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.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.
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.”
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.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!
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."
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