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(Guest Post) WikiLeaks: An Own Goal

2016 October 25
by Mandos

ALERT! ALERT! MANDOS POST! ALERT! ALERT!

 

Whatever you feel about WikiLeaks and Assange himself, you must at least agree that his apparent strategy of getting involved in the US elections against Hillary Clinton has been remarkably tone-deaf. (And no, I’m not going to argue that any of the leaks are false. Why does that even matter?) If Clinton had been running against a more boring, vaguely mainstream-acceptable candidate, like even Ted Cruz, the email-release strategy that WikiLeaks is running might have done the couple of percentage points of damage to Clinton needed to prevent her victory.

Instead, Assange has ended up painting himself in everyone’s mind, forever, as the little pipsqueak rapist abetting the Big Daddy Rapist. (Again, as I roll my eyes heavenward, whether the Swedish rape charges are true is totally irrelevant for this discussion or any discussion like it. Also, forget Bill Clinton, even if he actually does have something to do with Hillary. Just. Forget. Him. And pull yourself together. Geez.) Trump, alas, is not merely someone with a skeleton or three in the closet. He’s someone who has made that skeleton into his standard, his brand, and the prospect of his election to the presidency is now actively dangerous to segments of the US population, simply (and that is very much enough!) in the sense that it provides a notional victory to some of US society’s worst and most hateful elements.

If Assange wanted to drop-kick Hillary Clinton, or stick a finger in the eye of the Democratic Party policy establishment, he should have found way to help make sure Trump did not win the Republican Party nomination. Perhaps he didn’t have the means. Perhaps he didn’t have a hold of this information when it might have been possible to make Sanders the nominee. What he has done, however, is ruin WikiLeaks credibility forever — because it matters, you know, that the organization absolutely refused to consider that the AKP leaks might have not been such a good idea, if they didn’t want to get tarred with sense that they didn’t care about women.

But in some ways, this outcome was predetermined. It’s typical of what I’ve been calling guns-and-butterism around these parts. So determined are some people to ignore what they think are the “unreal,” ephemeral parts of American politics, that they simply cannot see where it has a material effect on the (to them) “real” parts. At this point, at least, Clinton is now very likely to go into the Oval Office–not with grudging support, but with the enthusiastic backing of people who might otherwise have taken a more withholding stance.

If you followed the very real, indispensible logic of identity politics in the US, and if you realized that the gender issue wasn’t merely just voting because of matching genitals, but because these labels and their validation or rejection has real, material effects on people and the political landscape in which they are really immersed, then you would have predicted this outcome. WikiLeaks and, most likely, Assange did not. And they’ll regret it. One way or another.

74 Responses
  1. Todd Hitler permalink
    October 25, 2016

    This post is significantly more retarded than anything Assange has ever done, which is quite impressive.

  2. Daize permalink
    October 25, 2016

    Nonsense article, which is rare on this blog. Assange is doing everyone who isn’t someone a favor, period, and at great personal risk to boot.

  3. October 25, 2016

    Huh?

  4. Shh permalink
    October 25, 2016

    I don’t think Mandos understands what Wikileak’s objectives are. This piece feels a bit like more Hillary boosterism disguised as analysis.

    Let’s focus instead on the content of the emails – I know but DONALD!!!!!

    I’m effing up to here with this personality contest bullshit, Hillary is a horrid shit of humanity and to pretend she is remotely preferable to anyone, including Donald Trump, is not, in my view, a serious proposition. It’s 5th grade personality contest bullshit.

    Let’s focus on policy. I’ll make it simple. Hillary represents the status quo. Donald, represents something else. Now, that something else is relevant only if the status quo is acceptable. I submit, not only is the status quo not acceptable, it’s not even remotely sustainable, so it’s a doubly shit filled notion to perpetrate it.

    Now Donald, gibbering ass hat that he is, does not represent the status quo beyond the all too familiar mediocrity that passes for “values” or whatever term makes you happy. He’s stupid, corrupt, corruptible and vain. Not all that different from Hillary except he doesn’t have 30+ years of baggage fucking over everyone and everything. He’s a smaller bag of shit, that’s all.

    So get over the fucking personality inanity. I don’t give two boiled rat farts for your opinion of either of them. Why isn’t anyone talking about solutions to the very real problems? We know how to solve the economic problem: Government capital investment in infrastructure. We know how to curb rampant fraud: prosecution of existing law. We don’t know how to adapt to the disruptions in the plant’s thermal gradient, but for fucks sake, let’s quit talking about who’s nicer, more PC, and imbued with vagina’s or vulgarity. It means nothing, and allows the perpetuation of mass suicide. so enough. Say meaningful things or put the fucking mic down.

  5. George Laird permalink
    October 25, 2016

    “Assange himself…getting involved in the US elections against Hillary Clinton has been remarkably tone-deaf.”
    Word!

  6. October 25, 2016

    There are limits to everything.

  7. October 25, 2016

    No, he’s contributing singularly to Hillary’s election, not intentionally obviously, and it’s so touching and typical that y’all just can’t see it.

  8. Bill Hicks permalink
    October 25, 2016

    Huh? What could Assange possibly have done to prevent Trump’s nomination? Even if he did have a cache of Trump material, the Republican base was hardly going to let disclosures by an effete European affect their votes. Wikileaks strategy has had little effect for a much more mundane reason: facts don’t matter anymore to about 99% of the population, especially when it comes to politics.

    Trump has done himself in because of his enormous ego, shallowness and inability to stay focused on Clinton family corruption. Most of the people I’ve spoken with who support Hillary agree that she is not a great candidate, but they legitimately fear a Trump presidency. My bet is that once in office Hillary’s level of support is going to drop more quickly and steeply than Obama’s as things continue to get worse and the threat of a Trump presidency has been averted.

  9. October 25, 2016

    Please notice that I never once referred in this post to the question of whose election was more or less desirable. That’s a whole other issue.

    And don’t try to pretend that releasing leaked Clinton campaign emails near the end of the campaign wasn’t a transparent attempt at hindering her election.

    The point is that it didn’t work and wouldn’t have worked, for the reasons being illustrated right here, right now, in this comments section, if y’all would just stop and *try* to look at yourselves a little self-critically.

  10. bruce wilder permalink
    October 25, 2016

    I am curious about whether people here think the October 7 Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security “worked” better than the Wikileaks publication of emails.

  11. S Brennan permalink
    October 25, 2016

    Wow, what dribble. How dumb? Not even worth refuting…”pipsqueak…rapist”….a sad day for this blog.

  12. Tom W Harris permalink
    October 25, 2016

    A shitlipped Nazi surfaces to lecture us on what’s “retarded.” Ya gotta love it.

  13. John permalink
    October 25, 2016

    I get your point and its a little sad watching wikileaks discredit itself even if they are right about Clinton corruption. Assange dozen’t want to be in that embassy 4 more years. But appearing to f*ck with a freedom fries election was not a smart move. You can’t do guerilla war with autocrats. You have to use the
    guillotine. Hillary won’t forget. And payback seems to be a thing with them. Our Bourbons…they learn nothing, they forget nothing. But I expect she’ll be a one term presznit.

  14. Shh permalink
    October 25, 2016

    Apologies for going off like that, but I can’t see any purpose for even discussing such a meaningless point. Assange can do whatever the hell he wants. Elections are, almost by definition, interference with the unilateral assumption of authority. If you’re going to reach for that office, you have zero right to bitch about your backdoor dealing coming to light. Far better for everyone it does. Also, it’s a false equivalence to say the exposure of Hillary’s corruption impugns Wikileaks because the purpose isn’t ipso facto to destabilize HER. In part, it’s counter point to utterly captured media. You shouldn’t begrudge that he derives some small measure of enjoyment by embarrassing the repugnant schillI as compensation for the hell they’ve put him through. Likewise, I don’t feel a lot of empathy for Assange’s predicament because, you don’t pull on a tiger’s tail unless you want an angry tiger on your case. I wonder if perhaps you project a meaning on to wiki leaks purpose that isn’t actually there?

    But to my earlier point: To postulate on the alacrity of a man who’s being openly persecuted by the Democrats in particular serves what purpose? Assuming he is hi own master. You have far better topics to expound on. This piece is “remarkably tone-deaf” in its own right. que no?

  15. October 26, 2016

    S Brennan:

    Wow, what dribble. How dumb? Not even worth refuting…”pipsqueak…rapist”….a sad day for this blog.

    That is what everyone now thinks of Assange outside of genuine Trump supporters and the #EverShrinking #NeverHillary bubble. WikiLeaks behaviour, especially since the AKP dump, has essentially confirmed the “manarchist” stereotype in everyone’s minds, as well as revealing that folks like you are just as susceptible to denial and hero-worship as anyone else, not that I didn’t already know that.

  16. October 26, 2016

    Shh:

    Apologies for going off like that, but I can’t see any purpose for even discussing such a meaningless point. Assange can do whatever the hell he wants. Elections are, almost by definition, interference with the unilateral assumption of authority. If you’re going to reach for that office, you have zero right to bitch about your backdoor dealing coming to light. Far better for everyone it does.

    I have nothing against “interference” of that sort in itself. I do have something against basically politically immunizing Clinton and then politically discrediting future attempts at bringing relevant information to light. It’s a totally absurd, tone-deaf use of what might otherwise be a powerful weapon.

    Also, it’s a false equivalence to say the exposure of Hillary’s corruption impugns Wikileaks because the purpose isn’t ipso facto to destabilize HER. In part, it’s counter point to utterly captured media. You shouldn’t begrudge that he derives some small measure of enjoyment by embarrassing the repugnant schillI as compensation for the hell they’ve put him through. Likewise, I don’t feel a lot of empathy for Assange’s predicament because, you don’t pull on a tiger’s tail unless you want an angry tiger on your case. I wonder if perhaps you project a meaning on to wiki leaks purpose that isn’t actually there?

    The utterly captured media is completely validated and strengthened by WikiLeaks’ recent behaviour.

    But to my earlier point: To postulate on the alacrity of a man who’s being openly persecuted by the Democrats in particular serves what purpose? Assuming he is hi own master. You have far better topics to expound on. This piece is “remarkably tone-deaf” in its own right. que no?

    It should be obvious that I am using the episode to illustrate a larger point about the indispensibility of so-called identity politics.

  17. Some Guy permalink
    October 26, 2016

    “Instead, Assange has ended up painting himself in everyone’s mind, forever, as the little pipsqueak rapist abetting the Big Daddy Rapist”

    I stopped reading at this line, FYI – if you want to persuade, you have to at least make an effort to pretend not to be a hack – even the neocons (admittedly, not all of them) get this.

  18. Ben permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Assange’s aim (which he’s stated in book form, it’s not a secret) isn’t to influence elections.

    It’s to induce a chilling-effect on communication within authoritarian structures.

    To make state decision-making structures less responsive to reality: the more communication channels are seen as prone to leaks / hacks, the less forthright and efficient communication will be, and the more insular and sclerotic the organization.

    In that sense, “Though you’re going against an incompetent buffoon with no chance of winning you will not be safe from leaks and hacks; the new normal is to batten down the hatches, deal with it and adapt or risk the consequences” is a great message to send.

  19. Duder permalink
    October 26, 2016

    By the same logic argued in this post those dragged before the House on Un-American Activities brave enough to plead the 5th were truly culpable for “looking” like guilty communists in the US news media. This is nonsense logic. It justifies the immorality of real criminals (committing actual crimes) and the logic of shooting the messenger. Assange is doing what journalists are suppose to do. Hold power accountable. The fact that arguments like this post hold water in US political discourse only serves to prove the moral decay of US society. Something is rotten in Denmark.

  20. Ben permalink
    October 26, 2016

    BTW one reason why Putin is using Wikileaks is because he’s adapted: his inner circle has mafia/Marlo’s crew from The Wire -style discipline about not using phone / email as communication channels. (Not because of Wikileaks, but because his tech security isn’t good enough to stop the NSA.)

    Promoting a norm of “everyone’s geopolitical business can be leaked / hacked at any time” imposes a cost on other state actors that he has already paid.

  21. October 26, 2016

    Assange’s aim (which he’s stated in book form, it’s not a secret) isn’t to influence elections.

    It’s to induce a chilling-effect on communication within authoritarian structures.

    To make state decision-making structures less responsive to reality: the more communication channels are seen as prone to leaks / hacks, the less forthright and efficient communication will be, and the more insular and sclerotic the organization.

    In that sense, “Though you’re going against an incompetent buffoon with no chance of winning you will not be safe from leaks and hacks; the new normal is to batten down the hatches, deal with it and adapt or risk the consequences” is a great message to send.

    But what he’s done in this case, then, is precisely the opposite. Lots of people have now read the leaks and basically “banalised” the things that were supposed to be harmful to the organizational reputation. The overall political context matters. Now everyone, aside from outright Trump supporters #NeverHillary, is saying that most of what is in those emails is essentially uninteresting, in light of the fact that the USA once risked a Trump presidency. Next time around, they won’t go even to the previous lengths to hide it, because it’s been proven to be publicly-acceptable.

    As I said, doing this in the Trump/election context, along with the overall impression of not caring about women and aligning with the so-called alt-right (whether its just or not is another matter), is having the effect of immunizing the establishment.

  22. October 26, 2016

    By the same logic argued in this post those dragged before the House on Un-American Activities brave enough to plead the 5th were truly culpable for “looking” like guilty communists in the US news media. This is nonsense logic. It justifies the immorality of real criminals (committing actual crimes) and the logic of shooting the messenger. Assange is doing what journalists are suppose to do. Hold power accountable.

    But power is not being held accountable by this. Your argument might make sense if this would result in actual consequences for Clinton, etc. But it’s very clearly not. Quite the opposite.

  23. October 26, 2016

    BTW one reason why Putin is using Wikileaks is because he’s adapted: his inner circle has mafia/Marlo’s crew from The Wire -style discipline about not using phone / email as communication channels. (Not because of Wikileaks, but because his tech security isn’t good enough to stop the NSA.)

    Promoting a norm of “everyone’s geopolitical business can be leaked / hacked at any time” imposes a cost on other state actors that he has already paid.

    But if so, Putin hasn’t really adapted. Maybe he thinks that American politics is like Russian politics or something, and that political damage worked the same way?

  24. S Brennan permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Mandos:

    I regret posting on your [yet again] partisan hack piece, please delete my comments. I find your form of neo-McCarthyism worse than the original.

  25. Hvd permalink
    October 26, 2016

    If notional victories brought real rather than notional results I might agree. This is profound claptrap

  26. October 26, 2016

    I regret posting on your [yet again] partisan hack piece, please delete my comments. I find your form of neo-McCarthyism worse than the original.

    I have no editorial control of the comments, that’s up to Ian. If an actual realistic understanding of political effects, rather than wishful thinking, is neo-McCarthyism that’s “worse than the original”, well, I guess McCarthy must not have been as bad as people make him out to be? I kid, I kid, you’re talking total nonsense. Covering your ears and eyes, and then claiming to see what everyone else in the world does not about the failures of mainstream politics.

  27. Zac permalink
    October 26, 2016

    This is clearly written from the perspective of someone who sympathizes with Assange’s aims, but thinks he’s made a strategic error. That so many people can’t see that, or are reading it in bad faith, is pretty surprising to me. To call this Clinton apologism is to be pretty wide of the mark imo. I wonder what else Assange could’ve done though, I don’t know when the documents were received by Wikileaks, but maybe holding them until after the election could have actually had a bigger effect, undermining the administration just as it tries to establish itself and avoiding getting swept up and distorted by the Trump spectacle.

  28. JKL permalink
    October 26, 2016

    “I’m right, everyone else is wrong.”

    Is what this moronic post and your follow up comments essentially argue.

    This blog has become a joke. What was the purpose of letting a moronic shit write a nonsense post?

  29. October 26, 2016

    This is clearly written from the perspective of someone who sympathizes with Assange’s aims, but thinks he’s made a strategic error. That so many people can’t see that, or are reading it in bad faith, is pretty surprising to me.

    I’ve been around these parts for a long time, and I’m not surprised in the least. A lot of these people are, for lack of a better word, “process progressives”, as well as hypermaterialistic “guns-and-butter” leftists. To them, only certain things are truly important, those that match a very materialistic “show me the money” sort of frame, and then those things can only be addressed in very particular ways, and any other way of looking at it is morally corrupt and therefore invalid. Ghastly “speaking truth to power” nonsense, in other words.

    That’s why the political perspective they claim to represent has been spectacularly ineffective, which they excuse by a circular impotence argument: the other side has too much money.

    To call this Clinton apologism is to be pretty wide of the mark imo. I wonder what else Assange could’ve done though, I don’t know when the documents were received by Wikileaks, but maybe holding them until after the election could have actually had a bigger effect, undermining the administration just as it tries to establish itself and avoiding getting swept up and distorted by the Trump spectacle.

    Exactly. Once Trump won the Republican nomination, any attack on her was going to be ineffective for reasons I’ve already given, and actually self-destructive. Clinton could not have had a more convenient opponent, against whom the most useful accusations are really truly true.

    The point at which Clinton would have been vulnerable is the sort of point where Obama was most vulnerable: on needing co-operation with Congress.

    I realize that Assange doesn’t want to spend any more time in the Ecuadorean embassy, but he certainly hasn’t made it easier for himself to get out of there. But he’s clearly become a folk hero to so many people, they can’t see that, nor admit that he has even a toe of clay.

  30. October 26, 2016

    If notional victories brought real rather than notional results I might agree. This is profound claptrap

    What’s claptrap is a false, damaging distinction between “notional” and “real” victories.

  31. October 26, 2016

    “I’m right, everyone else is wrong.”

    Is what this moronic post and your follow up comments essentially argue.

    This blog has become a joke. What was the purpose of letting a moronic shit write a nonsense post?

    There are several people who raised interesting points — in other words, they were not, at the outset, total rejections of my criticism of the actions and attitudes of WikiLeaks.

    A lot of people around here cannot think in narrative and have the false confidence of thinking that they have very powerful BS detectors. It’s a bit like using a metronome as a Geiger counter.

  32. Zac permalink
    October 26, 2016

    I’ve been around these parts for a long time, and I’m not surprised in the least. A lot of these people are, for lack of a better word, “process progressives”, as well as hypermaterialistic “guns-and-butter” leftists. To them, only certain things are truly important, those that match a very materialistic “show me the money” sort of frame, and then those things can only be addressed in very particular ways, and any other way of looking at it is morally corrupt and therefore invalid. Ghastly “speaking truth to power” nonsense, in other words.

    Yes, there is kind of a utopian notion that is attractive, which is that the truth is self-fulfilling, that all it needs is the light of day and, by not being suppressed, it will have a sort of transformational effect all by itself. I think the recent history of US politics gives plenty of reasons to believe that this is not true – Snowden’s revelations didn’t alter the structure of the US security state, they only normalized it by revealing the truth. The truth does not have some metaphysical property that brings the world into alignment with it once revealed, it is rather, just one weapon among many in an intense and bitter fight for power and influence. And sadly, it doesn’t appear to be one of the more effective ones. Our enemies are savvier than us and much less scrupulous – the truth doesn’t even scare them.

  33. Thepanzer permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Ian,

    I have no interest in reading mandos, I come to your blog for a reason.

    If I wanted mandos style “lectures” I’d go to digby, daily kos, salon or any of the other similar dem group think sites.

    Mandos, go start your own blog and attract your own readership. Hijacking this one is poor form.

  34. V. Arnold permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Wow, with rare exception, the messenger has been attacked more than the message.
    And now Ian is being told how to run “his” blog and what the content should be; pathetic, utterly pathetic.
    Perhaps the commontariet should reassess its own value system and act accordingly…
    I do not often agree with Mandos, but by god damn, I uphold his right to his POV and opinion; and, Ian’s right to run his blog as he damn well sees fit!

  35. V. Arnold permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Thepanzer
    October 26, 2016

    Why not hop into your Tiger tank and join into the Battle of Kursk. That turned out well for Germany…not…

  36. Hugh permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Our elites, and the media is part of those elites, have a standard operating procedure for dealing with views that clash with theirs or challenge the status quo. First, they ignore, then they trivialize. If that doesn’t work, they go all scorched earth. Finally they co-opt and then flush down the toilet, be it the ideas or the people that offend them. Knowing this, ask yourselves when would have been the right time for Assange to release the Podesta emails. The answer is there never would have a good time because the media was always going to ignore, trivialize, criticize, co-opt, and forget them. That’s what they do.

    Mandos’ post is part of the third step. Silly, silly progressives, you don’t understand the REAL game that is going on. Well, there are games and then again there are games. The Podesta emails could hardly be released before the campaign, because they didn’t exist. If they were released during the campaign, that is in the last 20 months, or some part of that since they were only coming into existence, then the media and Mandos would claim that their release amounted to “political interference”. And of course, if they were released after the election, then they would be dismissed as old news, nothing to see here, move along.

    I do not like this infantilization. I deal with facts all the time, and I know how to assess them and their sources and analyse both their purported and actual uses. I have been doing it at a high level for years. Given the choice between not having the facts and having them, I will always choose having them. I can sort out ulterior motives on my own, thank you very much. I do not need gatekeepers.

    This has been the most corrupt, dishonest, contentless Presidential election I can remember, and I can remember quite a few. So when instead of the usual lies, we get some actual content, exposing the lies, Mandos’ reaction is to shoot the messenger and tell us, “The truth? You can’t handle the truth.” Well, here’s a clue, Mandos. Yes, we can.

  37. October 26, 2016

    Mandos, go start your own blog and attract your own readership. Hijacking this one is poor form.

    Oh man, I suppose you should be happy you weren’t around here during the Obama warz, and maybe the Obamacare warz.

    Silos and echo-chambers. Gah.

  38. October 26, 2016

    Our elites, and the media is part of those elites, have a standard operating procedure for dealing with views that clash with theirs or challenge the status quo. First, they ignore, then they trivialize. If that doesn’t work, they go all scorched earth.

    Great, so since you have such a detailed understanding of the SOP, this should all be easy and have been solved a long time ago, shouldn’t it? Hmm?

    Finally they co-opt and then flush down the toilet, be it the ideas or the people that offend them. Knowing this, ask yourselves when would have been the right time for Assange to release the Podesta emails. The answer is there never would have a good time because the media was always going to ignore, trivialize, criticize, co-opt, and forget them. That’s what they do.

    No. There are clearly times when WikiLeaks has been effective in doing what Ben describes (which sounds remarkably similar to David Brin’s Transparent Society thing, and you don’t get more mainstream centrist than Brin). You are literally arguing that there is no such thing as communications strategy. There was a time when a WikiLeaks leak changed attitudes towards government and authority. I would go so far as to say that it was a contributing factor (over time) to the Sanders phenomenon inside the Democratic party. Not all times are the same. That the media attempts to trivialize or distract is absolutely known — its level of effectiveness at doing so clearly varies.

    Mandos’ post is part of the third step. Silly, silly progressives, you don’t understand the REAL game that is going on. Well, there are games and then again there are games. The Podesta emails could hardly be released before the campaign, because they didn’t exist. If they were released during the campaign, that is in the last 20 months, or some part of that since they were only coming into existence, then the media and Mandos would claim that their release amounted to “political interference”. And of course, if they were released after the election, then they would be dismissed as old news, nothing to see here, move along.

    No, these types of political attacks are actually effective sometimes, including between terms. How does picking the time when everyone is literally terrified of Hillary not winning make sense? How does it make sense to materially become, not merely be painted as, but really become, an ally to what everyone else is afraid of?

    I do not like this infantilization. I deal with facts all the time, and I know how to assess them and their sources and analyse both their purported and actual uses. I have been doing it at a high level for years. Given the choice between not having the facts and having them, I will always choose having them. I can sort out ulterior motives on my own, thank you very much. I do not need gatekeepers.

    Bully for you, but PR works.

    This has been the most corrupt, dishonest, contentless Presidential election I can remember, and I can remember quite a few. So when instead of the usual lies, we get some actual content, exposing the lies, …

    And, what did that act of exposure do, exactly? Could you at least even admit it is possible that political opportunities vary over time? Like I said, it’s like using a metronome as a Geiger counter.

  39. Hugh permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Mandos, this election has been about the status quo (Clinton and a thoroughly corrupt Establishment) and two very defective challenges to the status quo by two very Establishment members of it (Trump and Sanders). In other words, the fix has always been in. There was never going to be a good time to release the Podesta emails. Neither in your tone nor in your substance are you going to convince anyone here. The idea that Wikileaks has lost credibility by releasing information on a totally corrupt politician and her cronies which exposes that corruption isn’t simply idiotic. It’s Orwellian. Wikileaks has been attacked for years for what it does, not by Third World dictators but by First World elites. Why do you think Assange was targeted by the Swedes, the Brits, and the US and has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy for 4 years? Oh but now, he’s lost his credibility because our Potemkin media is so in the bag that they can’t be bothered to investigate any of these releases? I look at Assange and I look at you, and it’s not Assange who has blown his credibility.

  40. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Mandos is correct in that if the intent of releasing the emails was to harm the Clinton campaign, the effect has been the opposite. If harming Clinton’s chances of being elected was the intent then WikiLeaks and Julian made a monumental strategic error.

    Because the release has had essentially the opposite effect — or rather, little or none at all — I tend to think that the actual result is the intended outcome, and I suspect that WikiLeaks has never been quite what it and Julian and most of the internets purports it to be.

    Hillary’s campaign and Hillary herself seem to be weathering these releases just fine, and to the extent her partisans acknowledge the content of the emails — rarely — their response is essentially [ shrug ] and they go on, as if nothing particularly interesting has been revealed. So we get to see some of the sausage making. My, my, my. Who’d a thunk?

    There is nothing particularly revelatory, in other words, that most of us didn’t already know or suspect. For its part, WikiLeaks doesn’t make it exactly easy to search the files, which may also be intentional, in that most of us have to rely on others to sort and highlight the material for us, and they will understandably focus on what matters to them — and what they manage to find when poring through the overabundance of stuff. 

    I assume Julian isn’t an idiot, and he knew what he was doing here — and what the likely outcome would be. What’s happened was predictable. Certainly the Clinton campaign knew full well what was in these emails, and no doubt they were prepared should they be released. They had the means and ability to neutralize their negative effects, and in the end to turn them into a net neutral or even a positive, given the utter horror that Trump represents in so many people’s minds.

    I’ve even wondered if the strategic release of this material wasn’t engineered by the Clinton campaign itself. Stranger things have happened….

    

  41. Wyoming permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Ian I would like to respectfully suggest that this blog refrain from commenting about the US election for the duration.

    It seems pretty clear over the last month or two that your perspectives from outside of the situation are pretty tone deaf. And also lack any real understanding of what is going on here in the US. Constantly lecturing people in other countries about how wrong they are about everything all the time when you clearly do not understand their country in any real detail just does not lend to credibility.

    The above hack piece being a great example of what is annoying me lately.

  42. Ron Showalter permalink
    October 26, 2016

    The farce that is the fake-left continues what w/ all the nonsense bickering about nonsense.

    Hugh was the closest here but he still only see part of the overall equation. Here’s a clue for y’all:

    Hillary=Trump=Wikileaks/Assange=Snowden/Greenwald

    Yup, that’s right, boys and girls, they ALL are part and parcel of the Establishment Spectacle and – like Hugh alluded to but missed the larger picture – they are playing games but the games are so large that you cute, adorable fake-lefties just won’t ever let your squishy minds wrap themselves around the enormity of it all. Please read DeBord on the society Spectacle to give yourself a background education. I mean, that book ONLY came out nearly 50 FREAKING YEARS AGO!!! Nah, you’re not late to the party! We always put the dishes away before dinner!

    After that background, here’s some more education for you.

    First, here’s a nice timely refresher on the utter nonsense that is Assage/Wikileaks. Nonsense not in the sense that he and Wikileaks are tools being actively used US/Western Intelligence agencies but nonsense in that he’s some sort of legitimate hero/whistleblower:

    NOTE: the author does get excited at times but there’s enough info/links there for the curious to do their own work. HINT: that’s what you all should have been doing all along instead of trusting the next media darling – e.g., Assange.

    https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/what-is-going-on-with-wikileaks-assange-mia-macfadyen-dead-and-the-cia-honeypot-trying-to-tank-the-clinton-campaign-what-gives/

    Here’s a great piece on all things bull-puckey that are Little Eddie Snowden and the Pierre Omyadar funded crack-journo team of Greenwald and Poitras.

    NOTE: the utter idiocy of Little Eddie Snowden’s story was apparent from the very beginning starting w/ the 17 year old “computer genius'” Ars Technica posts asking for help on how to build a web server, to his preposterous dismissal from Special Forces training, to his meteoric rise from security guard at the NSA facility in MD to super cyber agent in Paris.

    https://ohtarzie.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-tarzie-snowden-reader/

    NOTE: the long post re: Snowden goes into the motivations of creating the Snowden psyop and by extension that of the earlier Assange etc.

    Again, the fake-left in the US is so embarrassing and frustrating b/c they are so very very far from even appreciating where it is they exactly stand. They endlessly engage themselves in the fake “conversations/debates” that TPTB have planned for them to have w/o any thought as to if those were the cages/boxed that were built for them from the outset.

  43. Jeff Martin permalink
    October 26, 2016

    I disagreed strongly with Mandos’ last post, on the EU and globalization, and there is much in the form of this post that I find objectionable. However, it is obvious that Assange’s strategy has not exactly succeeded, whatever his motivations, because his understanding of American identity politics is even more superficial than that of the pseudo-leftists who go in for that sort of thing.

    But what was Assange’s objective with Wikileaks (Yes, I get that Deep State ghoulies like Sunstein were involved in the inception of the enterprise; it’s not clear to me that this entails that Assange was fully aware of all of the objectives they had for ‘his’ enterprise – compartmentalization is a significant aspect of any Deep State operation)? To war against secret, double government by increasing the operational costs to the secrecy it requires.

    I’m dubious that any of his disclosures, over the history of his operation, have had more than a marginal impact on the operations of the Deep State, not least because the Deep State operates intersectionally, at the crossroads of mass apathy/indifference/resignation; a media which, apart from the margins, may as well be state-run; the sheer capacity, technologically and militarily, to destroy any form of resistance that might, hypothetically, arise; and the ideological capacity to associate the whistleblower, whomever he/she may be, with any of numerous figures in the Americanist, and now neoliberal, demonology – in this case, a rough trifecta of the douchebro rapist (and I think the Swedish charges are a three-dollar bill, ftr), the traitor working on behalf of the Reds, and the avatar of racist reaction. The latter is where identity politics factor in, because the manifest strategy of the Establishment is to associate critiques of the actually-existing neoliberal/liberal interventionist Establishment with knuckle-dragging, wife-beating, sexual assault-perpetrating racists, in order to discredit both the populist Right and the populist Left in one act of triangulation/guilt-by-association. Cruder versions are occasionally trotted out, as when imbecile columnists throw out a line or two about critiques of banksters and antisemitism, as though Occupiers were concerned not about trillions of dollars worth of frauds, but the ethno-religious background of a couple of bank CEOs. Marginally more sophisticated plays involve associating critiques of American foreign policy with the less savory aspects of whatever regime the US happens to be targeting in its misbegotten operations.

    All of this means that there are almost insurmountable obstacles to the sort of strategy Assange is pursuing, not just with the Podesta leaks, but with the entirety of his undertaking. It seems to me that the strategy of any sort of revolutionary movement ought to be to maneuver an adversary into a corner, such that they must either make concessions or prove true the movement’s critique, thus contributing to their loss of legitimacy. The Left, broadly speaking, has never been able to execute this turn, an incapacity for which many theories have been offered as explanations. After all, if we know what Clinton is, and we don’t care, because at least she’s not Trump, and we cannot bear to be associated with the figures of the Establishment demonology, perhaps we don’t want this system to be reformed as badly as we protest that we do.

  44. RJMeyers permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Assange’s timing is reinforcing some trends on both sides. He’s giving ammunition to whatever comes after Trump by validating the narrative that the system is rigged, that the elites are corrupt, and that Dem supporters don’t care. On the Dem side, he’s adding to a preexisting impulse to ignore and justify the corruption, to circle the wagons and pretend that everything is OK, and to accept an embrace of the Republican center-right.

    Obama started his first term with a mandate for change, which he failed to deliver. Clinton is going to start her first term with a mandate for the status quo. Meanwhile, Trump is going to lose with a remarkably energetic chunk of the population behind him, and that energy will go somewhere as the right mutates.

    Assange is not responsible for all this, but he has reinforced it. Either he messed up his timing really badly and intended to help Trump, or he’s playing a longer game. Probably the former, but I don’t know.

  45. albertde permalink
    October 26, 2016

    I will be clear. I come to this blog to read your opinion, Ian, a fellow Canadian, not some warmed over bullshit that I could get from the NY Times or PBS.
    Fahrenheit Land has deep problems that neither candidate can or wants to solve and its people have been deluded from day one of its creation when Southern slaveholders cried about the liberty of humanity, mankind in the old days but it is longer PC to say that. I use Fahrenheit as a symbol of the emotional irrationality and mental laziness of its people.

  46. wendy davis permalink
    October 26, 2016

    some of you may subscribe to the pretense ‘earnestly concerned, but let’s pretend to be fair and humble w/ GG’s phony mea culpa’ major knuckle raps that scribes to the Imperium glenn greenwald and his sidekick naomi klein gave assange recently in this obviously pre-planned reality theater. ‘The Great WikiLeaks Train Robbery: Pinkerton Police Greenwald and Klein in Close Pursuit’

    https://cafe-babylon.net/2016/10/24/the-great-wikileaks-train-robbery-pinkerton-police-greenwald-and-klein-in-close-pursuit/

    trump doesn’t use email, there’s no proof that ‘putin hacked podesta’s campaign emails, and not many of you seem to know what those emails proved. sure, the clinton campign pretends to yawn, while directing true believers to: Putin!!! OMG! timing?

    wikileaks Oct 22
    “Leak early, leak often: If WikiLeaks had obtained Clinton emails earlier, US voters could have chosen Sanders v Trump. So do it. Do it now.”

    and WikiLeaks has gone to some length to instruct us as to how to search the various tranches, highlight what seems valuable, and to ‘link to the emails’ which now that it has become more partisan, there are apparently fakes out there now. but he and his team recently provided a list of 3000 pdf attachments w/ descriptions. no, this post claims to not care if assange is a rapist or not, as it’s been reified, but one can read at, believe or not believe justice4assange(dot)com; both FAQ and fact checker are noteworthy (hello sweden, hello world, hello ‘if i did say i’d like to drone him, it was joke’ red queen).

    if one can’t see the reason he did all this, are you on the #fakeleft? adequate to the task, of course, is a whole ‘nother question.

  47. Hugh permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Years ago there was a skit on SNL about an agent trying to tell an untalented, egotistical actor, as gently as he could, that he the actor didn’t get the part. The actor doesn’t get it, and they go back and forth. The agent becomes increasingly frustrated and pointed in all the reasons the studio doesn’t want the actor. The actor continues telling the agent, I can do this, you can do that. Finally, the agent blurts out that the actor is a no talent piece of shit that the studio hates him and wouldn’t hire if every other actor on the planet fell off a cliff. The actor looks at him and says, “So what are you trying to say?”

    This election reminds me of that skit with the agent being reality, the studio, the Establishment, and the actor, the American electorate. No matter how many times, no matter how frankly, the American people are told they are being had. They just refuse to get it. We had the field of Republican grotesques led by the head disturbing clown himself Donald Trump. We had the self-declared sheepdog “I will support the nominee” candidacy of Bernie Sanders. And we had the return of the cosmically entitled and in your face corrupt grifter Clintons.

    Ah, yes, the Clintons. The speeches to Wall Street and the failure to ask why anyone would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to hear anything not from anyone, but especially the Clintons. We had Hillary’s other email/server scandal, Bill’s blatant wink, wink, say no more meeting with Attorney General Lynch, to make sure the fix was in, followed by FBI director Comey’s painful verbal gymnastics, someone who had clearly been gotten to, torpedoing not just his own agency’s investigation but any investigation of Clinton’s server. Immunity being granted to all concerned, despite the deleting of tens of thousands of emails, both from the server itself and the cloud, and then the subsequent physical destruction of the server –just to make sure. And Clinton’s various other lies being swept under the rug, because Clinton = entitlement. We had the spectacle of Hillary’s 30 years record of failure and scandal paraded out as qualifying EXPERIENCE.

    Then there was all the primary rigging when it looked like even a Trojan horse candidate like Sanders was preferred to the Hill. All of this later being confirmed by the DNC hacked emails. And of course, there was the, again in your face, multi-billion dollar, corrupt, criminal, influence peddling, graft and bribery enterprise known as the Clinton Foundation. And now we have the Podesta emails which confirm that Hillary doesn’t have any convictions, only committees, and that we can’t trust anything she says because we don’t know if public or private, inner or outter Hillary is speaking. But regardless of her complete disdain for the law at least in so far as it applies to her and hers, of her never having met a war she didn’t like, of her personal and public lies and corruption, let’s all run out and vote for her, because TRUMP. Reality has been yelling at us ever louder at us for the last year that we are being deeply and profoundly had and like the stupid actor too, too many of us keep coming back with “What are you trying to say?” on our way to the polls to vote for the Criminal or the Doofus.

  48. markfromireland permalink
    October 26, 2016

    Calm down everyone. Mandos’ record for accurate political prediction is quite simple abysmal. He’s a tone deaf political gadfly and that’s all he is. Read his stuff at all closely and you’ll see he’s prime libertarian material the difference is that he’s already in the political dustbin whereas they’r merely well on their way there.

  49. wendy davis permalink
    October 26, 2016

    @ Hugh: and didn’t the actor ask the agent: “could ya call the studio and see if i buy a new suit they’d let me try out again?” and the agent sighed, and said: “yeah, okay; that might just work.”

  50. Ian Welsh permalink*
    October 26, 2016

    1)It’s a guest post, with a perspective I don’t entirely agree with. That I don’t agree with it, is in part, why it’s here. 🙂

    2) Also, the site is being redesigned for mobile, and will be changing living over the next little while. Sorry about that, but it should remain functional, if a little weird. (I know that it could be done sandbox, but for various reasons, we aren’t. 🙂 )

    3) It’s often important to understand the viewpoints of those we disagree with. Mandos had some excellent posts on the Eurocrat view of Greece and Brexit, for example.

    Even if you think Mandos is wrong, understand that there are a lot of people who agree with him. A ton of people who are democrats and/or women have turned against Wikileaks over these particular leaks.

    4) For the record, while I’m tired of Assange not properly redacting, I otherwise still support Wikileaks. I think the information was in the public interest, I am aware of no indication any of it is incorrect, and I think it should have been released.

    5) I will continue to comment on the US election as I see fit. This trend of “don’t write about stuff I don’t want you to” comments is tiresome. You will note I almost never write about Swiss politics. That is because the Swiss mostly mind their own damn business. When the US is not bombing multiple countries, imposing sanctions, forcing its laws on other people, underwriting horrible trade deals and so on; when it goes back to being isolationist and leaving other people alone, I will happily stop caring about US elections.

    Until then, your election matters to people outside the US and most of my posts on the election have been about the consequences of who you elect, which is something I have been quite accurate on in the past. (I’m bad at predicting electoral outcomes, though, especially in the US.)

    Depending on who you elect, a lot of people are going to suffer. They are different groups of people. That matters. It may not matter to you, but it matters to me, so I will write on it.

    As for Wikileaks, the fact that they have lost a lot of support in certain areas, and gained it in others, matters, even if one doesn’t like the tone of Mandos’s rhetoric.

  51. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    October 26, 2016

    > not bombing multiple countries
    > not underwriting horrible trade deals
    > being isolationist

    Ian confirmed for secret Trump supporter.

  52. paintedjaguar permalink
    October 26, 2016

    “being redesigned for mobile” — which accounts for 25 or 30 percent of web traffic. Great, another site jumps on the idiotic and ILLEGIBLE “flat design” bandwagon, with blinding expanses of white space and spindly, low contrast text that literally makes my eyes hurt. I often don’t even finish reading articles and comments displayed in this manner . The only thing that makes it bearable is Firefox’s “Reader” mode which removes the flat design formatting — but unfortunately doesn’t display comments at all.

  53. Ian Welsh permalink*
    October 26, 2016

    It’s not done yet, hopefully it won’t be /that/ terrible. Unfortunately I’ve been getting complaints from people trying to use mobile.

  54. Ché Pasa permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @Hugh

    No, let’s not all go out and vote for her because TRUMP!!!!1

    Say no.

    As Emma Goldman pithily remarked

    If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.

    True then, even truer now.

    The strategic way to deal with this absurd “election” is not to participate and by refusing to participate to lay the groundwork for delegitimizing whoever comes out on top. The partisans for one candidate or the other obviously miss the bigger picture, that the whole pageant is a charade intended to keep the Rabble entertained and at odds with one another while the Overclass steals more pelf for itself and perpetrates yet more bloodshed for its own pleasure and amusement. Sick bastards that they are.

    That would happen whoever winds up in the Big Chair. There is literally no way to stop it through elections.

    Stopping it is not what elections are for.

    For a not-voting strategy to work, it must be maintained and grow over repeated electoral cycles — ie: the percentage of voters voting for one Evil or the Other must decline over time — and alternatives to the ever-more bogus electoral process must be instituted and available. To do it non-violently is a very long-term project indeed.

    In the meantime, the Overclass will continue to steal everything they can get their hands on the way they always have and they will continue their passion to spill and drink the blood of others. It’s what they do; it’s who they are.

    The Rabble’s refusal to participate in the process ultimately puts the Overclass in a bind they cannot escape from, and they either yield or face elimination.

    But who knows how many more generations it will take…

  55. Mallam permalink
    October 27, 2016

    And yet, they are trying to make it illegal to vote if you’re a person of color.

  56. edwin permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @Ché Pasa

    Let’s just say that boycotting the vote worked out really badly in Spain in the 1930’s.

  57. Peter* permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @WD

    Your reference to Greenwald and Kline and their contributions to this theme that Mandos is party to shows how the Clintonite slime trail is spreading. GG was already working to undermine WikiLeaks/Assange before Klein added the ‘powerful elites are people too and deserve protection from prying eyes’ meme while he was highlighting the supposed technical sloppiness of Assange’s releases compared to his tight fisted clinging to the Snowden files.

    There are other examples of this elite Clintonite grooming of the rubes to reject this unworthy criticism from WikiLeaks, or anyone else, while welcoming the handling of their lives by the cold hands of the Red Queen and her quislings. It’s odd the way GG is playing the Closet Clintonite role and his responses when I challenged him on his earlier attempts were lame and defensive.

    With their Wall of Inevitability protecting their queen the quislings are already gloating and moving on to eliminating any pesky distractions that might detract from the smooth transfer of power to these new royals who know what is best for others and what is required for implementing their agendas.

  58. Peter* permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @Edwin

    Another true believer, the system will work for us if we just try a little harder and believe the myths of democracy. The hegemon is not Spain and never has been so your analogy may be scary but it’s meaningless.

    Undermining our corrupt system by boycotting elections is a long term project to expose the myths and lies that allow the ruling class to proclaim after every election that they possess the consent of the people to rule over them. About half of the people in the US already recognize this fact and refuse to waste their vote on this deadly charade.

    Within the confines of this crooked system this election is unique and worth attention even possibly voting. Trump has done more to expose the rigged system and undermine the powerful players than any person in our history even if he is a creature of the system.

    Some people on the left are very jealous of his success because of their total failure to have any effect on our system so they regress to the ‘there all the same’ mantra because if they can’t take credit for this breakthrough no right winger should get credit.

  59. wendy davis permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @ Peter: good on you for having challenged him, and thank you. his ‘debate’ with NK was such a sham, as were his feints at mea culpas, and as some of know only too well, he lies when he can’t obfuscate with shiny objects in some other direction. NK was just hideous; one wag called their debate “a concern-trolling limited hangout”. “oh, you can see why being imprisoned in the EE for five years has turned assange into a conscienceless nutbar” (well, close.)

    one thing i’d forgotten to mention was that those ‘closely held and vetted’ (untrue, he later admitted) were opened to ‘real journalists’ to read and write about. but really, a lot of this rubbish boils down to the fact that both GG and NK are funded by oligarchs and billionaires in their own right, and foundations and NGOs who are gatekeepers for all of this (mcFibbin’, as well). the folks at wrong kind of green have followed their money for years, and it ain’t pretty, but should be known.

    i was bugged about the ‘turkish emails’ meme, and i swear, the sole source in the myriad hits on my bing inquiry, all led back to that source at the huffpo link mandos supplied. now she may have been correct, but single sources do bother me.

    anyway, i gotta scoot; another round of barbarity may be comin’ down on the water protectors’ #nodapl. oh, my, they are warriors for water and life! i just watched an interview w/ the magnificent ladonna brave bull allard, and she made me cry.

  60. XFR permalink
    October 27, 2016

    Lynchings almost always happened under the auspices of “protecting the womenfolk”.

    This crap isn’t on the same planet as anything remotely recognizable as progressive or liberal.

  61. XFR permalink
    October 27, 2016

    i was bugged about the ‘turkish emails’ meme, and i swear, the sole source in the myriad hits on my bing inquiry, all led back to that source at the huffpo link mandos supplied. now she may have been correct, but single sources do bother me.

    Was it a database of women specifically or just a database with women in it? If the latter then casting the breach as a ‘women’s issue’ would be pretty transparent BS; no-one ever covers general data breaches that way.

  62. wendy davis permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @ KFR this i the link mandos had provided in the OP; she is the sole source, as far as i’ve been able to find.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zeynep-tufekci/wikileaks-erdogan-emails_b_11158792.html

  63. Peter* permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @WD

    An interesting update at the end of your link stated that WikiLeaks never had the databases in question on their site, all they did was link to them so this concern trolling attempt to blame them for the release of the databases with the women’s personal information is BS.

  64. wendy davis permalink
    October 27, 2016

    @ Peter: lord luv a duck; i hadn’t even seen that. wonder when she updated it it? what a load of horsehockey. guess we won’t ‘follow her’ on twitter. freaking yellow journalism smears. wonder if ‘wired’, the NYT, will amend their reporting? wired even did a fake mea culpa like GG: “oh, yes, WE reported on the (podesta emails in his case), ‘assange endangered turkish women’ in wired and so many other cases. yep: get wikileaks time: cuz: hillary. Pfffft.

    on the other thread, i’d posted a link to craig murray saying he’d seen him alive on oct. 19/20, at any rate. ecuador announced he could have his connectivity back ‘after the election’. when the fuck will it be over????

  65. Tom W Harris permalink
    October 30, 2016

    /////////////////////////////
    As Emma Goldman pithily remarked

    If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
    ////////////////////////////

    What the fuck did Emma Goldman ever know about voting, or anything else? She was a red, and a bozo. But I repeat myself.

  66. October 31, 2016

    “Trump has done more to expose the rigged system and undermine the powerful players than any person in our history even if he is a creature of the system.”

    I hope that’s a joke. While it has been amusing watching the Trump supporters here twist themselves into the ground rationalizing their support for him, such outrageously inflated fluffing of him is beyond absurd.

  67. Lisa permalink
    October 31, 2016

    ks: Give you a tip, read between the lines of some commentators here. There are some (at least) who want a authoritarian Trump like figure to put the ‘wimmin, niggahs, pooftahs, trannies…’ in their place again and make it ‘great’ again for white, heterosexual (they claim) men again.

    The rest is just rationalisation and window dressing.

    What will happen with a Trump win? Well #1 will be the winding back or even downright elimination of anti-discrimination laws for minorities, women and LGBTI people ..it will get real ugly real fast. The ‘Right Wing Authoritarians’ will get permission to go full on and they are aggressive haters of the first order. Expect violence against and rapes of women to skyrocket just for one thing, with their ‘Commander in Chief’ showing just how to do it .
    Don’t underestimate just how much hatred and anger these people have and just how much they hate other people ..and women especially.

    The trouble for them is ..they are a minority and when inevitably the others join together, outnumber them and fight back….

    We all know what a Clinton win would do…the same as has been done to date, same old ‘all the way for the 1% and Wall St’ economic policies with the added risk of WW3 over Syria. But at least some social cohesion will be maintained.

    In two senses a Trump victory will be great for the rest of the world …and horrible for very many people in the US. They will get the whole ‘religious right’ experience, which will tear the country to pieces. Might even break it up. And they are going to get the lot rammed right down their throat, welcome to a theocracy.

    The other is that while I don’t expect Trump to be any less aggressive than Clinton on the world stage (he will follow the religious right and elite consensus on that and they want war) his Govt will be so chaotic that even the died in the wool, bought and paid for ‘allies’ (otherwise known as Satraps) will abandon the US.

    The downside is US women, racial/religious minorities and LGBTI people are going to be literally fighting for their lives and this will encourage all the too similar ‘religious right’/just damn right people elsewhere. We would see a worldwide rise in racism, misogyny and prejudice ..and yes violence not seen since the 1930s.

    The odds are still in Clinton’s favour ..just. But I am amazed at it, how anyone could lose to her? Not just her record but the abysmal campaign the HRC team have ran, still chasing their mythical ‘moderate Republican’ voters to get their ‘wet dream’ of a dominant centre right party.

    All she had to do was throw a few, very popular, economic bones to the left, but that is impossible for the Dem elites. Not just they are bought and paid for by Wall st (etc) it is also ideological for them. Their perfect scenario is a GOP Senate and Reps with a Dem President, so the failure of any ‘left’ policies can be blamed on the said GOP while their real (and that both parties agree on) policies get through. While the country and world crumble, insane.

    Ditto Trump if he had stayed away from (or cowed them) the religious right he would have won easily, romped it in. But he sold his soul to the religious right and no one is more conservative, more hateful and aggressive than them. And they want the end of welfare, tax cuts for the rich and war (even the ‘end of times’) just as much as the Dem neo-conservatives do.

    Going to be interesting (in the agonising manner) however it turns out.

  68. October 31, 2016

    @Lisa,

    True and I don’t think you even need to read between the lines as they are stridently waving the banner but as you said the window dressings and rationalizations are just cover.

    Insofar as this election, a Hillary victory has long been baked into the cake as, despite the drama, Trump has never had a reasonable path to 270. The Dems couldn’t have picked a better opponent. If the GOP had run a usual suspect and stayed on message they would’ve had a better than even chance and certainly wouldn’t be in danger of losing the Senate.

  69. XFR permalink
    November 1, 2016

    The downside is US women, racial/religious minorities and LGBTI people are going to be literally fighting for their lives

    So if Trump wins, there’ll be a move to eradicate the entire female sex and replace traditional reproduction with cloning and artificial gestation? Or if the enabling technology for that isn’t available, auto-homeo-genocide a la Pol Pot on a continental scale?

  70. realitychecker permalink
    November 1, 2016

    @ XFR

    You can do what you want, but, personally, after the election,, I’m looking forward to fucking only robots from now on, and may also get a few black robots to abuse and humiliate on a daily basis so I can elevate my pathetic level of self-esteem.

    So, our more hysterical commenters here won’t have to worry about me anymore, at least.

    ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no good, amirite? So, go Trump! 🙂

    P.S. Genocides are a lot of fun, too. Everybody should have one, amirite?

    P.P.S. If I was as scared shitless about my continuously imminent demise as some, I might be grateful for the Second Amendment. (Fortunately, I only have to sweat out the possibility of a shark attack, so I keep shark repellent in my pocket at all times, even though it stains my bejewelled tuxedos.)

    I’ll be here all week, folks. Except when I’m not.

    Carry on regardless, professional carry-on-ers. You’ve got nothing to lose except the rest of your minds and credibility. Won’t take much longer.

  71. Lisa Mullin permalink
    November 2, 2016

    XFR & realitychecker: It is the stated position of the GOP and Trump to end ALL abortion for any reason ..including rape and saving the life of the mother. There already have been cases of religious (Catholic of course) hospitals refusing aborting the dead fetuses of women resulting the women’s deaths.

    Yes it really is life or death for some….

  72. realitychecker permalink
    November 2, 2016

    @ Lisa Mullin

    The Rule of Law itself is many times more important to people who are not all about themselves.

    How many will die if we lose the Rule of Law?

  73. Lisa permalink
    November 3, 2016

    realitychecker : ‘Rule of Law” is only useful as long as it follow Justice.

    For example some religious right person bans abortion, or homosexual sex…you ok with that? Or passes into law the legal inferiority of a a part of society (like women or Jews….). it is law, so is that ok with you?
    In many US States there are still laws against oral sex .. ok with that too?

    All laws have to be judged against some standard, secular civilised societies use the standard of ‘if it doesn’t harm anyone else then it is ok and shouldn’t be illegal’ rule (sort of).

    Your argument follows the classic Authoritarian one (see The Authoritarians, google it). The ‘law is the law and should be obeyed’…well unless it is one that affects you personally and negatively, then you are against it of course.

  74. realitychecker permalink
    November 6, 2016

    @ Lisa Mullin

    So, then, your “non-authoritarian” position would be that THE RULE OF LAW IS ONLY WHAT EACH AND EVERY IGNORANT ASSHOLE DECIDES IS IN KEEPING WITH HIS/HER PARTICULARIZED CONCEPT OF WHAT CONSTITUTES “JUSTICE”?

    Really?

    Why then even elect legislators?

    Clearly, the correct path lies somewhere between those two extreme views we’ve typed out, n’est-ce pas?

    Careful calibration of big ideas- who’s got the time or stomach for it, amirite?

    When can I vote for the Misanthrope Party lol?

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