STARTING TOMORROW: Self improvement!

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2022

Political tribe, consider improving thyself: "The appearance on the front of a new arrival...became the topic of general conversation."

In those days, the new arrival was "a lady with a lapdog"—or at least, so Chekhov reported. This morning, the new arrival on the front was an ABC-Ipsos poll.

According to ABC News, the poll "was conducted using Ipsos Public Affairs‘ KnowledgePanel® June 17-18, 2022, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 545 adults."

That isn't a giant sample. But here's what the new arrival said, according to Meredith DeLiso, ABC headline included:

DELISO (6/19/22): 6 in 10 Americans say Trump should be charged for Jan. 6 riot

With the first full week of hearings for the House select committee's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol now complete, nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the incident, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.

Six in 10 Americans also believe the committee is conducting a fair and impartial investigation, according to the poll.

As it turns out, that headline includes a slight overstatement. In this particular survey, 58% of respondents—that's slightly less than 6 in 10—said that Trump should be charged with a crime.

Concerning what that crime would be, respondents weren't asked to respond. Just for the record, the numbers haven't necessarily changed a huge amount from where they previously stood:

DELISO (continuing directly): In the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel, 58% of Americans think Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the riot. That's up slightly from late April, before the hearings began, when an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 52% of Americans thought the former president should be charged.

In April, before the current hearings began, 52% of respondents had said that Trump should be charged with a crime. Last week, after the first three hearings, that number stood at 58%, give or take margin of error.

That might be the start of a trend. Or it might be statistical noise.

Has Donald J. Trump committed a crime? We can't say we know. We do regard him as profoundly disordered, in a dangerous way, though tens of millions of our fellow citizens have a vastly different view.

At any rate, many Americans think that Trump should be charged with a crime. Then too, there's this morning's report from the state convention of the Texas Republican Party, as seen in the New York Times.

Once again, headline included:

Texas Republicans Approve Far-Right Platform Declaring Biden’s Election Illegitimate

The Republican Party in Texas made a series of far-right declarations as part of its official party platform over the weekend, claiming that President Biden was not legitimately elected, issuing a “rebuke” to Senator John Cornyn for his work on bipartisan gun legislation and referring to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”

The platform was voted on in Houston at the state party’s convention, which concluded on Saturday.

[...]

The state party’s resolution embracing the baseless 2020 stolen-election claims stated that “substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas significantly affected the results in five key states in favor of” Mr. Biden. The state party, the resolution continued, rejected “the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

Within our nation's formal party politics, the Texas GOP's annual platform is almost always the farthest right of all "far-right" declarations. For ourselves, we note the apparent absence of any evidence regarding the claim of "substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas." 

We also note this fact:

Nineteen months after the "stolen election" in question, Donald J. Trump has never produced a white paper offering evidence in support of his endless claim that the election was stolen. He simply continues making the claim, and many of his supporters continue to believe it. 

In our tribe, we sometimes tend to content ourselves with calling his claim a "lie." In our view, that probably isn't the greatest idea. More on that to follow.

On today's Morning Joe, that new ABC-Ipsos poll was the "new arrival on the front." Such encouraging news is always bruited by the tribunes within our blue tribe, dating back to the several years when we were told, night after night, that The Talented Mr. Mueller was surely on his way to bringing Trump all the way down.

Did Donald J. Trump commit a crime in connection with the January 6 riot? If so, should he be indicted?

At this point, we don't know how to answer either question. We have thought, again and again, about some of the ways our own blue tribe has possibly helped Trump stay afloat.

How can our blue tribe heal itself—or at least improve its performance? We might start with a bit of improvement in self-awareness, dating back many years.

How can it be that a disordered fellow like Donald J. Trump got 74 million votes in the 2020 election?Also, who lost Uvalde County, Texas—and Aroostook County, Maine?

In the past, we've sometimes tended to shy away from full discussion of such questions. Starting tomorrow, we'll try to go into more detail about some of the possible ways our own blue tribe—it's disadvantaged by our nation's prevailing electoral systems—might be able to improve its game, to win a few more elections.

Superman Mueller never showed up; the Steele dossier came and went. This morning, some Morning Joe pundits seemed to have high hopes for the ongoing work of the January 6 committee. Others voiced words of warning.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to say that he won by a landslide in 2020. He has never made the slightest attempt to present the tiniest bit of evidence in support of this poisonous claim.

Nineteen months have drifted by since that fateful election. The former president has never attempted to offer evidence in support of his claim.  In our tribe, we seem to be satisfied with the ubiquitous claim that the fellow is lying. 

Could our blue tribe improve its game? Also, why do so many voters seem to loathe us?

Tomorrow, we'll start to ponder such questions. We still can see no easy way out of our nation's very large mess.

Tomorrow: Let's take a look at some numbers 


66 comments:

  1. "How can it be that a disordered fellow like Donald J. Trump got 74 million votes in the 2020 election?"

    Did he get all these votes because of his persuasive ability? Doonesbury cartoonist Scott Adams holds himself out as an expert at persuasion techniques. He has written a book on the subject. Adams says that Trump's persuasive ability is off the charts. For that reason, Adams forecasted Trump's 2020 victory.

    BTW Adams is not a Republican. He says he's a centrist.

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    1. He says he is a centrist but he is a vocal member of the Men's Rights movement online and that makes him a misogynist. Business Insider describes him as a "fierce supporter of Donald Trump". Based on the contents of his comic strip, I would consider him a nihilist who portrays both work and women in an ugly (and unfunny) way. Given that he has no training in persuasion, it is hard to see what the basis for his book could have been, although he does claim to be a hypnotist. He seems to have branched out from comics to best seller self-help books and youtube videos that trade on bullshit.

      David, lots of Trump supporters were predicting Trump's victory in both 2016 and 2020. What is amazing about that?

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    2. Wow. Trump was able to use his art of persuasion to get Republican voters jacked-up to vote for a guy who wears bigotry on his sleeve. How many more miracles must he perform before he eligible for sainthood?
      LOL

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    3. D & C, you mean Dilbert, not Doonesbury. No question, Trump is a skilled demagogue.

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    4. How could anyone argue with such a rational and deductive summation from this clear-headed credentialed professional anonymouse11:38am?

      Yeah, okay, she’s more tendentious than six Apostle Pauls.


      twitter.com/buzzfeed/statu…

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. Scott Adams
      ⁦‪@ScottAdamsSays‬⁩


      Fake news Buzzfeed thinks I’m a men’s rights advocate because I mocked the men’s right movement once in a blog post. Good work. twitter.com/buzzfeed/statu…

      4/23/18, 2:53 PM





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    7. As I said, Cecelia, go ahead and buy his book. Then you can use it as a paperweight.

      There is no mysterious persuasion going on when Trump speaks. As @1:47 said, he tells his supporters what they want to hear.

      tendentious definition: "expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one"

      Is this what you think the Apostle Paul did? I'm not sure what word you were seeking, but I doubt it was this one, since this is exactly what you would expect an apostle to do.

      Meanshile, Scott Adams is a real asshole.

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    8. Scott Adams didn't just mock MRAs in a blog post, he participated on websites and got himself into some trouble there. If he recanted, it doesn't mean he changed his opinions. He did get a lot of flak and lost popularity when his views became more widely known. It wouldn't be surprising if he attempted some damage control:

      https://observer.com/2015/12/new-tumblr-combines-dilbert-with-scott-adams-mens-rights-rhetoric/

      https://comicsalliance.com/scott-adam-sexist-mens-rights/

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/business/media/scott-adams-dilbert-gilroy.html

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    9. It’s exactly what an apostle does and what anonymices do in every sentence too.

      Paul putting out his credentials as having been called by God and then talking about spiritual matters is less ridiculous than the anonymouse offering her’s up as a curbside assessment of a blogger.

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    10. Why do you anonymices never notice how ridiculous you are?

      “Scott Adams: If I Couldn't Get Laid, I'd Be a Suicide Bomber, Too”

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    11. The assessment was of Scott Adam's qualifications to write about persuasion, but never mind...

      Occasionally someone else here says he's a retired actuary, or an attorney, or a teacher. I find such background info interesting and useful context. But you can just ignore credentials -- they aren't provable, any more than Paul's was, and as I have now said several times -- go ahead and buy his book. Take it as seriously as you want. Because it is bunk, it won't give you any useful info, but maybe you'll find it entertaining. Dilbert is pretty hit and miss lately.

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    12. AC/MA, you can argue that Trump is a demagogue, but he’s certainly not a skilled one.

      He falls into every rhetorical trap that is laid for him. He talks out of turn to his detriment.

      Yet he is persuasive and compelling to a great many people.

      I think that’s what Adams means.

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    13. Trump doesn't have ideas and then convince others of them. He tries out many different ideas and then continues and repeats the ones that resonate with his listeners. He pays attention to what gets applause or laughs at his rallies -- then reuses that material, abandoning what doesn't work. He can do this because he has no opinions or ideas that he is committed to, other than what works to get him attention and support. The reason why he seems compelling to listeners is that he repeats back to them what they already believe -- he validates their own beliefs, confirms them in their opinions and especially their prejudices and bigotry. He expresses the listeners' own views in a concrete way (not abstracts) and tells stories that they can relate to because he got them from his audience. Of course his audiences love him -- they think he is them.

      What are Trump's real views? He only cares about himself and he expresses contempt for his supporters behind their backs. They are marks to him.

      I don't know what Adams says in his books, but if he told the truth about Trump, it would diminish Trump and turn off the readers who bought his book to confirm their belief in Trump's wondrousness -- his marvellous powers of persuasion!!! Adams is a grifter and he is attempting to ride on the coattails of Trump's popularity -- to take advantage of that built-in market. That is entirely consistent with the nihilism Adams displays in his Dilbert strip. Like Trump, Adams doesn't believe in much.

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    14. I think those facilities you attribute to Trump, or dark triad traits, if you will, helps him to get what’s going on with a lot regular people and certainly our overlords.

      https://twitter.com/rubinreport/status/1536355534290489344?s=21&t=AOVRhfYFqhciqW8eMBvrvg

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    15. Here is what I don't understand. Some people can look at Trump, listen to him for a few minutes, and totally understand that he is a con artist and fraud. Others look at him and listen for the same amount of time and think he is what he pretends to be, an astute businessman with the ideas and talent to lead the country. I wonder what makes those two groups of listeners to Trump so different from each other.

      What is Trump really? He is clearly a fraud and a con artist, because by all the objective measures, he did a bad job as president, killed hundreds of thousands of people unnecessarily, and allowed his cronies to loot the resources belonging to the American people. That are FACTS, not impressions. So, why cannot the Republicans see Trump for what he is, and if they do see him clearly, why are they so morally bankrupt that they would put such a man into the highest office?

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    16. You shouldn't just look at it in black and white terms. Maybe that's why you're so confused.

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    17. In 1924, the government of Weimar Germany decided to get rid of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazis, by trying Hitler for high treason in the People’s Court. Hitler was clearly guilty. He had tried to overthrow the elected government in the botched 1923 “Beer Hall Putsch,” which, like the January 6 riot, was as much farce as insurrection. It was an open and shut case. The trial, however, backfired, turning Hitler into a national martyr and boosting the political fortunes of the Nazis.

      The reason should have been apparent. Germany, convulsed by widespread unemployment, food riots, street violence and hyperinflation, was a mess. The ruling elites, like our own, had no credibility. The appeal to the rule of law and democratic values was a joke.

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    18. 1. The Nazis had the support of the military, Trump doesn’t.
      2. The US is not convulsed like Germany was.
      3. We have a much longer tradition of democracy. We have democratic not autocratic traditions.
      4. We lack strong scapegoats like they had in Germany, esp on the left.
      5. We have the example of Germany and strong international allies, unlike Germany.
      6. Trump is not Hitler.

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    19. Cecilia - glad to see you are back, though in general don't usually agree with your outlook. That said, what "rhetorical traps has Trump walked into that got laid for him?" That he is "persuasive and compelling to a great many people" is the basis for my observation that he is a skilled demagogue. I agree that dems maybe asked for what we are getting now from Trump and his minions all claiming the 2020 election was "rigged" by making similar claims in connections with other recent presidential elections (though in Gore v Bush, they seem to have some good points; but the whole Russian thing in 2016 was over the top crazy). However, what Trump is doing now goes way way beyond, is undermining the whole thing we had about peaceful handing over of the reins of power; they don't really compare. It's vile. Do you defend it?

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    20. The issue is not if we are exactly like Nazi Germany, the issue is that our elites have lost their credibility and Trump and his supporters can highlight the gap between the haves and the have nots as proof. And the elites have no answer.

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    21. Oh, thank you, AC/MA. I haven’t really been away. I always read Somerby’s blog. I don’t always read the comments.

      Trump never uttered a statement that was off the cuff or an expression of negative personal feeling or exasperation over an issue to a media question that the press didn’t inflame.
      invariably, when that happened, it was on.

      It was a flaming siren-screeching battleship sinking from there on, taking everyone and their dignity down with it. A 24 hour/10 days a week asinine news cycle. He just could not check himself.

      If Trump had called any military member a “dog-faced pony soldier” if would have been an ocean-wide feeding frenzy and he’s still be chumming the water and making things worse, still sparring, a week later.

      This was no well- plotted demagoguery. There was nothing “well developed” here.

      Yes, Trump does understand what people want, he’s a car salesman (figuratively) and he could have worked to appeal to the right people (liberal and neocon globalists), but he knew them too well. He decided to run because he didn’t like the people who were in power.

      I often express to my husband that by Trump not being re-elected we never got to see if he would change. We didn’t get to see if he would stick to “dancing at party with the date he came in with.”

      I think you can rest easy in thinking that it’s unlikely he’ll have an opportunity to show us. .

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    22. we never got to see if he would change.

      We know, Cecelia. Pouty McSoreloser couldn't even try to heal the country by attending the inauguration. He hasn't gone away. We see the same asshole every day.

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    23. https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13572218/clinton-concession-speech-not-speaking

      https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/heres-complete-list-democrats-boycotting-trumps-inauguration

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    24. https://time.com/4564480/read-hillary-clintons-concession-speech-full-transcript/

      And she attended the inauguration. Because she has character and cared about the country.
      Donald J Chckenshit has never conceded, and continues on his whining tour of the country lying his corrupt ass off. And you wonder to your husband if the asshole was going to change. Bwahahaha!

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    25. They probably kept her sobered up enough so she could at least do that as she was laundering money to Christopher Steele.

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  2. Replies
    1. Trudeau wrote Doonesbury, which was an actual political cartoon a very long time ago. Why can't David look these things up?

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    2. Because he's Republican!

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    3. Don't forget anonymous, no one who disagrees with your political positions makes a mistake that doesn't have a sinister motive and reveal something deep and dark about who they are.

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    4. My "position" about Scott Adams is based on my doctorate in cognitive psychology, the field that actually studies persuasion, and my evaluation of Adams' qualifications to write a book on that topic. I consider that consumer protection, not politics, but if you disagree, go ahead and buy his book -- waste your money.

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    5. I'm just saying to remember that your comments are that of a paranoid troll with borderline personality disorder.

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    6. There used to be a commenter called Corby who was the same way.

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    7. "your comments are that of a paranoid troll with borderline personality disorder"

      When Somerby tries to diagnose Trump using internet checklists, he encourages his trolls to do the same, using diagnostic terms as put-downs and name-calling. Just as Somerby has no clue how to use mental health technical terms, this troll grabs a few and slaps them on someone he disagrees with, without any concern for what they mean.

      There are people who have paranoid personality disorder and people with borderline personality disorder too -- can these two personality disorders coexist in the same person? @12:29 doesn't know but that doesn't stop him from saying so. He perhaps just thinks of these as bad ways to be, without thinking about whether the people who have such disorders cause problems or mainly suffer from their own thoughts and feelings. He doesn't care, since his main purpose is not to understand anyone, but to hurt another person (and perhaps undermine what they say here). No actual mental health professional goes around using diagnostic terms to attack other people. But that's what trolls do.

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    8. I'm just saying your comments are irrational and disordered and that of a insane paranoid maniac, feel me?

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    9. Your comments are structured almost exclusively around black and white thinking which is commonly associated with borderline personality disorder. That's all. Feel me?

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    10. Here is the problem with your "thinking."

      Dogs have four legs.
      My cat has four legs.
      Therefore my cat must be a dog -- false conclusion.

      Borderline personality involves black and white thinking.
      This commenter uses black and white thinking.
      Therefore this commenter must have borderline personality -- false conclusion.

      This is the fallacy of affirming the consequent. There are many other animals with four legs besides dogs, and there are many other people besides those with borderline personality who exhibit black and white thinking.

      This is assuming you know what black and white thinking is and can correctly identify it in other people's writing. I don't believe I think that way, but your mileage may vary. It isn't any kind of rebuttal of anything I have said, to slap a label on it and pretend you have added something to this discussion.

      You don't have to agree with anything I, or Corby, have said. But having a mental illness or personality disorder does not automatically invalidate anything said by a person. You still have to do the work of refuting arguments, if you want to convince others of your own opinions (which you haven't stated). You are just name-calling here, and that makes you a troll.

      I am done with this conversation now.

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    11. But you have been diagnosed as bipolar or with borderline personality disorder, correct? What is the diagnosis you were given?

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    12. No, not correct. I do not have any kind of personality disorder and have not been diagnosed with any mental illness.

      Since you are so interested in personality disorders, you might find this interesting:

      https://www.spring.org.uk/2021/07/trolling-signs-personality.php#:~:text=It%20is%20hardly%20surprising%2C%20then,et%20al.%2C%202019).

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    13. Women don't reason very well and are often hysterical and irrational. So maybe it's just that.

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  3. "Nineteen months after the "stolen election" in question, Donald J. Trump has never produced a white paper offering evidence in support of his endless claim that the election was stolen."

    If you want a "white paper", dear Bob, why not take this quote from Time Magazine:
    "...a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information."
    https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

    Satisfied? ...as if you yourself didn't know what happened, dear.

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    1. meh…. You know how Russia works, dear.

      ; D

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  4. From Driftglass:

    "Republicans actually learned all of their most important political lessons from Watergate. And those lessons are:

    Always attack.
    Always blame the Left.
    Never stop trashing media.
    Never apologize.
    Never stop lying.
    When in doubt, escalate.
    Seize and hold power by any means necessary.

    Somerby has been implementing 1-5 here in his blog. Today, he promises to return to blaming liberals for everything Republicans do, attacking the press and specfic liberals (extra points if they are black and/or female), and lying some more. Saturday he lied about Loudermilk and today he pretends that the committee hearings haven't moved the poll numbers, pretending that a 6 pts increase is not a shift in attitudes. If the press had done that, he would complain that a shift of 6 points is big enough to report -- but since it is in an undesirable direction from his vantage point, today he minimizes it, while complaining because a headline rounded up 58% to "nearly 60%" which is accurate and justified statistically.

    And today he juxtaposes the change in views held by Americans in general (largely driven by Democrats and Independents) with the radical platform adopted by the Texas Republican Party, as if the Texas extremists who attended that convention (which may not even represent a majority of Republicans in the state) negated the majority views held in the poll. To my knowledge, no one has disputed that the fringe right has gone batshit crazy. Meanwhile, Somerby tries to dispute (without explicitly stating so), that the hearings are producing a shift in attitudes among those who are more open to the truth, and that shift may make the country more receptive to charging Trump with the crimes he has clearly committed.

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  5. Needless to say, The Lady with a Lap Dog has nothing whatsoever to do with today's essay.

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  6. Somerby wants to blame Morning Joe and other press for predicting that something would come from the Mueller Report. Such hopes were contingent on Mueller conducting his investigation in good faith, and the DOJ following up on it in an independent and honest manner. While Mueller did conduct a reasonable investigation, his report was influenced by two factors: (1) Mueller's membership in the Republican Party, and (2) Mueller's intimidation by Trump, who appointed him.

    "On May 17, 2017, Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as special counsel overseeing an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters. He submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, 2019."

    Mueller accurately summarized the Russian interference and Trump's obstruction of the investigation. He wavered on the question of collusion between Trump and Russia and he claimed that it was beyond his purview to recommend charges against Trump. Barr wrote a partisan executive summary of Mueller's report that distorted Mueller's findings and whitewashed Trump's actions, initially releasing only the summary, not the report itself. Barr had no intention of brining charges against Trump, no matter what Mueller's report found, and that was the main reason for Barr's appointment as Attorney General.

    The press may have hyped the possibility of such charges and a more forthcoming Mueller Report, but the press is not liberal and whatever liberal pundits and politicians may have hoped for, it is not the case that liberals have no cynicism when it comes to Republican coverups. Trump was in power and he enacted a coverup. History will judge whether he colluded with Russia, although one must ask why he so energetically obstructed Mueller's investigation if there was nothing to discover.

    There is a different situation now. Biden is President and Garland is Attorney General, so a coverup of Trump's crimes is no longer a foregone conclusion. Whether Garland prosecutes Trump or not, the 1/6 Select Committee is making public Trump's actions (and those of his cronies and accomplices) in a way that Mueller could not. Very few members of the press and pundits are predicting that Trump will win in 2024, and many are predicting that he will not run. If that is all that comes of this effort, keeping Trump out of the presidency, that will be an important accomplishment, just as Biden's election was partially served by the impeachment of Trump and by the release of Mueller's report.

    Democrats can only do their best and hope that the voters use their franchise wisely. Meanwhile, Somerby's clearcut attacks on liberals is obviously intended to help Republican efforts, and is not any kind of "self-improvement," at the very least because Somerby is not himself liberal and not one of the people who has been diligently working to remove Trump from politics and undo the damage he has done to our country.

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    1. I believe that Mueller himself wrote a memo later saying that he felt Barr's summary was distorting his findings.

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  7. Some authors who have tried to answer, generally, how convervatives manage to win:

    Carolyn Gallaher- On the Fault Line

    Thomas Frank - What's the matter with Kansas

    Lakoff - Don't think of an elephant

    Lakoff is the closest to the party message machine, although he doesn't consider himself "the center," since he would like a party much farther left. He argues Republicans are skilled with language, and have a propaganda infrastructure that's more sophisticated than liberals. He further complains that liberals all too often concede framing to the right, such as they are now on framing opposition to diplomacy as a sign of being tough. He argues most Americans have both strict and nurturing frames. His limitation is that he does almost no power analysis to explain why some powerful Democrats might behave this way intentionally.

    Frank and Gallaher say that as political identities along the parties sputtered to help people as much as they need, their frustrations get diverted by the politics of RESENTMENT, especially pious religious hysteria, sexism, racism, offense to gender nonconformity, really anything the rich southern aristocrats who run the party would like to talk about besides wages and labor rights. Blame whatever is happening to you on liberals and hope nobody mentions capitalism. In fact, asking for a raise can keep you from getting into Heaven you sinner. If God loves you he will make you rich.

    This explanation holds a lot of weight with Trump. He is great at making himself a victim in every situation and the Republican party is built on that brand identity and has been for a while. When he does make economic promises few people in his party blame him for not following through. For example, he was for national healthcare. But the culture war was what they connected to emotionally and people find it hard to miss an agenda that they never had to start with.

    Trump also rode a wave of RESENTMENT against immigrants, Obamacare and Hillary, who were made to represent everything that's ever been wrong ever, even on many issues that were bipartisan failures. It's almost as if people don't fight fair in politics you guys

    I suspect all three authors have a good case to make when their analyses are combined, but lean heavily toward Frank and Gallagher to explain Trump.

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    1. In fairness, Lakoff developed his ideas before Trump was on the scene.

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    2. Frank wrote his book 18 years ago. He has since turned his attention to the problem of the Democratic Party abandoning America’s working people in favor of Wall Street and the professional classes.

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    3. Your point, that the media wouldn’t let a Democratic politician get away with saying they’d make Mexico pay for the politician’s pet project, I 100% agree.

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    4. 1:59,
      The corporate media lets Republicans get away with it due to Republicans persuasion techniques, AND the tax breaks corporations get from Republicans.

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    5. The media lets Trump get away with saying outrageous things because he puts so many of them into a single statement (before pausing for breath), that it is difficult to address them point by point.

      Hillary did a got job during the debates, but the media itself was generally less effective at challenging his statements, especially when they had no motivation to do so. When the media thought Trump was being entertaining, they let him ramble and only jumped in to keep him talking.

      If you want to lay the fault somewhere, I would place it on the switch from media informing viewers to entertaining them. When audience numbers dictate financial success for both networks and individual cable hosts, they both want the same thing -- viewers -- and at some point they stopped caring how they got them.

      With Trump, there is no need to challenge his statements to generate controversy -- he says such inflammatory things that the host need not interrupt him to encourage audience attention. People used to watch him just to hear who he would insult next or what crazy thing he would say next. Now, of course, he repeats himself so much that the only folks still paying attention are his supporters.

      But Republicans like MTG and Boebert and Gaetz have learned that the way to gain media attention is to think up ever crazier things to say, and their main goal is just to stay on TV and keep the camers on them. And that works because they are only playing to their base in districts where they have a solid, safe preponderance of Republican voters. The media goes along and puts them on screen, no matter how ridiculous or wrong their statements are. When I see the late-night comedians helping them along by giving comedy air-time to their malapropisms, I cringe. But I doubt this is what Somerby means when he says our blue tribe is making mistakes. I guarantee he isn't going to talk about Colbert and Kimmel.

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    6. Like many things in this great country, the media started as a common good, turned into a business, and devolved into a racket.

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    7. 2:53 you don't know shit about the history of American media then.

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  8. "In our tribe, we sometimes tend to content ourselves with calling his claim [that the 2020 election was stolen] a "lie." In our view, that probably isn't the greatest idea. More on that to follow."

    Somerby has been arguing that if Trump believes the election was stolen, then it is not a lie but just a mistaken statement. It is still untrue, but his motive to deceive is unclear if he believes in what he is saying. Somerby further claims that we cannot know what is in Trump's mind, thus he must be given the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many demonstrable lies he has told previously.

    One purpose of the 1/6 hearings is to tell the American people that the election was not stolen, that members of Trump's staff, administration and family knew it was not stolen, that they told him so repeatedly, and that Trump himself acknowledged that he had lost on a few occasions, but that he continued to claim it was stolen and even did fund-raising on that claim, referring to a non-existent election defense fund (akin to his non-existent charities in which funds were diverted to himself and his family).

    Somerby demonstrates a stubborn refusal to admit that Trump has been lying that mirrors Trump's own stubborn refusal to admit he lost the 2020 election. We can understand Trump's motive to continue his Big Lie, but what is Somerby's motive for continuing to defend Trump in the face of the hearing evidence and Trump's own past history of conning people? It may be that Somerby thinks Trump has a legitimate defense against instigating a coup if he genuinely believes the election was stolen. Various legal experts have disputed this. But if Somerby believes this, why is he so devoted to defending Trump, a man who most liberals think has done great harm to our country? No liberal has such beliefs about Trump. Only Trump's nearest and dearest supporters think this way. And this is another reason why it appears that Somerby is playing games here -- to what end, who knows?

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  9. Bob, we can't say you are in any way willing to know.
    But if you you think those phone calls to Georgia are not
    Election tampering, you were clearly a Harvard Legacy.
    Also Bob, you fail to mention Trump made identical
    claims about the 2016 election, for which he provided
    no evidence either. Just like he always cheats at golf,
    such would be the case in any election he ran in, or
    backed a candidate in. If I lost, it was fixed.
    You stupid, stupid man.

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  10. If the Democrats were as unsuccessful as Somerby claims, at getting elected and getting their programs enacted, why would the Republicans have such a strong sense of grievance about them?

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  11. "Also, who lost Uvalde County, Texas—and Aroostook County, Maine?"

    Is it really fair to blame liberals for moving out of upstate Maine when the jobs disappeared there?

    Is it really fair to blame liberals for the voter suppression efforts of Republicans in Uvalde County, or for the fact that Hispanics in general do not register or vote in the same numbers anywhere in the country, including Uvalde County? The only people who DO help Hispanics vote more (aside from Hispanic activists) are liberals.

    Notice that Somerby doesn't bother to look closely at the stratifications within demographic groups when the picture painted by the overall stats are consistent with his own narrative.

    Why does Uvalde have a white Republican mayor when only 14% of its residents are white (not Hispanic)? He ran unopposed in 2016 and 2018, but beat Garza, a former Republican Hispanic mayor in 2020. Might it have something to do with money, jobs and the power structure in the city?

    "In the last 4 years (2018-2021), there were 312 contributions totaling $41,118 to the Democratic Party and liberal campaigns, averaging $132 per contribution.

    In the last 4 years, there were 250 contributions totaling $112,003 to the Republican Party and conservative campaigns, averaging $448 per contribution."

    In the last 20 years, Uvalde has elected a Republican mayor in all six elections. Uvalde has thus always been conservative and hasn't swung conservative with Trump. Nor does it represent Hispanics leaving the Democratic party.

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  12. Shoot the police >>>> defund the police 24/7/365.

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    1. Somebody put "defund the police" on a sign at a BLM protest. The right picked it up and pasted it onto the left indiscriminately. There were no candidates using this as a slogan and none of the presidential candidates vying for the nomination agreed with it or ever said it. This is an example of the right framing the talking points, just as there have been no elementary schools teaching CRT and no litter boxes in school hallways for furries.

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    2. What kind of asshole wants to fund the subaltern Police force?

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  13. Being a Republican and believing their bs is an abnormal lifestyle choice

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  14. "He has never made the slightest attempt to present the tiniest bit of evidence in support of this poisonous claim."

    Evidence wasn't needed for Reagan and the Bush family, and the voters didn't care. Why should Trump mess with success?

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  15. So Bob's response to the Trump catastrophe has mostly been to think about how it was the left's fault. What a surprise.

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