Election 2016

This Week In Cognitive Dissonance

Down with conspiracy theories! By the way, my opponent is controlled by Moscow.


Item #1: A story in today's New York Times, headlined "After Shake-Up by Trump, Clinton Camp Keeps Wary Eye on 'Conspiracy Theories.'" Here's the lede:


It took just a few hours, after Donald J. Trump announced a major staff shake-up last week, for Hillary Clinton's campaign team to settle on a new buzzword.

"He peddles conspiracy theories," her campaign manager, Robby Mook, said of Mr. Trump on MSNBC.

"We hear rehashed conspiracy theories," he added moments later.

"He doubled down on this today," Mr. Mook said, wrapping up, "by appointing someone to lead his campaign who makes these conspiracy theories basically his professional mission."

Robby Mook…hmm. Didn't I see that name somewhere else recently? Oh, right:

Item #2:

Mook said told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week" that Trump still needs to explain a "web of financial ties" that connects the Republican candidate to Moscow.

"There's a web of financial interests that have not been disclosed," he said. "And there are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race."

Mook cautioned that the Russian government is still at the "core" of Trump's campaign…

Seems to me that if you're going to dismiss "conspiracy theories" as a category, you might want to refrain from suggesting your rival is a tentacle of the Kremlin. But I'm not a political professional.

(For more on Trumpian conspiracy theories, go here. For more on anti-Trumpian conspiracy theories, go here.)

NEXT: Donald Trump Call For Immediate Shutdown of Clinton Foundation

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  1. Listen, those dirty commies have been trying to subvert us for years. Decades.

    1. You’re going to have to answer to the Coca Cola company for that.

      1. He just wants to teach the world to sing.

      2. That’s why I stick to rainwater and pure grain alcohol. POE

      3. If you try any preversions in there, I’ll blow your head off.

    2. Trying to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids? I’ve heard that.

  2. Oh, come on. Who really has the time to audit all of their beliefs searching for cognitive dissonance? Besides, it’s different when they do it.

  3. One candidate has a long and documented history of taking money from foreign governments while holding public office. One candidate has 33,000 deleted emails that almost certainly contain blackmail material and are in the hands of various foreign intelligence agencies. But it is the other candidate we have to worry about being an agent of a foreign government.

    We live in insane times.

    1. Stop trying to hide the Trump/Putin connection, John. We all know about it.

      1. Did you know that “Trump” is actually a shortened version of “Trumputin” that was changed to hide their dirty commie roots? True story.

        1. Did you know Trump is spelled Tramp in Russian. Do you want a Tramp in the white house?

          1. Yes.

            1. Like we aren’t going to have a parade of tramps through the White House with Bill as First Dude.

        2. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Trump and Putin in the same room together. Suspicious, indeed…

          1. CNN is currently pulling together a three-part expose.

    2. Everything you just wrong about Clinton was a lie or hysterical speculation at best. Paul Manafort, on the other hand, is being investigated by the FBI for corruption in his ties to Putin puppet Yanukovych, and Trump joins such illustrious company as North Korea and Syria in suggesting that Crimea be recognized as part of Russia.

      If he didn’t have an (R) after his name, what would you make of this? Obviously the (R) is enough to get you to overlook not only this but his transparent incompetence and mental illness.

      1. The FBI is investigating John Podesta as well.

        1. No it isn’t.

      2. The 22 TOP SECRET emails on her personal server were just made up? Didn’t she take money from the russians before approving a uranium deal?

        1. Technically, the Foundation took hundreds of millions in donations from a wide variety of foreign interests while various of their interests awaited approval by State.

          I have heard of several deals that were approved by State. I wonder if State ever said no to a Clinton Foundation donor?

          1. They would end up in the east river

      3. “If she didn’t have a (D) after his name, what would you make of this? Obviously the (D) is enough to get you to overlook not only this but her transparent incompetence and mental illness.”

        …Christ Tony, your lack of self-awareness is truly stunning. You’re correctly analyzing your own idiocy.

  4. I don’t understand why anyone running against Clinton would even need to bother with conspiracy theories.

    1. Well they can’t exactly run on the issues since they either have no new ideas or are basically peddling the same crap she is.

    2. Whatever you think about the Clintons, the truth always turns out to be worse. If you had said in 2008 that Hillary would be taking payoffs for the Russians and Saudis for favors she was doing for them as Secretary of State, even I would have not believed you. Yet, that is exactly what she did. The truth is always worse than it appears with them.

      1. ” …with the Clintons the truth always turns out to be worse.”

        This x 10. We don’t need conspiracy theories. She is straight up on the take and he is a rapist.

    3. Mostly because whatever facts are arrayed against a Clinton mysteriously become conspiracy theories after the media gets a hold of them.

      1. Volumes and volumes of evidence of their truth notwithstanding

        1. FAKE. SKANDULS!!11!!!!

  5. It’s not cognitive dissonance. Rather they are trying to create in people’s minds the idea that Trump is on the take from foreign governments so that when they hear him accuse Clinton of the same they will dismiss his allegations as being false and intended to distract people from his own perfidy.

    And… it’s remarkably effective.

    1. Exactly. They are counting on a compliant media to push the narrative in the direction they desire. And they are likely correct in their assumption.

      1. Where do you believe Barack Obama was born?

        1. I think he was born in Hawaii.

          I wish Hillary Clinton hadn’t planted so many stories implying he was a secret muslim born overseas.

          1. Are you suggesting that Trump and all the countless other Republicans who held onto the birther thing for years on end were had by Hillary Clinton? What idiots.

            1. Since the “birther” idea originated in the ’08 Clinton primary campaign I’d say that’s a pretty reasonable assumption.

              Although, the fact that the Clintonistas never actually went ahead with using it is pretty good evidence that there is nothing there. I’m sure that if there was any substance to the Kenyan born story the Clintons would have used it for all it was worth.

            2. Are you suggesting that Trump and all the countless other Republicans who held onto the birther thing for years on end were had by Hillary Clinton?

              Yes. That’s exactly what I am saying. They are idiots. Sadly politics attracts them. Politicans pander to them. They end up voting for people who openly announce their intentions to make them poorer.

              It’s very distressing.

  6. But the possibility that Trump is at least partly controlled by Moscow is a real possibility.

    1. Almost anything is “possible”. “Probable” on the other hand is a very different thing.

    2. Not willingly, though. I don’t know if that makes it better or worse. I’ve always compared Clinton and Trump to super villains. Trump is the egotistical attention-seeking villain who bungles all of his poorly hatched schemes. Hillary is the evil villain stroking a cat in an armchair in the shadows, pulling all the strings and manipulating everything behind the scenes. Which one of them is more dangerous?

      1. When in doubt, go with the cat.

      2. Hillary is the evil villain stroking a cat

        These masturbation euphemisms are becoming a lot less cryptic.

    3. No it is not. The last person a foreign intelligence service would want under their control is someone as unpredictable as Trump. Even the CIA isn’t that stupid. And the KGB most certainly is not that stupid.

      If there is a candidate who would be under foreign control, it would be McMullin. There is a guy who is both reliable and whose specific purpose is to swing the election to one candidate. I am not saying he is. I have no reason to believe he is. But, if there were a foreign controlled candidate in this election, it would look like McMullin not Trump.

    4. Jesus…consider aptly shortening your name, Mr. Toad.

    5. He’s a Soviet sleeper agent, for sure. I heard that Trump was a World War 2 hero who disappeared in an explosion near the end of the war. His body was never recovered, but rumors that Russia had acquired a super soldier that they kept in suspended animation and would periodically revive for covert ops continued to circulate. Finally, the time came to unleash him against America’s true champion.

      1. +1 Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest most wonderful human being I have ever known.

      2. +1 Winter soldier

  7. Robby Mook sounds suspiciously similar to Robby Spook. Could this guy be a deep cover agent of the global kabal that the Clinton Foundation acts as a front for? All signs point to yes.

    1. Robby Moop invaded Spain in the 8th century/

      1. +1 hissing sound from a bubble

  8. What would you expect from a guy named Mook? I bet him and a hundred of his Mook pals shooting down a ship corridor would be completely unable to hit a single protagonist with automatic blaster fire.

    1. Are you saying he is a bit short to be a stormtrooper?

  9. This seems familiar…didn’t Trump’s Foundation accepted millions of dollars in contributions from the Russian government just before he, as Secretary of State, signed off on a massive acquisition of U.S. uranium by a Russian company?

    1. No, but Trump’s former campaign manager once worked for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, which is totally the same thing.

  10. It’s conspirators, all the way down.

  11. But the possibility that Trump is at least partly controlled by Moscow is a real possibility.

    From the moon, I hope.

    “Why don’t you sit here for a while, Donald? Play a game of solitaire.”

    1. I rewatched that film recently I think it holds up very well. Also, young Angela Lansbury. Yum.

  12. Of all of the things you can say about Trump, that he is a Moscow plant has to be the dumbest. They have finally found a charge against Trump that is so stupid even reason can’t buy it, though I suspect Suderman might if reason let him write on the subject.

    1. John, nobody thinks your candidate is working for the Russians on purpose. They think he’s their useful idiot.

      1. Tony, nobody thinks your candidate is just working for the Russians for money. She is taking money from many different countries.

        1. “Tony, nobody thinks your candidate is just working for the Russians for money.”

          Not exclusively, anyway. It’s more of an open arrangement where anyone who can pay can play.

  13. From urbandictionary.com


    A term coined by Douglas Rushkoff in an episode of PBS’s “Frontline” entitled “The Merchants of Cool.” Mooks are archetypal young males(teens-early 20s) who act like moronic boneheads. They are self centered simpletons who live a drunken frat-boy lifestyle(or are frat-boys). Examples can be found anytime someone watches “Jackass.” Rushkoff claimed that the media glorifies this ideal and stifles natural self expression, however, some people might argue teenage boys have always acted like morons(its actually a long-standing stereotype). Nonetheless, standardized conformist dumbass-culture behind a veneer of exhuberance is a scary notion indeed.

    Need we say more?

    1. I bet Rushkoff’s favorite movie is “Revenge of the Nerds”.

  14. But I’m not a political professional.

    Yeah, if you were, you’d know talking out both sides of your face is only strangely hypocritical if either side of your face gave a rat’s ass whether any of it were true or meaningful. If your client gets caught screwing a goat, you point out how much this shows he loves animals and anybody who criticizes him is a evil heartless animal-hating bastard. It doesn’t matter that last week when your opponent got caught screwing a goat you said what an evil heartless animal-hating bastard this showed him to be. It’s only hypocritical if you think no matter what the news is, you’re not going to say this proves something good about your candidate and bad about the other guy.

    Hell, being able to denounce conspiracy theories in one breath while promoting a conspiracy theory of your own in another just shows how Mook isn’t some dogmatic closed-minded thinker, he’s refreshingly open to multiple ways of thinking about things! See how that works? You can put a positive spin on anything if you try hard enough your paycheck’s big enough.

  15. Today, on Validate My Preconceptions:

    We were the perfect motley crew to host the politically themed travel show, considering our biographies touched on all three of America’s hottest issues. Martina, who fought like hell to make a life in this country, could speak on the dysfunction around the US immigration system. Abdullah, a punk Pakistani American with a penchant for pot, represented the true diversity of Islam at a moment when Muslims are often viewed with profound distrust and fear. And I brought the voice of the black American male at a time when the country was beginning to ask if the lives of young black men actually mattered.

    Then, as now, it felt like America was tearing itself into pieces. The world was getting hotter, both literally and figuratively. Protests had sprung up in the face of continued racial injustice and were gaining momentum, but they were also countered by militarized police forces and the xenophobic rhetoric of Donald Trump. And the Obama era, with all its initial promise and sobering realities, was coming to an end, conjuring up an intense sense of uncertainty about the future.

    Let’s send these hipster retards on a cross country trip, and see if they can manage to provoke some other retards into lynching them. It’ll be awesome!

    1. I caught a couple episodes of this program. It was okay. Cliven Bundy came off as a pleasant, genuine, old-timey racist. But yeah, the whole thing was part parachute journalism, part “we went across America searching form racists, and we found ’em!”

      I eagerly await the companion show where an RV full of white folk wearing Trump regalia show up at Black Lives Matter rallies, Seattle City Council meetings, etc.

    2. Every time progs do shit like this, it always comes off like “Gorillas in the Mist” or just an exercise in self-fellating narcissism. A bunch of coastal libs who’ve never had their worldview contradicted go out to have “wacky adventures in Jesusland,” and emerge shocked that people don’t think the same way they do.

      I’d like to drop them all off in Raqqa for a month.

  16. What sort of cheeky hack actually names a character like Mook “Mook”?

    Sorry, j/k, don’t gratuitously kill me off.

  17. Tony weren’t you and your ilk making fun of Mitt for his comment on the Russians saying the 80s called and wanted their foreign policy back?

  18. Clinton operatives have had their capacity to feel shame removed. You cannot embarrass them out of their contradictory positions. It is as if Bill Clinton’s presidency happened a hundred years ago.

  19. The latest, of course, is that Huma edited a journal with articles on how equal rights for women is totally contrary to Islam and blaming the US for 9/11, even while working for Hillary.


    To the memory hole!

    [Imagine, for a moment, that a Republican had a newsletter that published articles skeptical about, oh, I dunno, public accommodation laws]

    1. Or, Gaia help us, skeptical of anthropogenic global warming.

  20. Meanwhile, the advocacy journalists over at the NYT twittered that Google “give no quarter” to any who share a Hillary-related conspiracy theory. http://www.breitbart.com/2016-…..alth-info/

    They don’t merely want to silence Hillary’s critics with campaign finance laws and manipulated search algorithms. They literally say that they want friendly corporations to kill her critics without mercy.

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