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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 16, 2016

 
Trump's army

by digby

















Krugman talks about useful idiots in his column today:
It’s important to realize that the postelection C.I.A. declaration that Russia had intervened on behalf of the Trump campaign was a confirmation, not a revelation (although we’ve now learned that Mr. Putin was personally involved in the effort).

The pro-Putin tilt of Mr. Trump and his advisers was obvious months before the election — I wrote about it in July. By midsummer the close relationship between WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence was also obvious, as was the site’s growing alignment with white nationalists.

Did Republican politicians, so big on flag waving and impugning their rivals’ patriotism, reject this foreign aid to their cause? No, they didn’t. In fact, as far as I can tell, no major Republican figure was even willing to criticize Mr. Trump when he directly asked Russia to hack Mrs. Clinton.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. It has long been obvious — except, apparently, to the news media — that the modern G.O.P. is a radical institution that is ready to violate democratic norms in the pursuit of power. Why should the norm of not accepting foreign assistance be any different?

The bigger surprise was the behavior of the news media, and I don’t mean fake news; I mean big, prestigious organizations. Leaked emails, which everyone knew were probably the product of Russian hacking, were breathlessly reported as shocking revelations, even when they mostly revealed nothing more than the fact that Democrats are people.


Meanwhile, the news media dutifully played up the Clinton server story, which never involved any evidence of wrongdoing, but merged in the public mind into the perception of a vast “email” scandal when there was nothing there.

And then there was the Comey letter. The F.B.I. literally found nothing at all. But the letter dominated front pages and TV coverage, and that coverage — by news organizations that surely knew that they were being used as political weapons — was almost certainly decisive on Election Day.

So as I said, there were a lot of useful idiots this year, and they made the election hack a success.

Yes there were many useful idiots then and the phenomenon continues. I've lost interest in internecine battles and policing of hypocrisy, both liberal and conservative. All of that seems completely irrelevant now.

There has never been anyone like Trump, so I recognize that he's difficult to wrap your mind around. But I truly believe he's also the greatest threat to world peace and American democracy we've seen in many a moon. America is still the most powerful nation on earth and it's in the hands of a cretinous demagogue with fascist tendencies and he's surrounding himself with sycophants and lunatics. It will be a miracle if we manage to avoid catastrophe.


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