Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Justin Trudeau's Sickening Betrayal of GLBTQNB2S Kids

 [Note: This blog post is being deliberately written in an over-the-top parody of a former progressive blogger who is now a full-time hack propagandist.]

The Toronto Star asked in late July:

If a federal election is called for the fall, killing the government’s conversion therapy bill in the process, one of the big questions will be whether the government did all that it could to get the bill passed.

For some, that also sparks a perhaps more cynical question: Did the government even want the bill passed?

Well, now we know the answer to that question. Trudeau clearly thought it was more important to try to get a majority, even though Parliament was actually functioning well. The Liberals were able to get their legislation passed, albeit with some sorts of compromise to Opposition demands. Sure, not having complete domination of the legislature has meant that the Liberals are distracted by investigations into scandals and corruption, usually spearheaded by the hypocritical, super-corrupt Conservative Party of Canada. But unless you're a Liberal member of the Cabinet, this isn't that big a deal. It's a good thing for governments to have to prove their integrity. And, furthermore, while it was a relatively long time ago, the scandal of pressure on then-Attorney General Wilson-Raybould to go easy on SNC-Lavalin really WAS a scandal that needed investigating. Despite what shameless Liberal-hack bloggers screeched.

But one thing you can say about Liberals is their sense of entitlement. Total entitlement. They are the best people on the fucking planet goddamnit!! And it literally tears them apart when other people don't worship them as if they are. They utter their platitudes about "social justice" and "caring" and "helping everyone to reach their full potential" with something approaching genuine conviction! And just because in practice they administer crumbs to the people while shovelling billions to their corporate masters doesn't give other people the right to point out their hypocrisy!!

Liberals AREN'T hypocrites!!!! All you have to do is hermetically seal-off the speaking of the platitudes with the engaging in the corruption and anti-people austerity!! As a matter of fact, you should just totally ignore the corruption and the austerity. Because pointing it out makes you a hateful, stephen harper-loving, Trumpista MAGA-hat wearing, bigoted asshole! Even if you're in the NDP!!! If you're a stupid "Dipper" and you criticize the Liberals, YOU'RE THE WORST, because thanks to our first-past-the-post electoral system, voting for the zombie, "brocialist swine" far-left extremist NDP could lead to a Conservative victory which would be YOUR FAULT even though electoral reform was dead the night Trudeau got his majority. Trudeau made the parliamentary committee on electoral reform fail to reflect his party's majority because he wanted an excuse (however stupid) to blame the failure to achieve electoral reform on anyone other than himself and his party of disgusting, entitled, hypocritical neo-liberal asswipes.

The sad thing is that this meme was probably produced by some asshat who thinks stephen harper is a genius. :(

But it's his betrayal of GLBTQNB2S kids that is the worst! 

The Liberal government has blamed the Conservatives for frustrating Bill C-6’s progress in the House of Commons, where it finally passed in June, and in the Senate, where it passed second reading before the upper chamber rose for the summer.


But that doesn’t tell the whole story of the misfortunes of a bill that would provide much-needed protections for LGBTQ Canadians — and which would finally fulfil a major Liberal campaign promise.

So, what happened?

The New Democrats say they offered to help fast-track the bill in the Commons, and repeatedly asked why the bill wasn’t being brought for debate sooner.

Did'ja read that?!? If anyone is out trying to protect GLBTQNB2S kids it's Jagmeet Singh and the NDP!!! Doing their best to help the phoney-assed Liberals achieve their supposed goals of helping kids! But these kids are just bargaining chips and virtue-signalling for the disgusting Liberals! What good is it to actually rescue them when you can milk votes by leaving them in permanently THREATENED status from the dinosaur Conservatives???

This is the soulless core of the Liberal Party of Canada folks! Unlike Conservative troglodytes, Liberals actually KNOW what the right course of action is, but they've systematically neutralized their emotions so as to be able to consistently do what is wrong, thereby serving the oligarchy and its imperialism.  The ONLY thing that really rouses their emotions is when they get called on their bullshit. Having their cynicism and opportunism and hypocrisy and all-around scuzziness thrown into their faces makes them LIVID.

The “only explanation” that NDP House Leader Peter Julian says he can think of for the lack of priority afforded to the bill by the Liberals was that they wanted to use it as a wedge issue against the Conservatives, half of whose caucus — including deputy leader Candice Bergen — ended up voting against the bill.

“We didn’t see the government use the tools that they needed to use in the House of Commons, now it doesn’t appear that they’re using the tools and the influence they have in the Senate to get the legislation through, so it raises the question,” Julian said in an interview this week.

“What was the real intent of C-6? Was it to address this fundamental issue, or was it just for posturing?”

OF COURSE it was just posturing! And now the Bill has died because of this unnecessary election call! Imagine being a GLBTQNB2S kid and seeing the Liberals dragging their feet on protecting you and then, at the last possible moment, totally betray you by putting their delusions for a majority ahead of your HUMAN RIGHTS!!!

Julian said the NDP was flagging the need to move faster on C-6 as early as March, so that the Senate would also have enough time with it before the summer.

He said the party was ready to help fast-track it, including by offering support for evening sittings and time allocation, which would limit debate, earlier in the parliamentary session. He said the NDP was looking for nothing in return on its offer.

The fact that the government didn’t take the NDP up on its offer and brought the bill back late in the session “I think lends credence to the argument that they preferred to turn it into a wedge than actually get it done,” said NDP MP Randall Garrison, his party’s critic on justice and sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bill finally passed the House on June 22, but now finds itself in the Senate with no clear way out.

And we all know how THAT turned out!!!

It should be clear now that the ONLY course of action is for all TRUE PROGRESSIVES to vote NDP in huge numbers to create an ORANGE WAVE that will sweep the Liberals aside, implement electoral reform and save Canada forever from the spectre of a Conservative majority while also saving the environment and GLBTQNB2S kids!

Trudeau says "We can wait until another day to deal with this problem."

(I just have to say that I find it hilarious that the Liberal-hack blogger who bizarrely tried to use this issue as a cudgel to beat the NDP with, was also champing at the bit for his dreamboat/air-head Trudeau to call an unnecessary election and was mocking the Conservatives and the NDP for being afraid of facing the voters, is now deathly afraid that the polls have recently turned against the Liberals and is complaining about the stupidity of Canadians. That sort of stuff is bound to happen after you flush your brains and principles down the toilet.) 

If I was a hack blogger I'd add some gushing hyperbole about how awesome Jagmeet Singh is here.

Friday, August 20, 2021

What Hath "Russiagate" Wrought? - Part II

A LOT has happened since I started this. Trudeau called an unnecessary election. The Taliban re-took Afghanistan. Oh well ...

So my last post was basically about how "liberals" or "progressives" harm themselves by pushing bullshit elite narratives and by damning to HeLL everyone who votes the wrong way. The basis of the post was an editorial from a guy (perhaps a centrist, I don't remember) who articulated right-wing grievances and whom Glenn Greenwald hosted as a guest writer on his substack. The editorial described some of the passably credible concerns Trump voters had about the 2020 election; the way that the contrived "Russiagate" conspiracy theory undermined the credibility of the anti-Trump "resistance" and all the institutional co-conspirators; how the Silicon Valley tech-giant's concerted suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story only confirmed MAGA-types that they are the victims of powerful forces who are not afraid to engage in outright smears and lies while suppressing alternative voices.  ["Stop the Steal" people deserve a fair hearing. But they also deserve to hear how hypocritical they're being. I mentioned that last time but since then I've remembered Greg Palast's documentation of the illegal ways Trump was conspiring to steal 2020.]

I offered some caveats as I posted quotes from the editorial, but much of what it says is valid. The fact that this editorial was hosted by Glenn Greenwald is itself significant though. Glenn Greenwald is a harsh critic of the Democratic Party. (He had been a harsh critic of the Republican Party when it held the presidency.) He criticizes left-wing "identity politics" and "cancel culture." He appears regularly on the Tucker Carlson show on FOX News. I mentioned at the beginning of the last post that Greenwald has said and done some things that are difficult to defend. (I linked to a David Neiwert post about Greenwald's over-the-top defence of the civil liberties of a violent nazi when he --- Greenwald, not the Nazi --- was a young civil rights lawyer.) But it seems to me to be petulant and childish and partisan to write-off Greenwald because you disagree with or don't understand his decisions.  There is precious little criticism of the Democratic Party from US progressives. Whatever you think of some of his other views, Greenwald has offered important critiques of that party of cynical, hypocritical posturing oligarchs. And nobody can dispute the importance of Greenwald's contributions to the Snowden revelations or the [genuine] resistance to the fascist Bolsanaro regime in Brazil. Partisans like Democrat hack-blogger "Driftglass" will denigrate the Snowden revelations while he's busy nuzzling into the asshole of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz because he's shameless and hopeless.

I think I'm going to try to wrap this one up quickly. At the time I read them, a series of CounterPunch articles calling ALL Trump supporters irredeemable fascists and ANYONE who even considered trying to talk to them (Glenn Greenwald, Bernie Sanders, Jimmy Dore, Caitlin Johnstone, Matt Taibbi) as either dupes or advocates of fascism, really stuck in my craw. But shit has obviously been happening, and this is just a blog post that very few people read. (I blog merely to vent. But I don't intend to spend a great deal of my time venting.) Particularly egregious of these CounterPunchers has been Paul Street. It seems that Street has decided that the 73 MILLION US-American voters who voted for Trump are all hopeless fascists and that it's the height of stupidity to try to talk to them. Instead, Street advocates .... well, I'm not sure exactly. I think he advocates shunning this entire population entirely whilst voting for the "dismal, dollar-drenched Democrats" every election before going back to criticizing the Democrats for being corrupt, authoritarian sell-outs. 

Mr. Street, if I'm wrong, please correct me. I've been going through your essays on CounterPunch and I've not been able to quickly find the editorials that appear from you (or is it Anthony DiMaggio?) in the run-up months to US presidential elections which always seem to say "Yes, the Democrats are dismal and dollar-drenched, but, gosh darn it! The Republicans are just so horribly awful that once again we have to vote for them as 'the lesser evil'."

[This is just a blog post. It's just me venting.]

Now, I'm certainly caustic of right-wingers. I actually believe that "right-wing populism" can just as accurately be called "fascism." That's because I don't believe that "fascism" is, itself, a coherent, fully-formed political philosophy. It's a grab-bag of prejudices, bigotries, delusions, conspiracy theories, and entitlements. Sometimes I call fascism "socialism for stupid people." [I guess in the same way that libertarianism is "capitalism for stupid people."] But not everyone who votes right-wing are themselves right-wing. People who bloviate right-wing nonsense on social media are one thing. But the more numerous types who might vote right-wing but who hardly even think about politics between elections are another thing altogether. Remember, some of Trump's voters had voted for Obama. Trump told US-Americans (mostly white, Republican supporters) who had been suffering from de-industrialization, austerity, stagnant wages, etc., ... that he would bring those good-paying factory jobs back. Democrat-hack "progressives" tried to shame them with: "I see! So you think you'll get your factory jobs back and the refugees at our southern border and our undocumented fellow human beings and Black people abused by our racist justice system and our racist economic system aren't deal-breakers for you! How selfish! How privileged!" But one could just as easily retort: "So! You want to vote for Hillary because a Wall Street stooge/war monger with a vagina is important to you. And the tens of millions of refugees she's created and the million+ deaths she's caused as a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, and the destruction of Libya and Syria aren't important to you? How privileged! How self-centered!"

There are narratives that dominate US-American politics. (There is also Republican voter-suppression, gerrymandering, the over-representation of rural regions and voters everywhere but especially in the Electoral College and the Senate, and I forgot to mention last time the schemes described by Greg Palast in his [happily mistitled] "How Trump Stole 2020.") There's the Republican narrative of military glory, hard-working white people vs. entitled mud-people, Faith in Christ, denial of global warming and everything else that suggests that "the American Way of Life" might not be compatible with the survival of the environment. Then there's the Democratic narrative which in the 21st Century appears to be the use of crude identity politics to cement the loyalty of various demographics while doing nothing for them that would impinge upon the freedoms and wealth of Wall Street and Silicon Valley oligarchs.

I would suggest that the Democratic narrative is not an effective means of peeling-off any lukewarm adherents of the Republican narrative. It might work for the shameless hacks who can't stop finding excuses for the Democrats' decades-long policy of "kinder, gentler" neo-liberal austerity and who genuinely have orgasms from their delusions about the divine wisdom and benevolence of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but outside of that rarefied circle, those creatures are universally despised. And, again, while true-believer Democratic dupes don't notice all the crimes of their beloved leadership, ordinary people and right-wingers do. Calling for adherence to the Democrats while making excuses or ignoring their betrayals is a losing strategy.

Certain writers/bloggers/YouTubers/etc., have decided to try criticizing the Democratic Party as hopeless, discouraging people from trusting in/voting for it, while simultaneously reaching out to right-wingers who appear similarly dissatisfied with corporate neo-liberalism. "Right-wing populists" are the sort of people who rejected the clown car of status-quo Republican candidates in 2015 and who chose Trump as their party's candidate (primarily for his promises to bring back the factories lost under free trade and to end the forever wars). These are the voters who rejected Wall Street servant Eric Cantor in favour of an immigrant-hating "Tea Party" primary challenger.

Before continuing, I'd like to grab what was said in the Greenwald/Cooper editorial quoted in my last post:

I encourage people on the Left to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. You’re not going to agree with the conservatives on everything. But if in 2004 I had told you that the majority of the GOP voter base would soon be seeing the folly of the Iraq War, becoming skeptical of state surveillance, and beginning to see the need for action to help the poor and working classes, you’d have told me such a thing would transform the country. Take the opportunity. These people are not demons, and they are ready to listen in a way they haven’t in a long, long time.

During the last Democratic Primary Bernie Sanders agreed to a "town hall" discussion of FOX News. Elizabeth Warren (who I have little respect for now) refused to appear on FOX for the excellent reason that FOX News is a shameless propaganda outlet that pushes a racist, misogynistic culture of hate. Sanders did the opposite for the excellent reasons that tens of millions of US-Americans watch FOX News and he was trying to get as many votes as he could. And Sanders' FDR/social-democratic-lite policy proposals of health care and (surprisingly) advocacy for immigrants were so popular with the audience that the FOX News hosts were unable to disguise his popularity.  It was the same story when Sanders went on Joe Rogan's podcast. Rogan used to be a tight-assed, short-fuse, anti-drug conspiracy theorist in his youth. He has since mellowed into a pro-pot conspiracy theorist in middle-age. He appears to have been and remains and will always be a garden-variety sexist male; capable of having decent relationships with individual women (his mother, his wife, his daughters) while seeing random other women as an undifferentiated mass of neuroses and orifices. Which is to say that he is not a committed woman hater like Paul Elam or other "Mens Rights Activists." Just a representative of the everyday sexism of his society.

Is Joe Rogan a "right-winger" though? He says that he isn't. And he's both honest and correct on this. He supports gay rights. He's pro-public health care. He's anti-imperialist. The fact of the matter is that Joe Rogan's politics are essentially an incoherent mishmash. To his credit he admits to being something of a doofus and warns people against listening to him for any guidance in life. He is the sort of "non-political" person who I will be talking about throughout this post. A representative of the sort of person who could vote for Trump after having voted for Obama twice. Sanders went on Rogan's show for an hour long discussion and it was a brilliant success.  Many thousands of people (Rogan's audience is in the tens of millions) said that they'd been led to believe that Sanders was a far-left loon but that upon listening to him talking with Rogan they had a great deal of respect for him.

The Sanders campaign took the success of the podcast and contrived an "endorsement" of Sanders from Rogan. (Rogan hadn't formally endorsed anyone but had said he liked Sanders.) And this brought on a deluge of the sort of self-defeating, identity-politics-driven stupidity that this post is also about. Many US progressives and/or Hillary Clinton-loving shitheads condemned Sanders for associating with this standard bearer of misogyny and transphobia.

I have to ask such people who condemn Sanders for appealing for the votes of the FOX News and Joe Rogan audiences while not compromising on his policy proposals or his values: Would you rather have paid maternity leave because of the victory of a politician who won the votes of people you despise, OR would you rather continue to exist in the world of Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce/Oligarch shills who mouth "woke" platitudes (and might even believe them) but who otherwise do nothing for you? But at least they won't sully themselves by appealing to rednecks! No! Feminist icons like Hillary Clinton don't appeal to rednecks. They go after the votes of "respectable" John McCain-Mitt Romney-David Frum-William Kristol suburban Republicans (while shitting on their own party's base who can either like it or lump it).

Which brings me to CounterPunch's Paul Street again. Lately, he's been writing as if he wants to seal-off any and all of the 73 million people who voted for Trump and then .... well, it's not clear what then. Street despises the "dismal, dollar-drenched Democrats." So I'm not really sure what he's proposing. But anyhow, he says that reaching out to Trumpian/FOX News fascists is a waste of time

Bernie Sanders has the Trumpenproletarian brain worm – the one that helps normalize rising Amerikaner Republican fascism by claiming that the mostly petit-bourgeois and affluent base of the white nationalist Amerikaner Party of Trump (APOT, the new name of the Republican Party) is just everyday “populist” working-class people and therefore potentially progressive.

The “independent” Senator Sanders recently told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd that the Democratic Party doesn’t “fully appreciate” the need to speak to the struggles of the white working class. “We’ve got to take it to them,” Sanders said, referring to the Caucasian (section of the) proletariat. “I intend, as soon as I have three minutes, to start going into Trumpworld and start talking to people,” Sanders told Dowd. “it’s absolutely imperative if democracy is to survive that we do everything that we can to say, ‘Yes, we hear your pain and we are going to respond to your needs.’” If Democrats fail to do that, Sanders added, “conspiracy theories and big lies and the drift toward authoritarianism” will continue.


How in the name of God did significant swaths of what once seemed to be an emerging Left fall prey to the insipid red-brown fascism-denial and fascism-normalization of those like Glenn Greenwald (his resume now includes at least 41 appearances on Fatherland News), Jimmy Dore, Joe Rogan, Krystal Ball, and Matt Taibbi? The answer to that question requires another essay. I’m not sure I have the stomach to write it[2]. The dismal capitalist-imperialist Democrats deserve no small part of the blame, of course.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all Bernie’s fault. (I knocked on doors and caucused “for” Bernie – well for Single Payer health insurance and heightened contradictions inside the Democratic Party – in Iowa in January of 2020.). Still, Bernie’s not helping the situation with this nonsense about how it is good and necessary to “go into Trumpworld.” If he does go there, I hope he wears an especially strong mask as the Delta Variant goes into that covidiotically vaccine-resistant milieu with a very different kind of agenda.

Actually, I think I finally get Street's strategy. As opposed to Jeffrey St. Clair's perpetual sneering at anyone he disagrees with, Street's revolutionary plan is to self-righteously condemn 3/4's of the country [voters for the two major parties] as worthless human garbage in essay after essay until disease, old age, or some catastrophe brings his life to an end. (Again: I'm not saying that some of the values of people who would vote for Trump are not deplorable. But I'd also say that about some of the values of people who vote Democrat or old-style Republican. And I'm not saying that the Proud Boys or the assholes with the "6MWE" t-shirts [ie., six-million Jews wasn't enough] aren't dangerous, frightening fascists. What I AM saying is that Paul Street is a fucking idiot "purity pony"... [Irony! Hillary/Biden/corporate Democrat fanatics accuse leftists of being "purity ponies" while they call for the rejection of people who don't uniformly agree with all their values!] ....  if he believes that anything can be achieved by ignoring the tens of millions of people who could go either way when it comes to voting between two shit political parties in a brainwashed society.)

Street continues to luxuriate in his self-righteousness in a follow-up essay of spittle-flecked rage about "Bootlicking Grifters, Trumpenleft victims and the Bourgeois-Democratic God That Failed." Again; I'm not going to pretend that Trump isn't at least proto-fascist. I'm not going to pretend that "right-wing populism" isn't proto-fascism. I'm not going to pretend that most right-wing voters are obnoxious, frightening people. I'm not going to deny that the genuine fascist/terrorist/racist nutbar supporters of Trump and "QAnon" aren't horrible, dangerous people. 

What I AM going to dispute is Street's snivelling self-righteous stupidity. As I write these words I'm recalling an older Michael Moore piece where he hung out with members of the North Michigan Militia and one of them at the end expressed sympathy for Martin Luther King. Here's a link to a video clip. I remember they went on a roller-coaster ride. The point is that if you're going to claim to be trying to bring change to society (as opposed to me who has seen the uselessness of the Left and now only use my writing to vent my spleen) you're going to have to reconcile yourself to the goddamned FACT that this will require reaching out to people who don't agree with you on everything.  And I'm not talking about the actual nazis with the pro-Holocaust t-shirts. I'm talking about the shlubs who don't have all the facts and who don't pretend to but who can tell with their own eyes that the game is rigged and whose lives have been ruined by the bipartisan shit-show in Washington. Certainly some of the things these people believe in are toxic. But that's humanity. That's going to be "DEMOCRACY." Appeal to people's self-interest in ways that improve the interests of the majority. Anyway, here's Paul Street again:

The red-brown Trumpenleft idiocy fueled by running dog grifters (more on this term below) like Greenwald, Ball, Matt Taibbi, Joe Rogan, Caitlin Johnstone, Fredrik DeBoer (below) and others (now apparently including Tom Frank) takes numerous other and related forms: joining fascists in claiming that Donald Trump was and is a product and agent of (um, white) working-class alienation and “populism”; claiming that Trump is an anti-imperialist (how absurd); reflexively rejecting and mocking numerous and obvious ways in which it is elementarily accurate to understand Trump and Trumpism as fascist; fundamentally misunderstanding and misrepresenting the Trump and far right base; falsely claiming that the mainstream media and intellectual class widely denounced Trump as a fascist (it did not); arguing that there’s no fascism worth talking about in the U.S. until the disease takes decisive hold of the nation’s military and ruling class; charging that acknowledging danger on the Amerikaner right makes one an apologist for the dismal corporate and imperial Democrats (no matter how much Left contempt an anti-Trumpist/anti-fascist like myself shows for the dismal Dems); claiming that there are no differences between the two dominant ruling class U.S. parties (false); constant lecturing about the corporate and imperial nature of the Democrats (as if everyone on the Left doesn’t already know about that); vulgar pseudo-Marxian downplaying of the significance of racial, ethnic, and gender oppression; absurdly claiming that race and gender are just ruling-class “scams” to divide the working-class; joining fascists in denouncing anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-nativism and anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia as nothing more than liberal elitist “virtue-signaling” and political correctness; dismissing real struggles and popular mobilizations like Black Lives Matter as liberal and even “deep state” diversions; joining fascists in accusing Left and liberal critics of the fascist white power Trump presidency and Trumpismo of “Trump Derangement System;” claiming (against social scientific evidence) that the January 6th Capitol Rioters were mainly working-class people driven by economic anxiety and anger at economic inequality; joining fascists in opposing the banning of Trump and other malignant white nationalist neofascists from social media platforms and calling that banning authoritarian censorship; joining fascists in downplaying the horrific and lethal nature of January 6th and Trump’s broader effort to subvert the 2020 presidential election; being more concerned about Trump’s “free speech” access to Twitter than a recent spate of red state laws criminalizing public school teaching about white systemic racism; being more concerned about Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram than one ever was about Trump’s access to the nuclear codes; joining fascists in embracing conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and numerous other phenomena; saying nice “populist” things about (white) nationalism and nativism; making “owning the libs” more important than recognizing, much less resisting white nationalism and the white power movement; trumpeting the idiotic and dangerous cause of red-brown right-left unity; constant harping on the need to “reach out” to mostly petit-bourgeois white right-wing people instead of to the nation’s mostly truly oppressed and dangerously demobilized masses; apologizing for and sometimes even embracing anti-vaxxery and anti-maskery while a deadly pandemic works its way through the species.

This is the sort of mental and moral poison that is encouraged by hours spent reading, watching, and listening to fash-sliding “left” grifters like Fatherland News favorite Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson pal Jimmy “Boogaloo” Dore, Krystal “Reach Out the Right” Ball (who nearly always appears next to an insipid Tucker Carlson knockoff named Saagar Enjeti), Joe “Don’t Get all PC on Me” Rogan, and scary dudebro Matt “Marcuse is a Quack and I’m a Normal Guy” Taibbi.

Now, some of what he accuses these "grifters" of doing is true and problematic. It deserves to be criticized. Michael Moore has blindspots. Jimmy Dore has blindspots. Glenn Greenwald has done some problematic things. Some of what he accuses this whole group of people of, they don't do. It's a complicated debate. Jimmy Dore causes me to cringe sometimes, when he sympathized with that asshole kid from the racist private anti-abortion school (a lot of the "abuse" that that teenaged asshole received was people typing online that he was a teenaged asshole) or his confused yammerings about the side-effects of his COVID vaccinations.  Dore is willing to talk to people. Because he's not particulary sophisticated, he occasionally gets trolled. That's a cost of being willing to talk to people. But he has stood up to the Trump-lovers who populate his comments sections by saying that if they were in the desperate straits of Central American refugees that they'd do exactly the same thing. Dore pushed "Force the Vote on M4A" and exposed the moral corruption and pathology of the Left. (CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair is so deranged by Jimmy Dore that he abandoned his and his website's correct appraisal of the Democratic Party as a graveyard for progressive ideals by siding with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against Dore's "abuse" of her ... yelling about her abandonment of her principles and goddamned campaign promises in a YouTube video filmed in Los Angeles while AOC is either in Washington DC or NYC .... perhaps because AOC has a pretty face and a nice rack.)

This is a big problem that I have with the Left. For all my criticisms of CounterPunch (which began with their hysterical, sexist pile-on and smears of Caitlin Johnstone) I still read them and occasionally get valuable information and analysis from them. Paul Street on the other hand appears to positively revel in his irrelevance. [That has a nice sorta ring to it doesn't it?] If you go out to talk to working people, White, Black, Brown, etc., ... you're going to occasionally hear things you don't approve of. Deal with it. Get over it. Grow the fuck up. Or just admit that you're not serious about trying to change anything. 

So, what I've been trying to say is that while I am certainly pessimistic about the chances of redeeming a convinced right-winger from their nasty delusions, I have always maintained that there are people whose conservatism is based on ignorance and that it is these people who are capable of sanity. And, recently, I also pointed out economic and geographical factors that produce a conservative culture, which rules out the other factors of stupidity and fear. Finally, I'm convinced that millions of people who voted for Trump (especially those of them who had previously voted for Obama) aren't genuinely political at all. I simply can't believe that the 73 million people who voted for Trump are dyed-in-the-wool fascists. Therefore I support the efforts of people like Bernie Sanders, Jimmy Dore and Caitlin Johnstone to try to find common ground with such regular people to fight against corporate neo-liberalism and I reject the pompous, self-righteous, self-absorbed blowhards who condemn them and who appear to advocate for the permanent division of the USA into warring camps of "Republican," "Democrat," and a tiny band of tiresome Marxists and other left-progressives who routinely debase themselves with incoherent (but simultaneously boring) "lesser-evilism."

Street goes on again and again about how the image of the working class Trump voter is over-emphasized. But as someone who is (after a brief half-decade as a middle class professional) working class, I can tell Mr. Street that the conservative working class is very much a thing. And it isn't just the white working class. I know Black fellow workers who despise Muslim immigrants. South Asian and Filipino immigrants who hate Blacks. And on and on it goes in various permutations of prejudice and social conservatism. When Andrea Horwath was on CP24 condemning a Doug Ford cabinet minister for wearing a flak jacket on a ride-along with the cops to Jane and Finch a Black co-worker (I was watching this in the lunchroom cafeteria) yelled at the television that the cabinet minister was right to do so!

This might be anecdotal, except of course for the whole swaths of the Mid-West that were festooned in pro-Trump campaign signs and which also went to him in large numbers. Trump's voters might very well skew affluent. But he still has millions of working class supporters and they are NOT all fascist and their votes would help a truly progressive political movement like, say, a Democratic Party that had Bernie Sanders as its presidential candidate and a "Squad" that wasn't brow-beaten into compliance and that didn't sabotage/rob progressive candidates of their victories. (Again, Street is offering his readers LITERALLY NOTHING to organize around so he can go fuck himself.)

‘What Happened to Glenn Greenwald?’ – Consortiumnews

What Happened to Glenn Greenwald? -

Rise of the Right: How the Vaudeville Left Fuels White Supremacy -

Saturday, August 7, 2021

What Hath "Russiagate" Wrought???


Glenn Greenwald has said and done some things that were (at least at first blush) easy to find fault with. [I know there are other things to link to. But I don't know where to find them. A quick search produced mostly inane drivel from CounterPunch writers who will be discussed below.] I don't agree with all of his views. But unlike stupid, pathetic Democratic Party hacks, I acknowledge that the man has done some pretty stellar work in the defence of civil liberties and as a critic of authoritarian scumbags. Whatever his intentions or motivations his criticisms of the Democratic Party are worth taking seriously. (Of course, all of this is ignored by hack bloggers like "Driftglass" for whom the centrist Democratic leadership can do no wrong. People like him, who happily humiliate and debase themselves to defend the sleazy antics of Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz ignore all of Greenwald's cogent commentary, sail on "full steam ahead" and then wonder why they can't mobilize the US-American electorate against a party comprised of Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and Matt Goetz.)

In a free article on his substack page (I would suggest to anyone with sufficient disposable income take out a paid subscription as Greenwald courageously cut ties with the billionare-funded "The Intercept" when they attempted to censor his writing and he now lives mainly on his freelance writing.) Greenwald hosts an editorial by Darryl Cooper, an apparently moderate conservative, who created a Twitter thread explaining the anger of Trump supporters that went super-viral. The editorial offers a more in-depth explanation of the thinking behind those "tweets."

Now, before I post some selected quotes from the editorial I want to acknowledge that it will be frustrating reading them (and, obviously, the rest of the piece) due to the mewling self-pity and dizzying hypocrisy of Trump supporters worried about voter suppression, electoral integrity and constitutional authority only when it is they who feel they have been cheated. These people have a party where its own leaders have admitted they're trying to suppress likely Democratic Party supporters. They've said nothing about Republican-controlled state election officials providing insufficient numbers of voting machines to Black neighbourhoods forcing (likely) Democratic Party supporters to have to wait HOURS AND HOURS to vote while mostly white voters in known Republican districts can vote with ease. 

Parts of the editorial are about how Trumpistas complained about state governors making last-minute changes to electoral proceedings: 

Throughout the summer, establishment governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures, often over the protests of the state legislatures. It wasn’t only the mass mailing of live ballots: they also lowered signature matching standards, axed existing voter ID and notarization requirements, and more. Many people reading this might think those were necessary changes, either due to the virus or to prevent potential voter suppression. I won’t argue the point, but the fact is that the US Constitution states plainly that “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections... shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” As far as conservatives were concerned, state governors used COVID to unconstitutionally usurp their legislatures’ authority to unilaterally alter voting procedures just months before an election in order to help Biden make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. 


Trump voters were adamant that the governors’ changes to election procedures were unconstitutional. Everything in law is open to interpretation, but it doesn’t require a Harvard Law degree to read Article 1, Section 4 (quoted above) and come to that conclusion. But they also knew the cases wouldn’t see a courtroom until after the election, and what judge was going to make a ruling that would be framed as a judicial coup d’etat just because some governors didn’t go through the proper channels? Even a judge willing to accept the personal risk would have also to be willing to inflict the chaos that would follow on the country. 

Unfortunately for them, I wrote recently about pulling out an old issue of "Harper's" at random and reading about Republican-sponsored electoral chicanery and fraud from 2005.  Republican voters have sat quietly, uncomplaingingly, as state legislatures dominated by their party have gerrymandered, engaged in voter suppression, dumped voting records, abused the Supreme Court, and generally conducted fraud, election after election.  Whatever happened this past US federal election, Republican supporters have no right to portray themselves as spotless innocents being cruelly abused by an evil Democratic Party using Leninist tactics. (A common response of Repubs to the laying out of their own party's fraud has been to refer back to the crimes of LBJ in Texas or JFK in Chicago. A better response would be to admit that dirty election tactics are wrong no matter who does them and to work together to ensure free and fair elections that result in the representation of the electorate's desires.)

But the last thing that I want to say is that despite of the obvious ignorance or hypocrisy displayed by Trump supporters over possible hanky-panky in the 2020 US elections, it is good to have a sober presentation of just what it is exactly that they're crying about and to have an honest, objective response to these concerns. Because those Trump supporters who are simply ignorant of the Republican party's vile history are genuinely (if annoyingly) aggrieved, and a respectful hearing of their case could lower the heat of the political climate in that country.

But here's the section that I find more important: The look at the damage caused by the Democratic leadership's focus on the totally discredited "Russiagate" conspiracy theory:

Many of them deny it now, but a lot of 2016 Trump voters were worried during the early stages of the Russia collusion investigation. True, the evidence seemed thin, and the very idea that the US and allied security apparatus would allow Trump to take office if they really thought he might be under Russian blackmail seemed a bit preposterous on its face. But to many conservatives in 2016 and early 2017, it seemed equally preposterous that the institutions they trusted, and even the ones they didn’t, would go all-in on a story if there wasn’t at least something to it. Imagine the consequences for these institutions if it turned out there was nothing to it.


It may surprise many liberals, but most conservative normies actually know the Russia collusion case front and back. A whole ecosystem sprouted up to pore over every new development, and conservatives followed the details as avidly as any follower of liberal conspiracy theorists Seth Abramson or Marcy Wheeler.


Trump supporters had gone from worrying the collusion might be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to seeing proof that it was all a scam. Then they watched as every institution - government agencies, the press, Congressional committees, academia - blew right past it and gaslit them for another year. To this day, something like half the country still believes that Trump was caught red-handed engaging in treason with Russia, and only escaped a public hanging because of a DOJ technicality regarding the indictment of sitting presidents. Most galling, conservatives suspect that within a few decades liberals will use their command over the culture to ensure that virtually everyone believes it. 

This is something that I was warning people about a long time ago. That Trump fans were paying attention as the "Russiagate" debacle staggered its way to total debasement.

And that even if you anti-Trump people (mostly liberals) are happy with ignoring these truths and pretending that they didn't happen, Trump's base is going to do the opposite. ... Liberals and progressives! Why oh why did you have to foolishly give support to FAKE NEWS and an ominous WITCH HUNT and thereby give validation to Donald J. Trump's claims and the beliefs of his fans? Because the ends justified the means? Because attacking that monster was more important than not embarrassing yourselves? Because you only made him stronger! Because "Russiagate" being based on fraud, failed utterly. You true believers might have convinced yourselves that Trump is a "Russian usurper" or Putin's butt-boy, and that only his criminal obstruction prevented Mueller from proving this. But it doesn't matter what you believe. It doesn't matter because it's demonstrably not true.

Trump's fans and many "independent voters look at all of this swill and they feel vindicated. You achieve less than nothing. You damage your own cause. You show yourself as hoeplessly partisan and tribal and hypocritical as anyone else.

Just today, the wonderful Caitlin Johnstone mentions how "Russiagate" helps reinforce the distrust of state institutions trying to deal with the COVID pandemic:

Imagine you’re someone on the political right watching this whole thing unfold. Imagine that from late 2016 to mid-2019 you were watching the mass media aggressively shove this story down everyone’s throat that a US president, whom you support, is secretly working for a hostile foreign government with the goal of subverting the United States of America. The media you consume have been highlighting all the massive, glaring plot holes in this narrative the entire time, so you know it’s not true, yet you’ve still got friends, coworkers and family members who believe it is.

Can you imagine how disgusted you’d get with the media watching this happen day after day? How outraged? How resentful? If you’re really putting yourself there, I think you probably can.

Now imagine a year later these exact same media institutions start telling you there’s a novel coronavirus which we’re all going to have to sacrifice some personal liberties in order to stop. We might have to stay in our homes, wear a mask, get injected with new drugs we’re not sure about, possibly while watching our bank account drain and our business go under, and all these media institutions you just watched lie to everyone’s face for years on end are aggressively saying you need to do this and support this or you’re a dangerous monster whose voice should be banned from social media.

How well do you imagine that would go over with you?

Now, obviously, there's a lot of shit-heddery and ignorance on the part of the people denying the reality of the pandemic. (I've seen enought real-world evidence to know personally that the pandemic is genuine. There's no debating on that score.) But why give them ammunition? Why destroy your credibility with something as nonsensical and useless as "Russiagate" thereby nullifying your authority in other areas? It might not seem fair that progressives have to tell the truth while right-wingers get to believe in any fool thing that is placed into their heads. It's NOT fair. But it is tactically smart. And it does us no harm to be the ones with integrity.

What do you imagine was achieved by "Russiagate"? That it put Trump off-balance and distracted during much of his presidency? It's unclear how much Trump was rendered incapable of doing what he wanted to do in other areas besides US-Russian relations. And on US-Russian relations "Russiagate" certainly proved effective at preventing the lowering tensions between Russia and the USA. But this is a bad thing. Because these are both nuclear powers and conflict between them could destroy human civilization. And please don't spew any stupid crap about Putin in the Ukraine or Belorussia or Syria or whatever. Don't spew any stupid crap about Putin's dictatorial tendencies within Russia either. The USA has been rampaging around the world inflicting misery and slaughter on a scale so vast that it dwarfs anything Putin has been up to. And the USA's racist policing and carceral system; it's murdering of left-wing activists; .... it's abuses of the law to persecute human rights and environmental activists; it's brutal, corrupt, inhuman private health profiteering (real traumas, real lives, hundreds of thousands of them every day) make any talk of abuses in Russia only nauseating concern-trolling. "Russiagate's" main achievement was to de-legitimize Trump's progressive opposition. Congratulations.

Next up is the coddling of Joe Biden by progressives and Democratic Party oligarchs and the corporate "liberal" media. This is part and parcel of Joe Biden (like Hillary Clinton before him) being a shitty candidate. I'm long past the point of putting my faith in "lesser evilism" and then being shocked and appalled when the "lesser" evil candidate does evil things and takes us all further down the road to fascism and ecocide. 2015 was the year for the Left to do the hard thinking about how to completely oppose the status-quo and the genuinely resist whatever vomitous candidate the system threw at us. 

When it was revealed that Hillary and the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders "progressives" should not have lined up behind her anyway. Now, certainly amoral, idiot scumbags like the hypocritical "Montreal Shithead's" toxic blog-mate "Jackie Blue" honestly love Hillary Clinton. But "Jackie Blue" and others of her ilk aren't "progressive." They're psychopaths. 

Joe Biden also won the Democratic nomination through fraud. The Democratic party shamelessly shamed and debased themselves to nullify Bernie Sanders to ensure that Biden won. Biden who opposed racially integrated schools. Biden who built the disgusting prison-industrial-complex. Biden who wrote the precursor to the "Patriot Act." Biden who shepherded a bankruptcy bill through the Senate that benefited Wall Street bankster-types while traumatizing ordinary US-American. Biden whose foreign policy has devastated Central America. Biden who is losing his battle with dementia.

Biden's son Hunter is a train wreak. He's battle with addictions to crack cocaine and otherwise lived the sort of life not generally associated with the Washington elite. If he had been born Black he'd probably serving a twenty-year sentence in a brutal US federal penitentiary by now. But he's white and a senator's son so he gets sympathy and second, third, and fourth chances. Plus, he gets to trade on his father's status and get mafia-like "no show" jobs in Ukrainian energy companies or (most recently) his "art" is being sold at auction to wealthy bidders and the Whitehouse will (nudge-nudge/wink-wink) have NO IDEA who paid Hunter hundreds of thousands of dollars for his mediocre paintings.

At one point, Hunter Biden left one of his laptops at a computer repair shop and forgot about it. The store's owner turned out to be Trump supporter and when he saw what was on the laptop (incriminating photos and documents on all manner of subjects including drug use and official corruption) he turned it over to the FBI and Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani. Subsequently, "Deep State" operatives said (offering absolutely no evidence) that this had all the hallmarks of "Russian disinformation" and progressives debased themselves by insisting that it was a Russian plot and, furthermore, that it was RIDICULOUS to even imagine that a drug-addled imbecile like Biden could have left a laptop at a repair shop and forget about it.

Then came the tech-oligarchy's ominous shutting down of the entire story:


And then came the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Liberals dismiss the incident because, after four years of obsessing over the activities of the Trump children, they insist they’re not interested in the behavior of the candidate’s family members. But this misses the point entirely. Big Tech ran a coordinated censorship campaign against a major American newspaper while the rest of the media spread base propaganda to protect a political candidate. And once again, the campaign crossed institutional boundaries, with dozens of former intelligence officials throwing their weight behind the baseless and now-discredited claim that the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign. That lie was promoted by Big Tech companies, while the true information being reported by The New York Post about the laptop’s contents was suppressed. That is what happened. 

Even the tech companies themselves now admit it was a “mistake” - Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said it was an error and apologized - but the election is over, Joe Biden has appointed Facebook’s government regulations executive as his ethics arbiter, so who cares, right? It hardly needs saying that if The New York Times had Donald Trump Jr.’s laptop, full of pictures of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, lots of lurid family drama, and emails with pretty direct discussions of political corruption, the Paper of Record would not have had its accounts suspended for reporting on it. Let’s remember that stories of Trump being pissed on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact across the media spectrum and used as the basis for a multi-year criminal investigation, when the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its primary source.

I don't think that I need to add anything to that in order to explain why the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story is an ominous precedent.


Trump supporters were led down some rabbit holes. But they are absolutely right that the institutions and power centers of this country have been monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to prevent them getting it. I encourage people on the Left to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. You’re not going to agree with the conservatives on everything. But if in 2004 I had told you that the majority of the GOP voter base would soon be seeing the folly of the Iraq War, becoming skeptical of state surveillance, and beginning to see the need for action to help the poor and working classes, you’d have told me such a thing would transform the country. Take the opportunity. These people are not demons, and they are ready to listen in a way they haven’t in a long, long time.

Is it really the case that we might have some potential allies on the political right as a result of the obvious futility and evil of imperialism/the spread of genuine unease against ceaseless, all-encompassing surveillance/the fall-out from brazen Wall Street corruption and corporate greed? The notion of finding common cause with right-wingers is a theme that I've brought up from time to time at this blog. Generally, my answer has been negative.

But that answer is primarily directed at the internet blowhards who imagine that they're "thinkers" of great import. These [mainly] guys who have concocted quite complicated worldviews and, more, are not above ignoring superior criticisms, or even lying, so as to be able to "win" a debate and carry on in their delusions. And, scanning over possible blog posts of mine to reinforce my self-proclaimed reasonableness I only find post after post trashing Trump voters are deplorable, disgusting, hypocritical whining scumbag shit-heads. Oh well. I'm sure there's one or two examples wherein I have stated that some right-wingers are mainly ignorant and therefore redeemable. Besides, it's not as if I'm not given to sweeping caustic generalizations about Hillary supporters!  😋

I cannot believe that the 73 million people who voted for Trump in 2020 are thoroughly fascist. (Especially since it's been noted that some 2016 Trump voters had previously voted for Obama.) I didn't believe it in 2016. I don't dispute that Republican voters tend to skew affluent. I maintain that the main cause of Hillary Clinton's Electoral College loss in 2016 was more due to lower-income Democratic voters failing to vote for her after she shit all over them. But I think the contention of some left-wing writers (mostly at CounterPunch but also some other sites) that there is no significant working class support for Trump to be questionable. I've seen these people with my own eyes. I think what has happened with these writers is that they've been seduced by data and they can't conceive of the possibility that data collection can be flawed. There's simply too much physical evidence (rural counties across entire MidWest states festooned with pro-Trump signs, etc.) to deny the fact that many working class voters have turned to Trump. Grim economic times make people "conservative." Danger stimulates the amygdala. When people are in a desperate struggle for survival (due to unemployment and austerity) other people become competitors and therefore threats. You build walls around yourself to keep other people out. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have devastated the livelihoods of ordinary US-Americans.  That's why Trump was able to bulldoze his way through the other aspiring Repug candidates in 2015. They were all peddling the same neo-liberal snakeoil whereas Trump (both independently wealth and, at first, unconcerned about winning) was talking about trashing "free trade" deals and bring the factories back.

Oh well, anyway, ... I think I'll end this post here. I've established the counterproductive nature of silly things like "Russiagate" via that Darryl Cooper piece, plus the other stuff he said. We on the Left need to be much more appreciative of the value of the truth. Especially tactically. COVID-deniers/anti-Vaxxers are self-evidently dangerous. Yes, they're delusional and they live in their own bubbles and they're almost impervious to facts and arguments. But to demolish our own credibility by telling stupid lies that really bring us no benefit, gives them fuel to deny us when we're telling the truth. I'll make the reaction to Glenn Greenwald, Bernie Sanders, Matt Taibbi, Jimmy Dore and Caitlin Johnstone, who seek to make appeals to right-wingers, my next post.