Noam Chomsky takes ten minutes to explain everything you need to know about the Republican Party in 2019

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/20/useful-idiots-r-us.html

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Chomsky for President!

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What Chomsky said:

interference by, say, Israel. Israel, the prime minister, Netanyahu, goes to Congress and talks to a joint session of Congress, without even informing the White House, to attack Obama’s policies. I mean, that’s dramatic interference with elections.

Are you saying there other US allies that interfere in US elections?

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Well I read somewhere that “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

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I’m not sure an appearance before Congress by Netanyahu can affect regular people’s votes as much as a sustained campaign of influence, propaganda, and manipulation. People are bombarded all day long with phony stories intended to sway them.

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I don’t know if Chomsky mentioned the Powell Memo, but it is another key factor in the War On America that the wealthy have done over the last half century. It is a secret-in-plain-sight bit of forgotten American history.

BTW, another bit of forgotten history concerning that War is the attempted coup against FDR in 1933.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/powell_memo_lewis

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Sadly, as usual, he is absolutely correct.

Just like in the late Roman Republic, we the people are given these things called “elections,” rituals where we get to choose between the candidates provided by the Optimates and Populares, ie the major factions of our oligarchic overlords. I’m not sure where Trump belongs-- one would think that the Republicans are analogous the Optimates, but the Trump coalition sure looks a lot like the Populares, and the Dems like the Optimates. Bernie is kinda like the Gracchi maybe, which didn’t end well.

At some point I suppose Sulla, Marius, and ultimately Caesar analogues will show up. And a lot of consequent bloodshed probably. Until we are saved by some kind of Augustus…

I look forward to the bread and circuses

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Unfortunately it’s impossible to win office in this country if you can’t boil your core positions down into something that fits on a bumper sticker.

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Yeah, what Netanyahu did was grossly improper, but hardly the same. Plus, it turns out the Russians did hack various election systems, and we have no idea what kind of damage they were able to wreak that way.

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EAT THE RICH!

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I mean, he had me there, until he for some reason minimized Russian interference to nothing. If he wants to say that Democrats focusing too much on it since it may be counter-productive and proving direct Trump/GOP “coordination” would be difficult/unlikely, fine.

But his position that "Russian interference in the election, if it existed. was very slight. Much less, say, than Israel" is ludicrous. We know Russia hacked Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s emails. We know they disseminated them through Wikileaks in specific targeted payloads. We know Russia used Cambridge Analytica to identify and target specific demographics with Facebook ads tuned to generate support for Trump. We know Russia has an entire building, the Internet Research Agency, dedicated to this effort. His "Senate and the House went Republican too, did they interfere?" argument is fallacious also. If you’ve been swayed to vote Trump, you’re much more likely to vote down the party line. His mention of Israel is just distracting whataboutism. If you want to talk about Israel and AIPAC, keep that for a sidebar.

The guy’s a genius. But he definitely has a few screws loose.

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I know I’m going out on a limb debunking the exaggerations about Russian hacking, but like Iraq WMD, it seems like everybody believes them. So go right ahead in calling me a “Putin Puppet” or whatever passes for wittiness these days.

First, I don’t know what “Russia has an entire building”. Does that mean the government over there?

Secondly, the evidence points not to a hack, but a leak - i.e,. not based in Russia.

https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/03/28/russiagate-new-evidence-shows-dnc-emails-were-leaked-not-hacked/

Third, hardly anybody ever talks about the contents of the “hacked [leaked] emails”. The actual contents of those emails showed that the DNC “tipped the scales” (i.e, cheated) in selecting Hillary over Bernie.

Fourth, coming back to the IRA, how many of the Facebook ads were pro-OrangeOrangutan? …

… about 100 … out of about 3500. There were ads for both sides of an issue like gun control, and other controversies. The consensus is that the IRA was looking for clicks of any kind, more than overt election interference. The article cited below does state the opinion of some researcher that said they were trying to “destabilize Western Democracy by targeting extreme identity groups”, which might be true, but would have the effect, at best, of 0.001% of the daily onslaught of AM Hate Radio, Faux News, etc.

Now, fire away with “Ok, comrade!”

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Hmm, let’s see.

Ah, so it sounds like you haven’t read the report, nor been following reporting for the past year or so.

https://intelligence.house.gov/social-media-content/

This would be referring to the Internet Research Agency.

That is a link to essentially a conspiracy theory website. Try again please.

Can you be more specific about what you are alleging the emails said? DWS definitely was being a bit sketchy, but there’s not really evidence the DNC did anything that really made more people vote for Hillary than Bernie in the primary. Did the Democratic Party support Hillary (a lifelong Democrat) over Bernie (who is not a Democrat, but is running as one)? Yes. That would be what would be called normal party politics in most circles.

OK, comrade!

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Face it - Clinton and the DNC cheated. They got exposed. It alienated millions of Sander’s supporters, and it gave Trump free and justified reign to call Clinton a cheater. Then she lost the election.

If you don’t see the damage done by Russian hacking, as well as Democratic “Politics as Usual” here then you’ve got your head up your ass.

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Ok, comrade!

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Every nuance-free position can be transformed into an equivalent one in BSNF (“bumper sticker normal form”), and conversely, every position which is represented in BSNF is nuance-free.

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It’s called the NFL and NASCAR.

ETA: throw in a little GOT, and you’ve got most of the voting¹ population covered.

¹ Especially if certain voter suppression systems continue. After all, anyone who can’t afford the sports package or HBO doesn’t count. (Yes, that last sentence is sarcastic).

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Followed by:

EXCRETE THE RICH!

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And your evidence for this is what?

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Yadda yadda superdelegates yadda yadda cheating… If they say it enough times, it becomes true — this is what we’ve learned from Trump after all!

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