Politics Is Not A Game

from the what-can-you-say dept

I spent yesterday quite numb watching the events unfolding in Washington DC, in which an angry mob of insurrectionists -- egged on by the President of the United States, a few key Senators, and certain news media personalities -- literally stormed the US Capitol to try to block the formality of Presidential vote counting or, worse, to overthrow the government. I couldn't write anything. I couldn't take care of other work happening. I was witnessing the kind of history I never thought I would witness. I was angry. I was scared. I was frustrated. But most of all I was disappointed. What can you say after a day like yesterday? Most of what I could say would be covered by everyone else. Indeed, this morning I got to my desk to find that our own Tim Geigner had written the kind of post I originally thought I would write.

So this post will be a little different. It is clear by now that there is no redeeming our President even in his last days in office. He has shown that everything is about him. He literally said "we love you!" to the mob storming the Capitol. It has long been obvious that the only thing he cares about is himself -- and that he views everything through the lens of "does this person like me or not." He does not care about America. He does not care about its people. He cares about people who like him, and those storming the Capitol did so in his name, and he obviously loved it. Because, as stupid and illegal as what they did was, they were showing that they would do stupid and illegal things for him.

However, the real anger needs to be directed as his enablers. His many, many enablers. And it has become obvious that, for many of them, this is a game. This is not about governing. This is not about representing people's interests. This is about red team v. blue team, and doing whatever it takes to win. This is not new, of course. This has been the nature of politics going back centuries. But, in the US, there were at least some limits. Some small bit of idealism, often hidden away in the back corner of the attic, highlighted by the regular peaceful transfer of power even among political enemies, that said: in the end, the greater good is more important than just winning the game.

But, for too many, that has gone away. And winning the game is all that matters -- even if it destroys the entire nation. And for all the complaints I have about the Democratic Party, this is entirely on the Republican Party and its leadership. As I said on Twitter the other day, I actually prefer a divided government that can work on compromise. Despite regular accusations from people that I am whatever they are not, I've never been a member of either party, and I have always tried to support policies that I think will be most effective -- not based on ideology, but on understanding the policy and its likely impact. That's the way governing should work.

But the events of the last few years has shown that for too many in the Republican Party it is 100% about winning. It's not even based on ideology -- as the last four years has shown that their ideology will shift on a dime if they think it will help them win. The party of free trade flipped to be the party of trade wars. The party of small government became a huge supporter of government interference in business operations. Because it was not about ideology, it was about the game. About helping the red team win.

Much of the anger at this approach to "governing" needs to be directed at Mitch McConnell, who made it clear 12 years ago that his single driving ethos was making sure his team won and the other team lost -- and then made all sorts of unprecedented moves to make that happen. But, at least when on the brink, he recognized the pointlessness of continuing to push the myth that Trump actually won when it mattered yesterday. His last minute attempts to stuff that genie back in the bottle yesterday are no excuse, but the true scorn must be reserved for those who couldn't even do that much: Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Respected conservative commentator George Will got this part right in his Washington Post column today. Hawley and Cruz should forever be branded as seditionists after egging on and encouraging the events of yesterday, even as they came out late in the day with weak "we didn't mean violence!" statements:

Trump lit the fuse for the riot in the weeks before the election, with his successful effort to delegitimize the election in the eyes of his supporters. But Wednesday’s explosion required the help of Hawley (R-Mo.) and Cruz (R-Tex.).

Hawley announced his intention to object to the certification of some states’ electoral votes, for no better reason than that there has been an avalanche of “allegations” of election irregularities, allegations fomented by the loser of the election. By doing so, Hawley turned what should have been a perfunctory episode in our civic liturgy of post-election civility into a synthetic drama. He turned this moment into the focus of the hitherto unfocused fury that Trump had been stoking for many weeks.

And Cruz, by organizing support for Hawley among other Republican senators and senators-elect gave Hawley’s grotesque self-promotion an ersatz cloak of larger purpose. Shortly before the mob breached the Senate chamber, Cruz stood on the Senate floor. With his characteristic unctuousness, he regretted the existence of what he and kindred spirits have not only done nothing to refute but have themselves nurtured — a pandemic of suspicions that the election was “rigged.”

“I want to take a moment to speak to my Democratic colleagues,” said Cruz. “I understand your guy is winning right now.” Read those weasely words again. He was not speaking to his “colleagues.” He was speaking to the kind people who were at that instant assaulting the Capitol. He was nurturing the very delusions that soon would cause louts to be roaming the Senate chamber — the fantasy that Joe Biden has not won the election but is only winning “right now.”

Here's the important point: we know Trump doesn't understand or care about any of this. That's not true of Hawley or Cruz. They know. They know that Trump is off his rocker. But both of them see this as a game. It's a game they both want to win. They're both famous for their levels of naked greed and ambition to get to the top spot. And both have made the political calculus that the way to win is to egg on a mob of insurrectionists in the hopes that the same mob will support them in the future.

They both know that they are selling out America, harming the public, spreading disinformation, and helping to lead on a mob of insurrectionists. Because they think it's a game and they need to win.

And that's exactly why neither of them should be anywhere near positions of power ever again.

Both were given the biggest tests of their lives yesterday: do you make the right choice? Stand up for the Constitution? Stand up for that buried, hidden, dusty, abandoned-in-the-back-of-the-attic ideal of what America is supposed to be? Or do you take the ambitious but cowardly position of egging on the mob in the hopes that one day they will be your mob? I've criticized both Senators many times over the years because their actions and statements have long predicted this moment.

And, yet... in the back of my head, I still had that slight tinge of optimism that maybe, just maybe, one or both of them might look at what they had wrought and recognize that it's not just a game and that people's lives are at stake, and the very nature of our country is at stake, and come back from the brink and admit that perhaps they had gone too far.

This is what real leadership is about. Real leadership is about making the hard choices. The choices that are right in the face of deluded people telling you to go the other way. Real leadership is about recognizing when you are wrong, admitting it, and understanding why you made that mistake.

But neither Hawley nor Cruz did that. Both continued to attack. Cruz, bizarrely, accused Beto O'Rourke (his vanquished Senate opponent from a few years ago) of pushing for division. That is not reality. Hawley, after giving a now-famous raised fist gesture to the insurrectionist mob, stayed silent for hours before having his press team put out a weak tea statement about how he doesn't support violence. And, as Nilay Patel correctly noted, Hawley issued a much more forceful condemnation of... infinite scrolling apps than he did of the insurrectionist mob that he helped to encourage.

And then, after the invaders were removed from the Capitol, after so much damage had been done, they both had another chance. A chance to admit that America is more than a game to them. They had a chance to show that politics is not just about winning and losing, but about governing and leading and doing the right thing. And they both failed again. They both continued to object to the results of the election that they both absolutely know are legitimate.

And, yes, there remained an astounding number of idiot House Members who also objected -- often spewing debunked conspiracy theories and lies about election fraud that did not happen, and demanding investigations that already happened and proved the conspiracy theories were false -- and they all deserve criticism as well (including the GOP House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy). But the Senate is supposed to be different and better than that. And beyond that, Hawley and Cruz both know better. Neither are stupid. Both have long and well documented careers. Both attended Ivy League universities. Both clerked at the Supreme Court.

They know.

And they chose to treat America like a game.

No one should ever let them forget what they did.

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Filed Under: capitol building, donald trump, enablers, game, governing, insurrection, josh hawley, leadership, mitch mcconnell, mobs, politics, ted cruz, winning


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:00pm

    'Insurrectionist'.

    'Seditionist'.

    'Enemy of democracy'.

    'Enemy of america'.

    These and other labels should forever be tied to the likes of Trump, Cruz and Hawley, their legacy forever more as those who prioritized personal power and authority over the country they were elected to serve, and who would rather burn the country and the systems and principles that support it to the ground than lose even a sliver of power.

    Even if the corrupt system currently in place allows them to escape more tangible punishments the least they should face is to be labeled as what they truly are, reminded day in and day out that when faced with the choice of the country or personal gains they threw the country under the bus, lit the bus on fire and then fanned the flames as hard as they could.

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    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      I'll go a step further and make sure that any company or PAC that has anything to do with these two clowns from here on out need to be also be put on blast... Quit funding these morons!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      icon
      seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      Yeah, if the DNC wrote history it would be just like what you describe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bobvious, 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:16pm

      expecting the Proud Boys and malicious militias

      to "defend the vote" https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210102/16223345984/funniest-most-insightful-comments-year-techdi rt.shtml#c139

      I was only half joking when I suggested that something like this might happen, but given the TOTAL and ALL-CONSUMING cognitive dissonance of those involved in this atrocity, it is no surprise that it actually manifested in this way, although in a slightly different form. I was, however, expecting exactly this type of total nut-job lunacy to play out in some form, because that's exactly where this living pile of excrement was leading it to.

      I also fully expect MORE of this type of insurrection to be in the planning stage.

      This isn't over yet people. Your security people shouldn't be planning any holidays for a little while. And while the major social media platforms may have temporarily corked the tap, I guess it's a napalm factory fire on Parler.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:51pm

        Re: expecting the Proud Boys and malicious militias

        Man, remember that time a bunch of people ranted and raved in the comments about how out of line the SPLC waas for classifying the Proud Boys as a hate group?

        Good times.

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  • identicon
    anon, 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:15pm

    sorry

    But you should take that up with the Secret Service and the FBI. Or you should simply blame those dummys that were carrying confederate flags for doing a half-assed job.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:29pm

      Re: sorry

      Take... what up?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:34pm

      Re: sorry

      Nah, trump replaced or easily could have had replaced any or all of those executive branch bureaucrat if he (in his ever lasting all knowing integrity) thought there was any legitimate with anyone under him. Blame the aliens and tom hanks. The real puppetmasters here. Trump had no power over them with his puny "presidential authority"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:31pm

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200602/15134844633/lets-stop-pretending-peaceful-demonstrations- will-fix-system-peace-officers-dont-give-shit-about-peace.shtml Let's Stop Pretending Peaceful Demonstrations Will Fix The System. 'Peace Officers' Don't Give A Shit About Peace. Say That Again from the [types-self-out-of-any-government-employment-ever] dept Wed, Jun 3rd 2020 9:40am — Tim Cushing First off, I would like to thank Mike Masnick and Techdirt for publishing my post on the George Floyd killing and the (in my eyes) justifiable destruction of police property as an answer to years of injustice and "bad apple" excuses. Very few sites would have published such a post. Most would have rejected it after reading the title. ... But if anyone should be targeted for destruction, it should be the entities that have perpetrated this violence upon certain Americans for years. Let them experience what it is to live as a black person in America -- one now "led" by someone who openly calls for violence against those exercising their First Amendment rights (protesters, journalists). I have already pointed out how peaceful protests have failed to effect change. These acts -- the burning of precincts and police vehicles -- may not either, but it will make the point far more effectively than hanging back and being compliant. I don't want to see business owners victimized by opportunists but I think a few burning cop cars is a small price to pay for equality and serious police reform. The law enforcement agencies of America have earned every bit of the hatred they're now feeling. But during these protests all things are equal. There are no courts, no unions, no "tough-on-crime" legislators standing between cops and the destruction of their property. Sucks for them. And when the shit goes down, they flee their posts and give up any appearance of giving a damn about serving or protecting. No one forced cops to behave this way. They took it upon themselves to act as warriors while performing a job that asks them to act as society's protector. They talk a lot about the "thin blue line" between us and chaos, and then act as agents of chaos as soon as an opportunity presents itself. De-escalation tactics are an anomaly. Talking about the great sex you'll have after offing a citizen is the norm. The police in America have long taken advantage of programs that give them military vehicles, clothing, and weapons at nearly no cost. That they now perceive themselves as soldiers rather than peace officers is demonstrated daily -- beginning with the flash bangs announcing their presence during no-knock raids targeting non-violent crime and continuing through their mostly-unchallenged ability to strip US citizens of their cash, cars, and other property at whim. There is no compelling reason for cops to change their standard M.O. And, granted, lighting the occasional cop car on fire will likely only solidify their misguided "warrior" mentality. But it does make it clear that the people still have power, even if the greater power -- the US government that has treated minorities as lower classes for years -- will ultimately prevail. Then there's the entire subclass of US citizens who spend their days bumper-stickering and forum-posting about how they and their guns will rise up against the government should it prove to be dangerous to American citizens and their rights. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY? Outside of a few Boogaloo contingents, the "Obama is coming for muh guns" crowd has remained silent and useless, presumably digging into their eight-year supply of dehydrated food until the government makes it safe for white people to walk around again. Fuck those guys. They suck as much as the government entities they claim to view as enemies. When the shit goes down, these motherfuckers start bunkering. Cowards. The current situation is far from ideal. No one wants to live in a civil unrest hotspot, given the unpredictability of the situation. Governments all over the nation, however, are willing to make things worse -- calling in an offshoot of the military best known for killing Vietnam War protesters. The war is at home, but the instigators are the people we've entrusted to protect society. They have continually proven they're not up to the job. And they've made things worse by pretending every movement is furtive, every black man is probably armed, and every bit of cash in a someone's wallet is probably drug money. They are road pirates, murderers, gang members, and charlatans. Let them feel the flames. They have created their own personal hell. There should be no more free passes. This is the America they created. Whatever burns, burns. This is on their heads. No matter what any politician says in hopes of mollifying the voting public, the truth remains undeniable: you reap what you sow. REAP MOTHERFUCKERS. REAP.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:43pm

      GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

      Let's see, protests against police brutality and a legal system that treats certain people as second class citizens, versus a 'protest' against the fact that the 'wrong' person won an election that involved an attempted insurrection to overthrow the democratic process, there's something different between these two but I just can't place my finger on it...

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:00pm

        Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

        and some numb nuts is claiming it was antifa that did all the damage, while pictures and videos clearly show well known Proud Boys faces and Qanon faces actively participating in the right wing delusional debauchery.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:22pm

          The party of personal responsibility, somehow never responsible

          'It was antifa!'

          'People on your side are very clearly in the pictures and videos, so if it was antifa then guess who you've been supporting this whole time?'

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:44pm

            Re: The party of personal responsibility, somehow never responsi

            Their own videos and words, even.

            Own it if you "win", disown it (and even claim someone else did it) if you "lose". This is the party of "personal responsibility".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Bloof (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:21pm

          Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

          And right wing 'journalists' were among the insurrectionists, taking pictures and tweeting from inside. Damn that well known funder I antifa, Glenn Beck.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 6:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

            Riddle me this:

            • which ones were "journalists"?
            • and which ones were journalists?

            Perhaps what you are thinking is more along the line of: In the riot, there were people who were journalists. But there were also people who were journalists AND ALSO were rioters. Labeling who is a "genuine" journalist and who is not is not so much a line as it is a space.

            I do not deign to honor them with the label "insurrectionists" because that would (as people before me have said) imply that they had a plan beyond disrupting the count. You know, like installing their leader as president, backed up by something to keep the rest of us from simply laughing our heads off at them.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 6:35pm

              that would … imply that they had a plan beyond disrupting the count

              One photo of an insurrectionist within the Capitol showed him carrying twist ties — like the ones used by cops as handcuffs. Someone set up a makeshift hangman’s gallows near the Capitol. Several people were photographed wearing shirts that said “Civil War”. Police found pipe bombs, too.

              At least some of the terrorists had a plan for yesterday. I doubt that plan was meant to stop at “disrupting the count”.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 6:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

              If someone points a gun at a bank teller and demands money only to be tackled by a security guard and stuffed in the back of a cop car the fact that they might not have had a plan beyond 'point gun, get money' does not prevent them from being a bank robber, albeit a failed one.

              That they ultimately failed does not mean that this wasn't an attempt at insurrection, an attempt to prevent the election from proceeding in it's confirmation of the next president, so I see nothing wrong with calling them at the very least attempted insurrectionists with legal charges brought to match.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Bloof (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

              https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/01/pro-trump-reporter-gloats-over-access-to-fleeing-hill-st affers-computer/

              I was making reference to an actual incident of a right wing pretend journalist gloating because he'd joined the riot and was committing crimes with the crowd of criminals. You can't blame antifa and left wing infiltrators when known right wing figures are recording themselves doing this.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:06pm

        Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

        One is your fantasy and the other costed the insurance industry 2 billion dolars.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:13pm

          Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

          costed?

          I had not read about the cost to insurance companies, which publication did you find that in?

          What fantasy?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:29pm

          Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

          One is your fantasy

          There’s video evidence proving otherwise.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: GIve me a minute, I'm sure it'll come to me

          "One is your fantasy and the other costed the insurance industry 2 billion dolars."

          I see the local stormfront refugee is back, eager to push some "alternative facts" our way.

          With video evidence and fully transparent investigations making both your claims not just falsehood but outrageous falsehood, I'm left to conclude that once again you're just here to mindlessly holler "Black Man Bad, Trump Good" because why change a losing concept, right?

          I have to say it's a pretty pathetic showing. Even for a reich-wing troll who spent the last few years braying "But Obama!" as if it was the new pater noster - which I guess it might as well be to the alt-right.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:45pm

    In the game of thrones you win or you die.

    It's the reason our framers chose to step away from the whole game of thrones thing. When there are multiple candidates for monarchy, kingmakers start seeking to assassinate the other candidates and secure the throne by force, and it's recognized by historians as a bloody era.

    We've been letting it happen. Since Trump's election in 2016 there have been many opportunities to recognize we have a madman (with diminished capacity) who's committed crimes (that somehow cannot be prosecuted when committed by a sitting president) and no one has stopped him from convincing 22%+ of the population the election was rigged. All the safeguards to keep the US from falling into the hands of a madman have failed, and we've already paid dearly in cost and human lives.

    It seems to me some people in Washington want a civil war, and don't recognize the horror and consequences that entails. Certainly our federal officials have taken few steps to slow one down, and the GOP has taken massive steps to undermine elections and the democratic process...

    ...and that defaults back to the game of thrones.

    Every last US Senator who refused to remove Trump for office bought this ticket-to-ride.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      icon
      seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:01pm

      Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

      What do you have to say about the over 60% of Democrats that think Russians changed the vote totals and stole the election from Hillary?

      That's not a GOP problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

        60% of democrats, where did this come from?

        I had not read about the claim of Russian vote changing, do you remember from where this tidbit came?

        I agree, it is not a GOP problem - the rise of authoritarian politics is a problem for the entire world no matter from which country it originates.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:42pm

        "60% of Democrats"

        First, I'd want to know where this poll came from.

        But also, 80%-ish (I'm not looking it up this moment) of the soldiers and marines we sent into Operation: Iraqi Freedom believed we were there to get revenge for 9/11. I won't argue that the US has a problem of an uninformed (and vastly misinformed) constituency.

        In fact our whole society revolves around treating its citizens as patsies starting when they're toddlers. All Putin's social-media-influence team had to do was capitalize on it, and recognize that most people don't bother to check to see if their news sources are wrong.

        And to be fair, considering we overwork and underpay our labor, they have neither time nor energy to engage in civic duties or self-information.

        So yeah, it's not a GOP problem, but it's a problem that the GOP openly exploits and then doesn't work to fix.

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      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:28pm

        Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

        I have never seen or heard that claim, nor do I believe it is accurate.

        Regardless, did any Democrats take legal steps or make any attempt to stop Trump from being sworn in? No. Did they ever storm the nation’s capital en masse to stop the constitutional process of recognizing Trump as President? No.

        Do you see the difference?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

          Do you forget spending years trying to cast his election as illegitimate and then going with impeachment once that failed? Don't attempt to cast Dems as guardians of Democracy. Their actions, along with a corrupt media, planted the seeds of doubt in these people much more than trump.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 6:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

            Most Democrats did not try to cast Trump’s election as illegitimate, and they didn’t go for impeachment until Trump did something impeachable (interference in investigations and enlisting foreign aid in investigating a potential opponent).

            You’re making an allegation that doesn’t comport with reality. At any rate, even if you’re right, the point is that no serious attempt was made to discredit the election process, stop his inauguration, or go outside legal processes to remove him from office.

            My point is that the two are not remotely equivalent.

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          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

            [Projects facts not in evidence]

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re: In the game of thrones you win or you die.

        "That's not a GOP problem."

        It's somehow typical for the alt-right to make the claim that being the second person in a gang rape is justifiable if the first one got away with it.

        And no, no 60% of democrats claimed Russia changed the vote totals. Everyone claimed Russia was interfering with the election by astroturfing at scale. Which is one of those things which the Mueller investigation (amongst others) did confirm.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 12:55pm

    Hawley against infinite scrolling? I could totally get behind that if he weren't demonspawn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:30pm

    THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

    YOU SAY "angry mob of insurrectionists". I SAY OPPRESSED ANGRY CITIZEN PATRIOTS WHO HAD THIER TOWNS AND CITIES DESTROYED AND BURNED TO THE GROUND BY YOUR FAVORITE TERRORIST GROUP BLM AND ANTIFA!

    THESE PATRIOTS CONSISTED OF REGULAR AMERICANS CARRYING THE AMERICAN FLAG CHANTING USA! AND THEY WANTED THEIR VOICES HEARD AND IT KNOW THAT THEY DID NOT WANT JOE BIDEN ELECTED AS PRESIDENT AND THEY DID WHAT THEY SAW NECESSARY TO GET THEIR POINT ACCROSS.

    BUT YOU WHO WEREN'T THERE. THE ONES WHO ARE ANTI-AMERICAN, PRO BLM AND ANIFA, PAINT THEM AS ALL THESE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT THEY ARN''T.

    YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES TO CALL YOURSELVES AMERICANS!

    THE REAL AMERICANS SHOWED UP IN NUMBERS. THEY ALREADY LOST THEIR HOMES, BUSINESSES, AND WATCHED IN HORROR THEIR COUNTRY BEING TORN APART BY YOUR FAVORITE ANTI-AMERICAN GROUPS BLM/ANTIFA.

    YOU JUST WANT TO LABEL THEM AND PORTRAY THEIR ACTIONS AS UNAMERICAN WHEN THEY DID THE MOST AMERICAN THING THEY COULD DO, WHICH WAS WALK UP TO THE STEPS OF CONGRESS AND PUT THEIR FOOT IN AND SHOUT USA!

    THEY WANTED THEIR VOICES HERD AND PUT A STOP TO BIDEN BEING ELECTED.AND YOU WANT TO SHAME THEM FOR IT AFTER THEY LOST EVERYTHING.

    YOU ARE A BACKSTABBING ANTI-AMERICAN COWARD!

    AFTER HAVING BEEN SH*T ON BY THEIR STATE GOVERNMENT WITH LOCKDOWNS AND $600 WHILE THEIR TAX PAYER DOLLERS WENT TO SPECIAL INTERESTS GROUPS AND OVERSEAS. YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE SAT DOWN AND TAKEN THE COCK COVID BILL SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROATS AND DONE NOTHING???

    OF COURSE, YOU DO! BUT IT'S EASIER TO JUST GIVE A FALSE LABEL OF THE FAMERS, FATHERS, MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, WORKERS, VETERANS, FOREIGN CITIZENS FROM OPPRESSED COUNTRIES, AND HOMLESS WHO HAVE SEEN AMERICA BURN UNDER (WITH SUPPORT FROM BIDEN/HARRIS) SET BY BLM/ANTIFA, WHO'S DEMOCRAT STATE MAYOR/GOVORNERS ALLOWED THEIR RAIN OF TERROR TO SWEEP THE COUNTRY, AND HAD TO SHOW UP AND TRY TO PUT A STOP TO BIDEN BEING ANNOUNCED, PRESIDENT.

    SHAME ON YOU FOR PAINTING THESE PEOPLE AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN BRAVE PATRIOTS!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:45pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      Yeah, i remember all those cities burned to the ground.

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        seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

        No cities completely burned to the ground but they were the costliest (in $) "protests" in insurance history.

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      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 8:57pm

        Re: Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

        Ah yes, the Bowling Green massacre.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 10:41pm

          The Bowling Green Affair

          I was thinking about that lately, since the massacre was not one of the only things that happened only in White House propaganda, but the arrests are an example of the FBI terror-sting program that is used the bolster the Bureau's numbers of captured terrorists, and justify the department's continued existence.

          It's a theme of articles here on TechDirt: someone is selected by the FBI for being susceptible to radicalizing rhetoric. The program seems to prefer the dimwitted (that is those unintelligent enough to warrant a mental disability) over those who are angry and ideological. And they'll gaslight these targets, sometimes over months, and ostracize them from friends and family until everyone they know is an FBI plant. Then they get the poor chump to do something substantial (e.g. purchase some nails from a hardware store) that is enough to convince a court that he'd be a terrorist if it weren't for all his terror contacts being feds.

          It occurred to me, this is remarkably similar to what was done to Winston by the Ministry of Love in Nineteen Eighty Four.

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          • identicon
            teka, 8 Jan 2021 @ 5:02am

            Re: The Bowling Green Affair

            They prefer fake purchases, that way they can decide the patsy was buying 5 tones of fake plastic explosives, or jet fighter parts or plutonium from the agent, at the meeting set up by agents, as a part of the plan designed by agents.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:47pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      And the constant claims that centrist Dems support the more liberal people, you people making said claims are bloody fucking high.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:55pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      Sorry, we’re having trouble hearing you. Please remove Trump’s penis from your mouth before trying again.

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        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:15am

        Re: Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

        "...penis from your mouth..."

        Homophobia from a Techdirter? Isn't being ___-phobic one of the things neon nazis do?

        Wait'll Stone hears about this one. It'll be several nights of white wine, benzos, and cuddling with xir's life partner just to get up the energy to put you on notice in an eighteen-paragraph lecture.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:01pm

      "towns and cities burned to the ground by blm and antifa"

      No, that would be the August lightning siege.

      Or maybe you're thinking of the subversive actions by the Boogaloo movement.

      they wanted their voices herd and [to] put a stop to biden being elected

      I certainly can empathize. In 2000, the election was stolen from Gore by the Supreme Court of the United States, which made a ruling (split down party lines and divorced from any legal philosophy ever). We really wanted to take the federal civic buildings in Washington DC as well, given Gore won the popular vote and the final ruling was rather arbitrary. Given the George W. Bush administration would soon lead us into war on false pretenses, start multiple torture programs, hire mercenaries to massacre villages and enable massive war profiteering, in retrospect we might have been right to do so.

      But, you know, democracy. Peaceful transfer of power. Stuff like that. And we didn't know Bush was Kodos in disguise.

      Well Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 (we saw this play out before) and lost both the popular vote and the EC in 2020. And right now the US is in a worse state than it was in 2000 or 2016 on account that Trump really fucked things up.

      Maybe give the new guy a chance?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:56pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      SHAME ON YOU FOR PAINTING THESE PEOPLE AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN BRAVE PATRIOTS!

      How about "soon-to-be-felons?"

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:31pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      They were oppressive Americans, trying to force their choice of president onto the people, against the wishes of the majority.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:10pm

      Re: THEY WERE OPPRESSED AMERICANSS PATRIOTS!

      I SAY OPPRESSED ANGRY CITIZEN PATRIOTS WHO HAD THIER TOWNS AND CITIES DESTROYED AND BURNED TO THE GROUND BY YOUR FAVORITE TERRORIST GROUP BLM AND ANTIFA!

      Setting aside the fact that BLM and antifa are absolutely not terrorist groups, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that any of the people who broke into the Capitol were victims of any destruction by anyone.

      THESE PATRIOTS CONSISTED OF REGULAR AMERICANS CARRYING THE AMERICAN FLAG CHANTING USA! AND THEY WANTED THEIR VOICES HEARD AND IT KNOW THAT THEY DID NOT WANT JOE BIDEN ELECTED AS PRESIDENT AND THEY DID WHAT THEY SAW NECESSARY TO GET THEIR POINT ACCROSS.

      1. No one disputes that they carried flags and chanted USA. That does not change anything.

      2. There were plenty of ways they could have made it known that they didn’t approve of Biden. This was the wrong way to do it.

      BUT YOU WHO WEREN'T THERE. THE ONES WHO ARE ANTI-AMERICAN, PRO BLM AND ANIFA, PAINT THEM AS ALL THESE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT THEY ARN''T.

      It is undisputed by the people there that they were trying to and temporarily succeeded in disrupting the democratic process of counting electoral votes. They made that very clear when they spoke. They were also angry and clearly a mob. On top of that, they illegally forced their way into the Capitol, some of them armed, and fought back against LEOs who tried to get them to leave. That gives plenty of reason to believe that they were, in fact, “an angry mob of insurrectionists”.

      YOU JUST WANT TO LABEL THEM AND PORTRAY THEIR ACTIONS AS UNAMERICAN WHEN THEY DID THE MOST AMERICAN THING THEY COULD DO, WHICH WAS WALK UP TO THE STEPS OF CONGRESS AND PUT THEIR FOOT IN AND SHOUT USA!

      They went waaaaay beyond that. They broke into Congress, causing property damage, and threatened to shoot certain congresspeople. This is all clear from the videos available to everyone.

      THEY WANTED THEIR VOICES HE[A]RD AND PUT A STOP TO BIDEN BEING ELECTED.AND YOU WANT TO SHAME THEM FOR IT AFTER THEY LOST EVERYTHING.

      Biden was already elected. This was just a formality. If they just kept to peaceful, lawful protests, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. They did not.

      AFTER HAVING BEEN SH*T ON BY THEIR STATE GOVERNMENT WITH LOCKDOWNS AND $600 WHILE THEIR TAX PAYER DOLLERS WENT TO SPECIAL INTERESTS GROUPS AND OVERSEAS.

      The lockdowns were necessary. Everything else you said is immaterial.

      YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE SAT DOWN AND TAKEN THE COCK COVID BILL SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROATS AND DONE NOTHING???

      No. They should speak up about it. However, the way they did it was out of line. Also, again, I saw no evidence that the COVID bill had anything to do with this protest.

      TRY TO PUT A STOP TO BIDEN BEING ANNOUNCED, PRESIDENT.

      Again, it was way too late for that, and this was not the proper method to do so.

      SHAME ON YOU FOR PAINTING THESE PEOPLE AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN BRAVE PATRIOTS!

      Well, they were also violent and committed crimes. They were also fighting against the results of a fair and democratic election just because they didn’t like the results. There is nothing brave or patriotic about that.

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  • identicon
    SpaceLifeForm, 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:38pm

    Mr. ALLCAPS

    Call for you on the courtesy phone, line 2.

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    icon
    seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 1:54pm

    Hysterical Blatherings

    I am not surprised at all that Mike Masnick took all night to recover from his traumatic experience.

    Only a completely sheltered, pampered and oblivious person could have been scared by what happened yesterday.

    A bunch of yahoos had a big party and crashed the gates of a bigger party they were not invited to.

    No amount of hysterical posturing will make any of what happened yesterday an insurrection or any type of overthrowing of the Government.

    You big fucking whiney babies.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:07pm

      "Whiny babies"

      Ah, yes, derisive dismissal, the last bastion of those without an argument.

      Why don't you call us special snowflakes? You know you want to. ❄️❄️❄️

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:11am

        Re: "Whiny babies"

        Uriel, aren't you the one always talking about violent proletarian revolution and overthrowing the state?

        But a handful of people from the working class break some glass and send statist overlords cowering, and it's "oh, no, I didn't mean those proles should cause those statists to wet their pants".

        So you're just a fedposter after all.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:37am

          Re: Re: "Whiny babies"

          "a handful of people from the working class break some glass and send statist overlords cowering"

          Is that all they did? That is a relief to me because I was concerned that they intended to use those zip ties to secure their hostages while they follow thru on their promise to hang the VP.
          But it is good to know they did not intend to do any of that.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 3:20am

          The cops found pipebombs outside of the headquarters of both the DNC and the RNC. Someone from that group of “working class” people planned to use those bombs. Seems like you’ve forgotten about that.

          Had that mob only stormed the stairs of the Capitol, I would’ve shaken my head — but also supported their right to protest. They went beyond protest when they stepped into the Capitol. Some of those people likely would’ve at least taken members of Congress hostage if they’d gotten the chance. So stop acting like what happened on Wednesday was anything less than terrorism.

          And the next time you want to say calls for systemic government reform and an attempt to overthrow American democracy are the same thing? Don’t.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 5:56pm

          Re: Re: "Whiny babies"

          But a handful of people from the working class break some glass and send statist overlords cowering

          They also killed an officer and set pipe bombs at DNC and RNC HQs. They also planned to hold hostages. Don’t minimize what happened.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 10:40pm

          "fedposter"

          I have not been called that before. Congratulations!

          My position hasn't changed regarding violent revolution, which is to say, the US establishment is too far gone to change incrementally. Oh maybe if we weren't facing global disaster that will likely lead to human extinction within two centuries, we could hope that with steady hard grassroots incrementalist work, the Zoomers might have grandkids whose children might see the US as a real democracy. A nice thought, eh?

          The zoomers are going to watch half the population die when they're fifty. Their grandkids are not likely to live full lives. That's our situation. We're out of time for incrementalism.

          But just any old coup d'etat will lead to a string of dictatorships. What was Trump going to do after he crowned himself President-For-Life? Build the wall? Probably get assassinated or usurped by someone, maybe even one of his own spawn. Coalition after coalition will control Washington by mustering a military force and killing anyone who disagrees with them. That was their plan, right? With the pipe bombs?

          Lather, rinse, repeat for decades until the people are tired of starving.

          While all those dictatorships are sorting themselves out: global warming. blue ocean event around 2034. By 2050 everything south of Oregon, Nebraska and Pennsylvania will be desert wasteland and as fun to live in as the Sahara Desert. Suddenly millions will be moving northward and willing to kill for food and supplies.

          No, if you're going to change the nation for the better by revolution, you have to have your platform in advance. And you have to have your new constitution drawn up in advance. And you have to make sure none of your trusted lieutenants stab you in the back to take over and crown themselves president for life.

          Do you know how to do these things? Me neither. And that's why I haven't mustered an army and stormed Washington. Also, I don't want to rule. I just want to live in a society where all efforts to govern are not killed by a cruel Senate majority leader.

          I don't know how they're going to solve that problem, or the looming SCOTUS rulings, but I'm not in Washington to do anything about it.

          Apparently Trump didn't know what he was doing either, unless the Wednesday raid was his brilliant distraction. I'm distracted.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:08pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      Hey dude. I will first note that nearly every comment you've ever made on this site has been in support of Russia and/or Trump. I wonder why that is?

      As for the rest of it, well, fuck off, you two bit wannabe authoritarian bootlicker.

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        seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

        Hey Mike, maybe you need to think about why you see Russia and/or Trump under every problem.

        I just comment on the intellectual laziness you, your staff and your commenters seem to have when it comes to looking outside your little bubbles.

        Any of your comments on Russia/China/Trump is where it really shines. You could just be dishonest, but I don't get that from reading your stuff. You are just lazy.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

          Hey Mike, maybe you need to think about why you see Russia and/or Trump under every problem.

          If you actually read what I wrote you'd see that I don't actually see that. I have, however, noticed that YOU always do support those two.

          I told you to fuck off. Now do it for real.

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          • icon
            seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            Nahh, you big baby.

            I'd like to see what support I have given either Trump or Russia. And not that fake GW Bush-era "material support for terrorists" bullshit you lawyer types like to use.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I may not agree with Trump but I will break my back sucking his cock if Mike hurts his feefees" - seedeevee

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 8:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

          I just comment on the intellectual laziness you, your staff and your commenters seem to have when it comes to looking outside your little bubbles.

          [Projects facts not in evidence]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:17pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      "JUST IN: Former first lady Michelle Obama calls on tech companies to permanently ban President Trump from their platforms and put policies in place “to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.”

      I can rest assured that all of you babies that will tell us how bad Venzuela, Iran, China and Russia are for limiting speech will also tell us that this is different.

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      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

        Last I checked she is a regular every day citizen. She has free speech rights to call for anything.

        If she were in government, you'd have a point, and we'd have called it out JUST AS we have called it out when Demcorats AND Republicans alike have demanded censorship while in government.

        But you wouldn't know anything about that because you're not here as an honest broker, but as a dishonest shill. Fuck off.

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          seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

          Just a "regular every day citizen" . . . . and you call me dishonest.

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          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            What government job does she have, asshole?

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            • icon
              seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

              What "government job" does the most popular woman in the USA have?

              Apparently it is one that requires her to have constant Secret Service protection.

              Dickhole.

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          • icon
            Dark Helmet (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            You know what's actually really dope about America, you pathetic dope? Once Michelle Obama became the EX First Lady, she did turn into an ordinary regular every day citizen.

            She's not the richest of the rich, she isn't the poorest of the poor, she is revered by some, reviled by others, and she gets one fucking vote and nothing more. An every day citizen.

            I wonder why that isn't something you can grasp?

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            Seedeevee, not that this has anything to do with your comment, but if you want a little chuckle for your day, here's a video of a grown "man" weeping like a little girl in front of a crowd:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBsxGjjnRpk

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 5:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            "Just a "regular every day citizen" . . . . and you call me dishonest."

            Because you are.

            Michelle Obama is a private citizen, no more ensconced or protected than anyone else.

            I realize that to a white supremacist fuckwit like you, reluctantly leaving the stormfront echo chamber, the fact that more people may be willing to hear a black woman out rather than lend an ear to subhuman racist troglodytes like your own low self may sting, but the fact remains that Michelle Obama remains a private individual.

            I realize that the outraged butthurt you keep experiencing every time your chosen Führer forces a media platform to a moderate him in some way by being a lying sack of shit in a government position compels you to wander the forums screaming on his behalf...but honestly, the one and only thing you've convinced the readership here about is that you will never, ever forgive a black man for becoming president given how you trigger on the word "Obama".

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      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:19pm

        Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

        Free speech has no issues with a private citizen (former First Lady) exercising her free speech by calling for private corporations to ban someone from their privately owned platforms. Had she still been a government official in any capacity, that would be different. Had she been calling for the government to ban her from any fora, that would be different. Now, I largely disagree with her, but she has every right to say it.

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      identicon
      tyrone, 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:33pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      ... yeah, you're basically correct -- this is a petulant over reaction by pampered 21st Americans with little knowledge of U.S. history.

      There have been many worse incidents of violence at the US Capitol Building --including large bomb detonations, gunfire sprayed into the House floor in sesion, and almost successful assassination of President Andrew Jackson.
      Mass protests in WashDC have been routine since the nation's founding, many were violent.

      Today's delicate Snowflakes have no factual perspective.
      Yesteday's events were small scale vandalism and assault relative to the long history of political protests in America,

      This was not the equivalent of "Pearl Harbor" (as the NBC natonal News anchor solemnly advised us all this morning

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      • icon
        seedeevee (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

        Thank you, tyrone, for knowing and acknowledging the history these exeperts here all already know.

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      • icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:04pm

        Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

        Are you really this stupid? These assholes were nearly within reach of being able to cause wholesale harm to a large swath of the duly elected government.

        As a side note: "This isn't a big deal, because something like it happened in the days of Andrew Jackson!" is a bold take, in how completely fucking blind and deaf it is.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:14pm

          These assholes were nearly within reach of being able to cause wholesale harm to a large swath of the duly elected government.

          To wit: Imagine where we’d be if the parlamentarians hadn’t taken the Electoral College results somewhere safe once the protestors got inside the building.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:02am

          Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

          Dark Helmet, welcome to the ranks of the Techdirt Blue Checkmarks.

          An entire year of desert parasite media urging savages to rape, burn, destroy, and murder (actual) Americans in cities across the country over an overdosed felon? "Cool, cool."

          Some congressional overlords inconvenienced for a few hours by some icky, awful, blue collar White people from flyover country? "Ahhhhhh, get out the tanks and flamethrowers, it's annudah shoah!"

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            Ah, it's the guy desperately trying to make "blue checkmark" catch on as some vague attempt at a derogatory insult.

            Your boy lost, get over it.

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          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hysterical Blatherings

            An entire year of desert parasite media [Fox & Breitbart] urging savages [Trumpalos] to rape, burn, destroy, and murder (actual) Americans [aka everyone but Trumpalos] in cities across the country over an overdosed felon [with the name of Donald J. Trump]? "Cool, cool."

            FTFY

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    • identicon
      TFG, 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:14pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      I see you're in favor of terrorism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:24pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      Dude, an angry mob, some members of which were
      armed, broke into the nation’s capital, which contained the Vice President and all of Congress, ransacked and occupied the place, and threatened to execute certain high-ranking officials for adhering to the Constitution, all because they refuse to accept the reality that their guy lost. This is unprecedented.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      cattress (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 10:10pm

      Re: Hysterical Blatherings

      In case you weren't paying attention, a woman was shot to death trying to climb through a broken window to Congress where a number of congressmen had not yet evacuated. I'm not blaming her, and I'm really torn over whether her shooting was justified or not. She was rather hell bent on getting inside, but I don't know if she was fully aware of the armed cops on the other side, as there was a lot of shouting from all directions. And regardless of her QAnon following, we have no idea what she intended to do once inside, and cops certainly had no idea how dangerous she might or might not be. She never should have been able to make it that far into the building, but she did, and she lost her life. I think it's pretty fucking serious to everyone but you, and the only whiney crybaby is the president who can't face reality. Party crashing doesn't result in getting shot to death.

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  • icon
    Thad (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:13pm

    Wednesday, January 6th: The Day The Game Of Politics Turned Into Insurrection

    Politics Is Not A Game

    Techdirt, you're sending me mixed signals here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 2:42pm

    Politics Is Not A Game

    Unfortunately, ever since the filibuster was invented—and perhaps earlier—it has been a game. Don't have enough people to vote down someone else's law? Look though the procedures for any possible loophole to stop them passing it. Someone won't pass your bill? Find a way to staple it to something they won't be willing to say no to.

    So, now, we've reached the obvious conclusion of this gamification. We've got a red team and a blue team. You pick your team, often based on little more than geography, then stand by them no matter what. Similarly, those on the team are expected to support their teammates, no matter what.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:24pm

    A super-spreader writ large

    Lots of those deluded Trumpians weren’t wearing a face mask. (Antifascists know that is at least basic OPSEC.) They were also in close contact with thousands of other people for hours. We can tell that these people had no respect for pandemic reduction measures. So I have a sincere question: Should we classify any spike of COVID cases related to those terrorists as an act of biological warfare?

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    • identicon
      Bobvious, 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:36pm

      Re: A super-spreader writ large

      "Should we classify any spike of COVID cases related to those terrorists as an act of biological warfare?"

      Well, if not bio warfare then certainly collateral damage and a Pyrrhic victory.

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  • identicon
    bshock, 7 Jan 2021 @ 3:50pm

    When did you start paying attention to politics, Mike?

    I've been watching U.S. politics for the last 40 years. I can assure you that the GOP did not just start flip-flopping on policies for the sake of convenience 4 years ago. Aside from slogans like "family values" promoted by serial adulterers (you know who you are, Newt), the big flip-flop of convenience has been fiscal responsibility. When Democrats are in charge, Republicans become deficit hawks. When Republicans are in charge, they spend like crazy, give out tax breaks to the wealthy, and generally raise the deficit. https://towardsdatascience.com/which-party-adds-more-to-deficits-a6422c6b00d7

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:37pm

      Re: When did you start paying attention to politics, Mike?

      " slogans like "family values" promoted by serial adulterers"

      Reminded me of:
      Neither moral, nor a majority

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:44pm

      Re: When did you start paying attention to politics, Mike?

      I know all of that. But at no point in the last 40 years have either party done what happened yesterday.

      I didn't say this is new (did you read the post?). But what happened yesterday was the culmination of what they've worked on for years, and leadership would have been them recognizing that and saying "we've gone too far."

      That's not what happened.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 5:40am

      Re: When did you start paying attention to politics, Mike?

      "I can assure you that the GOP did not just start flip-flopping on policies for the sake of convenience 4 years ago."

      There's a pretty big step in going from shameless opportunism straight into openly cheering a mob of white supremacists on as they break into the nations central government building and start replacing the star-spangled banners there with the confederate flag and Trump banners in an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

      This should be a wakeup call. The 70% of the US citizenry still sane and rational need to realize that the remaining 30% are at war with them, and all they stand for, and will not quit. Like postwar Germany dealt with nazism the US is going to have to take its chemotherapy and spend the next ten years rendering every last moron adhering to xenophobia and intolerance irrelevant. Because the unthinkable has now been done once. Storming the capitol is now an option for those people. And the fliers are already up in Washington about inauguration day, calling for a similar "demonstration" - but armed.

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  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:03pm

    People Register as "Dem" or R

    Mike wrote:

    "I have always tried to support policies that I think will be most effective -- not based on ideology, but on understanding the policy and its likely impact. That's the way governing should work."

    True. But even more important than government and representatives acting this way, is that the citizens should act thus. Look at policy, and choose the candidate with the policy platform that best aligns with one's priorities.

    Which is why it has always struck me as Weird-As-Fuck the way US voters register for a Party. How is that consistent with choosing the candidates that have policies I like? What if a D has the policy I want in my county, but an R does for my state, and a D does federally? I know split tickets are a vestige of the past here, but they shouldn't be. And "registering for a Party" is part of the problem.

    Because we all register, we've also got this stupid Primary system, which is what puts all these whack-jobs and extremists on the ticket. Notably, Rs are more worried about Primary elections than General elections. That's messed up. The Pirmaries are much easier to game.

    Anyway, I hope most Americans know that this "Register" thing ISN'T a thing in most other democracies. A Canadian might vote NDP one year, Liberal the next, and nobody thinks that's odd or a big flip.

    I know, I know. History this, two party system that, first to post, etc, etc. Yes, we agree, "reasons". Still, the 21st Century has shown us that this is a pretty messed up so-called "democracy". (I know, I know. "Constitutional Republic", spare me.)

    I just wish individual people did "support policies that [they] think will be most effective -- not based on ideology, but on understanding the policy and its likely impact." We'd end up with, I dunno, maybe policies with better impacts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:41pm

      Re: People Register as "Dem" or R

      Thought I'd add that in the US one is not required to register with any party. I think the majority of eligible voters are independent.
      Some states will not let you vote in the primary if not registered but that is changing.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:27pm

        Loyalty to a political party eventually ends with “party before people” thinking. We’ve seen the results of that thinking for the past four years. Such loyalty, then, is nothing less than a suicide pact.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:29pm

        Re: Re: People Register as "Dem" or R

        Thought I'd add that in the US one is not required to register with any party.

        True, but not all that relevant. You've still got to vote "Dem or R" in most elections, because nobody else has a chance (simply because the public believe nobody else has a chance). So, yes, you can avoid registration, thereby avoiding a public record of your affiliation. And then you declare your loyalty in a secret ballot, or avoid voting.

        I hope that, one day, American politics will be more than an "us versus them" game, but I don't see a path to get there.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:46pm

      Two party system

      The US has been a two-party system since the inception, and in fact the wording in the Constitution of the United States belies that it was intended to be and stay a two-party system.

      There are a tuck-fun of ways our election systems could be revised to allow third parties (and fourth and fifth) to have a decent chance, but electoral reform has not been a priority of our professional politicians, ever, and since Boss Tweed assured one had to cozy up to plutocrats to even run for office, it's only gotten worse.

      This is why I occasionally call for violent revolution. We cannot get public-serving officials into office, and when we do (sat Carter or Ocasio-Cortez the party establishment immediately maneuvers to make their primary system less democratic, and lean more towards gerontocracy and plutocracy.

      We're not going to get a public-serving government by adhering to the system...at least not in time to stop industry from making the world uninhabitable.

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  • identicon
    jimbo, 7 Jan 2021 @ 4:11pm

    Nicknames

    Hawley and Cruz need a new nickname: Hawley: Don Quixote Cruz: Sancho Panza Try it out on your friends

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:47pm

      Quixote and Sancho

      I like those character too much to befoul their names with associations with Republican US Senators.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 5:44am

      Re: Nicknames

      Don Quixote was an eccentric idealist. A benevolent madman. Sancho Panza was a well-intentioned peasant with good sense.

      Neither accurately describes Hawley and Cruz - or as I call them; Smeagol and Gollum.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:14pm

    Unhappy?

    I think what hurts the leftists in the united states (the democrat party, the media, and the big tech companies) more than anything else is that they thought that they would command respect by winning the election. But you can only earn respect, and no matter what happens trump has proven the respect from his supporters. The author of this article appears to be very bitter about that. Having respect is better than being a bootlicker for a 50 year career corporatist politician.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:30pm

      I can’t respect a man who incites an insurrection against the government he leads. How can you?

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:33pm

      Commanding respect

      Trump doesn't have respect from his supporters, he has worship.

      Feel free to name a feature or trait you respect about Donald Trump. Be warned that this might reflect what you value, yourself.

      But yeah, the election has shown us how the people are really susceptible to campaigning based on feels rather than based on fulfilling what they need from a government. And that's how we got a wrestling-character as President.

      The question is, then, how do we get the people to be less stupid, because a poorly run democracy always wends its way back to feudalism, and governance by force.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:35pm

      Re: Unhappy?

      Literally nothing you said here makes any sense at all. You are a sad follower of a man who demands only that his follower dupes bow down to him because he's never been loved.

      No one's talking about "respect" especially not from a man who spent the last four years defiling the Oval Office.

      Go get a life you stupid stupid person.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:51pm

        Re: Re: Unhappy?

        Ha ha, a "journalist" in 2021 doesn't know what 'literally' means.

        We're shocked...shocked I tell you.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 5:39pm

      Re: Unhappy?

      I call projection.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 7:31pm

      Re: Unhappy?

      better than being a bootlicker

      Pot, meet kettle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:16am

      Re: Unhappy?

      Yeah, go on respecting the whiner-in-chief who boldly stormed ahead of his moronic troops as promised. Oh wait...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 10:14pm

    Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

    The Latest: Capitol Police say officer dies after riots”, AP, about half an hour ago

    Officer Brian D. Sicknick died Thursday due to injuries sustained while on-duty, physically engaging with protesters at the U.S. Capitol, the statement said.

    Capitol Police officer dies from injuries after clashing with pro-Trump mob”, by Dartunorro Clark and Frank Thorp V, NBC, Jan 7, 2021 (updated 8:56pm PST)

    Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured while engaging with protesters Wednesday and returned to his division office, where he collapsed, Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. He was taken to a local hospital where he died about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

    United States Capitol Rotunda

    Officer Jacob Joseph Chestnut (April 28, 1940 – July 24, 1998) was the first African American to lie in honor at the Capitol. Chestnut, a retired United States Air Force veteran, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Detective John Michael Gibson (March 29, 1956 – July 24, 1998) … is buried in Arlington National Cemetery after lying in honor with Chestnut in the Capitol rotunda.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:14pm

      Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

      And people say that these thugs weren’t violent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:40pm

        Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

        It's almost like any respect Team Trump had for law enforcement vanished the moment that policemen started making things inconvenient for them. I'm shocked, I tell you - shocked!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:42pm

        Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

        And people say that these thugs weren’t violent.

        Justice Department warns of national security fallout from Capitol Hill insurrection”, by Natash Betrand, Politico, Jan 7, 2021

        One current Metro D.C. police officer said in a public Facebook post that off-duty police officers and members of the military, who were among the rioters, flashed their badges and I.D. cards as they attempted to overrun the building.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:53pm

        Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

        Left wing now suddenly pro-police*

        *(...when they kill unarmed White women veteran mothers.)

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

          White women veteran mothers

          Arlington National Cemetery

          … was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, previously the estate of Mary Anna Custis Lee, … wife of Robert E. Lee.

          Ashli Babbit may be interred in Trump Tower. But she has no place at Arlington.

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

          Left wing now suddenly pro-police

          I think you are confusing left-wing with the rule of law and how everyone is supposed to be treated equally under it. I know it can be difficult concept to grasp for someone like you.

          when they kill unarmed White women veteran mothers

          When people do stupid shit like assaulting a federal building, the democratic process and LEO's and die in the process you suddenly care about criminals getting killed in the process? In this context, stupidity isn't an excuse for criminal behavior, being a mother isn't an excuse for criminal behavior and being a veteran isn't an excuse for criminal behavior.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

          "Left wing now suddenly pro-police"

          How myopic can you get?
          Many people are pro-obey-the-law, which may or may not overlap with your pro-police as many police do not obey the law. This is not really all that difficult to understand is it?

          Does it matter what color of skin this person had? Or she was unarmed? ... certainly these good people were not that ignorant that they thought they would be greeted with Hors d'œuvres and cocktails.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:02am

          Ashli Babbit

          Ashli Babbit chose to be a foot soldier in a war she believed was hers.

          I'd like to think a fourteen-year career in the Air Force would condition her to gather intelligence regarding news media the way you do in a theater of war, but obviously not.

          To be fair, my dad is a literal rocket scientist and a brilliant mathematician, and yet has been caught under Trump's thrall. (I'm pretty sure he doesn't like brown people and he likes having a leader that makes that okay. More than he likes having one that holds the nation together.)

          All Babbit had to do to survive the day was stay the fuck home. And her regiment of irregulars would have accomplished about as much without endangering her.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 5:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

          Let’s see. I don’t recall any police officers getting hurt during the BLM protests. There are currently at least two officers confirmed dead from the Capitol riot. The woman was killed trying to break into where government officials, including Nancy Pelosi, were holed up to stay away from the rioters, and she was accompanied by a number of others, some of whom were armed. We’ve condemned the assaults on largely peaceful protests and the killing of individual blacks who posed no threat or were trying to flee.

          Also, I’m not inherently anti-cop. I’m in favor of accountability.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:43am

      Re: Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick

      U.S. Capitol Flag Will Fly At Half-Staff; FBI Offers Reward Over Pipe Bombs, by Bill Chappell, NPR, Jan 8, 2021

      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the building's flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after being injured in the mayhem.

      "On behalf of the House of Representatives, I send our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died following the assault on the Capitol complex and protecting those who serve and work here," Pelosi said on Friday.

      U.S. Capitol Flag Will Fly At Half-Staff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2021 @ 11:49pm

    "LET IT BURN. LET IT ALL BURN."

    "Let. The motherfucker. Burn."

    • Techdirt, June 2020

    "Oh no, I didn't mean for Americans to break windows and take funny photos!"

    • Techdirt, January 2021

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    • identicon
      Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:52am

      Re: Stupid people do stupid things

      I see you fail to grasp the differences in context between the two articles.

      The first article is about the consequences of the systematic racism that exists in the USA and the second one is about the consequences of stupid people attacking the democratic process.

      I doubt you will ever understand the difference.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 10:55am

        Re: Re: Stupid people do stupid things

        Nah, didn't fail to grasp it. Said it quite explicitly earlier.

        The bottom line is this: Techdirt is against cops when they're preventing violence against White people and for cops when they're committing violence against White people.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 5:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stupid people do stupid things

          Except the BLM protests were largely nonviolent and didn’t target people for violence when violence occurred. Neither was the case with the attack on Wednesday.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stupid people do stupid things

          [Gaslights facts not in evidence]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stupid people do stupid things

          Nah, didn't fail to grasp it.

          But you did. What Techdirt has argued and still is, is that EVERYONE should be treated equally under the law regardless who they are.

          From your language I can only conclude that you are a racist which is why you will fail to grasp this until the day you die, or, if you are lucky, have an epiphany after you managed to acquire a modicum of wisdom in life.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:54am

      Are we missing some nuance?

      We can simultaneously be pissed off at law enforcement who kill people relentlessly at a rate of four per day (more than two of them unarmed and unresisting) and be outraged at revolutionaries who want to overthrow democracy for a fascist white Christians only state.

      It is noted that many law enforcement were unresponsive, or even collaborative with the raiders storming the Capitol Building on January 6th, and maybe if they were doing their jobs, officer Sicknick might still be alive.

      Granted, I don't know the exact circumstances in which Officer Sicknick died so I'm only speculating.

      It's also conspicuous the difference between the law-enforcement response to a and attempted coup d'etat by a white crowd in comparison to (largely) peaceful protests by BLM. Twitter remains alight about this juxtaposition.

      But if the police are going to keep gunning down American citizens in cold blood, they well deserve having their precincts demolished and their departments abolished. If they keep it up too long, they'll end up with detectives and field operatives hunting them down to the ends of the earth to face justice. (The whole ICE department deserves no less.)

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:05am

        Oh yeah, it's worth adding...

        The intelligence community (that is, spies from allied nations) seem to be communicating intel that Trump had bigger plans in mind, and expected some law enforcement departments to collaborate with his pro-confederate mob.

        So that might explain why some backup for the Capitol officers was scant or missing.

        It's a situation still unfolding.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 2:59am

          Trump would’ve ordered the military to join the mob if he could’ve done so. That he couldn’t is a blessing unto us all.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 3:19am

          Re: Oh yeah, it's worth adding...

          … might explain why some backup for the Capitol officers was scant or missing.

          From @kyledcheney (Congress reporter for @POLITICO)

          Rep. LOFGREN, who chairs the House Administration Committee, says the Capitol Police chief incorrectly told her that the National Guard was at the ready ahead of the Jan. 6 session.

          "What they told me about the National Guard was just not true."

          Top Capitol security officials sacked after deadly riot”, by Burgess Everett and and Heather Caygle, Politico, Jan 7, 2021

          Lofgren told reporters Thursday that the Capitol Police chief assured her that all contingencies were in place and "there was no doubt they were completely able to keep us secure in the Capitol." The National Guard was at the ready, Lofgren said Sund told her.

          "We were told it was all in place, it was all a go," she said. "It was just not true. They had not been called."

          “Just not true” is obviously, clearly, and simply not enough on its own at this time to support a criminal charge.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 4:36am

    Looking at this as an EU citizen, I mostly agree with the article, and there is no real parallel to be drawn between BLM and attempting to storm the Capitol to change the decisions of the Congress. And as far as I know, it is a fact that no politicians have so far openly called for Trump deplatforming from Twitter and Facebook.
    I notice however that youtube deleted more than 8.000 videos claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, and deleted zero videos claiming that the 2016 election was stolen. If you apply this one sided policy on youtube and other MSM, as legal as this is, it is only to be expected that the group of people who feels ignored will raise the bar of their protest, no? Why there is no bipartisan calls to end this idiocy of shouting "my side lost, but the election was stolen"? Why can you claim that elections were stolen only when a Democrat loses? Only because you keep the message about the election system being rigged non violent? Of course it undermines people's faith in the institutions over time. False and debunked assertions helped build a climate of mistrust and hate. No wonder tension has been escalating in the last few years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 4:39am

      Re:

      Because in 2016, the reins of control passed onto Trump's government without so much as a temper tantrum by the people in power.

      The Democrats displayed a much larger modicum of restraint, which is why "but both sides" is a horrendously poor argument to make here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 4:58am

      Re:

      I notice however that youtube deleted more than 8.000 videos claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, and deleted zero videos claiming that the 2016 election was stolen.

      You can't really compare the moderation efforts between the two elections. A lot of things happened during and after the 2016 election which no one had anticipated which led to a change in moderation policies so it's not very strange that more videos where deleted that pertains to the 2020 election.

      Also, the sheer amount of misinformation and lies that has been pumped out for the 2020 election dwarfs all earlier elections combined.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 6:17am

      youtube deleted more than 8,000 videos claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, and deleted zero videos claiming that the 2016 election was stolen

      If you can’t see the difference between those two situations, I can’t help you see it.

      If you apply this one sided policy on youtube and other MSM, as legal as this is, it is only to be expected that the group of people who feels ignored will raise the bar of their protest, no?

      The riot is the language of the unheard. That doesn’t make them right per se. That also applies if they’re done in an attempt to subvert democracy itself.

      Why there is no bipartisan calls to end this idiocy of shouting "my side lost, but the election was stolen"?

      The Republican voter base won’t accept that kind of “surrender”.

      Why can you claim that elections were stolen only when a Democrat loses?

      The claim “Democrats lost an election because of GOP-led voter roll purges and polling place shutdowns” has some actual evidence behind it. We can show how those things affect voter turnout. But Republicans have yet to offer evidence that proves the 2020 election was stolen in any way. And Trump’s legal team has presented no such evidence to a court.

      One claim has credibility. The other doesn’t. For what reason should we treat them as equally valid?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:35am

        Re:

        maybe I was misinterpreted - I do not suggest to treat them as equally valid, I suggest to use much more caution when claiming that institutions are "corrupt", and if the decision has been made to purge nonsense from youtube, to apply it as broadly as possible. Actual evidence - fine, leave it, then jail the fraudsters. Evidence is evidence. And then delete everything else. But applying some sort of nuanced filter is a cure which is worse than the disease, because it fuels mistrust in the institution themselves, and empowers populism on both sides.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re:

          Actual evidence - fine, leave it, then jail the fraudsters. Evidence is evidence. And then delete everything else.

          Why do you believe that is not what happened (other than the jail part, which isn't YouTube's job)?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:09am

            Re: Re: Re:

            because it happened only for 2020 related videos, not for 2016

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              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              or for that matter - because they did not remove videos that falsely claim that the Biden laptop was a Russian disinfo op, as you can easily check with a search.
              If the intent is to delete disinformation, I am all for it. I am only asking to delete all disinformation, not only selected falsehoods.

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              • icon
                Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Except for the falsehoods you are trying to push, we see.

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                • icon
                  TheForumTroll (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:36pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Are you saying that Russia is behind the laptop? Just for the record?

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                  • icon
                    Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 7:34pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Interesting how quickly you pulled out that strawman as deflection after you've been called out.

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                  • icon
                    bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    It might be. It might not be. I don’t know. It seems highly unlikely that it is Hunter’s laptop, but I’m not going to claim it’s Russia without evidence, either.

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                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      This is wrong - it was assessed not to be russian disinformation. All else is a lie. And as I am calling for deleting all lies, I would like those videos deleted as well, thats all. You made all the argument that 2020 is not comparable to 2016. I do not agree, but let's ignore this point for the sake of the argument. Then I am asking - why not deleting alla lies related to 2020 election, on both sides? Why deleting only some lies and not all of them?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2021 @ 3:35pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Exactly, as Trump should not be claiming voter fraud without evidence.

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                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 6:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Are you saying that Russia is behind the laptop? Just for the record?"

                    Probably not Russia. If any actual intelligence agency had a hand in that we wouldn't be talking about an untraceable laptop of shoddy providence falling into the hands of a similarly shady repairman who for some reason then turned up to deliver it into the hands of Rudy Giuliani.

                    Rudy might as well have smartphone-shot a picture of a dog turd shaped like jesus and hollered that it proved Hunter is a criminal, for all the evidence value that "laptop trail" offered.

                    I'm pretty sure if Putin had a hand in it the evidence would be solid enough to jog Barr off his ass to go put an APB out on Hunter Biden.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              because it happened only for 2020 related videos, not for 2016

              It seems like a very straightforward explanation for that is because the claims about the 2020 election were baseless nonsense, and claims about voter suppression and gerrymandering in the 2016 election were factually supported.

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                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                What you are implying is that the voting institution is weak and can be manipulated - hence, the result is not trustworthy. The point is not by whom - the point is that for years it has been implied that manipulation can be done, and was done at a scale large enough to affect the result. And you are telling me that most people will, in the current environment, make a distinction or look at the actual numbers before going to the street and chant "stop the steal"?? The only thing that sticks is "vote can be manipulated", and that is what they all believe.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:05am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And you are telling me that most people will, in the current environment, make a distinction or look at the actual numbers before going to the street and chant "stop the steal"??

                  Since that would be counterfactual, no, I am not saying that. I'm not sure why you think that is what I was telling you.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 5:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Votes can’t be manipulated on a large scale; voters and who can vote can. Dems alleged the latter occurred; Republicans the former. There’s a massive difference between the allegations in 2016 and 2020.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:53am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    In other words, if Trump was falsely claiming that voters have been brainwashed, instead of falsely claiming that vote count is rigged, it would be ok for him to do so? I disagree. This kind of destructive message is what I see as a condition necessary (not sufficient) for the progressive shift towards populism ("all others are corrupt, except me, drain the swamp and all other assorted anti-institutional and anti-civic crap)

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2021 @ 4:29am

                      In other words

                      Argue against the point they made, not the one you wish they had made.

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                    • icon
                      bhull242 (profile), 9 Jan 2021 @ 5:34pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      That is not at all what I said.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2021 @ 2:04pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Then let me ask a question: if Trump claimed that he lost because of votes manipulation, not because of vote fraud, would that be ok? For me, no. It would be an equally corrosive and wrong message. And for you?

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                        • icon
                          bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 6:02pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Assuming you mean “voter manipulation”, then yes. Most elections involve voter manipulation to a pretty substantial degree. Any time someone convinces a voter to take a certain stance on a given issue, that’s voter manipulation. It’s fairly mundane.

                          What made the voter manipulation in 2016 reprehensible was that the ones doing the manipulating were using clearly false or illegally hacked information to do so and did so on behalf of a foreign government. Basically, “who was doing it” and “how it was done” were the problems.

                          That said, it doesn’t discredit the fact that the election results reflected the will of the voters (that is, the input and output were strongly correlated) even if the voters were being manipulated. The election is still valid as long as there is no substantial voter fraud, election fraud, or uncaught counting errors. Thus, even the worst allegations of voter manipulation have less effect on the integrity of the election, perceived or actual.

                          The intelligence community and law enforcement have a consensus backed with a substantial amount of evidence that Russia had a large-scale operation to attempt to manipulate American voters. It’s unclear how successful it was or how much of a difference it actually made, if any, but it is irrefutable that the attempt was seriously made. By contrast, there is not only a severe lack of credible evidence supporting the allegations of voter and election fraud in 2020, there is actually a substantial amount of evidence suggesting there wasn’t.

                          Thus, allegations of voter manipulation by Russians in the 2016 election are not as wrong as the allegations of voter fraud and election fraud by Democrats and election officials in the 2020 election (even if some of the details are wrong), nor are they as corrosive.

                          As for the hypothetical with Trump claiming that voter manipulation rather than voter/election fraud led to his loss, how wrong and corrosive it would be would depend on the details. To some extent, it’s technically accurate and mundane: liberals, moderates, and the Lincoln Project all attempted to “manipulate” voters the same way that every politician and political organization does in every election. If he was saying that the manipulations were done by the media and/or used false information would be largely wrong and fairly corrosive, and he did allege both even if he didn’t say it had anything to do with his loss. If he alleged a foreign agent did so, that would be even more wrong and about as corrosive. However, it’s still not quite as wrong and especially not as corrosive as the allegations of voter/election fraud. It doesn’t allege that the system by which our democracy operates is a lie or being subverted from within. It’s also more plausible and not as definitively disproven. What Trump has alleged does and is all of those things.

                          That’s not to say that Trump falsely alleging that voter manipulation lost him the election would be okay. It’s just not as bad as him falsely alleging fraud.

                          Really, there’s a massive difference between allegations of voter manipulation and allegations of voter and/or election fraud. To say that they are equivalent is false.

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            • identicon
              Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 10:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I do hope you can back up your claim that zero videos has been deleted that refers to that the 2016 election was stolen.

              What you have otherwise is an unsubstantiated claim.

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                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                My reference it the press release on the YouTube blog which details the removal of the videos of 2020. There is no word about deleting anything else, neither I could find anywhere where they wrote about deleting false 2016 related content. If you have proof, I would happily review it.

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                • identicon
                  Rocky, 9 Jan 2021 @ 11:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What would you prioritize if you where responsible for moderating content on a social media platform, an upcoming election or an election which was decided 4 years ago?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2021 @ 2:01pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I would make sure that priorities on such a delicate issue do not look too one sided - and try to strike at least some balance. Make it 90-10 if you don't like 80-20. Hell, make it 95-5. But don't make it one sided. Delete at least some fake news from the other side. Bring bipartisan restraint.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 2:23pm

                      Fake news from the left wing doesn’t often reach mainstream levels of acceptance. That’s because left-wing news media has built-in “antibodies” against fake news and right-wing news media does not. So try again, fam.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2021 @ 3:43pm

                        Re:

                        I am not saying anything about the mainstream level of acceptance. I dont care if a lie causes limited damage because it is not violent, or because it is not mainstream. I am saying that focusing the YouTube press release only on the count issue was one sided, and this attitude is corrosivein the long term. If you make a press release about policing misinformation on such a delicate topic, make it bipartisan. Why is it so difficult? Why give free ammo to populists?

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                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 3:47pm

                          "make it bipartisan"

                          How are you so certain Twitter is not doing this? Do you think it fact-checks only conservative talking points?

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                        • icon
                          nasch (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 5:59pm

                          Re: Re:

                          I am saying that focusing the YouTube press release only on the count issue was one sided

                          You're really saying a press release in 2020 or 2021 was one sided because it didn't mention efforts to combat misinformation about the 2016 election?

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                        • icon
                          bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 6:34pm

                          Re: Re:

                          I dont care if a lie causes limited damage because it is not violent, or because it is not mainstream.

                          Perhaps YouTube does. Most platform holders prefer to leave most content to be debated freely rather than try to define “truth”. They only step in when they feel there is a strong impetus to do so.

                          I am saying that focusing the YouTube press release only on the count issue was one sided, and this attitude is corrosive[ ]in the long term.

                          When YouTube and other platform holders do a press release about moderation decisions, they tend to be focused and narrowly tailored. They aren’t going to discuss every moderation decision they made. It also takes something major for them to do a press release on such things. The “count issue” concerns a large amount of content, many with significant numbers of views, is quite dangerous, is obviously false, and is immediate and fairly novel. Thus, it gets a dedicated press release. Discussions of the 2016 election lack a number of those conditions, which means that it doesn’t require a press release right now.

                          If you make a press release about policing misinformation on such a delicate topic, make it bipartisan.

                          The topic is the 2020 election, not elections in general. There’s pretty much only one side disseminating misinformation on that topic.

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                        • identicon
                          Rocky, 11 Jan 2021 @ 4:03am

                          Re: Re:

                          Did you actually read the whole press-release, or did you just see the figure of 8000 videos removed?

                          I ask because nowhere do they qualify that number with what political views the videos had. It also pertains specifically to the 2020 election.

                          So, either you are arguing in bad faith or you just assumed that YT deleted mostly videos of conservative views without evidence.

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                    • icon
                      bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 6:21pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Without some examples or statistics, I can’t say whether or not there is any need for more balance. I haven’t seen any explicitly and provably false information coming from the left regarding the 2016 election even in the same (metaphorical) country as the misinformation from the right regarding the 2020 election.

                      Plus, social media platforms tend to leave a lot of misinformation up and unflagged depending on the plausibility and potential danger from the allegations. If it is sufficiently implausible (flat-earth and conspiracy theories as well as antivaxxer stuff) or dangerous (allegations of election fraud), then it gets flagged or removed.

                      Really, social media companies generally prefer to leave all information up to be debated by users. They don’t really want to be arbiters of truth. They only step in when they believe the misinformation is bad enough to be a major problem. Considering the lack of any real problems with 2016 election allegations, there isn’t any real need for the platform holders to step in. They aren’t going to arbitrate every debate or topic. They only step in if they see a strong need to. You haven’t alleged any serious false accusations here.

                      Plus, a lot of leftists do get themselves or their content tagged or removed, so it’s not completely one-sided.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 10:15am

          Republicans have a documented history of disenfranchising minority voters for political gain. Saying so is not the same as saying “Trump lost a rigged election”. That claim has no proof and thus no validity. You are calling for a kind of false neutrality — for a valid claim and an invalid claim to be treated as equally valid/invalid. Please don’t say you fail to see a problem with that. You don’t seem that ignorant.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 11:35am

            Re:

            absolutely - I am against the claim that "Clinton lost a rigged election" and in general, about claims of "rigged" whatever. If there are malpractices, voters rolls deleted and so on, they must be prosecuted, individually, for the malpractice/violation/felony they are. But they should serve no excuse, to whatever party, to claim that the system is so rotten that the vote is nationally manipulated. Otherwise, if you challenge the entirety of the system, sooner or later someone more destructive than you will challenge more and all will end in populism.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 3:28pm

              Quick question: Did those “Clinton lost a rigged election” claims end with a riot at the Capitol building?

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                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:32am

                Re:

                Which is exactly my point - so you can falsely claim that the institutions are rotten to the core and fuel mistrust and falsehoods, as long as you are not violent? I think this is not correct, and very damaging in the long term. If something is false, it should be treated a such, independently from the fact that it generated actual violence or only contributed to disenfranchise electors as a whole. I am against psyops, even if in the short term they do not cause real harm.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2021 @ 4:25am

                  you can falsely claim that the institutions are rotten to the core and fuel mistrust and falsehoods, as long as you are not violent?

                  When Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, people pointed to actual efforts to control who could vote as a means of explaining why, in part, she lost. The GOP has a history of gerrymandering and minority voter suppression. While few reasonable people claimed the system was “rigged”, it had been at least fucked around with in several states. And even Hillary Clinton never once said she thought the process was “rigged”. Yes, Democrats were sore about her loss. They didn’t trash democracy over it.

                  When Donald Trump lost in 2020, he claimed to have been the victim of a “rigged” election. He had said in the months prior that he would only accept the results if he won. His supporters and sycophants have offered no proof that the most watched-over election in modern history was “rigged”. Republican voters were sore about his loss. They staged an insurrection over it.

                  Your failure to discern context is a “you” problem. I can’t, and won’t, help you fix it.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:17pm

      "youtube and other MSM"

      That's where you lost me.

      YouTube is a far far cry from a mainstream media agency.

      Also the mainstream media are a much looser front than the Trump-supporting media (who have their schisms but much fewer of them). It's not a monolithic propaganda machine the way FOX News is, and as such it's easy to derive the sources of their facts.

      Contrast much of Trump media which doesn't even bother with facts at all.

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        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:44am

        Re: "youtube and other MSM"

        Yes, I conflate too much into one, but the point is that if you call out lies from the other side, which are 80% on the Republicans just to make this clear, then you also have to do something on the 20% of lies on your side. Giving the argument for a "double standard" cry is not what restores mutual trust, only entrenches both sides.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jan 2021 @ 4:28am

          Giving the argument for a "double standard" cry is not what restores mutual trust

          How often do you hear people on MSNBC or CNN parrot outright lies by left-wing politicians? And how often do you hear Fox News parrot outright lies by Donald Trump?

          The double standard is expecting both sides to “behave” when one side already kinda is. Say what you will about the mainstream media, but it’s not actively trying to foment dissent against American democracy itself.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jan 2021 @ 4:55pm

          Thanks to our

          Thanks to our Laissez-faire economy (and our mostly captured regulatory agencies) we have no standards for news that they need to be based on truth.

          And that leaves the responsibility to the rest of us to actually reserve credulity for all reports until they can confirmed to be plausible and more or less true. I get my news from multiple sources, only some of which are MSM. And news I care about I confirm across multiple sources.

          I get that the rest of the US can't do that, usually because they have to exhaust themselves to earn a living, meaning they don't have the time and energy to parent, recreate or inform themselves enough to perform civic duties. It's a symptom of a failing state.

          This is where things are. You're trying to balance a plate in a galestorm. Also I suspect the insurgency is far from over, now that entire falsehoods are accepted as adequate news and information by more than half the country.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      "I notice however that youtube deleted more than 8.000 videos claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, and deleted zero videos claiming that the 2016 election was stolen."

      There's a massive difference between a video describing how electors voted against the popular vote, displaying a fact-checked verifiable account of the proceedings...
      ...and a story spun out of whole cloth which has an alleged cabal of satanist child traffickers magic millions of votes away in a conjuring trick which defies all the factual evidence.

      There's no "both sides" in this. In 2016 no democrats held up passing vans at gunpoint looking for "stolen ballots" or encouraged murder and kidnapping to "fix" the openly accountable vote counting.

      "Why there is no bipartisan calls to end this idiocy of shouting "my side lost, but the election was stolen"?"

      Because in cases where shouting is where it remains at, this is harmless. Scrutiny and scepticism when it comes to how a new government is elected is healthy. In 2016, when the votes was called, Obama called to congratulate the day after and initiated a seamless transfer of power immediately.
      You can only be bipartisan if both sides are willing to act in good faith. And that is demonstrably not the case here, where Ernst Röhm's spiritual successor called for his personal SA to run a "kristallnacht light" to prevent the electorate votes from being counted.

      "Only because you keep the message about the election system being rigged non violent?"

      That's the way it works, yes. The republicans had their own supervisors monitoring the election process. Every step was publicly accountable and verified. Unless time travel and mind control was involved Biden was duly elected president.
      With the election proven not to be rigged there is no excuse for Republicans to keep bringing allegatiuons to the table they have neither evidence nor indication of - that's where they've been reduced to open liars only in it to stall the legitimate election process.

      "Of course it undermines people's faith in the institutions over time."

      It does. For almost a generation now the current GOP voter has been steadily fed a stream of lies so bad you can draw a real parallel between the mass rituals of scapegoating Goldstein from "1984" and much of the right-wing media. If your information these last ten years came from Fox then you've been raised on a propaganda machine mimicking the one Goebbels built. All hatred, fear, xenophobia, mistrust.

      "No wonder tension has been escalating in the last few years."

      Oh, this hasn't been just a few years. From day one of the GOP's Southern Strategy under Nixon and Goldwater the republicans have steadily moved towards catering to white supremacy, disaffected uneducated rurals, and those looking for "strong" (fascist) leadership. It really took off once Reagan paved the way to massively burden the lower and middle class in ways which generated an enormous amount of disillusioned citizens who just couldn't understand why one breadwinner wasn't enough to raise a family on any longer...but the breaking point came when the GOP finally jettisoned the last vestiges of their tradition of rational discourse in favor of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party populists. That's where you find the origin of the contemporary GOP - one which has steadily built a whole culture around the concept of mistrust and hatred.

      There is only one way out for the US now. Those 74 million americans who voted Trump? they're lost. They ignore fact, mistrust knowledge and education, believe their preacher over a credible scientist when it comes to explaining how the real world works, and have grown up convinced that democrats and liberals are evil.

      For the US to come back to a state where rational discourse and democratic principles are adhered to by every facet of the body politic the US will have to go and do what Germany did to nazism in the postwar period. Suppress and render irrelevant until the ones basing their policies in sheer hatred are fringe voices in the wind.

      Tolerance is an aspect of the social contract. It only shelters those willing to subscribe to the same rules.

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  • identicon
    Lucan Vorlov, 8 Jan 2021 @ 9:45am

    The beginning of the end...

    Amazing. Insurrection!

    If the roles had been reversed - democrats storming the Capital - we would be now witnessing the kangaroo trials of every single person in that mob, for treason.

    The Republicans would be screaming for the death penalty for one and all involved, and full impeachment plus whatever legal punishments are allowed to be charged against a sitting POTUS - if any.

    This is truly a sad day for America. Even sadder knowing that Trump will walk away not just unscathed by any repercussions from his actions, but with a massive permanent annual income, stolen legally from the people of the USA, for his entire Dynasty.

    That is sickening.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:07pm

      Re: The beginning of the end...

      But at least the media would have referred to it as a mostly peaceful protest

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Jan 2021 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re: The beginning of the end...

        According to a nascent study by Five Thirty Eight, the 93% peaceful statistic comes from cataloging thousands of BLM protests and finding that in 93% of them they don't devolve into violence and the remaining 7% do.

        To be fair, the report I read didn't say what the threshold was. If one police officer lobs one tear-gas canister for the lulz, does that make it a violent protest? If a protestor throws it back, is it then violent. But as I said, it's a nascent study that looks a huge mass of data.

        But according to this kind of review 100% of the Wednesday event was violent. You might be able to reduce that number by including, say, all Pro-trump events from 2017 to 2021. I'd certainly be interested in the numbers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 11:48am

    I feel like 2021 is going to be the year we rip ourselves apart. It doesn't really matter what the truth is, people "feel", on both sides, that their voice isn't being heard, and that their vote doesn't matter. That in and of itself is extraordinarily dangerous in a Democracy, but whats worse; The hatred from both sides, as represented in the comments on this web site, is sickening and sad. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. ALL of us.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:25pm

      2021

      I'd say 2021 is looking like 2020 S02, but in reality it's like 2016 E06.

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    • identicon
      Lucan Vorlov, 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:43pm

      Re: The New Fall of Man - Chapter One: The Death of Truth.

      "... but whats worse; The hatred from both sides, as represented in the comments on this web site, is sickening and sad. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. ALL of us."

      Interesting. Are you saying that we should simply be quiet until all the facts are collected and disseminated? Do you really think ALL the facts will be collected and disseminated? By whom??? When???

      The Reps are upset because their POTUS Messiah told them the election He lost was compromised by (Dem)outside(Dem)parties(Dem). Should the Reps simply disbelieve their POTUS? Compare facts as reported by (Dem)other(Dem)news sites and use logic to figure out the truth before acting? Good luck with that.

      The Dems are upset because a gang of Rep wack-jobs stormed the Capitol - an act of insurrection in which 4 people died. Should they simply ignore this action for some reason? What reason would that be?

      I'm not sure why you feel that people who have been lied to or attacked, would or should not be hating those they blame for the suffered indignities - whether their reason is factual or not - when they literally BELIEVE those they are blaming are responsible.

      If BELIEF is good enough to fund religion for 2000 years and start every war on earth, I'm certain its good enough to turn anger to hatred and hatred to action for people working with disinformation they BELIEVE to be fact.

      One can only "do the right thing"; using disinformation as fact, through pure shit-luck.

      Is it the fault of the Reps that they are forced to work with purposely tainted data, that was manufactured based specifically on what the general Rep population WANTED to believe, when they were also told by their irrefutable POTUS that all other sources(Dem)of data are really the ones that are tainted and MUST be avoided?

      I can understand your disgust at the situation itself - but not your reason for stating we should all be ashamed. Most of us are doing the best we can with what little real information we can find.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 12:44pm

      Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

      Yeah, that 'both sides' shit isn't going to fly. One party has been downplaying a deadly pandemic, one party has been crying 'election fraud!' for months at a time despite an utter absence of evidence other than denial and refusal to accept reality, one party stormed the gorram capital and attempted an insurrection and even now is dithering about rather than bringing the hammer down on the ones responsible for that mob due to cowardice and corruption...

      If people have some harsh words regarding plague cultists, enemies of democracy and attempted insurrectionists it's not because 'both sides are bad' it's because one side has earned that contempt and scorn and playing 'nice' towards them only emboldens them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Lucan Vorlov, 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

        I once read a comment right here on Tech Dirt that stated a sitting POTUS could commit murder without suffering a single legal repercussion, or punishment of any kind. Apparently, its also OK for a POTUS to foment and lead an assault on his own nation, in order to invalidate his failed election and retain power so he can install a White Christian Police State. That's some license.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        TheForumTroll (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

        There are more than two people you can vote for at an election. Saying "both sides" is being part of the problem. "Both sides" are bad no matter if one is worse than the other. A pound of shit is still shit even if you throw it on a bigger pile of shit. Sure this wouldn't have happened if Clinton had won - but then we'd likely have thousands upon thousands of dead Iranian children on-top of the thousands of dead Iraqi children already on our conscience.

        I'll bet that 9/10 commentating in here will have learnt shit all at the next election and yet again vote either on A) Plague or B) Cholera and not on C) A common cold.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

          Sure this wouldn't have happened if Clinton had won - but then we'd likely have thousands upon thousands of dead Iranian children on-top of the thousands of dead Iraqi children already on our conscience.

          Just to be clear, you're saying Clinton would have gone to war with Iran?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 2:18pm

          Re: Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

          Not exactly expecting much with a name like that, but what the hell...

          There are more than two people you can vote for at an election.

          If you like throwing your vote away(in which case why are you voting in the first place, just stay home), sure, there are technically more than the two options, however with our current system there are effectively only two choices that are going to matter.

          Would it be better if that wasn't the case, absolutely, but right now we have to deal with the system we have rather than the system we'd like to have, which makes vague 'both sides are bad' statements nothing but a deepity; to the extent that it's true it's trivial, to the extent that it's false it's really false.

          "Both sides" are bad no matter if one is worse than the other.

          Both a broken arm and one that's been ripped off in an industrial accident are 'bad' but they are bad in significantly different levels, if you had to choose to suffer one would you leave it to chance or would you pick one over the other(and before you ask, 'neither' is not an option in the hypothetical)? 'Both sides are bad' is a useless statement because context matters, severity and type matters.

          I'll bet that 9/10 commentating in here will have learnt shit all at the next election and yet again vote either on A) Plague or B) Cholera and not on C) A common cold.

          Largely because they'll understand that voting for C only ensures that A or B will be chosen, and all that doing so will accomplish is ensuring that they don't have any influence on which.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 8 Jan 2021 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

          There are more than two people you can vote for at an election.

          Of course, but that's not the real problem. The real problem is to get enough people to vote for a 3rd party and that means you have to change their political identity, and getting people to change that identity is like asking religious people of one denomination to change to another denomination. And a majority of people will not change unless there are some direct benefits.

          On top of that, to get anywhere politically in the US you need a lot of money. On average it costs $1.4 million to get a seat in the house and almost $10 million for a seat in the congress. To run a presidential campaign today costs $500 million or more, Obama spent $1.2 billion on his re-election campaign for example.

          Saying that there are more than two people you can vote for is true, but it's a null-statement because it fails to take into consideration the stark realities of how elections work in the US. It's like pissing in the ocean expecting it to turn yellow.

          In theory you could revert the state-laws on how electors are selected to how it was before first-past-the-post became the norm, but you'd have to convince the states to do it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2021 @ 8:36pm

        Re: Might as well compare a papercut to a rotting amputation

        "Be the better person", "open-mindedness" and "you get the government you deserve" are the standard rallying cries of con artists, manipulative psychopaths and authoritarians. They're sad, overused quotes trotted out not because people are looking for solutions. They're tropes used by people who want to say, "Yes, I'm an obvious asshole, but you have to let me be one because you're no perfect angel either."

        This isn't to say there is no room for accepting corporate responsibility or open-mindedness, but when the "better people" did exactly that and had to eat shit for the last four years, this sort of gracious bothsiderism has been worn wafer-thin.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2021 @ 3:37am

      Re:

      I find my point about fighting lies coming from both sides in line with what you say. This is not about whose side is more to blame (the answer is obvious, as only one side resorted to violence). This is about restoring a civil dialogue based on facts and restoring a common, high, standard for the national discourse. trashing the adversary is a race to the bottom and it has to stop before it is too late.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Jan 2021 @ 7:05am

        Re: Re:

        "This is about restoring a civil dialogue based on facts and restoring a common, high, standard for the national discourse. trashing the adversary is a race to the bottom and it has to stop before it is too late."

        It already is too late for that. The events of these last few years have shown - quite openly - the same lessons as were once taught to Neville Chamberlain. The 74 million americans for whom outright white supremacy was not a showstopper and who are unable to accept that Dear Leader was wrong are not amenable to civil dialogue.

        And this is not for lack of trying; plenty of outreach projects and attempts to begin a national debate have failed - simply because to those 1 in 3 americans, their core beliefs include retaining casual racism and bigotry as an accepted and respected belief.

        To even start a civil dialogue in good faith with those people it is necessary to first compromise away civil liberties and principles of racial and gender equality. Unless you've surrendered before coming to the table they won't agree to come to the table. It's that simple.

        I think the turning point will only come once the remaining 70'% of the american people realize that there is no place for diplomacy when the lowest bar of compromise includes having to accept racism and bigotry as a national standard. And that because they haven't stood up against this hard enough in the past they'll have to maker up for it by not giving a single inch for the next generation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 6:43am

      Re:

      "The hatred from both sides, as represented in the comments on this web site, is sickening and sad."

      Tolerance is an aspect of the social contract. When the concept of equality irrespective of gender or skin color is ignored by one section of the citizenry then that section of citizens is no longer to be tolerated. The door swings both ways.

      To summarize, you can't argue with white supremacists, racists and bigots. Not when they disagree with factual reality, discard science as irrelevant, and defend outright murder on camera by police officers as legitimate use of force.

      It's a lesson as old as history itself; It takes two sides to make peace, but only one to perpetuate war. That step was taken by Nixon and Goldwater in the early 70's when they began the Southern Strategy of trying to tap the reservoirs of race hate to fuel their politics.

      There are 74 million americans for whom white supremacy and calls to employ military force against US citizenry are not show-stoppers. That's more than the proportional amount of germans floating a guy like Hitler to the top seat.
      Those 74 million are beyond shaming so the only ones you're talking to are those whose obligation as human beings is to put a stop to those 74 million, the same way the US once upon a time put paid to nazism in europe.

      But yes, the fact that human beings can discard the evidence of their own "lying eyes" and scientific fact in favor of calls for blood shouted from a brimstone preacher's pulpit or opportunistic weasel in a government chair is indeed something which casts shame on the human race as a whole.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    TheForumTroll (profile), 8 Jan 2021 @ 1:00pm

    "It has long been obvious that the only thing he cares about is himself -- and that he views everything through the lens of "does this person like me or not." He does not care about America. He does not care about its people. He cares about people who like him, and those storming the Capitol did so in his name, and he obviously loved it."

    The above quote fits on every single US politician in the two big parties today. Some are just better at not showing their narcissistic or sociopathic side than Trump.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jsf (profile), 11 Jan 2021 @ 8:27am

    No, it is a game

    I have to disagree with the title and premise that politics is not a game. Politics in this country, along with the entwined capitalist business world, has been a game since day one.

    The majority of players in the arena at the federal level have always been playing a game and that game is to stay "in power" and benefit themselves and those they call friends. Now their "friends" may well include their constituents, but no politician has ever done what is best for literally everyone.

    Even those with the "best intentions" are always playing the balancing game of needing to stay in office, in order to continue to push their agenda. How many times have you actually seen one of them commit political suicide just to do what is best for most Americans. It happens, but is so rare that it is considered an oddity.

    In particular at the federal level these folks are so disconnected from the everyday lives of the people that they represent that it all just becomes a game to keep their office, improve their committee positions, push their agenda and so on.

    An important thing to note is that it is always "their agenda". Not the peoples agenda, not their constituents agenda, but "their" agenda. They don't really represent even a majority of the people that voted for them. There agendas only represent those that are closest to them and have the most influence.

    All of this leads to a great disconnect from how their decisions actually affect the country, and the world, at the level of the people they are supposed to represent. Which in turn makes it all just a game.

    The biggest problem with treating like a game is that most people don't really understand how games work. Almost everyone assumes that a game must be zero sum and there MUST be a winner. This attitude is what has lead to where we are today. The change really needs to change to understand that the game does not need to be zero sum. Like the cooperative board games that have become popular in the past decade, the game can be played in a way that everyone, or at least almost everyone, can benefit and win.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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