BREAKING: The soul of a tribal player like Milbank!


Tomorrow, what Lemon said:
Dana Milbank is thoroughly sure that The Others behaved like "idiots."

Such hard-wired thoughts are a hard-wired part of the hard-wired prehuman condition. Life-forms like Milbank have performed this way all through the annals of time.

How do we know what Milbank thinks? He tells us in his column in today's Washington Post.

The headline on the column says "Putin's useful idiots." Cherry-picking from Mueller's indictment, he scatters his I-. S- and F-bombs around:
MILBANK (2/21/18): [W]hat Mueller did expose last week should sicken us all: Vladimir Putin has played Americans across the political spectrum for suckers. In particular, the Russian dictator has turned Trump supporters into the useful idiots of the 21st century.

The phrase “useful idiots,” often attributed to an earlier Vladimir, referred to Westerners who had been successfully manipulated by Soviet propaganda. But even Lenin would have to smile at the way Putin exploited Americans in 2016 to support Trump, or at least to oppose Hillary Clinton. Mueller's indictment is full of nauseating detail about how Putin made fools of Americans.

Using Facebook groups such as “Being Patriotic,” they organized “March for Trump” and “Down with Hillary” rallies in New York, “Florida Goes Trump” rallies in Florida and “Miners for Trump” rallies in Pennsylvania, among others.

They attracted more than 100,000 followers to a Twitter account falsely claiming to be controlled by the Tennessee Republican Party, @TEN_GOP, and got hundreds of thousands of online followers for groups they created such as “Army of Jesus” and “South United.”
Milbank starts by saying that Putin played Americans for suckers "across the political spectrum." He then starts name-calling the idiots and the fools, but they don't seem to turn up at random.

According to Milbank, the "idiots" and "fools" seem to have come from across the political spectrum of Donald J. Trump supporters. As has been true through the annals of time, The Others are always extremely dumb, though that isn't true of Us.

In truth, we humans are inclined to be dumb, no one more so than Milbank. Before we show you why we say that, let's take a look at one of the parts of Mueller's text to which Milbank refers:
36. Defendants and their co-conspirators also created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if U.S. persons or groups controlled them. For example, the ORGANIZATION created and controlled the Twitter account "Tennessee GOP," which used the handle @TEN_GOP. The @TEN_GOP account falsely claimed to be controlled by a U.S. state political party. Over time, the @TEN _ GOP account attracted more than 100,000 online followers.
There you see Mueller's paragraph 36, in which Mueller refers to the 100,000 "idiots" (Milbank's term) who were attracted to @TEN_GOP.

What idiots The Others were, Milbank says. Imagine being usefully idiotic enough to sign up for something pure Russkie like that!

In fact, there was no particular way to know that the Twitter account in question was Russkie in origin. Meanwhile, Milbank forgets to name-call the people Mueller mentioned in paragraph 34:
34. Defendants and their co-conspirators also created thematic group pages on social media sites, particularly on the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram. ORGANIZATION controlled pages addressed a range of issues, including: immigration (with group names including "Secured Borders"); the Black Lives Matter movement (with group names including "Blacktivist"); religion (with group names including "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus"); and certain geographic regions within the United States (with group names including "South United" and "Heart of Texas"). By 2016, the size of many ORGANIZATION-controlled groups had grown to hundreds of thousands of online followers.
How many "idiots" and "fools" signed on with the Blacktivist site? (We would suggest that the best American answer is "none.") More specifically, was that one of the many groups that grew to "hundreds of thousands of online followers?"

Mueller's indictment doesn't specifically say. It does say that the Russkies carefully checked to see which sites were gaining adherents, and that they maintained their pursuit of black voters right to the end of the game:
37. To measure the impact of their online social media operations, Defendants and their coconspirators tracked the performance of content they posted over social media. They tracked the size of the online U.S. audiences reached through posts, different types of engagement with the posts (such as likes, comments, and reposts), changes in audience size, and other metrics. Defendants and their co-conspirators received and maintained metrics reports on certain group pages and individualized posts.


46. In or around the latter half of 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through their ORGANIZATION-controlled personas, began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.

a. On or about October 16, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used the ORGANIZATION-controlled Instagram account "Woke Blacks" to post the following message: "[A] particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we'd surely be better off without voting AT ALL."

b. On or about November 3, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators purchased an advertisement to promote a post on the ORGANIZATION-controlled Instagram account "Blacktivist" that read in part: "Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it's not a wasted vote."
How many black voters turned out to be "idiots," "suckers" and "fools?" Milbank never frames his discussion of black voters that way. When he finally does mention the Woke Blacks and Blacktivist sites, he speaks very respectfully. No bomb-dropping allowed!

As has been true since we crawled from the swamp, life-forms like Milbank will name-call only The Others. They'll behave toward those within their own tents in a very different way.

There's an enormous amount of dumb material floating around our discourse. In the last campaign, some of the dumbness came from the Russkies. Most came from people like Milbank.

This is the way it's always been, ever since we crawled from the swamp. The Others are deplorably stupid. Over Here, We the transplendents are not.

Along these lines, did you see those Don Lemon ambush segments last night? In such ways, our social/political order is crumbling, just the way Putin hoped.

Tomorrow: Some sour Lemon juice


  1. Bob, what would you say about the "others" who are perpetuating the smear that the students appearing on TV regarding the shootings in Florida are actors. Should we "respect" to borrow a line from David Brooks people who buy into this garbage? Not this liberal.

    1. Since they are all part of the school's drama club, yes...they are all actors...some have done professional work

    2. I'll put my elbow on your lip.

    3. Anonyous @ 4:42 - That's some really good "what about"-ism. If you can't see that a lot of unhelpful and counter-productive crap is coming from liberals and people who generally support liberals, then you're willfully blind.

  2. Anyone who voted for Trump WAS either being idiotic or is a downright idiot.

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerFebruary 22, 2018 at 12:16 PM

      You apparently only believe that people as smart as you should be allowed to vote. Do I get to decide if you are "smart" enough to vote? The issue is whether voters are getting accurate, believable information that they can use to decide. That is what this blog is about. Are our "liberal" news sources providing accurate, believable information? Not always.

    2. "Are our "liberal" news sources providing accurate, believable information?"
      First define this: "Liberal" news sources. For example, must "liberal" news sources be owned by multi-billion dollar corporations?

  3. True that some people namecall only the OTHERS.

    In Somberby's case, the Others are Liberals, and his tribe is the Trumptard tribe, which explains his continual attacks on liberals and his defense of Trump, Moore et al.

  4. What are Milbank's political views? It's not clear that he's a liberal.

  5. Trump is a liar and a thief.

  6. The current gun control debate illustrates something about our political discourse that Somerby needs to realize. The Florida high school students almost invariably preface their remarks with "We don't want to take your guns away", "We respect your right to bear arms", etc, going out of their way to be respectful of The "Others." And yet, there is no similar respect or generosity from The Others offered to the students. (There is vilification in some cases). The tone of the debate has been set by The Others, who still refuse to have a civil discussion. Hence, a justifiable sense of frustration with people like Somerby who keep harping on this theme ("we don't know how to talk to The Others!"), seemingly oblivious to the realities.

  7. Why leave the Sanders crowd out of the discussion? Are they idiots or dupes? What kind of language did Milbank use to talk about them?

  8. "In truth, we humans are inclined to be dumb, no one more so than Milbank."

    He's not dumb at all, this particular scumbag. He's been around the block quite a few times.

    He's just doing his goebesian jobs. And in this case, it's literally goebesian: inciting russophobic hatred.

    Incidentally, may I note that the 'indictments' paper concocted by Colonel Klink and his stooges doesn't even mention the Dark Lord Putin?

    1. Oh, Mao realizes that he has to defend his paymasters ...

    2. Mao, I appreciated your Richard Hofstedter reference - quite apropos. As far as the "chase" I would think that if Mueller comes up with evidence that Trump, or his campaign, were complicit with Russians (or anyone else) in stealing the DNC's emails or turning them over to WikiLeaks, that would be meaningful, but I don't see any evidence yet that this happened, other than weak speculation (just like the fairly obviously bogus accusations against Clinton on the uranium deal). As far as the bot fake emails - if its true Russians did this, that is something. There's little common sense in the discussion. Doesn't the US sabotage electronically weapon systems of foreign countries we aren't at war with? Didn't we influence much more obviously the Yeltsin election in the 1990's? There were many reasons why Trump won. I would think that these bot fake tweets and rallies probably didn't count for much, compared to the decades long right wing assault, Hannity, Limbaugh, Fox News, Breitbart, and myriads of sites and radio talk show hosts, etc. How are any of these indictees going to be prosecuted? I agree that the "liberals" have gone of the rails on this chase thing (though I don't know what the Trump appointed special prosecutor will finally come up with). I don't get your loathing of "liberals" - is it all about tariffs and free trade?

    3. Well, personally I feel that Seth Rich should be commended for exposing the extreme corruption in the Democratic party, which is, at least in theory, a public organization. As they say: the public has the right to know.

      "As far as the bot fake emails - if its true Russians did this, that is something."

      If "Russians", i.e. people with Russian passports, sent emails - you think "that is something"? This is the World Wide Web, my friend - do you understand what that means?

      Most of the commenters here sound exactly like bots. Most likely, sitting, hundreds of them, in a huge office somewhere in India, typing the same comment with slight variations, day after day, for 20-30 bucks/day. But you only care about those (alleged) 12 "Russians". Fine, that's your business.

      As for the liberals, I guess what annoys me most is their obtuse and belligerent self-righteousness. Arrogance. More or less what Bob is writing about these days.

      And yeah, the tariffs too. MAGA.

    4. As for the liberals, I guess what annoys me most is their obtuse and belligerent self-righteousness. Arrogance.

      Yes, Mao is much more attracted to the modest humility of the Great Donald J. Trump.

      This is an ongoing problem for Democratic polls - trying to attract the wingnuts suffering from terminal inferiority complex.

      More good news for those suffering from economic anxiety:
      Half of the Senate GOP is urging Trump to reconsider his year-old decision to yank the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership. In a Friday letter, 25 of them encouraged him to “work aggressively” to renegotiate terms and rejoin the sweeping pact with 11 other Pacific Rim nations that the Obama administration originally organized. The push comes as the final version of the deal was released Wednesday.

      Trump himself cracked the door open for this particular appeal when he dangled the possibility of reviving U.S. participation in the agreement during a CNBC interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal,”


    5. 'Most of the commenters here sound exactly like bots. Most likely, sitting, hundreds of them, in a huge office somewhere in India, typing the same comment with slight variations, day after day, for 20-30 bucks/day. '

      Well, that much can be said for St. Peterburg, they probably pay you a little better, Mao ...

    6. "Yes, Mao is much more attracted to the modest humility of the Great Donald J. Trump."

      Cool. Since my characterization of the liberals as obtuse, belligerent, and self-righteous assholes doesn't seem to arouse any disagreement, I'm glad we agree on something.

    7. Who are "we"? You and the other cubicle-sharing trolls diving for kopeks? I guess it beats flipping borsch-burger patties all day.

    8. No push back on Trump being an establishment darling, either, Mao.

  9. From The Political Wire:

    “I did not know that Russian bots were promoting my campaign… I would say that the real question to be asked is: What was the Clinton campaign doing about Russian interference — they had more information about this than we had.”

    — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in an interview with Vermont Public Radio.

    So, Bernie's reaction is to blame Hillary. Wonder where he learned that.

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerFebruary 22, 2018 at 12:01 PM

      I think you have to agree that *all* the campaigns (including Trump's) were victims of the Russian interference. The American people were being manipulated to give results that benefited a foreign power. Trump (obviously) benefited personally from having the election manipulated, which brings up the issue of whether he knew about the manipulation and participated in it. However, it makes no sense to blame Hillary or Bernie or even Trump if they were not aware of the interference by the Russians or had no practical way to prevent it.

    2. I'm going to guess Trump knew nothing bout it, because all members of his team initially told us they had never met with any Russian operatives.

    3. A new low in false equivalency, even for Gee-tar Dave