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Monday, January 01, 2018

Reality on trial
by digby

Last New Years Eve, this was the state of the Republican party:

Nearly half of registered Republicans believe Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign is implicated in a satanic child abuse ring operated from beneath a Washington, D.C., pizzeria, according to the results of a new poll released this week.

In spite of being debunked and refuted as a baseless conspiracy theory, 49 percent of Republicans questioned during a recent YouGov/Economist survey said there’s at least some truth to the so-called “Pizzagate” scandal said to involve Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Pollsters questioned 1,376 adults between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20 on various topics concerning the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including a handful involving conspiracy theories discussed during the course of the latest White House race.

Americans are more likely to buy into certain theories depending on their own political leanings, pollsters indicated Tuesday, and are often inclined to subscribe to politically-charged arguments even after they’ve been widely refuted.

Among the questions asked by pollsters was whether respondents believed that leaked emails stolen from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager and published by WikiLeaks prior to the Nov. 8 election “contained code words for pedophilia, human trafficking and satanic ritual abuse — what some people refer to as ‘Pizzagate.’ “

More than a third of American adults said the so-called Pizzagate accusations involving Mrs. Clinton’s staff were “probably” or “definitely” true, as did nearly half of registered Republicans, according to pollsters.

I don't know how many still believe this nonsense. Some do. This right wing alleged journalist got herself in trouble by calling Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend pedophiles on her twitter feed and Tiegen says she's going to sue. Here's her latest:

I couldn't find any current numbers on "Pizzagate" which you'll recall was flogged by Michael Flynn's son and alluded to by him as well. But we do know that they still believe Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya. This is from a couple of weeks ago:

Survey results released by YouGov Friday show that 51 percent of Republicans said they think former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, compared to just 14 percent of Democrats. Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election were especially convinced of Obama's African origins: Fully 57 percent said it was "definitely true" or "probably true" that the 44th president came from Kenya.

Basically, most Republicans based upon zero evidence, believe that President Barack Obama was a Muslim plant, probably a terrorist and that Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president and former Secretary of State, is a child sex trafficking pedophile. But the Russia investigation, headed by the former director of the FBI and endorsed by every Intelligence Official free to speak on the record, is a hoax.

It's enough to give you a very, very big headache. Which I have. Every day. Trying to keep up with this weirdness that has become our daily reality isn't easy. Like many of you, I wake up in the morning and reach for my phone to see whether the world is still spinning on its axis. I'm never quite sure it will be.

So far, we're hanging on but this next year is going to be a huge challenge. Trump isn't getting any better, he's getting worse. Now that he's adjusted to being the president he's recognized that he has virtually unlimited power as long as his party is in power and as long as it backs him. And he's seeing that they aren't going anywhere. Indeed, they are coming around. He may understand that members of his family are in danger but he also understands that he is personally invulnerable to everything but impeachment or the 25th Amendment and that's all dependent on the sycophantic opportunism of the GOP.

And he can always pardon his family. After all, Republicans are traditionally just fine with Republican presidents pardoning other Republicans for political purposes.

Trump is sensing that he can do anything. He can literally define reality and even if many people rant and rave that it's just not true, it changes nothing unless Republican official abandon him.

I don't mean to sound defeatist. Much of the harm he's doing can be mitigated by taking away the GOP's institutional power. That means taking back at least one house of congress. There will then be hearings and real congressional investigations and potentially some movement to shore up our election systems by 2020. If they don't, we may very well see a replay. (And keep in mind that since Republican voters are now living permanently in Bizarroworld, they will never accept the outcome of elections again if they don't go their way. That's just something we're going to have to live with for the foreseeable future.)

Anyway, I'm hopeful that 2018 is going to bring even greater activism than 2017 and it will be energetic enough to outweigh any institutional interference from the Republicans. I'll be watching Trump and his minions like a hawk, of course. Everything he does from paid promotional appearances at his own properties every week-end to ignorant saber rattling against North Korea because of something he saw on Fox and friends is abnormal. We have to keep pointing it out and we have to keep reminding ourselves and everyone else that it's abnormal. We have to make sure that kids who are coming up, knowing nothing more than the Trump era, understand this.

I'm going to keep trying to do that as best I can. I hope you'll continue to stop by from time to time when you need a dose of reality.

Together we can get through this.

If you feel like dropping a little something into the Hullabaloo kitty, I would be most appreciative.

Happy New Year, everybody.

cheers --- digby