the fact that she didn't "dislike Mr. Trump."

It wasn't like that at all! It was nothing qualitative!

Three years before, Trump had gone through the endless birther disgrace. But there was Rachel, stressing the fact that she didn't see anything there to dislike.

The following day, on June 16, Trump made his ugly speech about all the Mexican rapists. But so what? Our Darling Rachel clowned her way through that evening's program.

Weeks went by before she saw that it was safe to criticize Trump for that speech. The liberal world was being played by its leading corporate hustler.

(To visit her award-winning TV room/bathhouse, go ahead—just click here. Be sure to view the slide show!)

Today, it took a village by the name of Romney to state the obvious about Trump. He decided to skip the birther lies, concerning which the national "press corps" has chosen to hide in the woods.

Rachel was hiding there right from the start. We can't explain her pathetic performance in that initial Week of Trump, but of one thing you can be fairly sure:

She was playing some sort of political game, a political game which involved her career. Maddow's our tribe's number-one con man. She's quite good at playing us marks.

A final question: Again and again in recent weeks, Trump has claimed that he constantly gets standing ovations when he says he won't let anyone die in the streets.

Our question:

Has he ever received any such ovation? Inquiring minds may want to know, but the national "press corps" does not.

68 comments:

  1. Bob, this might be your most confounding column ever. You start out noticing that the previous Republican candidate for president has come right out and denounced the party's current frontrunner as a liar. You correctly point out that Mr. Romney is doing the press's job for them.

    Then, somehow, you pivot to clucking about Rachel Maddow saying she "doesn't dislike" Trump. Is this the "new focus" you promised us? Has the Daily Howler become the Daily Two Minutes of Maddow Hate?

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    1. Maddow deserves this. She is our supposed liberal voice on a station touting itself as a liberal station. Yet she has pandered to Trump as blatantly as the rest of the press. She deserves to be called out more than others because of her label, her abdication of her role as a liberal voice.

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    2. Bob is a liberal critic of the liberal media. That's what he does. If you haven't realized this by now, no wonder you're confounded by the pivot.

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    3. ". . . her abdication of her role as a liberal voice."

      I find these words deliciously ironic on Bob Somerby's blog.

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    4. "Bob is a liberal critic of the liberal media. That's what he does."

      Whatever happened to "musings on the mainstream 'press corps' and the american discourse"? I don't see any mention of "liberal media."

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  2. Man, you are really carrying some wood for Rachael Maddow, aren't you? Give it a rest already.

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    1. She's really quite atrocious, and I'm glad Bob's pointing it out.

      That whole MSNBC crowd is horrible when it comes to Trump, with maybe O'Donnell the lone. exception. It's almost like NBC still has a financial arrangement with him to promote the brand.

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    2. Who are all these creeps who crawl out of the woodwork to defend Maddow?

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    3. Bathhouse installers?

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    4. Thing is, in some sense Bob is right. I don't where Maddow gets off quoting Fox News Polls. Obviously, MSNBC has supported Trump in the interest of a "close race."
      But his attempt to make a federal case out of this one not inappropriate statement is just absurd. And his further attempt to blame Trump on the left is much worse than absurd. Bob's nuts.

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    5. Well, the "close race" theory of political journalism does help explain why front runners get so much air time and why they are put under the microscope.

      But then again, how much time should the media have spent on Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Gilmore?

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    6. @ 6:36

      "Who are all these creeps who crawl out of the woodwork to defend Maddow?"

      Bobfans are such stupid tribal liberals they think people who point out the stupidity of their blogger idol are defending someone else.

      Let me stress that this is not qualitative at all. It is not that I dislike Bob's constant comments that liberals are dumb, lazy, and immoral. I just don't understand how any fans can be that gullible.

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  3. Dishonesty is Bob Somerby's hallmark.

    This is the fourth or fifth time he has totally distorted the same statement Rachel Maddow made about Donald Trump.

    Maddow was not saying anything about her personal feelings about Trump. She was not stressing that she did not dislike him. She was saying her inability to understand his appeal had nothing to do with her personal opinion of him.

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    1. I don't understand why Bob Somerby does this. And here we get to the limits of my abilities as a reader. Because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Somerby and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that some readers have.

      It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.

      I simply don't understand why someone is that blatantly hypocritical.

      Oh, and despite my inability to understand it, it is the biggest reason I do dislike him.

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    2. I have a kinder explanation.

      Maddow Derangement Syndrome makes it impossible for Bob to hear anything Maddow says for what it really says.

      Unfortunately, he thinks his readers are as stupid and deranged as he is.

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    3. She said she didn't dislike Donald Trump.

      And she said it in English.

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    4. Here is what she said, in English:

      "Because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have."

      Since you have so much trouble with English, let me translate for you in smaller words.

      She wasn't basing her analysis on "dislike" of Trump. She may "dislike" to all get-out. But that wasn't the basis of her analysis.

      And please note how far back Bob reached to get this nugget. June 15.

      Perhaps subsequent events have led Maddow to hold Trump in far more dislike today than she nearly nine months ago.

      Bob doesn't know. Bob often doesn't know.

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    5. But why doesn't she dislike Trump? He is despicable. Why does she go to such lengths to approve of that slimy guy?

      Why doesn't @6:24 understand that if you want to show that someone has been in the bag for Trump all along, you go back to the beginning -- his announcement, June 15.

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    6. Where does anything that Maddow says in the quote Somerby provides indicate that she approves Trump? You're reading something that isn't there. So is Somerby.

      .

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    7. Agreed, 6:59. Classic case of hearing what you want to hear, not what was said.

      But what if Maddow specifically said, "I like Trump! I really, really like him!" Doesn't Bob lecture us about being more like Malala, King and Mandela? Shouldn't we love everybody?

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    8. Rough rule of thumb in Bobworld- do what he says, not what he does.

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    9. "She wasn't basing her analysis on "dislike" of Trump. She may "dislike" to all get-out. But that wasn't the basis of her analysis."

      So why doesn't she just SAY she dislikes him, instead of mincing around with some convoluted social/political analysis that involves a claimed objectivity on her part?

      That too is Bob's point. These new pundits never SAY anything about what's going on right in front of them.

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    10. Commenters 6:24 and 7:38 are stupid.

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    11. "So why doesn't she just SAY she dislikes him . . ."

      Not that Maddow gives a rat's patootie, but imagine Somerby's post if she had. How many times could he write "Malala, King, Mandela."

      Recall, this was a guy who once wrote what a swell fella Bull Connor was for talking to the Freedom Riders -- as he was driving them to the state line in the middle of the night.

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  4. It's not that Trump dislikes the KKK, he just doesn't understand their political appeal. Rache used the same mealy mouthed rationale.

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    1. It's not like Trump dislikes the KKK or David Duke. It's just that he has no idea who they are. Or at least that was his story Sunday.

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    2. I am sorry @ 7:40. I did not hear your question properly. Must be the earpiece.

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  5. It's bellieved that all politicians lie. E.g.
    Q. How can you tell when a politician is lying?
    A. His lips are moving.

    In such a world, it's hard to distinguish a politician like Trump or Sanders whose promises are unusually impossible to achieve. So, they get credit for promising what the voters want, without getting dinged for being bigger than normal liars.

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    1. Ah, the latest, and oft-repeated talking point. All politicians lie. Why, we just know they do. So it's perfectly fine for MY politican to lie, too.

      So where does that get us, Dave?

      Good thing Trump doesn't round up a bunch of kittens in a gunnysack and throw them off the Golden Gate Bridge.

      Your defense would be "all politicians do it."

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    2. Anon 4:25, perhaps my comments wasn't clear. I wasn't defending or excusing massive lying. I deplore lying. I was just trying to analyze why politicians get away with enormous dishonesty.

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    3. Nowhere throughout your @ 4:18 PM post is there any semblance of you "trying to analyze why politicians get away with enormous dishonesty."

      The irony is amazing.

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    4. David, you do nothing but repeat right-wing talking points. And today, it's still the old "rubber/glue" thing. My liar is better than your liar.

      They other day you pulled out the Robert Byrd talking point, without even knowing how to spell his name in defense of Trump's lie of not even knowing who David Duke and the KKK were. That one was "My bigot is better than your bigot."

      You are really a boring person.

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    5. But he IS persistent.

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    6. So is a hemorrhoid.

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  6. Bob is jumping on a comment from Maddow in a very selective, deliberately unfair fashion. AH HA!!!

    It is Bob's intention that Trump "sprung up whole from the left."

    It is really not possible to believe Bob actually believes this.

    Bob is full of shit and a little crazy.

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    1. When he is reduced to blaming Maddow for the whole Trump thing, "a little crazy" is very kind and understated.

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    2. You know, if Bob loathed and detested Al Gore even half as much as he loathes and detests Rachel Maddow, which part of this statement would he spin and how:

      "During my service in Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

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    3. I think he would have a tough time with that Gore statement, but he might manage it.

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    4. He's doing here exactly what the RNC (Rove) did with the Gore statement to get to "Gore invented the Internet."

      And I quote Bob: "Forget the fact that Maddow couldn't see the political appeal to a Candidate Trump."

      Yep, forget the entire quote. Just carve out the piece that you can spin into something Maddow didn't say.

      Not only that, but Bob has spent 17 years also pointing out that it took two days for the RNC press release to come out.

      Well, the Maddow quote that Bob thinks is such a smoking gun was said June 15, 2015.

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  7. Maddow was motivated by fear not confusion. Fear of ridicule by Trump.

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    1. Quite likely, yes. Didn't he say last week that he loved Rachel Maddow?

      She's just your typical overly ambitious media cur. And that constant mincing around and cutesy voices thing she does is beyond belief.

      How old is she?

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    2. @ 5:41 PM - Wikipedia is your friend, Bob.

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  8. "Why did Romney have to do this?"

    Bob, this is why so few take you seriously any more.

    Let me explain the obvious to you. There is a civil war going on in the Republican Party. You apparently haven't noticed.

    Mitt Romney wasn't talking to the nation. He was talking to the Republican Party, and very explicitly taking sides in their civil war.

    He has, and quite explicitly, put an end to the 11th Commandment and told his fellow Republicans that it is quite all right to be totally repulsed by a totally replusive human being who is also their frontrunner for the party's nomination as president of the United States.

    And it comes two days after Super Tuesday, the very time when the party normally begins to rally around that front runner.

    It is quite sad to see you and your blog, which at one time was quite good and unique, sink to the level that you can't set aside your obsession with Rachel Maddow as the center of all evil for just the five minutes it would take you to see the obvious.

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    1. Let us also realize that neither side in the Republican civil war is motivated by altruistic concerns.

      They would rally around Pol Pot if he could win back the White House for them.

      But they are sitting on research that shows they will get annihilated, up and down the ticket, if Donald Trump is at the top of it.

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    2. Why cannot trolls recognize a rhetorical question?

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    3. Romney also ignored that Trump is not only a repulsive person who is the GOP frontrunner, he is also an accurate reflection current GOP values and culture. Romney ignored this fact in order to advance the current GOP narrative that Trump "hijacked the Party."

      The answer to the (at best) naive question of why the media isn't calling bulls*it on Trump (or Romney for that matter) can be found by viewing the 1975 academy-award winning movie, Network. Only ratings count.

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    4. ". . . why the media isn't calling bulls*it on Trump . . ."

      The very first question in the very first debate way back in August was Megyn Kelly calling out Trumpy's mysogyny.

      This notion that "the media" (whatever that is in this Information Age) hasn't been calling BS on Trump is in fact, BS.

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    5. Heck, they called out Al Gore when he clearly said "I took the initiative in creating the internet."

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    6. "Why cannot trolls recognize a rhetorical question?"

      Why do Bob's readers defend his total distortions of plain English and then call others names like The Donald?

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  9. Maddow was saying that saying that her analysis was not based her personal opinion of Trump.
    Is Somersby unable to read a simple English sentence or does he just not like Maddow as a person?
    Bob Gardner
    Randolph, MA

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    1. No, she said she didn't dislike him, so her response was not "qualitative" whatever that means. She didn't say her analysis was not based on her personal opinion of Trump.

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    2. Like witnesses to an auto accident. One says the light was green while the other says it was red.

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    3. She said she can't understand how Trump appeals to anyone. Does that sound like a person who likes him?

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    4. But, but, but . . . but that's the part Bob ordered his fans to forget! So it doesn't count!

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    5. [AnonymousMarch 3, 2016 at 6:46 PM

      Like witnesses to an auto accident. One says the light was green while the other says it was red.]

      More like the blogger says the "real" accident happend last June and he was the only one who heard what the lady driver was muttering while confessing in her bathouse.

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  10. Had a rodeo clown made those same statements as Trump, she would have been all over it. Fearful of a confrontation she defered. Of course Trump loves her.

    When members of the press are frightened of those they report on they become useless, not very bold jesters at best.

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    1. The head of CBS said last week: "The money's rolling in and this is fun," "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say ... It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS,". Media whores like Maddow have to defer to Trump because he is lining their pocketbooks big time. And Bob is right to point out over and over her insincerity, greed and misdirection because it's is a sin against God not to mention the people who watch her show who think she's on the up and up.

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    2. Wow. The networks make money off covering politics. I am shocked. SHOCKED!

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  11. Bob is saying Rachel helped launch Trump with this foolishness,her "AW shucks, he's a likeable enough New Yorker" bit that as a journalist she should have been lambasting home for recent horrendous behavior, not playing coy about whether there's something about Trump not to like. Now that he's picked up steam 9 months later, nothing she say now matters - she's just another observer on the Klown Kar. She's more Jon Stewart than Teď Koppel, but without Stewart's sense of humor and sense of what's important. What does that leave? Open mic night at the stand-up comedy bar - but a very expensive entrance fee.

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  12. Bob is saying Rachel helped launch Trump with this foolishness,her "AW shucks, he's a likeable enough New Yorker" bit that as a journalist she should have been lambasting home for recent horrendous behavior, not playing coy about whether there's something about Trump not to like. Now that he's picked up steam 9 months later, nothing she say now matters - she's just another observer on the Klown Kar. She's more Jon Stewart than Teď Koppel, but without Stewart's sense of humor and sense of what's important. What does that leave? Open mic night at the stand-up comedy bar - but a very expensive entrance fee.

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    1. Bob is saying Maddow, like everyone in the press he attacks, is playing some sort of game that involves her career. This game, of course, requires enforced silence through rules nobody but Bob has ever seen.

      This explains a lot about his career.

      Delete
    2. You raise an interesting point. Who but a political comedian might understand the rules of who gets to say what in Washington?

      What does it gain him to point out the facts that no one else seems to be interested in? If it gains him nothing, why is it not reasonable to believe that saying such things would cost others, if only by subjecting them to the same types of criticisms that Somerby receives here?

      Somerby, in his career, has learned how to deal with hecklers. You ignore them, as he does here. That doesn't mean they don't spoil the show for others in the audience.

      I see parallels between the bullying that Trump engages in and the bullying attempted here. Calling Somerby a loser is just as ridiculous when you guys say it as when Trump says it, always aimed at people who are manifestly not losers.

      We cannot know whether your own bullying arises from fears that your own member is too tiny, as Trumps does, but bullies always have some secret shame that they try to eradicate in themselves by projecting onto others and attacking in symbolic form. You are no exception.

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  13. Discourse dissed by Liberal Blogger

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gabriel-sherman-nymag-bloomberg-correction

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  14. Trump is ruining our Democratic process abetted by MSNBC and CBS, but Somerby is the real problem.

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    1. You forgot to call yourself a douche. But you did rinse and repeat like Bob.

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    2. Sexist asshole.

      Delete
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