Nicolle Wallace interviews Bennie Thompson!

SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2022

Watching America fail: If MSNBC followed CNN's practice, what a wonderful world it would be!

Speaking extremely frankly, it's a bit like Goofus and Gallant. Here's what we mean by that:

CNN produces transcripts of all its shows, and it does so in timely fashion. The transcripts may be riddled with errors, but they display the gist of what was said, and—where videotape is available—the errors can be corrected.

That's the way Gallant does it. Over at MSNBC, Goofus currently sits in the saddle and rides blue tribe humankind. 

At present, MSNBC slow-walks its production of transcripts, generally by more than a week. This makes it very hard to discuss what gets said on its various programs, which are generally awful.

Even worse, MSNBC produces no transcripts at all for Deadline: White House, one of its most propagandistic vehicles. In fairness, if we were producing a program like that, we wouldn't transcribe it either.

Let's review:

Gallant transcribes all his shows and does so in timely fashion. Goofus delays and delays—and in the context of public discussion, transcript production delayed is transcript production denied.

MSNBC delays and thereby denies. In the process, it becomes hard to discuss a human disaster like the interview we watched this morning through the miracle of On Demand. 

We refer to Nicolle Wallace's interview with Bennie Thompson. The interview aired right at the start of yesterday's Deadline: White House.

(You can watch the full "interview" here.)

Wallace is a long-time highly skilled propagandist, originally of the pro-Iraq / anti-gay type. Thompson is unable to give a direct answer to even the most significant questions—and under current tribal arrangements, Wallace will never challenge or question anything any such person has said.

In such ways. we gullibles Over Here in Our Own Blue Tribe come to believe that certain important facts have been established. 

The Others know that this isn't the case—but within our tribe, we love Nicolle. Classic theory knows what we need, but Nicolle Wallace knows what we want!

On Thursday, we said that only one question remains around the decay of our national wreck. That one basic question is this:

Did Donald J. Trump know in advance that a violent attack was going to occur on January 6? Did he organize that attack? Was the violence part of his planning?

Today, we add a second basic question—a second question which remains unresolved. That second question goes like this:

Did Donald J. Trump really know that he had lost the election? Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is so disordered that he actually believes his endless unfounded claims?

In our view, this second question has never been resolved. For the most part, it has never even been asked. We offer this overview:

It seems quite clear that Trump had repeatedly been told that his claim of a "stolen election" was bogus, unfounded, false—"bullshit." 

That said, if you tell a psychotic that he isn't Jesus Christ, that afflicted person may not be inclined to believe you. Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is, in some way or other, equally impaired?

It seems to us that the answer may be yes. Meanwhile, along a second track, did he know that the violence would occur? Had that been a part of his plan?

As far as we know, that original question hasn't been answered either. Unless you watch CNN / MSNBC, where you will be told, again and again, that everyone knows that it has been. 

Or unless you watch the heralded Cheney, making a statement like this:

CHENEY (6/9/22): Tonight and in the weeks to come, you will see evidence of what motivated this violence, including directly from those who participated in this attack. You will see video of them explaining what caused them to do it. You will see their posts on social media. We will show you what they have said in federal court. 

On this point, there is no room for debate. Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them, that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful president. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. 

That's wonderfully suggestive language. But did Donald J. Trump actually know that violence was part of the plan? In the passage we've presented, Cheney floats that insinuation, but she makes no such direct claim.

At present, we don't know the answer to our more specific question. So far, we see no sign that Cheney and her colleagues know the answer either, though it may turn out that they do.

Anthropologically speaking, here's where things currently stand:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but we humans aren't the rational animal, and we never were.

That's true of Wallace and Thompson; it's true of Cheney herself. It's also true of Rachel Maddow. It's true of Lawrence and Anderson. 

If you watched CNN last night, it was true of Carl Bernstein too. You can look at the transcript here.

"Man [sic] is really the tribal animal!" Disconsolate scholars keep telling us this, reporting to us from the caves they inhabit in a dystopian future. 

They communicate through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.

Next week: Continuing insinuations and presentations of our own sorry tribe

We'd love to see the discussion: The leading authority on the topic tells us such things as these:

Psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind that results in difficulties determining what is real and what is not real. Symptoms may include delusions and hallucinations, among other features.

[...]

Psychosis may involve delusional beliefs. A delusion is a fixed, false idiosyncratic belief, which does not change even when presented with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary...

Prevalence in schizophrenia is generally considered at least 90%, and around 50% in bipolar disorder.

Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is clinically delusional in some way or other? We'd love to see the discussion, but the boys and girls of our upper-end press corps have been told that they mustn't go there.

Careers are hanging in the balance. Routinely, careerism rules.

Our human brains are wired for tribe. Given the way we're playing the game, is our blue tribe currently losing?


71 comments:

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
    President Trump corruptly planned to replace the acting attorney general, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
    President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the law.
    President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
    President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
    President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the U.S. Capitol.
    As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

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  2. Ah, Nicolle Wallace, The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation.

    And of course you, dear Bob, obediently watch the typhoid Mary of disinformation. No wonder you need all those doctor's appointments...

    Oh well...

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  3. Here is how Somerby slimes Bennie Thompson today:

    "Thompson is unable to give a direct answer to even the most significant questions—and under current tribal arrangements, Wallace will never challenge or question anything any such person has said."

    No example, no evidence, just a slur. Amd notice how Somerby refers to Thompson as "any such person." This is the chairman of an important committee and a member of congress. What a piece of work Somerby is!

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  4. "On Thursday, we said that only one question remains around the decay of our national wreck. That one basic question is this:


    Did Donald J. Trump know in advance that a violent attack was going to occur on January 6? Did he organize that attack? Was the violence part of his planning?
    Today, we add a second basic question—a second question which remains unresolved. That second question goes like this:


    Did Donald J. Trump really know that he had lost the election? Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is so disordered that he actually believes his endless unfounded claims?
    In our view, this second question has never been resolved. For the most part, it has never even been asked. "

    A whole bunch of questions remain for thinking individuals of any political opinion. But Somerby has boiled it all down to one. Did Trump know that violence would occur? The answer is clearly yes, he did. That was shown on Thursday and it will be explored in greater detail as the connections between Trump and the Proud Boys are detailed. But we have repeatedly seen Trump praise others who have engaged in violence, include the Unite the Right March and those who broke into the Capitol Building on 1/6, calling them "beautiful" and saying that he loved them. Did he know in advance? Hell, he invited them. He laid out the blueprint for the riot. He told them to come and to be ready.

    Now Somerby says he thinks it matters whether Trump believed his own lie, contradicted by those close to him repeatedly. That question is entirely irrelevant because it doesn't matter what he believed. He may have held the false belief that there was something he could do to overturn the election, too. There wasn't, but that too is irrelevant. It was illegal to do the things he has done, no matter what his underlying beliefs. His beliefs are no excuse and they change nothing about his accountability for what he instigated and what he did himself.

    Does it matter what Somerby believes about Trump's culpability. Not one little bit. This committee hearing is going on without his support. So will the DOJ's efforts, which have already produced confessions by Trump's Proud Boys, his personal brown shirts. Somerby is embarrassing himself. There is no retreat from this defense of the former president. Somerby has revealed his true colors and they are ugly. Now it is time for him to watch the hearings and decide whether he is a real human being or a piece of trash.

    And he has the nerve to chastise MSNBC for not giving him transcripts, as if they owe him anything. His support for the newly christened conservative version of CNN is noted. Could Somerby be any more obvious in his partisanship? It is hard to see how.

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    Replies
    1. If Bob needed a spot on record of these
      shows rather than one based on his
      notes, how hard would it be to
      produce one in any number of
      ways with technology easily
      available to all? Not hard at all.

      Delete
  5. Somerby suggests that Trump is psychotic because those who are psychotic often have delusions.

    The problem with this is the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. Psychosis is not the sole cause of delusions. There are people believe themselves to be spirit mediums, to have been abducted by aliens, to personally converse with God, without being the least bit psychotic. These are shared delusions found among people in our culture. There are others, but people tend to refer to them as traditional beliefs or religion or spiritual beliefs. None of these are considered psychosis. Trump shares his Big Lie with many people all over the country. It is still a delusional belief, but that makes it less likely the result of psychosis. Further, there are other differentiating symptoms that tend to accompany genuine psychosis. Trump does not have those. He could not function if he did -- which is why psychotic people are often hospitalized, institutionalized, or live dysfunctional lives (as homeless for example). This doesn't describe Trump at all.

    In medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, an expert is trained to do a differential diagnosis. They consider the full pattern of someone's behavior -- not just identifying a single symptom (such as delusion) and slapping a label on someone based on that one symptom, ignoring the rest of the person's behavior. But that is what Somerby has done.

    Some delusions are normal. One is that we are good, decent people, evidence be damned. Another is not we are liked by others, that others care about us. That may or may not be true. We believe these things because they are necessary to our well-being. We all think we are somewhat smart, reasonably attractive, competent at some things. If we did not, we would be mentally ill, perhaps deprssed or otherwise disordered. But these are constructed delusions that we maintain by seeking confirmatory evidence. Somerby tends to mistake Trump's grandiosity for mental illness, but it is an exaggerated version of delusional beliefs we all hold about ourselves, or suffer without.

    It is time for Somerby to stop using mental illness to excuse Trump's criminal behavior. He doesn't know how to do it, he misapplies terms and concepts, he does not have sufficient access to Trump to know how to do it properly, and he is abusing the field of mental health. His continual attempts to excuse Trump this way constitute a kind of delusion on his part -- and if he persists it might be reasonable to ask about his own motivations. I doubt they are health-realted -- most likely someone is paying him a chunk of money to muddy the water on Trump's behalf.

    Those of you who are Somerby's fanboys, I urge you to consider whether you are being taken in by yet another Big Lie.

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    Replies
    1. Alas, Bob can do what you ask. He is coping with his own mental illness.

      Delete
  6. "We'd love to see the discussion"

    Read your comments, asshole. Further Bandy Lee already published that discussion. And she lost her job for it, for violating her professional ethnics and the licensing laws in her state. When you lose your license, you cannot practice, which causes you to lose your job too.

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  7. Did Donald J. Trump really know that he had lost the election? Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is so disordered that he actually believes his endless unfounded claims?
    In our view, this second question has never been resolved. For the most part, it has never even been asked. "


    Here's one way to answer that question. Let Donald J Chickenshit waddle his fat corrupt ass into the witness chair at the next committee hearing and tell his story under oath. Any bets on the chances of that fucking treasonous coward ever doing that, Bob?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bob is saying he thinks Trump is mentally defective because Republican voters love Trump.
    It DOES make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "but we humans aren't the rational animal, and we never were."

    Then Somerby lists a bunch of people he considers irrational. Trump is not among them. Neither are any of the majorly crazy Republicans, not Boebert, not Gaetz, only Cheney (wonder why he singles her out?). And he thinks we liberals are irrational. He keeps saying so.

    rational definition: "based on or in accordance with reason or logic"

    Humans do reason according to logic -- it just isn't the formal logic of mathematics. It is a form of human logic that is reliable and governed by probabilities and past experience, not deduction from a priori premises. It works fine and has governed human progress for hundreds of thousands of years. If Somerby read anything in cognitive psychology, especially the subfield of decision making and problem solving, he would know this -- but he is too busy re-reading Isaacson so he can spit on Einstein -- who formulated a theory that is now empirically tested, using human reasoning.

    Somerby looks foolish when he goes on this particular rant. I wish he would take all this up with a shrink, or grow some ethics, the way Liz Cheney finally did.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Democrats couldn't be more f**cked.

    https://twitter.com/Adaliabcomcast1/status/1535316116091899906?s=20&t=NidD48RUtX8y9FvA2nvl7Q

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yet that guy, with the slogan "The Rent is Too Damned High" didn't win his election. Go figure!

      Kevin Drum shows that rent is only high in selected areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City, but about the same everywhere else. And voters would still have to make the leap to equating Democrats with their landlords.

      Paul Krugman and other economists say that this inflation is covid-related and will go away. It isn't caused by Biden and there is nothing Republicans could do about it either. We need to wait it out. Meanwhile Biden is taking measures to help people do that. What are Republicans doing? Not much.

      Delete
    2. The people on the street don't know or ever hear any of that. Go and tell all of that to a poor person who is paying $30 to Uber to an Amazon warehouse to work 10 hours at $18 an hour.

      And tell them that Kevin Drum made a post on a blog that said their rent didn't go up.

      Democrats are fu@#ked and so ignorant!

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    3. Anonymous you're so ignorant.

      Delete
    4. "Americans, don't worry Kevin Drum shows that rent is only high in selected areas."

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    5. Unless the people on the street are themselves experiencing rent problems, they won't be concerned about the issue. If rent is not going up anyplace else, this campaign issue won't matter because it won't motivate votes. Stop calling people ignorant and deal with the issue YOU raised.

      Delete
    6. https://jabberwocking.com/the-rental-market-is-once-again-about-the-same-as-always/

      Delete
    7. A link from 6 month ago? If you think rent and 5 dollar gas won't be a campaign issue, you're stupid.

      Delete
    8. But keep worrying abut January 6th because Kevin Drum says everything else is going great!

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    9. So, is your plan to ask every Democrat who owns rental property to lower the rent by 20%? Meanwhile, the Republicans are planning to raise their rents by 20% per month between now and election time, because even if they lose they will still have the extra revenue. How many Republicans own rental property compared to Democrats? But Democrats are to blame? Tell me again how that works...

      Delete
    10. No, Democrats are supposed to throw a dishcloth over their heads and run outside shouting, alternately, the sky is falling and woe is us! Who exactly was it that blocked all the legislation that would have helped the economy and struggling people? The Republicans, who voted against it all, every single bill in the Senate. But you think somehow this is going to be pinned on the Democrats? Only a Republican would believe that.

      Delete
    11. "But Democrats are to blame?" Wait, you said rent is only high in selected areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City therefore rent increases are not real.

      Delete
    12. "Democrats are supposed to throw a dishcloth over their heads and run outside shouting, alternately, the sky is falling and woe is us!"

      No, they re supposed to real about it and not deny it based on a 7 month old blog post. Notice those man on the street interviewees complimented Trump for being "real" about things.

      You're so stupid.

      Delete
    13. Right, but that wouldn't stop Republicans from claiming they are, just as you have done, and if rents are high, it must be the Dems fault, as you seem to be saying. But the larger question is why you barge into this discussion about Trump's sanity with some inane video of a guy who thinks rents are too high? That's kind of anti-social, but what else is new? Trolls gotta troll. I am bored with you now -- go away.

      Delete
    14. "But you think somehow this is going to be pinned on the Democrats? Only a Republican would believe that."
      Those men in the video**are** pinning it on Democrats. Rightly or wrongly. That's the point dummy.

      Delete
    15. You will see shortly. I wonder what the scapegoat will be then.

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    16. So what? Lots of ignorant people say lots of ignorant things. You are just trolling here. Go away.

      Delete
    17. Make like a Hispanic in the Democratic party and go away?

      Delete
    18. 12:19, 2:42 etc. why do you assume people on the street are as uninformed as you are? Many people on the street would be thrilled to make $900/wk. Did you know there is a growing movement to unionize Amazon workers, supported by Dems and opposed by Republicans - in fact it is only happening now due to rule changes instituted by the Biden Admin? Do you have any evidence that current likely Dems voters are uninformed about or affected by rent or gas in a way that will make them change their vote? Do you have anything to refute the claims about rent in general is on the same trend it has been for years?

      Kevin Drum is not a journalist, and his takes are generally incorrect, unhelpful, and in opposition to Leftism.

      The current "inflation" we are experiencing is for the most part profiteering by companies run by right wingers. David Dayen is an actual journalist that has covered this extensively at The American Prospect.

      Do you understand if you do not vote for a Dem, that a Republican will get elected? Nobody thinks establishment, centrist, neoliberal Dems are going to do much to improve society, but they will block Republicans from making it worse. Ignoring the concepts of lesser evil and harm reduction is just infantile and bad for society. Meanwhile the Democratic Party is increasingly becoming more progressive, and those are the people that will improve society.

      You are just sitting in the peanut gallery begging for attention, the only thing you are achieving with your nonsense is a few us kindly taking a moment to explain to you how you might grow up.

      Delete
    19. Is the $900 a week figure a calculation that someone would work 50 hours a week at Amazon for $18 an hour? And that is the thrilling prospect you are proposing for the citizenry of the richest country in the history of the world by far? Shall we make a hypothetical budget for them based on 2k a month rent?

      https://www.redfin.com/news/redfin-rental-report-may-2022/
      Rental Market Tracker: Typical U.S. Asking Rent Surpassed $2,000 for First Time in May
      Asking rents were up over 30% in Cincinnati, Seattle, and Nashville and nearly 50% in Austin

      All I am saying is Democrats are fu^#ked. If the current inflation we are experiencing is for the most part profiteering by companies run by right wingers, why is the Democratic party not getting on prime-time television and screaming about that every night? Have they ever said anything about that at all? Have any of the fiery liberal blogs or MSNBC shows ever said that once?

      Whatever you think, it doesn't matter. The Democratic party is fu&#ked either way. The only question is how you will scapegoat it when you get trounced at the voting booth.

      Delete
    20. Your hypothetical is laughable, for example most Amazon workers work in places like Alabama or South Carolina where real estate is cheap (duh), where you can rent an apartment easily for $600/month. Places like Austin and Nashville, etc. are in the top 5% of the rental market.

      https://www.rentdata.org/lookup

      Maybe your life is so comfortable you can scoff at $900/wk, more power to you, but you have blinders to the reality of the circumstances capitalist Republicans have put us in. Most of us are wage slaves, and that is due to right wing values.

      Ok, so you put your thumb on the scale to try to win your losing arguments. So what. Here's your cookie.

      Indeed, Dems have held hearings and proposed legislation to deal with current profiteering.

      Yes there are many fiery blogs and new media outlets that have covered that issue: From Sam Seder to David Pakman, even TYT, Richard Wolff routinely covers it.

      I am not sure why you are so smug and snide and gleeful about the prospect of the Democratic Party suffering, but it is a very misguided and immature and unhelpful notion. Frankly you sound wounded, obviously not much us commenters can do to help that, I would seek support from friends and family, maybe get familiar with new media which has many progressive voices and whose total viewership dwarfs MSNBC which mainly exists as background noise at doctor's offices. Get help, dude; or get informed.

      Delete
    21. So you were basing the figure on 50 hour work week at Amazon? You're all excited that workers can work 8 hours a day, 6 days a week in a warehouse surrounded by robots who will eventually replace them? That's "thrilling" for people? Are fucking insane?

      And you are claiming most Amazon workers work in places like Alabama or South Carolina??? What is your source for the claim? What about the ones that don't? What a stupid and ignorant claim for someone to make.

      I'm not gleeful about it. That's just the way it is. Democrats are about to get completely trounced at the ballot box. Hearings and proposed legislation - if that has even happened - is not enough. The people on the street know the score.

      So just deal with the impending ballot box slaughter and your corrupt, corporate kiss ass loser party and wait for the instructions from them on how to scapegoat it as and after it happens.

      Delete
    22. If it's true a worker would be "thrilled" to work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week in a warehouse with no union protection, then you are describing an enormous societal problem.

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    23. Happy you are so wealthy to scoff at the working class!

      Suddenly you are concerned about evidence, hilarious!

      To clarify, most Amazon workers are located in less expensive real estate markets since Amazon prefers to locate their buildings in those markets; obviously most Amazon workers work in CA, since it is the largest state (5th largest economy in the world). You think this is a stupid and ignorant claim because you are misinformed and suffer from the all too common Dunning Kruger effect. Were I you, I would seek better sources of information, or perhaps a therapist.

      If your point is something about wages being too low then you should vote for Dems, since they are the only electable political party in this country that supports wage increases, supports unions, supports family leave, supports health care reform, etc.

      Rent control? Good luck finding a Republican to support that.

      Typically the party in power in the White House does poorly in the interim cycle of congressional elections; we shall see, I am hoping Dems win because they are the only party that supports progress. Let me know the Dem candidates you want to lose, and why.

      Your snide smugness leads you to say things that just can not be taken seriously like: legislation does not matter. Brother, please.

      Obviously you are an easily triggered kid with a chip on their shoulder, obviously something personal happened to you. I hope you find peace and wake up to the realities of what right wing values has put us in.

      While we are waiting for the elections, you hoping for a Dem slaughter, please explain how you propose to change society for the better.

      Instead of smugly making unsupported claims on the internet, how about get out and join an organization, here is one I support:

      https://www.dsausa.org/

      Fair warning, you will find your wrongheaded notions hold no water there.

      Delete
    24. Amazon warehouses are located in cheaper parts of the country, due to zoning issues and due to lower expenditures for Amazon.

      This is bone simple, so it is just embarrassing your response.

      You have failed to make a point that is supported by evidence or that is even coherent.

      Delete
    25. A coherent point like most Amazon workers work in places like Alabama or South Carolina? Go fuck yourself you fucking stupid loser.

      Delete
    26. 12:01,
      Be honest. Can you ever see yourself forgiving Democrats for not Nationalizing real estate?

      Delete
  11. "Prevalence in schizophrenia is generally considered at least 90%, and around 50% in bipolar disorder."

    The word prevalence refers to the prevalence of delusions among schizophrenics, not the prevalence of delusions in the general population. To calculate that, you must multiple the prevalence of delusions by the prevalence of schizophrenia (the base rate), which is less than 1%. I will round it up to .01 (which is 1%) and do the math: .9 (90%) x .01 (1%) = .009 or 9/10ths of 1%. That is a lot less than the 90% Somerby thinks is meaningful. It just says that among those with schizophrenia, nearly all have delusions, but how many have schizphrenia? Not many and most likely not Trump, since it is a disorder that tends to appear in young adulthood and makes it difficult to function without treatment (such as medication). Trump shows none of the other symptoms of schizophrenia, so it seems unlikely he has it. The same is true for biopolar disorder (manic depression), except the incidence of delusions is even smaller.

    Somerby is grasping at straws with this. He is trying to make a plausible argument to excuse Trump, but his ideas are ridiculous if you examine them closely. Superficial plausibility is all he cares about, since his goal is to excuse, not to diagnose or treat the man. He just wants him (and Republicans along with him) to be taken off the hook. But all those non-schizophrenic Republicans who went along with his Big Lie, many not believing it at all, are just as culpable, guilty of crimes against our nation, and they too deserve to be the focus of national attention -- and the appropriate ones should and must go to jail in order to prevent such a coup from being attempted again. Preservation of our democracy demands this.

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    Replies
    1. If Trump is mentally ill and has committed crimes, there are ways that our legal system deals with that possibility. For example, if he is too mentally ill to participate in his own defense, he will be placed in a secure mental hospital until he is well enough to stand trial. If he goes to trial and claims insanity defense, there are criteria he must meet. He won't just be released to go on hurting himself and others, as he has clearly done. So, it is unclear what Somerby hopes to gain by convincing anyone that Trump is mentally ill.

      Delete
  12. "Careers are hanging in the balance. Routinely, careerism rules.

    Our human brains are wired for tribe. Given the way we're playing the game, is our blue tribe currently losing?"

    Somerby says that careerism rules. Then he says that we, presumably wired for careerism, are losing. If we are playing the game for careerism, why are we losing? Wouldn't we be winning, assuming that careerism means doing whatever benefits our blue tribe?

    Somerby wants us to believe that if we are playing a political, tribal game, that we are doing it so ineptly that we will lose. Does he think that only the red tribe knows how to play a tribal game?

    It has apparently not occurred to Somerby that Democrats, liberals, blue tribers, are playing the game to benefit humanity, not just our blue tribe. By humanity, I mean all people everywhere, but more specifically, all of the people of the United States, not just those who register Republican. It may be that when asked to choose between Democratic Party interests and those of our democracy, the liberals are choosing democracy, even if there is a short-term loss to our party. It certainly seems as if Lynn Cheney has made that choice. Or she may see her actions as the only way to help Republicans survive in the long term, as a party in a democratic nation. She may see her interests and her party's interests as distinct from Donald Trump's personal interests -- a view her Republican colleagues apparently do not hold. Is the red tribe just the Trump tribe for those Republicans?

    Somerby, and some pundits, seem to suggest that Democrats are conducting the hearings for partisan blue tribe benefit. The members of the committee don't see it that way, based on their statements and their approach. They have explicitly stressed the needs of our country and our democracy for a peaceful transfer of power between elections. They are conducting the hearings to secure that. The selection of Thompson, a man with no national power ambitions, demonstrates that goal. Cheney abandoned her own career goals to aid the committee. Somerby's accusation thus is inconsistent with the evidence at hand. And if, as Somerby argues, the blue tribe is undermining its own interests with the hearings, then that is another source of evidence that the blue tribe's goal is different than what Somerby assumes it to be -- not careerist at all, but to benefit democracy in the long term by addressing the threats to it inherent in Trump's behavior (a threat made by Republicans nationwide).

    If anyone is doing something self-defeating, it seems to be the red tribe, who is undermining democracy in the very two-party system in which it currently functions. Do they imagine they will be able to elect red tribe candidates in Trump's brave new dictatorship? They seem to be hastening their own demise, and proud of it.

    And what is Somerby doing? Nothing helpful, nothing good or decent, in my opinion.

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    1. It may be that the sole purpose of the hearings is to prevent Trump from being nominated again. That would destroy the Republican party.

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  13. Al Gore showed us how someone behaves when he thinks an election was stolen from him. Trump showed us how someone behaves when he knows he lost but doesn't want to leave office.

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    Replies
    1. Again, Trump behavior in 2020
      is identical to the reaction to his
      popular vote loss in 2016.

      Delete
  14. TDH asks "is it possible that Trump is delusional in some clinical way?" The guy had a successful business career (ok, some bankruptcies, but he landed on his feet pretty well), TV show (albeit a trashy one like so many others), married beautiful women, and got elected president, and millions (on both side of the blue/red divide) are seemingly obsessed with him. TDH - he's not clinically "insane". Maybe what you are getting it is he has character flaws. He functions at a high level. Is he "narcissistic" - seems you could say that. Is he a "psychopath?" Seems not supportable. Trying to medicalize someone who you disagree with as "clinically" delusional leads you into very subjective areas. He could be worse - e.g., he could have declared martial law for example (probably would have if he thought he could get away with it). TDH keeps flogging this, but he's way off target. He seems not to know that well how the world works. You could say, for example, anyone who is religious is crazy or "clinically delusional," by TDH's logic. The commenter here a couple of days ago who opined that Trump was a "bull-shitter" (and a world class one I would say) says it better than TDH. (And TDH, you don't have to keep saying how the "woods are dark . . . etc.). It's not especially cogent in the first place, and it's gotten old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as we remember, the phrase "the woods are lovely, dark and deep" was, in that old Charles Bronson's movie, turning seemingly ordinary people into mindless robots.

      And that's what you dembots look like to us: brain-dead talking-points-parroting robots.

      So, dear Bob, all his other idiotic liberal fixations notwithstanding, is right on the nose here.

      Delete
    2. Be careful who you tell about your delusions and hallucinations, Mao. Somerby is in a diagnosing mood today.

      Delete
  15. Weeks before the election, Trump was saying it was stolen. That suggests he knew he would lose, not that he was deluded he would win.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Here is a serious discussion of Somerby's notion that Trump is not responsible for his delusions:

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/06/is-ignorance-of-reality-an-excuse

    ReplyDelete
  17. "By both design and habit, he has also honed a speaking style that can only be described as 'plausibly vague with a clear enough meaning.'

    "Maybe he deserves it, I don't know" is so, so Trumpian."

    This could describe Somerby as well. He is very hard to pin down because he includes both sides of a proposition, even though it is clear which one he is expressing. There is talk about PT Barnum in the LGM thread, and Somerby has such roots too. I have no doubt Somerby style of evading responsibility while making it clear what he means is deliberate too and designed to ensure plausible deniability while saying outrageous things.

    I agree with those who say that Trump is far from delusional.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If we go down this road, where will it end? Will we have to excuse Tucker Carlson too, on the grounds that he believes the crazy stuff he says?

    I do think Somerby is worrying about whether later on, people will blame him for supporting Trump when he knew better than to push those Republican lies. Shall we all decide to absolve Somerby for his delusions about bipartisan bothsiderism or shall we hold him personally accountable when Republicans impose their theocracy on us all?

    Only priests grant absolution. I vote for holding both Trump and Somerby maximally accountable and letting God sort out the rest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob has already absolved Fox,
      though he can rarely bring himself
      to try and defend them. His
      “they don’t view things the
      way we do” slowly came to
      absolve all on the right.
      Obviously no fan of Nicole
      Wallace would ever be
      forgiven because they don’t
      see things the same way as
      Bob.

      Delete
  19. Trump reeks of "consciousness of guilt." It is why he tears up documents after he reads them, has people all sign NDAs who work for him, and so on. He swears his appointees to personal loyalty (remember's Comey's account of that dinner?). There was no one in the room when he met with the Russians, no transcripts and no translation. You can't come around now and claim he believed his own BS and didn't know he lost, or that what he was doing was illegal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know why Donald J Chickenshit has refused to cooperate with the Jan 6 committee, why he doesn't have the balls to submit himself to questioning under oath to the committee? Cause he's not crazy. Same reason he refused to submit to questioning by the Mueller investigation.

      Delete
  20. Somerby is trying to soft pedal Trump's actions re 1/6 as craziness, but it looks like a deliberate coup to those who study such things:

    "It's worth reviewing that he tried so many things simultaneously. He had General Michael Flynn trying to have martial law or military intervention and he tried the trickery that happened with the Georgia Secretary of State. And when none of that worked, he went nuclear and did what autocrats have done in the past and used violence, summoned the people there to right this monstrous wrong on his behalf," said Ben-Ghiat, the author of the book Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.

    "It's interesting, what came out recently, is Trump was trying to get to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He couldn't get there. This is consistent, if you're having a coup and summoned everybody and you expect to be anointed as the head of a new illegitimate government, you have to be there," she explained. "There's a phase in coups. They're violent, quick, and then you have the pronouncement of the new order. That's why he was trying to get there."

    Why is Somerby refusing to acknowledge what is obvious to others? It seems like he has some delusional denial of his own to account for.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yastreblansky, at Rectification of Names blog, addresses the talking points that the right is using to address the content of the first hearing:

    http://yastreblyansky.blogspot.com/2022/06/party-of-weasels.html

    These talking points include the idea that Nancy Pelosi refused National Guard troops, and the complaint that the committee itself is biased against Trump because of its composition. He examines both and provides responses to them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The insanity defense is the pitiable straw grasp for Trump defenders at this point; as we saw last night from the loathsome Kellyanne Conway
    as She deflected the softballs lobbed
    by Bill Maher, who long ago became a
    shockingly repugnant figure himself.
    It’s VERY unlikely Bob dreamed up
    this nonsense on his own. This is the
    way hard core partisans (they
    cannot be called conservatives) have
    decided to brazen this out on the
    right. That’s who Bob is listening to
    these days, not echos of Plato.
    He is a very sick, sad man.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Here is the Trump plan:

    "1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
    2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the acting attorney general, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
    3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the law.
    4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
    5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
    6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the U.S. Capitol.
    7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We must get this information to Hispanics immediately.

      Delete
    2. No doubt they were among the 20 million who watched the first hearing last Thurs.

      Delete
    3. 20 million? Good - we have a benchmark to judge subsequent broadcasts.

      Delete
  24. "President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. "

    What does Somerby think Trump was doing at all of his "rallies"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if Bob ever watched the whole rally. The overall impression that it inspired the violence is much stronger than you get from the sound bites.

      Delete
  25. “in Our Own Blue Tribe come to believe that certain important facts have been established. 
    The Others know that this isn't the case”

    One of many fact-free assertions in this post.

    They “know” it isn’t the case? Based on which facts and which evidence and what line of reasoning? Fox isn’t even broadcasting the hearings.

    And Somerby himself knows that the committee did not establish “certain facts”, based on what line of reasoning?

    There is no laying out of the facts the committee presented, no logical refutation of them…just Somerby’s bald-faced assertion.

    Opining that Trump might be mentally ill or psychotic or whatever word Somerby comes up with tomorrow is not a refutation of anything. It is mere speculation.

    And Somerby continues to want to focus solely on a short list of his own questions , as if the hearings were solely about Trump’s guilt. They are clearly also an exposé of Republican culpability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. And Bob’s account of the only
      relevant questions is simply a version
      of the right wing talking points
      making the rounds. It’s really hard
      to believe some kind of payoff is
      not involved. Sad. But there is
      no going back now.

      Delete
  26. Bob,
    The word you're looking for to describe Trump is "deplorable".

    ReplyDelete