The Gang That Couldn't Overturn Straight!


Be careful about the things you're told: Especially at times like these, the world of us the human beings is quite frequently Narrative All the Way Down.

Or at least, so the anthropologists tell us! With those words of caution in mind, we'll suggest you exhibit caution concerning the various things you're being told about the January 6 report.

Some thumbs may be on some scales as the report is described! Consider one basic question which has often been asked: 

Did Donald J. Trump know and believe that he actually lost the election?

Did Donald J. Trump know he had lost? Blue tribe tribunes will stress the (accurate) fact that he was repeatedly told that he had lost. 

Perhaps a bit childishly, our tribunes treat the fact that he had been told as proof that he actually knew. In so doing, they blow past an obvious fact:

People don't always believe the things they're told! That may be especially true of disordered people like Trump.

That said, how about it? Did Trump know and believe that he had actually lost? Yesterday, a news report in the New York Times addressed that question as shown:

BROADWATER AND FEUER (12/23/22): [Cassidy] Hutchinson told the committee that she had been told by several allies of Mr. Trump that he knew he had lost the election two weeks after Election Day but continued to push for any way he could try to overturn the results, first through lawsuits but then through increasingly extreme plans.

Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mark Meadows, her boss and the White House chief of staff, spoke with her on Jan. 2, 2021, after Mr. Trump had sought to persuade Georgia election officials to swing the election in his favor.

“He said something to the effect of: ‘He knows it’s over. He knows he lost. But we are going to keep trying,’ ” Ms. Hutchinson recalled Mr. Meadows saying, referring to Mr. Trump.

So pleasing! In that passage, Broadwater and Feuer quote Hutchinson describing something Meadows reportedly said on January 2.

Or do they? We'd already read the fuller transcript of Hutchinson's testimony. As you can see on page 129 of the relevant testimony, her fuller statement was this:

HUTCHINSON (9/14/22): He said something to the effect of: "He knows it’s over. He knows he lost. But we are going to keep trying. There's a chance he didn't lose. I want to pull this off for him."

"There's a chance he didn't lose?" At the New York Times, the murky, unexplained statement didn't make the cut. The preferred storyline is much better without it.

(Also, of course, the obvious: This is Hutchinson's recollection of something Meadows said. She isn't saying that she heard Trump himself say that he knew he had lost.)

That said, how about it? Did Trump know and believe that he had actually lost? 

We aren't sure we know how to answer that question. Rational people knew he had lost—but "rational" isn't the first word which comes to mind when we think about Donald J. Trump.

We can't say that we admire the way the New York Times clipped that quote. That said, at times like these, Storyline tends to prevail.

For another quick example, consider the way our blue tribe's tribunes are handling the story of Trump's angry, possibly violent reaction when he was told that he couldn't go to the Capitol Building himself. We offer these two thoughts:

What this supposedly says about Trump: Within our blue tribe enclaves, we're encouraged to think that this shows that Trump was somehow complicit in the violent behavior which took place at the Capitol. 

But does it really show that? It seems to us that, if Trump knew there would be a series of vicious attacks on police officers, he wouldn't want to be physically present while such behavior occurred. 

For that reason, Trump's desire to go to the Capitol might suggest that he didn't know that violence would be occurring. In fairness, that's the way a rational actor would likely behave. This may not hold for a disordered figure like Trump.

What this may say about the Secret Service: Our tribe also loves the idea that some members of the Secret Service were simply handmaidens to Trump. 

Doesn't this incident tend to show something different? It was his Secret Service detail, presumably including Ornato and Engel, which decided that he couldn't go to the Capitol, in spite of his strong desire to do so. Whatever Trump may (or may not) have been planning that day, it seems they weren't involved.

Many questions remain unresolved about the events of January 6. Among those questions are these:

Did Donald J. Trump know he had lost? Is it possible that he really believed the idiotic "conspiracy theories" about election fraud propounded by such crackpot associates as Giuliani and Powell?

Did he know there would be violence at the Capitol Building? Why did he want to go to to the Capitol? What did he think he was going to do if he was taken there?

Even now, we still don't know how to answer those questions. Absent the pleasures of Storyline, we're not sure that anyone does.

Overwhelmingly, we view this astounding episode as a story of monumental mental disorder, not just on the part of Donald J. Trump but among his crackpot associates.

In the January 6 report, the committee repeatedly refers to "fake electors." In the New York Times, the term "false electors" is being used.

We would be inclined to use the term "clownishly invalid electors." Across the landscape of Trump World, this is, among other things, a tale of astounding intellectual disorder. Such disorder is overpowering within the inner regions of Trump World, but it extends into our own blue world too.

In closing, let's return to that one clipped quote. Below, you see what Cassidy Hutchinson said, and what the Times reported:

What Hutchinson said:

He said something to the effect of: "He knows it’s over. He knows he lost. But we are going to keep trying. There's a chance he didn't lose. I want to pull this off for him."

What the Times reported:

He said something to the effect of: "He knows it’s over. He knows he lost. But we are going to keep trying."

Why do you think they clipped Hutchinson's statement that way? Over and over, again and again, we see such edits being made, accompanied by major or minor leaps of logic, even Over Here within our own infallible tribe.

Anthropologists say that we humans are wired this way. We've begun to think that these top experts could possibly be right!


  1. tl;dr
    "Rational people knew he had lost..."

    Assuming "he" here means "The Commander", "rational people" must mean "brain-dead liberal idiots", dear Bob, nicht wahr?

    ...because by now, the story of the establishment censoring the Hunter's laptop story is common knowledge, nicht wahr?

    ...but hey, this is one impressive goodthink from you, dear Bob.

    1. If you don't read Somerby's essay, you don't get to comment on it.

    2. Someday is arguing that commander bone spurs is guilty of believing right wing media and being disordered like his followers.

  2. It may be tenable to continue to believe that Trump didn't know he lost if you only look at Hutchinson's testimony, but there is converging evidence that Trump did know, looking at several different sources.

    Somerby has not spent much time here discussing the 1/6 Hearings while they were in progress. It is unclear whether Somerby watched them at all. That may enable him to pretend that these other statements don't exist, didn't happen. But those who watched the full hearings in real time have also heard from Bill Barr and others who spoke directly with Trump. They have heard about occasional rueful statements by Trump acknowledging his loss. They have heard from Bannon and Roger Stone about declaring a win, no matter what the outcome.

    Somerby refuses to acknowledge any of this converging evidence. Does that permit Somerby to continue to write specious essays suggesting that it was OK to do what Trump did if he genuinely believed he hadn't lost? Of course not. That makes Somerby just like Trump. Somerby is refusing to hear what he does not wish to know, as surely as Trump did.

    And what was Trump's response to those who tried to tell him about his loss? He said he couldn't acknowledge it because it would be embarrassing. He said he had to keep trying anyway or the cause would be lost (words to that effect). He said he had not exhausted all of his avenues of staying in office. That isn't how a true believer in his own victory responds out of delusion. Nor are any of his actions consistent with Somerby's supposition about what he knew. A delusional person would not keep trying to stay in office. He would do nothing at all to leave office, ignore the suggestions and prepare for his second term. He would make long term plans for continuing as president. Trump didn't do that -- he planned a coup, sabotaged the incoming Biden administration, and betrayed guilty knowledge (by trying to protect himself) that his actions were illegal and improper. That is consistent with someone who knew he lost but didn't want to leave office, not someone who didn't know he lost.

    But Somerby stays laser focused on Hutchinson, ignoring all of the other evidence that Trump knew he had lost but wanted to stay in office, not that he didn't know he had lost.

  3. The evidence that Trump lost doesn't come from the behavior or statements of those around him, but from the numbers, the voting results themselves. Those showed that Trump lost. It is still Trump's duty to prepare for a peaceful transition, not to attempt various ways to stay in office. It doesn't matter what Trump believed or believes. He had a duty under our constitution. This point was made at the very beginning of the hearings. So it doesn't matter what Hutchinson heard anyone say. The heart of this issue is what Trump did.

  4. Trump should have been a cop, instead of a failed real estate developer, if he wanted to kill people with immunity.

  5. Why is Somerby focusing on Hutchinson when he could have examined Bill Barr's statement, or Cippolone's? Perhaps Somerby considers her the weak link in the testimony against Trump? Somerby's entire argument seems to consist of her not talking directly with Trump, being an ever-present but ancillary witness. But Barr himself said that Trump knew he had lost, and Barr spoke directly to Trump. Hutchinson is important because (1) she was present at a lot of key meetings, (2) she worked for Mark Meadows (who refused to testify), (3) as a Trump partisan, she had no axe to grind and yet had damning testimony, (4) she heard about Trump's attempt to go to the Capitol, (5) she knew about his lack of response to the rioting, (6) she tied together Ornato, Meadows and Trump, (7) she had direct testimony that several people knew ahead of the insurrection that there would be violence and that Trump enabled that violence by demanding that those with weapons be permitted to attend his speech and subsequent march.

    Somerby seems to think that if Trump didn't tell Hutchinson directly "I believe in my heart that I won the election no matter what the votes say" and didn't tell her (words to the effect that) "I know I didn't win but I want to stay in office), then it is possible Trump believes that he did win, and if it is possible and not contradicted by Hutchinson, then we must all allow that Trump did think that. And don't forget, anything is possible in Somerby's world.

    So, why then would Hutchinson be upset, worried, conflicted by Trump's behavior? Why would she, a person who joined Trump's staff as a Republican supporter of his campaign, have a crisis of conscience? Why would she feel she had to leave her job over Trump's unwillingness to deal promptly with the violence? Why would she testify against Trump at the hearing? None of that makes any sense if she thought Trump truly believed he had won.

    Maybe that lack of support for Somerby's pet theory is why he must discredit Hutchinson's testimony. None of Hutchinson's behavior makes any sense in the context of Somerby's alternative idea about Trump's mind state.

  6. "Overwhelmingly, we view this astounding episode as a story of monumental mental disorder, not just on the part of Donald J. Trump but among his crackpot associates."

    What if you applied this idea to the crime family of Al Capone? Would it work to claim that he and his criminal associates were examples of crackpots and monumental disorder? Should that have kept Capone out of jail?

    What if you applied this idea to the Manson family? They were all clearly crackpots and Manson himself was monumentally disordered. He carved a swastika in his own forehead while in prison. Should that have kept Manson out of jail -- he himself never killed anyone after all? Should the members who carried out the murders have gone to jail? They were confused people who were disordered and crackpots, after all? Should they have been denied parole for so many years?

    By Somerby's logic, the only thing important about these people who committed serious crimes was that they were disordered. They no doubt believed it was right for them to do what they did, based on their various delusions. What does it say about Somerby that questions about the extent of their delusions are the only questions that seem to matter to him?

    A huge percentage of the people who go to jail are disordered. They only escape jail when they are so incoherent that they cannot participate in their own defense or had no sense that they were breaking the law. There are strict criteria for determining this under law. Somerby has never discussed those criteria, nor the application of Article 25, nor procedures for removing a President who is incapacitated. If Somerby seriously believed Trump were mentally ill, why has he never called for such a remedy? Bandy Lee did.

    1. The argument that Donald J. Chickenshit really "believed" he won the election is clearly the defense he will mount if and when he is indicted. One of the chickenshit's impeachment lawyers was on Ari Melber this past week and kept going right back to saying he denies the "premise" that Trump knew he lost the election. This is part and parcel of the Donald J Chickenshit crime methodology. First commit the crime in broad daylight thereby arguing that you couldn't possibly believe it was a crime.

      Note also this is a complete replay of the defense Barr argued to Congress regarding his decision not to charge donald J Chickenshit with obstruction of justice of the Mueller probe because Donald J Chickenshit really really felt he was being unfairly accused and his presidency was being harmed by the investigation, so anything Donald J Chickenshit decided to do to interfere with and obstruct the Mueller team was AOK with Billy Barr.

      How much more bullshit are we supposed to take from this walking crime wave.

  7. "Why do you think they clipped Hutchinson's statement that way? "

    Due to limited space constraints. They want to keep it pithy.

    What did Meadows want to "pull off" for Trump? Do his follow-on remarks make sense as someone who believes Trump could have won? No. Somerone who believed that would say (words to the effect that) "He won and they stole his votes -- we need to prove that and combat the theft." Instead Meadows says there is chance he "did win" and that they can pull this off for him so Trump can stay in office. It doesn't help Trump to leave in the subsequent sentences, after Meadows acknowledges that Trump knew he had lost. And why would Meadows even say that at all, if Trump didn't believe he had lost? That makes no sense at all.

    Somerby uses the need to excerpt briefly due to space constraints, to justify some blue tribe liberal conspiracy involving journalists, to railroad Trump out of office when he still believed he had won. Unfortunately, the President doesn't decide when he is done in office. It doesn't matter what Trump believed about the election. It wasn't his decision, regardless of his beliefs. The election was decided by the numbers and those numbers were checked and rechecked and all the procedures were followed to determine who won -- and it was Biden not Trump.

    And no, the press is not truncating Hutchinson to make Trump appear more of a loser. He already lost. At best, leaving off that part would only make Meadows appear less of a crony. It is entirely possible that the journalists didn't want to besmirch Meadows, who had not ever directly testified, by making him seem like a true-believer along with Trump's other plotters and insurrectionists. Further, how can Somerby think that the public is being fooled into thinking anything about Trump, with the omission of those two sentences (and the rest of the testimony in Hutchinson's transcript)? Any member of the public can look it all up online, as Somerby did.

    Over time, Somerby has rarely liked the way papers excerpt from statements. This complaint arises when he thinks the press is putting a spin he disagrees with on some issue. He was upset because the press left out how much Chanel Miller had to drink, since he wanted to show that it was her own fault she was sexually assaulted. He was upset that the press left out the ages of some of Roy Moore's legal "dates" (18 year olds) and only focused on the 14 year olds. I can imagine Somerby pacing and crying out "Why does the press only tell us about the bad stuff Trump did?" For myself, I am pacing and wondering why Somerby focuses on Hutchinson, when there is so much other evidence that he was not only told about the loss but deliberately pursued a plan to deny that loss and stay in office. Is this the strongest evidence he can find to exonerate Trump's guilty knowledge? Apparently so. But it is also a twofer -- he gets to defend Trump and impeach Hutchinson, all while claiming the blue tribe's cabal is distorting the facts. How? By claiming that yes, Meadows may have said Trump knew he had lost, but he also said it was possible he might win and was going to help achieve that result. Because, as Somerby always says, anything is possible. Even the "worst president ever" may have overcome Biden's massive popular vote lead and wins in the electoral college by some miracle (or violent insurrection) to keep his job. I doubt Meadows believed that at all. It seems more likely, he was unwilling to cross the president by undermining Trump's own effort to reclaim a supposedly stolen election, so he kept the faith with Hutchinson, who was after all just a staff member and not somone a boss might express his own doubts to.

    If Trump can have beliefs that were deranged, Meadows could have similar deranged beliefs about the possibility of Trump staying in office via coup, despite his own knowledge Trump had lost the election. Why might Meadows wish to stay on Trump's good side and help him overturn the election results? He was still working for him.

    1. That suggests that the first part of Hutchinson's statement was reported by the press because it concerned Trump's state of mind, his beliefs. The second part might have been omitted because it referred to Meadows' own state of mind and beliefs.

      That is not a nefarious reason. It is a matter of focus on Trump's knowledge, not that of Meadows. That seems appropriate, not a misleading quote at all.

  8. The omitted sentences have the effect of shielding Mark Meadows while making accusations against Trump, not of damning Trump by omitting what Meadows believed. Here is some of the newest reporting about what Hutchinson's transcript contains about Meadows' complicity (from Rawstory):

    ""You see this new evidence, and in this you really do see new evidence of criminal liability here for Trump and his chief of staff, at the very least, Mark Meadows," said anchor Kate Bolduan. "What evidence is most damning?"

    "I think the most damning comes under the heading of the scheme to set up these false slate of electors, individuals from the GOP who would have been the electors if Trump had won those states, to certify that he had in fact won states that Biden had clearly won," said Goodman. "That seems to just be a federal crime that is a very, very active part of the current special counsel's investigation. New evidence, brand new that we have not seen before that directs it right at Trump and Mark Meadows."


    "For example, that one smoking gun so far is a call that Trump makes to the head of the RNC," said Goodman. "And he hands over the call to John Eastman to say, we want you to organize the false slate of electors. That's all we had in the past. We now know she calls Donald Trump back soon after the call and says, I accept your request, which means it's about him, it's not about Eastman. And their other lawyers for the Trump campaign who say to the committee that it was Donald Trump who put Giuliani in control of this false slate of electors and what Giuliani was doing, as far as they were concerned, was executing what Donald Trump wanted them to do. That's pretty devastating."

    "Then there is a bunch of other testimony that we hadn't heard before from Cassidy Hutchinson, saying that Mark Meadows was significantly involved, following it closely, making dozens of calls to try to operationalize the false slate of electors," added Goodman. "I think they're in some pretty deep trouble with both of those."

  9. This is for those here who think that Somerby is not pushing right wing memes and talking points:

    "At the start of the video, Trump accused the committee of pushing claims made by former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson about him purportedly lunging at a Secret Service agent in his presidential limo to try to force him to drive him to the Capitol."

    This is "get Cassidy Hutchinson" day. Somerby has set aside his planned series on discreding the idea that racism affects pain treatment and on Christmas eve has joined in the attempts to undermine Hutchinson's testimony, following the lead of Trump and the right wing. Somerby is joining in the damage control by launching his own attack on her testimony and the way the press has been reporting it -- to salvage the idea that Trump is not the problem -- press spin must be the problem. Except the press is not making up the things she said, things that are new to the public because they were not part of the 1/6 Hearings, which tended to hit the high points.

  10. "But does it really show that? It seems to us that, if Trump knew there would be a series of vicious attacks on police officers, he wouldn't want to be physically present while such behavior occurred. "

    As was testified to in the 1/6 Hearings, when Trump demanded that the screening for weapons at his speech be stopped, he said "They're not here to hurt me."

  11. "Doesn't this incident tend to show something different? It was his Secret Service detail, presumably including Ornato and Engel, which decided that he couldn't go to the Capitol, in spite of his strong desire to do so. Whatever Trump may (or may not) have been planning that day, it seems they weren't involved."

    Actually, Ornato was not present at the incident. Ornato was no longer performing secret service duties once he was detached to Trump's staff in the White House. That change was temporary and he retained his title of Assistant Director, but it was prohibited by law for him to serve as a secret service agent while also working for the president. Engel was in charge of Trump's secret service detail on the day of the insurrection. Ornato had an office close to Hutchinson's in the White House and she interacted frequently with him.

    Here is a report of Hutchinson's testimony (CNN):

    "Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Secret Service assistant director Anthony Ornato told her that, as the attack was playing out and Trump was being driven back to the White House, the former president said something to the effect of "I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now." Hutchinson also testified Ornato said that when Trump was told he had to return to the White House, he reached up to the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel, prompting Engel to grab his arm. Trump then, according to Hutchinson, used his free hand to lunge toward Engel. She said Engel was in the room when Ornato told her this and he did not dispute it."

    Has Somerby not seen the recent reports that Trump wanted to march to the Capitol with 10,000 National Guard troops? Does that sound like a protection detail or a show of force and military support?

    Somerby has to ignore a great deal of conflicting and damning evidence to make his own versions of "pleasing narrative" fit the facts. Why is Somerby working so hard to exonerate Trump and his cronies? Engel did his job. Ornato was not in charge of the secret service detail that day, Engel was. That Engel did his job does not exonerate other secret service agents who may have participated in efforts to pressure Mike Pence or advance Trump's plans. The existence of Trump supporters within the secret service and the FBI has been documented. Ornato's very presence on Trump's staff is primary evidence of support for Trump within the Secret Service.

  12. "Anthropologists say that we humans are wired this way. We've begun to think that these top experts could possibly be right!"

    Anthropologists do not say that we humans are wired this way. Somerby cites no "top experts," right or wrong. Why does he bother with cute but meaningless statements like this? Here are some possible reasons: (1) to mock actual expertise, whether in anthropology or other fields, (2) to show that it is easy to make up "top experts" if readers don't demand citations, (3) to provide specious support for his own madeup ideas, (4) because he is too lazy to look up what actual anthropologists have to say on various subjects, (5) to fool the unwary, leading them to think there IS any anthropologist anywhere who agrees when Somerby says this shit, (6) to present the broader idea that expertise doesn't matter and ideas don't need support.

    1. There is a circularity to Somerby endorsing the top experts (who he says might be right) after he has just used the top experts to endorse his own views.

    2. People aren't wired at all.

    3. Computer electronics (hardware and software) has been a metaphor for talking about brain functioning since the 1970s (or earlier if you look at applications of Shannon's information theory to communication by people, flow chart models of processing, modeling, and neural nets). I don't know what Somerby means when he talks about wiring, but it is a useful analogy in cognitive psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science. People are wired in the sense that neurons form networks in the brain.

  13. "The Gang That Couldn't Overturn Straight!"

    This isn't cute or funny. People died during that insurrection. People lost their jobs and destroyed careers because of it. People who believed Trump because he was President are in jail, some for many years. Huge amounts of government and individual time and money have been wasted. Hopes were raised, faith in democracy damaged, trust in institutions damaged. All of this matters in a way that doesn't allow normal people to laugh at unfunny quips like this one.

    Or perhaps Somerby hopes to reduce a national tragedy based on Trump's crimes to the level of a stupid movie title about ineptness? That is worse, because it suggests Somerby does not see the culpability of these criminals. And that makes him complicit, warped, right wing and as crackpot as those who attempted this attack on our government. I'm sure it is not funny to Trump that he failed. Earth-to-Somerby -- it isn't funny to the rest of us either.

    1. That is Bob, nicely summed up. Roger Stone has tipped his hand by claiming hatred is stronger than love. Bob's hatred for for the liberal media establishment is what guides the rest of his very,
      very bad judgement. Dirt must be thrown in Rachell
      Maddow's face. Nothing else matters.

    2. Hate, unlike the liberal media establishment, is a real thing.

  14. Today Bob may raise more questions than he answers.
    The first would be "Mr. Somerby, where do you keep your
    Official Deed to the Brooklyn Bridge you purchased from
    the Leprechaun?"
    I guess it's reassuring that that is the best Bob's got,
    noting that ignorance, even industrial strength,
    obviously faked ignorance, is not much of a legal
    defense if we get Trump to Court.
    If Bob really wants MSNBC to refer to "Clownishly
    invalid electors," instead of "false electors" we have
    some common ground there, it's quite alright with me.
    Does Bob really think that helps his case for team
    As a blue tribe member do I really LOVE the idea
    that some of the Secret Service were handmaids for
    Trump. Actually No, I don't, I am DISTURBED by the
    CHANCE that might be true. Do I discount the
    chance that might be true by the fact they did not
    drive him to the riot? No. I am also disturbed that the
    agents in question seem to have said under oath that
    they do not recall if this happened or not. Unless
    you have one the Bridge deeds mentioned above,
    you are not likely to accept that either. Bob does
    brush up against a valid point here. What the F WAS
    Trump trying to do that day? What would he have done
    if he had gotten to the Capital? MSNBC is arguing that
    the new evidence shows a greater plot that chaos
    at the Capital that day was being engineered in a
    wider plot to nullify the election. There reasoning is
    far from far fetched. AND, might the agents have been
    hand maiden enough to help Trump concoct the
    story of his attempt to reach the Capital? Why would
    they have been spreading it around? You heard it
    here first folks.
    Bob used to say, from time to time, when
    confronting someone's highly unlikely contention,
    "well it's POSSIBLE that that is true" as a dry way
    of discounting the nearly impossible. Bob has also,
    countless times forgiven some outlandish or
    absurd comments by Trump by noting some buried
    qualifier that is mostly, correctly, ignored by the
    press. Trump calls Covid a Hoax, but then does or
    says some things that suggest it's not a hoax.
    Tens of thousands of poor fools still die, to Bob's
    indifference. That's the story of the Times "clip" that
    has Bob so bothered.
    Finally, only a fool believes Trump actually cared
    if he got the most votes or not. Bob is pretending
    to be a fool

  15. In spite of the fact that an ominous example of the methods being used to capture Democracy by the money power was afforded by the lawless militarism brought by looking at it that its implications are earth-shaking. In other words, that if. people at the primaries and at the convention, they appealed to the last resort of despotism everywhere they could suddenly pull one of these things out of hyperspace, and we would all look at it, we would all realise that that was the ball game, right there. That somehow this proved it, was it, did it, ended it, started it, made it clear. How can this be? Well, I don’t know – you had to be there, sort of.


    I'm gay.

  16. Did Trump "really" win the election? Here, the word "really" presumably means "if the election had been free of any fraud or other error." IMO it's very highly likely that Trump did not "really" win the election. However, we cannot be absolutely totally certain.

    However, there's different question that I think Trump definitely got wrong: "Did Biden win the election for all practical purposes?" Well before Jan 6, it should have been clear to Trump that the answer was "Yes". Even if the election had been stolen, there was nothing he could do about it. This should have been obvious. IMO it was almost insane to keep fighting.

    1. Of course we can be certain. That’s what the audits were about and the security precautions. There was no evidence.

      Al Gore stopped fighting and look what happened to our nation. He had a case with evidence that he didn’t pursue.

    2. It could be thought Biden didn’t win the election only under Bob’s “well, ANYTHING is possible” caveat.
      In other words, there is no reason
      for a serious person to think Biden
      didn’t win. Add Trump’s character
      to the mix, there is no reason to
      for a modestly unserious person
      to believe Biden didn’t win.
      There has only ever been reason
      for a stupid, obnoxious,
      partisan A hole to believe
      Biden didn’t win.
      As to 2000, we did signal
      people of low morals that
      elections lost might be won
      thru bullying and violence.

    3. Can we be certain that David exists?

    4. Sean Hannity was certain, under oath, that Trump lost, despite hosting election deniers for the ignorant rubes that follow his bullshit, including of course those who stormed the capital. It may be too late to suggest that a 70+ year old white male extract his head from Rupert Murdoch's ass. We are all hoping for a Christmas miracle for DIC.

    5. What Trump was doing was not "fighting". It was criming, David. Bullying his VP to violate the Constitution was not "fighting", it was criminal. Plotting to send fraudulent slates of electors was not "fighing", it was criminal. Sending his Magat followers to the U.S.Capitol with the object of stopping the certification of the election was not "fighting", you fucking asshole, it was criminal.
      Go crawl back under your rock, David.

    6. There's still a one in a trillion chance David in Cal isn't really a bigot. Technically, it could tourettes.

    7. "Sean Hannity was certain, under oath, that Trump lost..."

      No fair holding the Right-wing media and Republican politicians to account for their utter disdain of Republican voters. Let's face it. Republican voters deserve at least that much disdain.

  17. “Trump's desire to go to the Capitol might suggest that he didn't know that violence would be occurring. In fairness, that's the way a rational actor would likely behave.”

    This says more to me about Somerby than Trump, or anyone else.

    I always thought that this story about trying to force the car to the Capitol was a convenient face-saving story for Trump, the known coward, to mollify his mob, who were majorly disappointed when Trump was a no-show at the Capitol.

    But another way to consider it: human beings are complicated. Some look at danger and decide to avoid it. It might be cowardice, or it might be the best alternative under the circumstances. Some simply exhibit an instinctive flight response, which can involve no reasoning at all. Then there are others who decide to head for danger, in order to save others, or to help (medics, soldiers, etc.)

    And then there are those, who style themselves as leaders, who choose to share the risk, including physical risks, with their followers. That is often called leadership, and it is not an irrational thing.

    That Somerby doesn’t contemplate these other alternatives makes one wonder how he would respond in a dangerous situation.

    1. Something is definitely strange about the way the car story got along.

  18. The thing to do in those situations, I think – and it’s counterintuitive to how Somerby's fanboys think – but the thing to do is to sing. To sit up, not to assume the foetal position – see, what you might tend to do is assume the foetal position and tell yourself, “My God, this is the most appalling blog that’s ever been written – if I can just live through reading it, it’ll be all right. I’ve read this blog: if I can just wait through – how long did they say it would be? – seven minutes. It started two minutes ago. If I can just…” – No, the thing to do is to stop and to sing! Why? Well, being practical people, to oxygenate your brain. To move the entire – this thing that’s happened to you, though it may have one claw in heaven, its roots are in your neurophysiology . You want to move your physiology around. So oxygenating your brain can’t fail to do this. So you sing. And this almost always is accompanied by a sense of power, control, equilibrium, and so forth and so on.

    1. not funny, not clever, just annoying

    2. That's the kind of comment section this is.

    3. Heading into a perilous 2024 election on a cascade of self-anthems is not an auspicious forward path. The Party is facing a disaster in the Senate. Twenty-three Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) are up for re-election with only 10 Republican senators mostly all from safe states. If the Dems could barely keep the Senate in 2022 when these odds were reversed in their favor, what do you think their chances are, with the same old, tired campaigns, for keeping the Senate in 2024? These are the same campaign consultant regulars who have brought the Party to ruin in winnable election after election. Still, they get retained and place a cocoon around their candidates. These consultants make sure their regular corporate clients are not upset. Again, the National Democratic Party has to set aside the champagne and rigorously face its disastrous failures, when they should be landsliding the GOP. They can start with the two dozen civic leaders who volunteered to provide the path to victory in a July Zoom conference. They were largely ignored by the Party’s corporate-conflicted political media consultants (losers who are expecting to be retained for 2024).

    4. “When they should be landsliding the GOP…”

      You go into elections with the electorate you have, not the electorate you wish you had.

    5. This is a self-serving, self-destructive standard by which Democratic operatives measure their performance. They need to unfailingly look into the mirror and list their losses.

      They lost the House of Representatives to the worst Republican Party in history. The GOP is corrupt, lying, and violence-prone. It opposes policies supporting labor, consumers, patients, and children. It favors the greed of its corporate paymasters over vital community protections and necessities.

      A GOP House means the end of any Biden-proposed legislation for the next two years.

      The narrow margin between the House Democrats and the House Republicans was provided by two debacles – the election of two GOP candidates who were part of the partisan crowd rushing Congress on January 6, 2021, and the boomeranging of the New York State Democratic Party’s redistricting plan.

      Early causes weakening the Democratic Party were in 1979 when it started taking corporate PAC money big time and in 2011 when it cut an unwritten deal with the GOP that was beyond the pale in its legislative cowardliness.

      The deal, to secure GOP support, was that every dollar added for the social safety net had to be matched by a similar increase in the bloated military budget.

      And, I'm gay.

    6. "And, I'm gay."
      It makes sense that you'd think the GOP is the worst. I understand economics and basic arithmetic, so naturally, I think the GOP is a bunch of mouth-breathing morons.

    7. The influence of corporate PACs leads to capitulation by the Dems, such as giving the Pentagon tens of billions of dollars more for the military budget than the White House requested. By a House vote of 350-80 Democrats and Republicans expanded the current bloated military budget by another $45 billion, more than even the Generals requested. Moreover, the Democrats joined with the GOP in this deficit spending without even trying to pay for this $45 billion by restoring any of Trump’s 2017 tax cuts for big business. The Congress has yet to provide adequate funding for public health necessities and Covid-19 responses in the U.S.

    8. But, are you gay, 10:41, in your various variations of mh? If you are, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. We welcome your coming out here.

    9. The Democrats, when they do win, refuse to roll back bad Republican passed laws as well as health, safety and economic regulations or de-regulations benefiting big business over all the people.

      Stripping down the IRS enforcement budget that could catch the plutocracy’s evasions, undermining the Postal Service, still run by Trumpster Louis DeJoy, not getting out of the Bush/Cheney illegal wars of aggression, and Bush/Cheney shielding Wall Street crooks from proper regulation of the financial industry, which led to its collapse, were some of the Democratic Party’s self-defeating permissions for these GOP disasters.

      The Dems invariably decline to roll back outlandish subsidies, giveaways and bailouts initiated by the GOP and often expand them. Nor do they hold hearings on the corporate crime wave, corporate welfare binges and other critical “let the people know” events to build support for corporate law and order actions.

    10. 11:08

      Let's talk about more important issues like Elon Musk.

    11. Or a two year old article about a seven year old study about medical treatment.

    12. No one cares Democrats didn't try to pay for their $45 billion military industrial complex giveaway by restoring any of Trump’s 2017 tax cuts for big business.

      Let's talk about racism instead.

    13. 11:49: Tell it to Somerby. He is the one bringing it up over and over in his blog. If you want to stay on topic at a blog, you’re supposed to respond to the blogger’s post, and not bring up issues he did not raise. Besides, Somerby has never complained that the Democrats are too corporate, or centrist, or conservative. In fact, just the opposite. He chastises them for not being centrist ENOUGH. His attack on Warren’s health care plan is a case in point. So stick it.

    14. Totally! Democrats siding with their lobbyists instead of their constituents by continuing illegal wars of aggression isn't important.

    15. 12:04: Hmmm. I seem to recall Biden getting a lot of criticism (including from Somerby) when he pulled the US out of Afghanistan.

    16. Totally! That means Democrats didn't and don't side with their lobbyists by continuing illegal wars of aggression. Doesn't it?

    17. It's important to forget Elizabeth Warren has fought to stop the Army from shifting funds away from a Massachusetts-built communications network to pay for unanticipated costs associated with the war in Afghanistan and lobbied for problem-plagued General Dynamics-made tactical radios. And she’s pledged to protect Westover Air Reserve Base from the budget ax — all while saying she supports “targeted” cuts elsewhere and instead concentrate on conversation ending cliches like bigotry.

    18. In other words, Warren is doing her job for her constituents.

    19. Yes, by hypocritically supporting the Military Industrial Complex.

      But ..... THE TWITTER FILES!

    20. There’s no perfect Democrat. Hence, let’s destroy them and elect Republicans. Makes perfect sense.

      If you paid attention to Somerby and Drum, they both argued for more centrism, not less, a position not generally shared by the commenters here.

    21. The point is they are destroying themselves.

    22. 10:26: And my point is you are at a blog where the blogger has never supported the idea that the Democrats should move way left on economic policy. In fact, he rarely discusses economics at all.

    23. 2:12,
      Relax. Per the Others (who Somerby insist we listen to), Biden and the Democratic Senate are Communists, who hate our military.
      Let me be clear: Bob Somerby, for one, is not gong to sit idly by while you bad-mouth the Others with your elitist liberal attitude.

  19. This country needs more Right-winger, who would rather the country become a Soviet satellite than be in the bag for the military industrial complex.

  20. "Did Trump know and believe that he had actually lost? "

    Does it matter? The right wing has been making up lies since Joe McCarthy and has been very successful in getting others to believe them.