LOSERS: "Millions of people" invented, denied!


Part 1—Trumpism spotted, denounced:
The Washington Post has spent decades inventing and spreading the noxious culture which is now known as Trumpism.

That culture is about to enter the White House in the person of Donald J. Trump. On that basis, the Washington Post has now announced its opposition to the culture it worked to create.

The Post announces its opposition to Trumpism atop the front page of today's hard-copy editions. As the paper announces its opposition, it finally spots the noxious culture it worked so hard to create.

The Post spots and denounces this noxious culture at the start of today's featured news report. In the upper right-hand corner of page A1, reporter Paul Kane starts us off with this:
KANE (11/28/16): President-elect Donald Trump spent Sunday ridiculing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for joining a recount effort in Wisconsin, ending his day on Twitter by parroting a widely debunked conspiracy theory that her campaign benefited from massive voter fraud.

As his senior advisers engaged in an escalating feud over who the next secretary of state should be, Trump focused publicly on Clinton’s tally of 64 million votes—more than 2 million beyond what he garnered—by suggesting without evidence that millions of people illegally voted in the election.
Fascinating! Let's review the Post's account of what Donald J. Trump said about "millions of people."

In his latest Trumpist adventure, Donald J. Trump issued a tweet about this month's election. But uh-oh! According to the Washington Post, Trump was "parroting" a theory about that election.

Actually, it's worse than that. According to Kane, Trump was parroting a theory "without evidence!" But hold on—Trump's conduct considerably worse that that.

According to the Washington Post, Trump parroted a conspiracy theory without offering any evidence! And it isn't just that Trump did that. The conspiracy theory the great man pimped had already been "widely debunked!"

In this way, we can see the Washington Post announcing its discovery of Trumpism—a culture the Post spent decades inventing. Beyond that, we see the Post signalling its opposition to the noxious practices which define this culture.

Alas! Kane backslides when he says that Donald J. Trump "suggested" that millions of people voted illegally in our recent election. As we see in Kane's next paragraph, Trump did no such thing:
KANE (continuing directly): “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump tweeted late Sunday, one of more than 10 tweets on the recount issue.

That accusation—spread by conspiracy sites such as Infowars.com and discredited by fact-checking organizations—gained traction among some far-right conservatives disappointed that Trump lost the popular vote.
As you can see, Trump didn't "suggest" that millions of people voted illegally in the election. He directly said that millions of people did!

Kane backslid a bit when he used the word "suggesting;" old habits will often die hard. Still and all, the Post was making an announcement in those opening paragraphs. The Post was announcing its opposition to the practice of inventing fake facts and disseminating those fake facts to people who think they're real.

The Post was announcing its opposition to the aggressive spread of fake facts. This reversal follows several decades in which the Post devoted itself to the invention of this culture.

(In Kane's text, the Post has even announced its discovery of entities called "conspiracy sites," one of which it names. For details concerning past practice, see below.)

The Washington Post performs a flip at the top of this morning's front page. In the process, it also announces a basic fact—the fact that Candidate Trump "lost the popular vote" by more than two million votes!

Transplendently, this means that Candidate Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million votes. In recent weeks, we have complained, on several occasions, about the way this significant fact was being tossed aside by liberal and mainstream players alike.

This morning, the Post has announced that the public ought to hear the full story about the way its members actually voted. Trump's aggressive, bogus tweet puts a basic fact on display—he regards the fact in question as a significant fact. This is the point we were making over the past several weeks.

In this morning's Post report, we see some remarkable flips. We also catch a glimpse of what we might call the long-standing "loser" culture of our own liberal world.

This "loser culture" helped clear the way for Candidate Trump's ascension to the White House, just as it did for Candidate Bush before him. In the next few weeks, we plan to review the way this "loser culture" has manifested itself over the past twenty-five years.

Left on our own, we liberals will be happy to trundle along in our accustomed manner. We'll be happy to consume articles—childishly, we call them "stories"—telling us about the way The Others are racists.

Happily, we'll tell ourselves that this explains the ascension of the current Trumpist-elect. Left on our own, we'll end the story right there. We'll ignore the ways our own laziness and cluelessness have kept us losing these fights.

In this most recent iteration, we managed to lose an election to the craziest person who ever ran for the White House. Left on our own, it will never enter our heads that this remarkable outcome may suggest something about our own massive lack of insight and talent.

Something about us!

We liberals! We've been happily losing these fights for a good many years. In the next few weeks, we plan to meander back through the ways we've managed to accomplish this task.

As we do, we're going to focus on one of the players the corporate world anointed as a high-profile liberal thought leader. Her mugging and clowning, and her high ratings, make her an obvious point of focus. But many players have played key roles in building the "loser culture" we've enjoyed down through these years.

The Washington Post has now spotted the culture of Trumpism—a culture it spent decades inventing. Left on our own, we liberals will never spot the loser culture in which we wallowed during those same destructive years.

We were never quite able to spot the process by which the Post and the New York Times were helping build the noxious culture now described as Trumpism. Left on our own, we'll never see what this fact says about us.

For that reason, we've volunteered to try to help our tribe's thought process along! The Post has now spotted the culture it made. Will we liberals ever be able to spot the culture which has emerged, live and direct, from the geniuses known as Us?

Tomorrow: Clownishly selling the car

Because we knew you'd ask: According to Nexis, the term "conspiracy site" (or "conspiracy Web site") had never appeared in the hard-copy Post before today's reversal.

Check that! Mike Allen quoted a use of the term long ago. The statement came from the Bush campaign. It was aimed at Candidate Kerry:
ALLEN (10/9/04): Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel, during a Web chat on washingtonpost.com, was asked if Bush wore "any kind of electronic device on his back during the first debate that allowed him to receive information."

"Senator Kerry? Is that you?," Stanzel typed back. "I think you've been spending a little too much time on conspiracy Web sites. Did you hear the one about Elvis moderating tonight's debate?"
People, we're just saying! To all intents and purposes, the term "conspiracy site" made its formal debut as part of today's reversal.

Direct discussion of such sites (and orgs) has been long overdue. Trumpism grew as big newspapers ignored such sites and orgs and failed to report what they do.


  1. Ever acerbic. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Is there ever joy in mudville? I think not. One news item does not make a trend. So, how will the press continue to respond. Like Mr. Somerby I would be skeptical. But a change would be welcome for all the previous transgressions. Instead, we are given the old glass half empty scenario. Cheer up. Welcome a change because the record has been so horrendous. Encourage a continuation of actual news analysis not pimping falseness.

    Myself, I hope this is a trend. So far, Trump has mocked and sucker punched the press as they have made hundreds of millions off the spectacle. Can they actually be gatekeepers?

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  2. That craziest candidate is also the most unethical and lacking in restraint of any modern candidate. Those words do not characterize Clinton, who has seemed to fight with one hand tied behind her back because she "goes high" when Trump goes low.

    This disagreement about whether to stoop to conservative tactics has been argued repeatedly. Calling us losers when we take the more ethical course doesn't seem fair, coming from someone on our side. Conflating rank and file liberals with the press, even those self-identifying as liberal pundits, isn't correct either. The press isn't "us."

    Trump isn't winning because he is crazy. He is winning despite that, because he is willing to do anything to win. Even accept help from Russia. Even welcome the neo-Nazis. Even play on racial hatred and misogyny. Even corrupt the democratic process. Even sell out and turn his back on loyal Republicans unwilling to stoop to his tricks. Anyone can win if they have unlimited money and are willing to cheat. If they have no shame.

    Somerby is confused about whose side the press is on. Hint: it isn't our side. Why blame us when we have no control over them?

    1. Kevin Drum supports this idea:

      "He loudly and persistently pretended to care about the white working class while offering nothing much that would actually affect them. And he was pretty plainly pro-white, which obviously appealed to at least some of them. Clinton's problem is that she isn't cynical enough to do the former and not loathsome enough to do the latter."

      But note the words "Clinton's problem..." Like everyone else, he applies the Clinton rules. If Hillary loses it is her fault because she did something wrong.

      Drum cannot conceive of a world with sexism, so Clinton is at fault for being insufficiently cynical etc. Too decent. If she were loathsome, she'd be blamed for that too.

      THIS ELECTION WAS NOT "HILLARY'S PROBLEM." A post-election analysis needs to start there and look further for explanations.

  3. "Even sell out and turn his back on loyal Republicans unwilling to stoop to his tricks"

    Who are these "loyal Republicans" ? From what I can see most 'Loyal Republicans" "stooped" pretty quickly and pretty low.

    1. Mitt Romney, to name a recent example. Kasich. Cruz stooped eventually but resisted for a long time. None of the Republican establishment is being included in his new administration, in which competence and experience seem to be irrelevant. The entire Bush family and their cabinets and supporters (e.g., people like Alberto Gonzalez and the entire national security staff, left and right).

      He is going to try to staff a government without tapping any of the people who know how to do it, because they are the ones who didn't support him, whether they spoke out against him or just avoided him.

    2. Was that the same Mitt Romney who went crawling to one of Trump's golf courses begging for a job?

      The "Bush family" has hung in there so far but they failed to go the extra yard by actually endorsing HRC. So their anti-Trump stand was pretty meaningless.

    3. Lots of former Bush people did endorse Clinton. But that is beside the point. If Romney is now willing to be vetted for Secretary of State, it is because he cares about our country, not for the job. He is a millionaire and doesn't need the work. I assume he believes there should be some grownups involved in running the government.

    4. Unfortunatly, as we discovered 4 years ago, Romney knows as much about international affairs as my pet cat. Except of course for that sabbatical he took in France to avoid Vietnam.

    5. Romney is sane. The others proposed are not.

    6. If Rudy is Secretary of State can he swing getting Msgr. Placa named Ambassador to the Vatican? The Analysts would love that.

  4. For months, we heard that Hillary Clinton was spending too much time on issues and not enough time showing Americans who she really was. The new script is, she spent almost no time on issues important to working class Americans, and millions of dollars trashing her opponent. More to come.

  5. Trump is surely correct that millions voted illegally. That's why the democrats fiercely oppose voter ID laws. What's to stop an illegal in California from voting? Nothing at all. Literally nothing.

    1. This is a wonderful example of how millions of conservatives reason. If there is "nothing to stop" this, then it must have happened.

    2. "Trump is surely correct that millions voted illegally."
      Now all he's got to do is prove it. Let me know when that happens.

    3. It's quite possible that "millions have voted illegally". People move and don't update their voter registration and then vote at their old polling place, which qualifies as illegal voting. It's entirely possible that millions of those illegal millions voted for Trump.

    4. Let me know when Hillary Clinton admits that there is no factual basis for Stein's claim that the polls were hacked. Selective voodoo mathematics (there are lies, damnable lies, and statistics) do not form a factual basis.

    5. You will be the first person we notify.

  6. Here are two good refutations of your nonsense:


    From Cannonfire (Joseph Cannon) today:



    Think about it. Our next president believes that millions of people committed a crime which carries a five-year sentence.

    Number of arrests: Zero.

    Are we really supposed to believe that millions committed this crime without one single arrest? Without one single proven instance? Without one named criminal? Without one single "talker"? Without one single confidante willing to squeal to the cops?

    Such a crime would require a massive amount of planning and mobilization. After all, one cannot simply show up at a poll and vote; voters must pre-register and arrive at the assigned polling station. Each registered voter learns about that location via an official government notice which arrives in the mail. How can any person or group co-ordinate millions of people in this enormous criminal endeavor without one single incriminating communication?

    How can any conspiracy encompass millions of people without one slip-up? How can anyone hope to pay off millions without leaving any kind of trail?

    And why would this conspiracy of millions inflate Hillary's vote in California (which is where much of her popular vote advantage occurred), as opposed to, say, Florida or North Carolina?

    This may be the stupidest conspiracy theory I've ever encountered, and I've been tracking this crap since the 1970s. It's stupider than the one about Queen Elizabeth being a space lizard. Stupider than the one about the plot to invent the Dark Ages. Stupider than the one about Stephen King killing John Lennon. Stupider than the one about "crisis actors" at Sandy Hook.

    And yet both Donald Trump and his insane supporters actually believe in this delusional nonsense. "

    1. Our next president "believes" that our current president was born in Kenya. Or at least he claimed that for years. It's hard to say what our next president actually believes; all that we know for sure is that he's more than willing to spout absolute drivel.

    2. Trump's supporters are "insane" and "delusional"? And you still cannot figure out why voters who do not fully support liberal dogma might choose not to embrace Democrats? Really? Keep it up and see if it works for you in the future.

    3. He waw being hyperbolic, Jeffrey. Like Trump often is. He only meant people like you are insane and delusional.

    4. So whoever believes in such a conspiracy is insane and delusional, and conservatives like me who do not believe in such a conspiracy are also insane and delusional? You guys have covered all your bases.

    5. You need evidence to believe in something or else, yes, you are delusional. A theory isn't correct just because you believe in it and all beliefs are not equally valid.

    6. So people who believe in this supposed conspiracy, AND those who do not, are BOTH delusional? What?? I suspect the "facts" you require to determine delusional vs. non-delusional are agreement with your opinion.

  7. If the "fact checkers" had stuck to checking facts instead of giving opinions about opinions, they might have helped. But they cannot even tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, and as a result they have no more credibility than the media as a whole. They took a good idea but ended up hoist by their own petards.

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