GOBLINS AND US: Who's actually driving the GOP bus?


"[We're] looking at ghosts and empties:" This past Monday night, ghosts and goblins were reliably spotted in many American neighborhoods.

Last night, we even thought we spotted some goblins right there on cable TV!

To be honest, we also found ourselves thinking of Paul Simon's "ghosts and empties," the traveling companions he was hoping to lose as he journeyed towards a real and metaphorical Graceland. 

The lyrics appeared in 1986. To revisit the context, click here.

First up last night was Tucker Carlson, a reliable goblin on Fox. Ranting about Joe Biden's speech, he offered such comments as these:

CARLSON (11/2/22): I'm just fascinated by the president's speech tonight, in front of the slum that he created at Union Station in Washington. 
Why do you think, six days before an election in which his party is behind, he's yelling at American voters, attacking them? Why isn't he talking about why you should vote for him? Why is he browbeating the public, screaming at us again?

Viewers who hadn't watched the speech might have come to believe that Biden, standing in front of a slum, had been yelling and screaming at them again.

So it went at the start of this disordered program last night. Tomorrow, we'll offer a possible thought about "the drama of the [abandoned] child"—the psychodrama which is, perhaps, being played out as Carlson performs his nightly goblin routine.

One hour later, we saw an unusual exchange between Alex Wagner and Chris Hayes. At issue was an important question:

Who is driving the lunacy of the current "MAGA Republican" world?

Wagner introduced Hayes as "my dear friend." In doing so, she checked a corporate branding box. 

Wagner started by wondering "if there is actually a distinction to be made, as the president insists there is, between Republicans and MAGA Republicans." She was referring to that same speech, the speech in which the president had allegedly screamed and yelled at us again!

Let's return to what Wagner said:

It becomes more and more clear that Wagner thinks that Those People Are All Just Alike—that Biden and other are very silly in thinking that some distinction can be drawn between different groups of such Others.

In response, Hayes said that some Republican officeholders would accept an election defeat. Wagner now moved toward her real point—and as she did, she made a strange remark about who is leading the Republican Party:

WAGNER (11/2/22): I guess I should say, there is a distinction between, not only between MAGA Republican and regular, truth-accepting Republicans, but also, who are we talking about? There are the elected officials, and then there's the grassroots. 

And at this point, I truly feel like the grassroots are actually leading the party, right?


WAGNER: And in the numbers, if you look at who is in the Republican Party, 61% of them believe that the election was stolen for Joe Biden. 

Are the grassroots "actually leading the party," whatever that fuzzy phrase means? That's what Wagner said she believes, and Hayes seemed to say he agrees.

Wagner also seemed to say that a substantial chunk of GOP voters do not believe that the last election was stolen. Still and all, she continued as shown:

WAGNER (continuing directly): The president of the United States, Joe Biden, who wonI think he wants to believe that that number is smaller. Or he believes in the goodness of the country, and two-thirds of the Republican Party as it is—the people of the Republican Party—do not believe he is legitimate.

Moments before, Wagner had noted the way Donald J. Trump had said, in a recent post, that the United States is "evil." Now, she herself seemed to suggest that Biden is a bit naive when he believes in "the goodness of the country."

For the record, 61 percent isn't "two thirds," but it's a healthy three fifths! In Wagner's assessment, three-fifths of the GOP grassroots believe the election was stolen for Biden. 

Three fifth is a substantial chunk! Eventually, Hayes expressed this view about what that figure means:

HAYES: I think they're a majority, the majority dominant faction in the Republican Party, though not entirely, right? There's a minority which is not in that faction. 

It's the majority faction that runs one of the two major parties. It's a minority in the broad American populace, which still to this day retains a robust, pro-democracy majority, along the lines of 60 percent, I would say probably. But there is a dominance of this anti-democratic faction in the Republican Party, and that's really the whole issue.

The multimillionaire dear friends had agreed on several points:

They agreed that a majority of the Republican rank and file believe the last election was stolen. More significantly, they seemed to agree on this somewhat fuzzy point:

They seemed to agree that this belief means that these people are "anti-democratic"—that they aren't "pro-democracy." To what extent does that pleasing assertion actually seem to make sense?

Let's review the analysis offered by these ghosts:

In their assessment, three fifths of the GOP rank and file believe the election was stolen. We know of exactly zero evidence in support of that inflammatory claim about that election—but for some unstated reason, the dear friends agreed that people who hold this unfounded belief are "anti-democratic."

That's a highly simplistic claim. On a tribal basis, it's also a claim which is highly pleasing. But to what degree does it make clear sense? 


Voter X believes the last election was stolen, Also, Voter X is very angry about that.

On what basis does this make Voter X an opponent of democracy? Wouldn't you be angry if you thought an election had been stolen from the candidate you prefer?

For ourselves, we don't agree with voters who think that the least election was stolen. Two years have passed, and Donald J. Trump has presented exactly zero evidence in support of this poisonous claim.

That said, we also don't approve of the underwhelming work routinely done by the corporate-selected ghosts and empties we're offered on MSNBC. Let's return to this foundational point:

We think Wagner is out of her mind when she says that this dominant faction of Others is "leading the [Republican] Party." 

In making that claim, she satisfies an ancient tribal desire—the desire to savage the Others, millions at a time. But in our view, she's also making zero sense.

Dear God! Does anyone think that the lunacies driving the GOP are emerging from the GOP's grassroots—from the Republican rank and file? Whatever became of this fairly obvious observation:

The lunacies driving the GOP bus are largely coming from Donald J. Trump and the people assembled around him.

The lunacies are coming from other high-profile players in addition to Trump. But are these lunacies really coming from the rank and file? 

Starting with "Barack Obama was born in Kenya," the rank and file have largely believed the various claims they've been handed. As experts have noted, this teaches a major anthropology lesson concerning the limits of human discernment.

But did these claims emerge from the rank and file? Are they the leaders of the pack? In what way are the rank and file playing the leadership role in the ongoing lunacy which is taking the nation apart?

How empty the ghosts of cable news can turn out to be! Watching Wagner, it's fairly clear that she holds the most ancient instinct of the species:

You simply can't talk to these Others, this multimillionaire Brown graduate says. You shouldn't even try!

She said as much to Tim Ryan on her program Tuesday night. (Why had he been willing to talk to Those People at Monday evening's Fox News Town Hall?)

She was saying as much in her colloquy with her dear friend last night. Astoundingly, she even rolled her eyes at Biden's belief that "Amerika is a good country.".

We think the GOP rank and file has been stunningly gullible as they've come to believe the various things they've been told. That said, we think it has reflected poorly on our own blue tribe as we have come to ape the flyweight work we keep getting handed by our own corporate-selected tribunes. 

Carlson was crazy as always last night. He performed his Standard Goblin routine, as he increasingly does on a nightly basis.

One hour later, Simon's line popped into our heads, his line about "ghosts and empties." We also thought we were looking at the route our failing blue tribe has taken on its way toward tribal defeat.

Tomorrow: Tucker and Trump and Lake oh my! Where do these goblins come from?


  1. tl;dr
    ...but: thank God for incomparable Tucker Carlson!

    "Who is driving the lunacy of the current "MAGA Republican" world?"

    Wait, are you saying they are the ones who believe in wimmin trapped inside men's bodies, and other liberal cult lunacies, dear Bob?

    ...oh noes, tell us it ain't so...

    1. They think Republican voters don't know why they're voting Republican. Republicans are happy to let them think so because it produces electoral dividends in Republicans' favor. They just can't fathom that wimmin trapped in men's bodies, pregnant men, chest feeding, family as heteronormative bigotry, CRT, open racist hate for white people, hate for police unless they're shooting a Republican woman in the face, denial of economic suffering, middle class who paid their own tuition paying the tuition of people who majored in gender studies, endless expenditures to a war Ukraine has already lost, interviews with tranny activists whose issues are degrading women and calling for the normalization of a penis bulge in women, screeching about banning books in school that feature gay porn, hit normal people like severe mental illness and break from reality afflicting the entire Democrat party.

    2. 10:18,
      Are you waiting for Ashton Kutcher and Christopher Rufo to come out, so you can get your moment on television?

    3. If you want to know why the GOP is doing well only consider the story of the woman in Prospect Park whose dog was killed by a vagrant who should have been in prison.

      There has been a stunning swing by women voters to the GOP. Abortion isn’t a big issue and if you think about the current context it makes sense given that women now have control over their decisions and destinies in a way they didn’t in previous times. No one is really stuck in an abusive relationship and women can now support themselves in a way that was not possible before.

      So if you ask them whether they would rather hear the occasional story of an abortion they think was justified but that was obstructed or prevented, versus watch their dog or child killed in the street, they are going with whatever works better for the safety and welfare of them and their children. They know this is the choice they are making when they vote.

    4. And all of that screeching is coming from the right wing, as a caricature of what the left is about. The left itself is talking about preserving social security, rebuilding our infrastructure, increasing wages and supporting the work of unions, protecting women's rights and opposing efforts to make women second-class citizens again, increasing pay for teachers and helping our schools return to normal, reducing oil prices and inflation and controlling corporate greed, helping to support Ukraine from Russian invasion, dealing with immigration issues in a humane way, helping to fight climate change by encouraging alternative energy and conservation, undoing the damage done to our institutions by Trump, and dealing with the ongoing pandemic and associated health issues. These issues are way more important to Democrats than the largely fictional culture wars touted by @10:18 above.

      Democrats do support civil rights and equal treatment for all people, even those rare individuals with unusual health issues, but this is not a major preoccupation on the left, as it seems to be on the right. @10:18 sounds so worried about bulges that our greater concern for him would be finding him appropriate mental health access so he can talk that stuff out with a trained therapist. Parity for mental health treatment is a step in that direction that Democrats support, especially for deranged Republicans who can't wrap their heads around a changing society.

      It does strike me as unfortunate that Republicans want to ban people along with books and I wonder if there is a connection between the two, involving banning whatever confuses or upsets you. And if anyone is concerned about maintaining those bulges along with the rest of "masculinity" it is Tucker. I wonder why Somerby doesn't notice that Carlson's fixation with avoiding feminization is his true pathology, not his mother divorcing his daddy.

    5. "There has been a stunning swing by women voters to the GOP."

      Another big lie. Women have been registering and voting in larger numbers to oppose the overturn of Roe v Wade, but there has been a slight shift among white suburban women to the right in the past week. That may be due to perceptions about crime, but in reality there is no overall increase in crime since 2019 (crime is still down from those numbers). The main exception is homicides, which increased during covid.

      A random homeless person who kills a dog is not a crime wave. It is a bit odd that people will show more concern about the dog than about homelessness in human beings, but that is why we have homelessness. You don't measure crime increases or decreases in anecdotes.

    6. Democratic Platform:

      “Democracy will end if you elect a Republican!

      Life, as the world knows it, will end!

      They gonna put ya’ll back in chains!

      You gonna be barefoot AND pregnant with Putin’s spawn!

      Oh…and crime isn’t up, why it’s stable.”


    7. Cecelia, if you had ever been taught to read, you could go to any Democratic Party candidate and read his or her platform on their webpage. Here is the one for my Senatorial candidate, Bennet, in CO:

      1. Sustaining a resilient farm economy.
      2. Tackling climate change head-on by building clean energy sources.
      3. Protecting public lands and wild places (conservation).
      4. Protect the right to vote, improve access to the ballot and take on Washington special interests.
      5. Economic leadership and jobs so all can share in America's prosperity.
      6. Providing a high quality education to children.
      7. Fiscal responsibility and a bipartisan solution to un-sustainable deficits.
      8. Building on the progress of the ACA (health care).
      9. Fixing our broken immigration system while maintaining the rule of law.
      10. Justice and equality for all (civil rights).
      11. Strengthening our national security and democracy at home and abroad.
      12. Supporting rural communities.
      13. Making our state the best place for servicemembers, veterans, and their families to work, live, and retire.

      Does any of this sound anything at all like what Cecelia posted?

      Maybe conservatives are lying about other things too.

    8. Cecelia, go drink a beer and wake up before commenting again.

    9. Anonymouse 11:29am, very impressive!

      Oh, yeah! The country can go read your platform, while all your sachems say nothing but what Ive quoted.

    10. Especially when you consider the highest crime rates are in Red States, right Cec?

      Red states and rural folks are hooked on the idea that they are all living in Mayberry RFD or some empty rust belt town with no people, largely because of the way the media talks about urban and rural people. On the one hand you have screeching feminazis and murderous gangsters and on the other you have kindly (white) Christian working folks and hard scrabble military vets.

      It just ain’t so:


    11. No one Red State citizen thinks they’re living in anything approaching reruns on Nick at Night.

      But that’s the last of your concern for anyone, anyhow.

    12. Why would a rural farmer or veteran want to vote for someone who screeches about CRT and transpeople on swim teams, instead of someone who is eager to address their local issues with agriculture, veteran's affairs, health care, etc.?

      MAGA voters want permission to hate others and to disobey rules of civility while toting guns. That is what Boebert promises her district. She went from a comfortable lead to margin-of-error and perhaps losing her district, as local Republicans endorsed Adam Frisch, her Democratic opponent. She has made such a fool of herself that even Republicans are distancing themselves from her and the Denver Post urged people in her district to put her out of office.

      That is the way you come across here, Cecelia. It is hard to see why anyone good and decent, whether they live in a city or rural area, would vote for someone like her, especially since she has gotten absolutely nothing done for her district (which is rural ranching and agriculture and not the wild wild west). Haters go MAGA. Good decent people have lost their representation in much of the country. And that strikes me as an assault on democracy too.

    13. It is unfathomable to Democrats that people vote with cultural trends in mind because they care about their families. The pitch of making group x "second class citizens again" appeals only to boomers because others can see that they have education and job opportunities. "Protect democracy" sounds like bullshit to most voters and they think Democrats are at least as damaging to institutions as GOP if they think about a broad abstraction like that at all which they don't.
      Homeless violent criminals attacking women and dogs is viewed by a voter as a result of Democrat policies on drugs, immigration, and cashless bail. We live in an age of every crime getting maximum exposure and increases in random violence no matter where you live or what you're doing so voters are attributing that to failed Democrat policies. Don't say guns because more voters think Paul Pelosi should have had a weapon. Top it off with Democrats telling parents the power to shape their children resides in the state not in parents. They'll love that.

    14. Safety is of utmost importance to parents of school children who vote for those in lockstep with the NRA.
      Now, pull my other finger.

    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    16. Anonymouse 12:13pm, then everything you claim makes Boebert the Republican version of Joe Biden as represented in his speech.

      Trump. Trump. Fascist.

      Democrats address no policies specifically. The best you can do is to tell people to go to a website and read simple declarations.

      You say that CRT and curriculum on sexuality are the stuff of DeSantis’ fever dreams, yet you defend both and bemoan real action taken against the inculcation of racial guilt in first graders and school programs with dancing drag queens.

      You fool many people, but there are politicians runnning who hear your defense of such things and challenge it directly

    17. More and more parents are so concerned about their children's safety, they'll be voting for a party that stonewalls anything that might make school shootings rarer.
      Makes sense, if you don't think about it.

    18. Cecelia,
      I've been to the meetings. Democrats don't even like trans kids. They just want you to be the victim of everything they do. It's hard not to vote for that.

    19. “Cecelia, what does that mean. Talking to you is like talking to my crazy aunt.

      Who the fuck cares what Red State citizens "think"?”

      uhhhh…the anonymouse who just addressed me with a description of what people in red states think.

    20. Anonymouse 1:12pm, I wouldn’t throw that blanket over the majority of regular Democrats, but the entire country, as it exists now, is the bete noire of anonymices.

    21. When did I defend CRT?

      People who are told that CRT is happening are not defending their families from anything, because CRT is only taught in grad programs at universities, and then mainly in law schools.

      What does a Republican family sacrifice in order to be protected from CRT: (1) extension of medicare to more families, (2) better funding for their schools and high teacher pay which attracts better teachers, (3) support for all types of social programs, some of which they may need at some point, such as school lunches, (4) all of the items on the list for Bennet, which are similar to those of Democrats in other states but NOT similar to Republicans who seem to have no platform or program ideas beyond addressing culture war issues and starving the beast (voting against anything Dems propose and anything that involves govt spending). What do individual voters get by rejecting everything that would be positive change in their communities and lives?

    22. Cecelia has been pretending that all anonymous commenters are the same person and attribute wrong beliefs and statements to all of them as a group.

      How do you address the comments of a specific person? If they have a nym, you can use it. If they don't have a nym, cite the time stamp on the comment you are answering or responding to. For example, Cecelia wrote something @1:20. Even if there were three Cecelia's here, I could make it clear which one I was responding to by citing the time.

      This isn't rocket science. Cecelia prefers to debate a conglomerate of anonymous commenters instead of one at a time, because that way she can make up beliefs that none of us have expressed and pretend someone actually said them, when we haven't. And she can alternately pretend that there is only one person writing the anonymous comments, or several, without acknowledging that there are both right wing and left wing anonymous commenters here, sometimes Cecelia herself writes as anonymous. So she doesn't have to answer anyone at all while making up and attributing false statements to everyone.

      Somerby couldn't do it better himself, as he maligns whole groups of journalists and a blue tribe without ever having to address anyone specifically. In fact, maybe that is what Tucker does -- I don't know because I don't and will not ever watch him. No matter who is using this tactic, it indicates bad faith and destroys meaningful discussion. But that's what trolls always do.

    23. Anonymouse4:15pm, I generally do include the time stamp. Sorry to have missed one.

    24. Remember that time stamps are nyms mext time you want to lump all anonymous commenters together.

  2. Today Somerby plays a little game of splitting hairs over the proportion of Republicans who still believe the big lie. Alex Wagner says two-thirds and 61% and Somerby points out that is 3/5s, as if that were not still a majority, and as if it matters

  3. The percentages vary depending on who you are polling. At one point Wagner talks about grassroots Republicans, at another they "seem to be" talking about the Republican Party and later about Republican leadership. These are not all the same group of people. To Somerby, the difference amounts to journalistic malfeasance -- a stick to beat Alex Wagner (but never Chris Hayes). Somerby ignores that the same picture emerges regardless -- a majority believe the big lie, and he ignores that Biden spoke about a troubling situation in our country, caused by these Republicans who are, regardless of their fluctuating percentages, the majority of the Republican Party.


    "The Anti-Defamation League reported in May of 2022 that over the past decade, “right-wing extremists have committed the majority of extremist-related killings in all years but one—2016, the year of the shooting spree at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a person motivated by Islamist extremism. Of the 443 people killed at the hands of extremists over that 10-year period, 333 (or 75%) were killed by right-wing extremists.”

    This is happening in our country and Somerby has nothing much to say about -- he is too busy wondering why the press didn't immediately report on the status of Pelosi's security system -- while the man himself was undergoing brain surgery for being hit with a hammer. Somerby has no interest in the state of our union, just the state of an elderly man's burglar alarm.

    1. Somerby's interest is in carrying water for the Republican Party, not an elderly man's burglar alarm.

  4. "Voter X believes the last election was stolen, Also, Voter X is very angry about that.

    On what basis does this make Voter X an opponent of democracy? Wouldn't you be angry if you thought an election had been stolen from the candidate you prefer?"

    Has Somerby already forgotten the insurrection on 1/6? Has he forgotten that this plot involved grassroots Republicans traveling to the capitol, listening to a Trump rally and then marching to the Capitol Building to disrupt proceedings in progress to certify the elecion results?

    That surely fits the description "anti-democratic" even in Somerby's excessively literal mind. What is more anti-democratic that overthrowing an election?

    And now we have groups of citizen activists, grassroots Republicans, forming posses in Arizona to engage in voter intimidation as people try to use dropboxes to cast their ballots. How? They are carrying weapons and taking pictures of those depositing ballots in order to accuse them of being "mules" (after Dinesh D'Souza's misleading film 2000 Mules). A judge has had to tell them to knock it off. But doesn't that fit Somerby's understanding of the term anti-democratic? It involves one set of voters interfering with the right to vote of another in order to affect an election result.

    And then there are the threats of violence received by election officials and poll workers and Secretaries of State and politicians nationwide, every time a Republican leader makes a speech and sics the grassroots on such targets. These people have been receiving frightening calls about violence to their families (made all too real by Pelosi's attack), to the point that they have been quitting their jobs. Those calls don't come from Republican elected politicians. They come from the Republican grassroots. Those people who are angry about the election and easily misdirected to commit these crimes (yes, this is illegal) designed to intimidate those carrying out our elections. Is that not anti-democratic in Somerby's mind? If not, why not?

    Would it be possible for the MAGA Republican crowd to engage in such large-scale intimidation of Democrats and other voters if they did not have a multitude of deranged MAGA Extremists among the grassroots engaging in these acts? The people driving trucks through demonstrations and defacing their homes and doxing public workers are not elected MAGA Republicans like MTG and Gaetz and DeSantis (they are just the ones giving marching orders) -- these acts are being committed by the grassroots -- so yes, it does matter that they are the majority and it also matters that they are anti-democratic (whether they realize that about themselves or not). Somerby's attempt to portray them otherwise is noted.

    1. There is no reason to say 2000 Mules is misleading.
      Zuckerbucks spent 420 million bribing election officials to help Biden. The Constitution clearly states election rules are decided by state legislators. So all the rule changes by election boards, state officials and anyone else. So these votes should have been nullifednullified. The irony is, all these shenanigans for Biden

    2. At least the UK knew.


  5. It seems as though Somerby is arguing that if we cannot tell which grassroots Republicans are the extremists, then we cannot hold any of them to account. It is a kind of reverse "I am Spartacus" in which every Republican shrugs and says "I didn't do it" and then that must mean that all Republicans are good, decent people, except the nutcase who just got caught in Pelosi's house with a hammer. This is actually a kind of Bart Simpson defense, but someone is doing that stuff and yes, it is anti-democratic because its intent is to subvert our democratic process by overturning a valid election result, preventing Democrats from voting in the midterms, and intimidating anyone who tries to do their job conscientiously.

    Next Somerby will be telling us that DePape is just a poor mentally ill homeless man who didn't mean anything specific with his hammering. And how can any Republicans be held to account for such a man's actions?

  6. Tucker Carlson's shtick is a lazier, shittier version of Ashton Kutcher's "Punk'd".

  7. "For ourselves, we don't agree with voters who think that the least [sic] election was stolen. "

    Why would Somerby even feel the need to say this, if he were a liberal? Even moderate and centrist Democrats don't believe this, but no one on the left or center believes the election was stolen.

    So, why does Somerby even say this? Has he forgotten who he is pretending to be?

  8. "In what way are the rank and file playing the leadership role in the ongoing lunacy which is taking the nation apart?"

    The anger on the right, the sense of entitlement, the desire to restore America to a fantasy past that never existed, this all arises from the grassroots. The demagogues who appeal to these desires have given direction to the mob, but the deplorables were out there as individuals before that happened.

    Trump wasn't the first demagogue ever to evoke that anger and give permission to a crowd to indulge in wrong behavior. There was the Tea Party with the same constituency and dynamics. And before that there were racist bigots opposing civil rights. And fascist sympathizers and nationalist bigots. And before that there were Know-Nothings and religious zealots and anti-union thugs and eugenicists and there were the Confederates.

    How do these people drive their party leaders? Today, Republican elected officials are afraid that if they do not follow Trump's line, they will be primaried and their voters will switch to a truer believer and throw them out of their jobs. That is how Trump enforces party discipline. He directs his mob against those who dare to show less than total loyalty to him. He does this knowingly and his followers enact his will. He keeps them in line by throwing them the red meat of hatred, validating their worst impulses and making them feel both right and wronged by others, feeding their entitlement and giving voice to their hate (which Somerby mischaracterizes as anger). All demagogues do this -- their power comes from their multitude of grass roots followers, from giving them what they demand.

    Rachel Maddow has been talking about Father Coughlin. Somerby should listen to her instead of attacking her all the time. Assuming he is actually clueless and not deliberately posing as an idiot.

    Republicans are not all good decent people. Some of them are not our best. It is foolish to argue whether it is 61% or 3/5 or two thirds of them. The bottom line is that there are still too many MAGAts and they are why we are struggling to maintain our democracy against violent right wing threats. It isn't the fault of random homeless guys who kill dogs. That guy with the hammer was specifically sent to Nancy Pelosi's house to attack her, but being deranged, he got the wrong person. It was predictable, just as predictable as that the next assassin may not miss. But Somerby wants to debate whether 61% is 3/5 and not 2/3.

  9. Why is Somerby still talking about Goblins when it is Nov 3 and Halloween is long over? Many children have eaten all their candy by now.

    "We also thought we were looking at the route our failing blue tribe has taken on its way toward tribal defeat."

    There are more Democratic voters in the US than Republicans, we currently hold the House, Senate and Presidency. How does that make us the failing tribe?

    Democrats are not the ones who are being investigated and tried for crimes against our democracy. That may be why Republicans are being called anti-democratic after their failed insurrection.

    Merely calling us failed and horrible and claiming that we are sliding into the sea doesn't make any of that true. It is just more Somerby name-calling without any evidence. And what kind of so-called liberal feels that way about his own tribe? I think Somerby needs some mental-health help.

  10. "Tomorrow: Tucker and Trump and Lake oh my! Where do these goblins come from?"

    Meanwhile, we still haven't heard anything more about Ezra's interview with Rachel, or about those focus groups, much less about Professor Johnson (who apparently has no first name [Jason], or any of the other people who have been maligned without evidence, then abandoned along the roadside like Somerby's empties. Is this how a responsible media critic operates?

    I am sure that Somerby will talk about Carlson (who he now mentions every day) and Trump and perhaps Lake, but who will Somerby malign? Some black op-ed writer no doubt, who will be called names while Somerby quotes from Carlson or Lake instead of his nemesis-of-the-day.

    And it is predictable that Biden made another speech about democracy last night but Somerby has nothing to say about it. Biden is the nominal leader of the Democratic party and us liberals, but Somerby mentions Carlson more frequently. And he calls Carlson a goblin, but we know he doesn't mean it, because he also expresses sympathy for his childhood and calls him a poor boy.

    1. How rich is Carlson? Richer than Rachel Maddow? Richer than Stephanie Ruhle?

  11. If someone votes for the Republican candidate, they are voting for election denial and the potential suppression of votes in many cases. It isn’t hidden. Many Republican candidates, officeholders and party officials are explicit about these things.

    The GOP candidate for governor in Arizona, Lake, has stated that she would not have certified the 2020 election, and this indicates what she would do if she is governor in 2024 and the Democrat wins her state. Trump gave Arizona senate candidate Masters some advice: answer every question by saying the 2020 election was rigged.

    And these election denier candidates like Lake were chosen by Republican primary voters over others as the GOP general election candidate.

    Republican voters cannot be held blameless here. Ignorance is no excuse.


    1. "If someone votes for the Republican candidate, they are voting for election denial..."

      Meh. They are voting against election-fraud denial.

  12. “Who's actually driving the GOP bus?”

    Who chose Trump from among all those candidates running in the 2016 primary?

    Hint: it wasn’t the Republican Party.

    It was Republican voters.

    They put him in charge.

    Who chose the current crop of election denier candidates in the primaries?

    It was Republican voters.

    Who rejected Liz Cheney in Wyoming?

    The Republican primary voters of Wyoming.

    I sense a pattern.

  13. “The lunacies driving the GOP bus are largely coming from Donald J. Trump and the people assembled around him.”

    This is patently ridiculous. Trump is a result of the Republican Party, not vice versa.

    1. patently definition: "clearly; without doubt"

      Before Trump there was the Tea Party. Before them, there was Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan and his followers. This stuff didn't start with Trump and it won't end with him. Roger Stone goes back to Nixon. Republicans were ridiculous during their persecution of Clinton (conspiracy theories claimed the Clintons murdered their enemies). People were lunatics over rampant pedophilia and satanism back in the 1980s. There were secessionist militias then too. The internet helped all the crazies find each other, but Trump was a Democrat then.

  14. Somerby is in denial.
    Anyone who isn't a bigot, or isn't perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party over two decades ago.

  15. An excellent Howler today. The first few times I came across the "anti-democracy" script, a vague thought flitted through my mind, similar to what Somerby says today: being outraged over what you BELIEVE is a stolen election doesn't make you anti-democracy. But after you hear a script repeated dozens or hundreds of times, you get intellectually lazy and just go along with it. So I'm glad Somerby pushed back against it. (He also makes good points about the tendency to want to paint everyone with the same brush and who is leading whom.) HOWEVER, and I can't stress this enough, Bob, dude, the "anti-democracy" accusation is SPOT ON when it comes to the Republicans who know better!! The average Joe and Jane Republican (and Dimbot Mao) might well be deceived about the election. But all of those Senators, all of those Reps, all of those right-wing media figures, all of the current candidates running on election denial, all of the Republican office holders at the state level that are going along with election denial and election rigging -- these people ARE anti-democracy. The vast majority of them know better and yet are going along with the Big Lie and actively trying to rig the system in various ways. So if you're going to debunk the "anti-democracy" script when it gets applied to Joe and Jane Republican (and Dimbot Mao), then every time you do so, you should also point out that the script actually DOES apply to many Republicans who know better about the election results. (And not just Trump, btw.)

    1. Mao is working on a troll farm -- he knows what he is saying too. Why lump him with politically naive grassroots who may be deceived?

    2. How do you know that? He strikes me as just kind of a weirdo, tbh.

    3. You haven’t been here very long then. He makes errors no English speaker/American would make.

    4. I've been here 18 years. And I read carefully. I haven't seen any obvious sign he's some sort of paid troll. He seems sincere in his delusions. And no one from a troll farm is going to spend as much time and effort as he does on a tiny, inconsequential, obscure blog like this.

    5. I don’t understand why Somerby spends time here rither. Mao makes telling language and cultural errors that suggest he is not a native speaker. His agenda does change. The consistency suggests this is a job not a hobby. Most others agree and din’t bother engaging with him. You won’t get serious responses back.

  16. To those who are downplaying the threat that our democracy is currently under from the right, you have no idea what you're talking about. Here is some homework for you in case you care about our democracy:

    1) https://wapo.st/3Ue43bA (Small parts of this might be slightly dated -- for example, maybe it's DeSantis who will become the Republican nominee, instead of Trump. Who knows? Regardless, the main points still apply.)

    2) https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/january-6-insurrection-trump-coup-2024-election/620843/

    3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI_IfsR2ToU

  17. If you have seen zero evidence of 2020 election fraud, you haven't taken an hour to review some. There are books, film docs, and sworn affidavits from poll workers, computer networking experts and voting machine experts. There is 100% chance there was massive fraud on multiple layers.
    Yes, China interfered for Biden on computer networks that
    were not supposed to be connected to the internet, but were.
    At this point 2020 election fraud deniers are as ignorant, uncurious and pathetic

    1. And none of this supposed evidence was presented in court or convinced any judge.

    2. It didn’t even convince Trump appointed judges.

    3. "Penalties appear to be mounting for those breaking the law for Republican election victories. Republican operatives Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl pleaded guilty in October to a felony charge of telecommunications fraud for robocalls to depress the Black vote in Cleveland in 2020 and are facing fines and up to a year in prison. And earlier this week, a judge ordered two leaders of True the Vote, a right-wing organization pushing the voter fraud conspiracy theories at the heart of the debunked film 2000 Mules, to jail for contempt of court. An election logistics software company they have publicly accused of stealing the election for Biden has sued them for defamation; they claim to have evidence of election fraud but have refused to produce it." https://bit.ly/3FHhVHl

  18. Democrats keep screaming about “right wing extremists” but millions of Americans are about to take power away from Democrats.

    People look around and recognize that their friends and neighbors aren’t going to blow them up and they know these same people vote Republican.

    So it dawns on them Democrats are lying and they are the extremists who constantly malign good people for not supporting their extremist agenda.

    1. I saw Republicans in my neighborhood drive a pickup truck through a bunch of community college students at a BLM rally down Main St. It was not reassuring. They also trashed a house down the block because it had a Biden lawn sign. So I don’t think your theory works.

  19. Can I say this conversation has been disappointing. I mean is it only me, who'd rather be governed by lunatics then be lead to well defined point by a group of Heidegerrite bent on destroying all that was achieved 1960-1998!