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Outlandish Trump Hysteria Mirrors Obamaphobia

The thin line between reason and delirium.

How thin is the line between reason and delirium. Just a few years ago, Democrats and liberals were presenting themselves as paragons of level-headed politics in contrast to those cranky Obama bashers and birthers in the darker crannies of the worldwide web. Now, four weeks into the Trump presidency, they've become the thing they mocked; they're giving febrile Obamaphobes a run for their money in the paranoia game.

It's striking how closely the media and culture sets' meltdown over Trump mirrors the rash reaction to Obama among some on the harder, tetchier right of politics. Just as some of those frazzled comment-section dwellers became convinced Obama was a Muslim Brotherhood mole, bent on laying waste to their way of life, so left-leaning Trump-fearers are buying into ever-crazier notions about Trump being a Putin-puppeteered Manchurian candidate come to destroy American values, and art, and decency: everything they hold dear. The panic and self-pity that once gripped unreasoned right-wingers now has a firm hold of many leftists.

The most striking similarity between the meltdown over Obama and the meltdown over Trump is the belief that the president is a stooge of dark foreign forces.

A favored conspiracy theory of the Obama-fearers was that Obama wasn't born in the United States, and was probably a Muslim to boot. Some went further, insisting he was a smart, smooth-talking front for those dastardly aspiring destroyers of the United States, the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Barack Hussein Obama: Muslim Brotherhood Mole?" headlines asked. (Always with the Hussein.) Some wondered if Obama was an MB "agent." "The Muslim Brotherhood has taken over the White House," bloggers feverishly claimed.

They said there were MB moles "inside the Department of Homeland Security," and the "Commander-in-Chief is one of these individuals." This swirling theory made its way to National Enquirer. "Muslim Obama's White House Infested With Terrorist Spies!" the mag insisted.

The unhinged conviction that the White House has fallen to a wicked foreign power now finds expression in many liberals' belief that Putin, through leaks and fake news, won the election for Trump, and that Trump is doing his bidding.

Of course there's evidence of contact between Trump's people and Putin's people—dinners, phone calls, a shared dislike of Hillary—but nothing to warrant the widespread use of the term "Putin's puppet." That's appeared everywhere from the Washington Post to MSNBC.

Trump is the "Siberian candidate," said a writer for The New York Times, using language right out of the conspiracy-theory thriller The Manchurian Candidate. "Putin has managed a bloodless coup," says a Daily Kos blogger. In short, Russia now runs America.

Saturday Night Live runs skits showing a shirtless Putin bossing about a gurning Trump—a "manipulative dictator and his oblivious puppet," as The Guardian describes it. It's funny (at times) but it's worth remembering that the folks at SNL would have been in the frontline of mocking Obamaphobes who thought Obama was the plaything of Islamists.

The talk of Trump as a Putin plant utterly runs ahead of any facts. Alarmingly, at the end of December YouGov found in a survey of Democratic voters that 50% of them believed "Russia tampered with vote tallies to help Donald Trump." This goes beyond believing that Russian-engineered fake news and leaked Dem emails swung the election for Trump, which is already a bit of a stretch, since I'm petty sure voters can still think for themselves; as YouGov said, it crosses into the territory of "Election Day conspiracy theory."

The post-Obama meltdown led to loads of phony stories—what we now call fake news. Obama was raised by communists; he once refused to say the pledge of allegiance; he won the election through mass hypnosis. (I particularly like the hypnosis story, which is actually now echoed in some liberals' snooty belief that Trump voters were hoodwinked by the Orange One's demagoguery—that they are "compulsive believers," as one columnist puts it.)

Likewise, the post-Trump meltdown is marshalling some very tall tales. It seems the more Trump fearers become convinced he is a proto-fascist or a Putinite puppet the more likely they are to believe all sorts of rubbish about him.

As The Atlantic reports, "shocked, terrified, or incensed," some progressives have taken to sharing claims about Trump that are "full of fables and falsehoods."

Anti-Trump web-users have shared false stories about Melania selling jewellery on the White House website; about a boy being handcuffed at an airport as a direct result of Trump's executive order restricting travel from certain Muslim countries; about Mike Pence saying that if we allow rape victims to have abortions then women will go out and try to get raped—of course he said nothing of the sort.

Even real but entirely innocent things become twisted. So when Obama's political and campaign pages, including information about LGBT rights, were taken down from the White House website and archived, Trump was accused of "erasing" gay people from political life. Nope. Archiving former presidents' web stuff is standard practice.

The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs.

But something important unites them. Both embrace a politics of fear over reason, fuelled by a sense of siege. Both cleave to an unfounded belief that their nation and their lives have been overrun by a destructive, probably foreign force. And both fail to make a good fist of actually challenging the president. Just as paranoia over Obama led to the spreading of wild tales rather than to robust critiques of Obama's illiberalism and war-mongering, so too many in the Trump meltdown lobby are currently in the business of panic rather than clear political criticism of Trump's disregard for liberty and openness. Fear makes for lame opposition.

During the Bush years, Arianna Huffington infamously claimed that where liberals tended to use their "linear, logical left brain," Republican voters were more likely to think with their "lizard, more emotional right brain." Recent events suggest the chattering classes are as susceptible to dread and rumor and crankiness as any of the "low-information" rednecks they love to bash. Hey, clever media sneerers at Obamaphobes—there's a beam in your eye.

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  • AlmightyJB||

    HA!

  • Libertymike||

    HA! to you!

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Fear makes for lame opposition."

    Truth

  • mtrueman||

    Don't underestimate the power of fear to motivate people into action. The Obamaphobes never got up to much. The Trumpaphobes should have no trouble surpassing them with only a few terror operations.

  • Gadfly||

    I think tweaking that to read "Panic makes for lame opposition" would make it a stronger read on the truth. Fear can bring focus and determination, and if the fear is justified it can be a great motivator for problem solving. Panic goes beyond fear; I'd say that while both are similar, fear can often be rational whereas panic denotes something more consistently irrational and disorderly.

  • Charles Easterly||

    "I must not fear.

    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

    Only I will remain."

  • EvilWayz||

    THE SPICE MUST FLOW.

  • mtrueman||

    "Only I will remain."

    And you're still a chicken. Your poetizing doesn't change that.

  • Eman||

    Nerd!

  • sarcasmic||

    Principals mumble mumble...

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs.

    The New York Times is no Infowars.

  • WakaWaka||

    Or at least there use to be a bigger difference. Now they both traffic in bizarre conspiracy theories.

  • Libertymike||

    Hmmm............

    Does Info Wars have the rich history of plagiarism that the New Yawk Times enjoys?

  • boomshanka||

    I dunno, did Alex Jones plagiarize the story that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged?

  • Libertymike||

    Didn't he beat Jayson Blair to the story?

  • ThomasD||

    Plagiarism is small beans compared to hiding government induced mass famine.

  • BYODB||

    I do find it interesting that while the so-called 'Obamaphobes' were limited to the 'dark corners of the internet' such as Infowars and the nuttier Fox News shows the Anti-Trump propaganda is out in the sun in every major media outlet in America (including some Fox News segments) up to and including dark unread corners like Reason Magazine.

    What does that say, exactly, about the Media in the United States of America? Well, for one, we can rightly conclude that every crazy ass story about Trump is correct because he's a Republican whereas every news story about a Democrat, even when proven in a court of law, is 'fake news'.

    The truly remarkable thing to me is that Donald Trump is a Democrat. He's been one his entire life. It's very likely in my mind that he woke up one day and realized that the Democrat party wasn't the same Democrat party of Bill Clinton, who I imagine he had a really good time with, but to pretend that he's some anti-gay nutjob is simply insane.

    This is how you can tell the left is well and truly too far gone to reason their way through even the most simple things. Republicans are anti-gay, and antithetical to America, regardless of if that Republican holds the exact same views as the Democrat party on an issue. That, to me, is the Death of the Republic in a nutshell.

  • american socialist||

    During the Bush years, Arianna Huffington infamously claimed that where liberals tended to use their "linear, logical left brain," Republican voters were more likely to think with their "lizard, more emotional right brain."

    Projection your honor!

  • ||

    Yeah, that paragon of intellectualism and gold digging Ariana Huffington...

  • Spinach Chin||

    Sorry, I don't agree with the moral equivalence here.

    Show me mainstream news outlets that were all-in on the worst of the Obama conspiracy theories the way that those same outlets are committed to reporting the worst of the Trump conspiracy theories today.

    There's just no comparison.

  • american socialist||

    Yep it is a false equivalence. Trump hysteria has trumped obama hysteria by a wide margin

  • pan fried wylie||

    but Obama yomamma'd Bush trumpteria, so there's that.

  • boomshanka||

    I know, it's not like Trump launched his political career with a racist conspiracy theory about Obama's birth certificate.

  • MikeP2||

    What is racist about asking to see the birth certificate of a Presidential candidate, who himself wrote that he was born in Kenya?

    That latter aspect is always glossed over, because Obama himself was the first "birther". Hillary was second.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    "The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs."

    Oh, gee, look at that, it's almost like there IS no moral equivalence and the differences you bring up were well established by the writer, and you could've had an article that agreed with you as long as you bothered to actually read it.

  • WakaWaka||

    Agreed, but O'Neil writes a good article and he makes a lot of good points. There is no comparison between Alex Jones pushing a conspiracy theory and the Washington Post pushing a conspiracy theory, though. One is supposed to be a joke the other is a joke without realizing it.

  • Libertymike||

    Yet the link to which O'Neil adverts regarding Obama's communism is lame. I would not cite that blog as support for the proposition that Obama's alleged communism is so much conspiracy gibberish.

  • Ohiograndma||

    Here's an interesting link about Obama's communism that is somewhat more reliable than O'Neils.

    http://www.americanthinker.com....._from.html

    As far as outlandish hysteria, a little fear is reasonable in both cases. Obama is one kind of crazy and Trump is another kind of crazy, so yes, there is a basis for concern if not alarm. Most of the evils Obama visited on the U.S. can eventually be overcome - and by this administration, if we are lucky. ("Lucky" entails having at least a somewhat bipartisan consortium make progress on real healthcare, the debt, the economy, education, unification, immigration, etc). If we are unlucky, Donald will display his Trumpness in all it's glory and the next four years will be all about our magnificent leader.

    Also, that bit about Obama fearers vs.Trump fearers... well, I fear that is a stereotype that should be further examined if we are to have a better understanding of politics in America.

  • Spinach Chin||

    Right, but.... why write this article, then?

    His whole point is "a pox on both your houses" as if one is equivalent to the other.

    Not only are they not equivalent, but it's patently absurd to mention them in the same paragraph. The election of every president brings out the crazy fringe of the opposition party. That's not what's happening right now. This narrative is being driven by news outlets that were founded well over a century ago, networks that have been around since the invention of television, and "highly-respected", mainstream journalists. Not to mention, with the public encouragement of some of the leaders of the Democrat party.

    There is literally NO precedent for what's happening right now.

    That should have been the story...

  • kbolino||

    There is literally NO precedent for what's happening right now.

    Not really. Bloated institutions that maintained an apparent monopoly through close connections to the established order have been infected with institutional rot that began long ago. It's now risen to the surface for all to see. This story is as old as human civilization itself.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I think the point is that it's unprecedented in modern american politics. I think you'd have to go back about a century to see something similar but even there we were more like the british of today with each faction having its major news outlets (with an obvious heavy tilt with the bbc).

  • B.P.||

    This goes along with mainstream news outlets prattling on about how the GOP is in crisis, coming apart, etc. (which it may well be, I don't know), with nary a peep about the massive lurching of the Dems to the left.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean the massive lurching of the gop to the right. Team blue is pure centrism aside from the right wing Atlantic.

  • Threedoor||

    Socialism, now centrist.

  • ThomasD||

    I assume you intend "right wing Atlantic" to be the obvious tell for your sarcasm.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Democrats and liberals were presenting themselves as paragons of level-headed politics in contrast to those cranky Obama bashers and birthers in the darker crannies of the worldwide web. Now, four weeks into the Trump presidency, they've become the thing they mocked
    The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The forme were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs.

    If people actually read the articles, would there be any reason to comment?

  • Spinach Chin||

    It paints the "Obama-fearers" as a large chunk of the conservative electorate. Utter bullshit.

    The general conservative opposition to Obama feared that he might fuck up our health care system and might raise taxes.

    The general liberal opposition to Trump compares him to Hitler, his supporters to Nazis, refuse to believe he won the election legitimately, and also believe there's a high likelihood that he'll start a nuclear war.

    You don't see the fucking disconnect there?

  • Not a True MJG||

    The 2015 CNN/ORC poll claims that 43% of Republicans believe Obama to be a Muslim.

    The recent YouGov poll claims 42% of Democrats think the election was rigged.

  • wareagle||

    and polls claim Trump would lose in a blowout and that the Brexit would fail. So there is that.

  • Not a True MJG||

    The predictive polls - kinda different! - predicted that Trump would lose nationally by a few percentage points, which he did, and that Leave was within the margin of error (usually with 10% polling undecided).

    I'm fine with ignoring or discounting such polls, but I wonder what we're left with in this argument. Are we stuck with just throwing personal perception and anecdata back and forth?

  • wareagle||

    you can write poll questions to create whatever result you want. The writer's argument may find some similarities in kind, but they are non-existent in degree. I don't recall riots and vandalism and assault and arrests after Obama's election.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Do you happen to know what religion Barack Obama is? Is he Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon,
    Muslim, something else, or not religious?

    Those wily media folks!

    Fine, personal perception it is.

  • BYODB||

    Barak is whatever religion is most politically advantageous to him at the time. In other words, he's secular at best.

    His God is the State, plain and simple. Any appearance to the contrary was for the electorate.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Recall that this is the same man who proclaimed that the us would not allow the name of mohammed to be profaned. So you have one set of words where he claims to be christian (from a church that denounces america which he claims he never heard), and another set of words where he refuses to acknowledge the religion of many terrorists and refutes the 1A in favor of punishing blasphemy.

    Yes, I truly don't understand why anyone would question his religious affiliation.

  • MikeP2||

    So? were those 43% rioting in the streets about it, or did they shrug their shoulders and go about their lives in a normal 'hinged' fashion?

    That's the difference. People believe all kinds of stuff, but how they act out on those beliefs is the important distinction.

  • Not a True MJG||

    That's not the difference O'Neill is talking about.

  • wareagle||

    if he's not talking about that, why not? It is a distinction that is hard to ignore.

  • MikeP2||

    "That's not the difference O'Neill is talking about."

    Why yes, yes it was, as a matter of fact.

    His first sentence questions the difference between reason and delirium.
    a bit of paranoia is common to most. It become delirium when it actively controls your life. Putting a pussyhat on your head and marching in DC because Trump is going to take away abortion rights has passed well past healthy paranoia into the fever dreams of delirium.

    there is a distinct difference and O'Neill is most certainly talking about it.

  • Spinach Chin||

    Which is the more inflammatory of those results?

    And which has heads of a political party actively pushing that poll result as REAL?

    Did Tea Partiers threaten Democrats into silence? Cause millions of dollars in property damage? Demand that Congress impeach the election took winner weeks before he took office?

    You can't see that the hysteria now is just a wee bit bigger?

  • jmomls||

    *The 2015 CNN/ORC poll claims that 43% of Republicans believe Obama to be a Muslim.*

    To be fair, Obama:

    was fathered by a Muslim
    was raised in a Muslim country by a different Muslim
    once called the Muslim call-to-prayer "the most beautiful sound he ever heard"
    wears a ring with Arabic script on it
    said, in his supposed autobiography, that if the political winds shifted in an ugly direction that he would "side with the muslims"
    gave his first major foreign speech as POTUS in a Muslim country
    bowed and scraped in front of the Saudi king
    told George Stephanopolous about his "muslim faith" in an interview before Georgey 'corrected him'

    So, gee, where would anyone get the idea that he was a Muslim?

  • Paradigm||

    This. Plus, if Obama was actually a Muslim, how would his foreign policy look any different? The Iran "deal" (read capitulation), taking down Khadafi knowing full well that the Islamists would fill the vacuum, screwing over the Arab Spring demonstrators... I could go on and on.

    Truth be known, I think Obama just thinks like a garden variety progressive university stooge - namely that it's unfair for the capitalist countries to outshine the rest of the world. I think he saw it as a completion of his father's "duty" to knock us down a peg. His open hatred of Israel is further evidence of that worldview.

  • JB Say||

    Most fail to remember that tea party protests of the were against Congress, Bush and Obama's complicity in that colossal screw job, the bailouts of 2008/9. But the MSM adamantly portrayed those protestors as racists mad about the President's skin color. Thats right, kids if you opposed the will of the mostly white bankers raiding the Treasury, you were racist. Huge "fake news" psyop against the American people. I'm not sure if the media ever regained its credibility after that.

  • Zeb||

    Moral equivalence? Sounded more like he's just saying they are all fucking nuts.

    As the mainstream news media becomes less relevant to more people, the distinction you are making becomes much less important. There were a lot of people who believed the stuff about Obama.

  • Spinach Chin||

    Maybe. I suppose. And I don't disagree with all he says, but I just think that we've always had about that same level of fringe-y hysteria when the guy you didn't vote for gets elected.

    I'm only in my 40s, but to me, this just seems like a whole new level to anything I can remember.

  • Zeb||

    I think you are right that we are seeing a new level of hysteria now. But I think that the reaction to Obama was a previous high point for that sort of crap, at least in recent history.

    It's also worth observing that O'Neill is not writing primarily for a libertarian or conservative audience and some significant part of his audience probably is sucked into the Trump hysteria. So it is good to point out that these people are at least as whacked as the Obama conspiracy theorists were.

    It is also new that the traditional news media is fanning the flames this time around. But as lots of people on here have been commenting, the traditional media has been alienating more and more people lately and alternative, online media (who were pushing the ridiculous stuff about Obama and who are now pushing the more insane stuff about Trump) is becoming much more important.

    You're right that there isn't an absolute equivalence, but I am happy to see someone telling everyone to stop being idiots rather than worrying about who is the worse idiot.

  • chemjeff||

    But I think that the reaction to Obama was a previous high point for that sort of crap, at least in recent history.

    Amen to that. The whole birther nonsense was a new level of insanity.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The birther thing started with his dem opponents but trump was the one who really ran with it. The media quickly started ridiculing the concept. Now the media is actively inciting the ntion of a manchurian candidate and frothing at the mouth over flynn (biggest scandal since watergate!!).

    Sorry, nothing during the barry years compares to this hysteria.

  • Zeb||

    OK, well, if you say so it must be true.

    Of course it compares. It's not identical in scale or content. But it's certainly comparable.

    The point (for me) is that there are significant numbers of people focusing on insane bullshit when there is plenty of real stuff to criticize Trump for. Something very similar happened while Obama was president. I don't watch cable news or read the NY Times or Wa Po, so it looks pretty similar to me.

  • ThomasD||

    That the very same media whose Trump pathology is currently on display, are also the very same media who went out of their way to obfuscate or ignore anything potentially untoward about Obama, is not a coincidence.

    That this Obama news blackout also fueled much of the anti Obama lunacy is likewise not coincidental.

    There is but one constant in all this insanity.

  • colorblindkid||

    Basically, everybody turned into Fox News, and Fox News turned into everybody else. I always knew they were exactly the same, just on opposite sides, but a lot of people still don't accept that.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Sorry, I don't agree with the moral equivalence here.

    I very much enjoyed Mr. O'Neill's article and I think he made several excellent points.

    Spinach Chin, if you reread the first paragraph I think that you may view what follows as supportive material, not an effort to establish exact equal levels of lunacy.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    "The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs."

    Oh, gee, look at that, it's almost like there IS no moral equivalence and the differences you bring up were well established by the writer, and you could've had an article that agreed with you as long as you bothered to actually read it.

  • Spinach Chin||

    I read the article, and I already addressed that in a previous comment.

    He doesn't acknowledge a difference in scale or intensity. He paints the two as flip-sides of the same coin, which is absurd.

    It's like comparing a fender-bender to a 12 car pileup.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Not even scorpions and bionic lions wish to play with Mr. Baby Arms, the diapered Romeo of all mankind.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "Why hello Mr. Baby Arms! I was just discussing your beleaguered delusions with my compatriot over there. The strange glowing fellow in the opaque face mask. I call him Jaded Twit when not near his ear. My, what a mysterious unsteady fuck- but aren't we all when facing circumstances such as this. Ghost eruptions make for fine parties in the countryside. Step back, sir! Prepared for this I am but not for you."

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    I have a new favorite series of Agile Cyborg comments.

  • Libertymike||

    They tickle my lexical literary fancy.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Mr. Baby Arms, the diapered Romeo of all mankind

    Move over, SugarFree; we have a new hero for these dark times.

  • Microaggressor||

    Brendan O'Neill is here to Make Reason Great Again!

  • lap83||

    Obama a secret Muslim? What were they thinking? But I kid..

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Like many others here, I don't recall any mainstream news outlets going ape over the idea of an Obama presidency, or even over anything he did (and he did plenty to journalism and specific journalists). In fact, the difference in my mind is even more pronounced, as almost universally the talking hairdos beamed with national pride at the election in 2008 as compared to the eve of destruction shame tune we were hearing from them (again, almost universally) last November.

  • Memory Hole||

    The first black president thing probably played a part in that celebration.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No doubt. I'm curious, however, the level of exultation had it been Herman Cain.

  • Memory Hole||

    Damn no shit. I bet not so much exultation.

  • Libertymike||

    9-9-9 was not a winning bet

  • wareagle||

    Cain, you may recall, was brought down by a storm that Trump weathered: allegations of sexual misconduct from women who spent more than a decade saying nothing, and who faded away once the damage was done.

  • Libertymike||

    Good memory wareagle. I had forgotten about that.

  • Memory Hole||

    Racist America holding the black man to a different standards or maybe it was because Cain was boring.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    maybe it was because Cain was boring.

    That, and I think most people had already figured that Trump was a douchebag long before that story broke, so no one was really surprised.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, scandals like that only work against people who pretend to be good simple, church-going family men.

  • ThomasD||

    Duh, Cain's not black.

  • kbolino||

    Hmm, yes they were always collectively deluded and self-congratulatory, true.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    And the Black community is going to be decades living that down. Christ! What a loser.

  • Not a True MJG||

    FOX is mainstream, no? And if something like HuffPo qualifies, so does Drudge.

    Regardless, O'Neill mentions this distinction. It's kind of his whole thesis: that the "Smart Set" is reduced to sounding like conspiratorial idiots on poorly-formatted blogs.

  • Lord_at_War||

    No. Let's go to the record for October 19, 2016.

    "ABC World News Tonight With David Muir" had the most viewers -- 8.291 million

    "NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt" placed second with 8.045 million.

    "CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley" ranked third with 6.554 million.

    Fox News ranked first (in cable) with 2.494 million.

    Big Three networks averaged more than 3 times Fox's viewership...

  • Lord_at_War||

    Damn, I meant to hit preview... that last sentence was supposed to end

    "...and Fox runs between 2-3 hours of straight news a day in primetime- and the BigThee's news ratings are accomplished in just a half an hour. So Fox's viewership in any 1/2 hour period is at most about 600-800 thousand.

  • Zeb||

    And they are all pretty tiny portions of the population. So maybe what major news outlets say isn't the most important thing in the world when most people get their news from a variety of online sources.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    FOX

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, but did they? There were plenty of stories to be mined from Obama, but what did we get? Reverend Wright? That's pretty standard fare for politicians and their past. Light, actually. But once in office, did Fox go crazy in his first months on whether Obama was a secret Muslim or a Bill Ayres disciple even? I don't recall it.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Eleven words: Glenn Beck premiered in January 2009 and ran for 3 years.

    Six more words: Hannity has been running since 2009.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Hannity & Colmes 10/96 - 01/09

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Colmes just died, btw.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Russians no doubt.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yeah, but did they?

    I put it to you that what FOX did to Obama and what the media is doing now, to Trump, is just an example of oneupsmanship.

    FOX was harder on Obama than any media outlet had ever been on Bush. And when I say that, I'm referring to their tone and lack of regard for professionalism. Republicans DESPISED Obama (rightly) and there were any number of right wing nutjobs trying to throw anything at the wall to get it to stick. Birthers, Tea Partiers, Limbaugh (had a new conspiracy everyday)... and FOX was happy to cover it, although they never actually came out and agreed with it.

    So FOX expanded the envelope of what was acceptable from the media and now the left media has done the same with Trump. One might argue the increment is more, but Trump IS a complete asshole. He's just not as much of an asshole as the media is making him out to be.

    Both sides incrementally increasing how hard they'll fan the flames of discontent to make money. Neither side grounded in any principle.

    Yes...a pox on both their houses.

  • jmomls||

    *FOX was harder on Obama than any media outlet had ever been on Bush. *

    GTFOH.

    Ever heard of the Daily Show and "snipers wanted?"
    Masturbatory motion pictures fantasizing about GWB being assassinated?
    Dan Rather trying to set-up Bush with that stupid and obviously fake national guard memo?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    FOX was harder on Obama than any media outlet had ever been on Bush. And when I say that, I'm referring to their tone and lack of regard for professionalism.
  • ThomasD||

    So obviously faked documents, acquired via some patently absurd tale don't display a lack of regard for professionalism.

    Yeah, sure.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The difference is that the ones who tell us how elite they are, how smart, savvy, intelligent, wise, and benevolent, are the ones who are setting records for panty twisting. By their own definitions, they are the calm cool and collect(ed/ive) kids who sneered at the panic attacks. By their own actions, they have shown they are the ones most susceptible to panic attacks and in need of safe spaces.

  • Charles Easterly||

    collect(ed/ive)

    Nice.

    I also agree with a;most everything that you've written here, SR&C.

    Anecdotally, the day before the election I was listening to an interviewee describing how incredibly divided many voters had become over the past several elections and especially how divided we were this time around. He went on to explain that no matter who won the election we all needed to come together as a nation and accept the results because that's how democracy works, we are one nation, need to begin heal so we can work together to improve the country, et cetera. The interviewer, other panelists, and many callers seemed to be in hearty agreement. I am sure that you can guess who they were voting for and who they thought was going to win.

    As I told a buddy of mine after seeing the reactions of many such individuals following the election: "These folk have lost their minds."

  • Cynical Asshole||

    the eve of destruction shame tune

    You mean this?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The aliens in Greatest American Hero used to play that on the radio to warn of danger coming. True story. And, SPOILER ALERT.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I loved that show when I was ~3 years old or so. It's been a long, long time since I saw any re-runs of it though. I didn't remember that little tidbit.

  • Memory Hole||

    Of course there's evidence of contact between Trump's people and Putin's people.

    You do realize Team Trump has repeatedly denied there were contacts with Putin's people during the campaign?

  • chemjeff||

    And Trump would never lie.

  • Memory Hole||

    And people would never just excuse and ignore those lies over and over again.

  • wareagle||

    so that's the proof of a connection? Really? How many MSM articles must there be saying there is connection or collusion before your TDS subsides?

  • chemjeff||

    No that's not proof of a connection. But citing Trump's own statements as an authority isn't exactly a scholarly refutation of the claim.

  • wareagle||

    Again, how many MSM articles must there be - and there have been a few - saying no connection exists for that to matter to you?

  • Memory Hole||

    Contacting is absolute proof of a "connection". It's not proof of collusion on the hacking and disrupting. Trump and his people have lied about whether there were even contacts. Now that we settled that question we can move on to see if there is evidence of collusion. I remember motherfuckers like you maybe not you specifically but people like you straight up denying there was even contact. So having your kind acknowledge there was contact is a step forward. Maybe we'll find out Trump has business interests in Russia if we get access to his financial records? Business interests would still not be evidence of collusion but it would be more evidence that Trump has lied even more about these Putin connections.

  • wareagle||

    Rhetorically speaking, yes, contact means having connected but that's not how "connection" is being defined here.

    I remember motherfuckers like you maybe not you specifically but people like you straight up denying there was even contact.
    Since I never did that, no you don't. But please, keep talking out of your ass. People like me didn't vote for Trump, though Hillary losing was spectacularly satisfying.

  • Free Society||

    Seeing as how the Russian narrative was first spun by the Clinton campaign, followed up by less than circumstantial and tangential evidence that was apparently constructed by Democrat loyalists in the intelligence services, I don't think the burden of proof is on Trump to show that Putin placed him in power. Even still, if the DNC and Podesta leaks were found to be orchestrated by Billy Bob Nobody from Dogdick Iowa, would you be crowing about Trump's Iowa connections and claiming that Billy Bob placed Trump in power?

    Vote tallies weren't tampered with, voting machines weren't tampered with, election officials weren't tampered with, as far as anyone knows. The only decisive thing to have happened was for truthful information being made to see the light of day. And seeing as how the DNC servers were lacking in sophistication and security and Podesta's email password was literally 'password', the need to ascribe these hacks to all-powerful state agents is ridiculous on it's face. The whole story is a joke and the people who don't know it's a joke by now are the butt of it.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Is this the olive branch the Glibbering Masses are crying for?

  • Memory Hole||

    I think it's bullshit to pretend like the "Obama is a secret Muslim on a mission to destroy the Christian west" accusation is similar to the questions surrounding Trump's people and Putin.

  • kbolino||

    It would be nice if something could be shown beyond "they don't hate each like they're apparently supposed to do all of a sudden". The implication is stronger than what can be substantiated with actual evidence.

  • BYODB||

    Is there, or is there not, a photograph of Hillary Clinton holding a big fucking red reset button with the Russians? Was she collaborating, or doing exactly what the left has been crying for us to do for almost twenty years in trying to normalize relations with Russia? I find is simply fascinating that Hillary pivoted to antagonism with Russia over Syria, thinking that shooting down their jets is a great idea to enforce a no-fly zone, when so much time and effort was made to do the opposite.

    What changed, you might ask? Well, she had an election to win! Note that we didn't change our foreign policy rhetoric when Russia was literally invading neighboring ex-soviet bloc countries, no, we did it when a Democrat needed to win the Presidency.

    And because of that pivot by her & her party, now apparently the entire left want us to go and wage a fucking war with one of the two other nations on Earth that could conceivably glass a major North American city. The left is actively courting a return to the cold war, which ironically is something the left spent a great deal of political capital to assuage.

    The left wants a boogie-man that isn't Muslim, and it certainly seems like they believe Russia fits the bill. The gross miscalculation is that Russia is a nuclear power with advanced weapons whereas the Middle East has goat farmers. Brilliant move, that.

  • ||

    We already knew the Clintons we very willing to drop bombs overseas to win presidencies.

  • Gadfly||

    It is when you phrase it like that, but of course taking the most extreme version of one accusation and comparing it to a moderate version of another will make things seem dissimilar. "Questions surrounding Trump's people and Putin" is similar to "questions surrounding Obama's views on Islam", while "Obama is a secret Muslim on a mission to destroy the Christian west" is similar to "Trump is a Putin puppet and Russia hacked the election". There are wild and not so wild accusations on both sides.

  • albo||

    Trump grabbed my dog's pussy. He's better than George Bush, who ran over my puppy, and Ronald Reagan, who gave my dog AIDS.

  • Libertymike||

    You should put some of the blame on Nancy Reagan with respect to your dog getting AIDS. After all, there was no money left over after all that was spent on her and her entourage attending Princess Di's wedding in July of 81.

  • wareagle||

    was this after LBJ forced the dog to do a tour in Vietnam?

  • commodious rebrands||

    Hey, hey, LBJ, how many dogs did you kill today?

  • Memory Hole||

    Trump's team publicly and privately made common cause with Putin and Putin repaid it by attacking the democrats. Seems pretty obvious to me.

  • Memory Hole||

    Libertarians should just start signaling common cause with China. We could use a foreign power on our side. Right guys?

  • kbolino||

    We could use a foreign power on our side. Right guys?

    If you're looking for Rothbardians, you've come to the wrong place.

  • kbolino||

    Seems pretty obvious to me.

    Yes, and so was the Obama-Islamist-Communist connection, to no small number of people. What's "obvious" and what's true are not the same thing.

  • BYODB||

    Wasn't Obama friends with Saul Alinsky, or was that just 'fake news'? I'm sure Saul is a great guy, right?

  • DesigNate||

    Of course there is literally no evidence that the Russians had anything to do with the DNC and Podesta hacks, but keep tilting at that windmill.

    (Oh, and if Hillary was hacked, perhaps she shouldn't have had a goddamn unsecured server in her fucking basement.)

  • Sevo||

    While there are great similarities among individual tin-foil hatists, the press is beyond whacko:
    I'll see your "putin-puppet" and raise one "dead-grandma".

  • Invisible Handjob||

    Cognitive dissonance is a hellava drug.

  • american socialist||

    Bo cara is back ==== konima

  • kbolino||

    What profession will he pretend to have this time?

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Yeah, we know.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Fuck me right in my wasted time.

  • american socialist||

    I know right?

  • MikeP2||

    This is a crock, a false comparison.

    The Obama conspiracy theories were held by a fringe on the right.
    The a very large fraction of the left is losing their shit over Trump. If not a majority, it is pretty close.

  • kbolino||

    I don't know if the numbers are quite so disparate, but the relative perception of them will certainly be since media controls the volume.

    I've known more people who thought Obama was a secret Muslim or was going to install a communist autocracy than people who think Trump is on Putin's payroll or is bringing the long night of fascism to America.

  • wareagle||

    Really? The airwaves are full of people making precisely those claims about Trump. It is an article of faith among the left, at least among its loudest voices. By comparison, Obama's opponents would have been any other Dem's opponents on things like govt taking over health care, taxes, social issues.

  • kbolino||

    The airwaves are full

    Precisely my point.

    People with a megaphone sound louder than people without.

  • wareagle||

    and my point is look who is holding the megaphone: the ones losing their minds over Trump include Congressional Dems and party apparatchiks; the ones who did so with Obama were fringe characters. I'm saying the left's delusion includes those who are within the mainstream of the left. No one went on a network show to accuse Obama of being a closet Muslim.

  • TheZenomeProject||

    The idea that the world is going to end b/c of Trump is a far more prevalent and mainstream sentiment on the left than they want to believe.

  • chemjeff||

    Really?

    How common is it on the Left that "Trump will start WW3" is a genuine legitimate concern?

    I mean, we have polls from the Obama era where a good plurality of Republicans believed Obama was born in Kenya and is a Muslim.

    What do the polls say about the left's views on Trump?

  • wareagle||

    so Obama being a muslim and Trump starting a world war are the same things? The latter is nearly an article of faith among the left; the former remained a fringe view.

    I have no doubt Obama's view of Islam differs from any previous president, but that's natural. He spent formative years in a Muslim nation; of course, he sees it differently from someone who grew up Catholic or Buddhist. No one claims that a kid who grows up in Alabama is the same as one from Iowa is the same as one from California.

  • chemjeff||

    so Obama being a muslim and Trump starting a world war are the same things? The latter is nearly an article of faith among the left; the former remained a fringe view.

    1. I'm asking for some evidence, not just bald assertion, that the Left believes "Trump will start WW3" as an "article of faith". I honestly don't know. You may be right, but I am not just going to take your word for it (or anyone else's for that matter).

    2. It was NOT a fringe view *among Republicans* that Obama was a Kenyan Muslim. Particularly during the Birther craze of 2011 or so. Heck, even as late as 2015, 61% of Trump supporters believed Obama was born in Kenya. That is NOT a fringe view.

  • wareagle||

    1) The Google is your friend. This was a common refrain during the campaign. Reason noticed it, too, but saw Hillary as the most warlike candidate in the field.

    2) the birther craze dates back to the Dem primary and, to an extent, beyond that to when was running for the Senate. And his birthplace is immaterial; his mother was an American citizen.

    Thanks for making my point about the weapons-grade difference in the degree of argument put forth.

  • MikeP2||

    The severity is what is so disparate.

    A lot of people were concerned about Obama. Partly justified because of how little was known about him. He himself perpetuated an air of uncertainty. They might express that in polls, or around the watercooler.....but there sure as heck weren't rioting in the streets, marching on DC, fantasizing about coups, or losing their minds on social media. You would never classify the Right as "unhinged" during the last 2 terms.

    A significant number on the left are clearly unhinged by Trump. Losing their shit, unhinged.

  • TheZenomeProject||

    Also, even among the worst Obama conspiracy theorists, you would rarely hear them say anything about Obama not being "their president".

  • Not a True MJG||

    OK, are y'all funnin' me? Is this an elaborate prank?

  • paranoid android||

    Selective memory is a hell of a drug, MJ.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I seem to recall hearing that quite a bit, actually.

  • Zeb||

    I do as well. But apparently the only proper way to judge public sentiment is by how much coverage something gets on TV news.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    "The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs."

    Oh, gee, look at that, it's almost like there IS no moral equivalence and the differences you bring up were well established by the writer, and you could've had an article that agreed with you as long as you bothered to actually read it.

  • american socialist||

    I was wondering yesterday...

    Is trump the most talked about person in the history of the world sans maybe Jesus?

  • Zeb||

    I doubt it. He might win for being the cause of the most hyperbolic outrage. But there are tons of people who have been talked about for much longer than he has been or will be. And every new president gets non-stop coverage when they start out.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I've seen clips of the GOP town halls and when 80-85% of the audience stands up and in unison, with shaking fists yells, "DO YOUR JOB. DO YOUR JOB. DO YOUR JOB.", I know it's not representative of their constituents, but rather a staged protest. I mean, these are districts the GOP just won.

    In one clip, I heard a woman tell us that she has a preexisting health condition and that if the ACA is repealed, she won't be able to get coverage. That is patently false as the GOP has clearly indicated that won't be the case at all. And who the fuck is filming this shit so that it can be blasted all over MSNBC and the like?

    Pure. Propaganda.

  • chemjeff||

    In one clip, I heard a woman tell us that she has a preexisting health condition and that if the ACA is repealed, she won't be able to get coverage. That is patently false as the GOP has clearly indicated that won't be the case at all.

    And Obama clearly indicated that there wouldn't be death panels in ObamaCare. And that you could keep your doctor and your health insurance coverage, too.

  • Lord_at_War||

    And that you could keep your doctor and your health insurance coverage, too.

    Except for the ~5 million who lost their coverage after the first year, and the million more who have to go shopping for another plan when their most recent Insurance provider pulled out of the exchanges. My brother has had three different providers with three different networks so far.

  • DesigNate||

    The difference being that nobody actually read Obamacare, not even the President, and so they had no way of knowing if they were telling the truth or not (personally I think he knew it would fuck all kinds of shit up and just didn't care, but that's just my opinion). All of the proposed Republican plans at least have bullet point summaries of what their ideas are.

  • Gadfly||

    The "Do your job" chant is the weirdest thing to come out of these town halls. I mean, their job is to represent their constituents, who just voted for the Republicans, so are these progressive protesters really demanding the Republicans go to Washington and be more Republican/conservative? I think not. It's such a shallow, ill-considered demand that it's proof these protests really are grass-roots, as what puppet-master would feed people such nonsense?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    what puppet-master would feed people such nonsense?

    A really stupid one?

  • american socialist||

    I do get a kick out of progressives think the GOP should just do whatever the progressives want.

  • Libertymike||

    They are just channeling their inner Bill Belicheck.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Thanks for telling us the right way to think, Mika.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    There's one huge difference between Obama and Trump: Obama had a vice president who no one could ever accuse of being any part of any conspiracy, unless it was being a creepy old pervert.

    The wacked-out conspiracy theorists have two people to esplode their heads this time. Could that explain why the left is so much more panicked than the right?

  • wareagle||

    The left is panicked over the wrong guy. Pence is a bona fide kultur warrior; Trump doesn't care who marries whom or who pees where. I suspect many on right would have traded Obama for Biden all day long; people on the left seem oblivious to a potential result of their impeachment wet dreams.

  • ||

    Biden created the precursor to the Patriot Act and bragged about that fact as the Patriot Act was being passed.

  • BYODB||


    How thin is the line between reason and delirium.


    These days it does seem like Reason Magazine is rather delirious. Thanks for noticing!

  • Never Mind||

    When ever you start generalizing you always risk utter stupidity. While I wouldn't say we went that far with this article, it is mostly stupid.

    To claim it is "group a" that is doing this activity without providing any real context outside of some examples, doesn't implicate the whole of "group a".

    There is never a case made that "all" liberals or democrats are accusing Trump of being a Russian Shill for one thing. Because some people have lost their sense of reason is not an implication to the whole, in fact while the unreasonable may have a big voice in the media, these people are exceptions.

    There are plenty of real fact based reasons to be concerned about Trump. These things are going to work themselves out despite whatever wild theories people also hold about Trump or Obama. You can focus on the weirdos or you can also notice that there is plenty of legitimate push back to real issues being created by the Trump presidency.

    It does a disservice to ignore that and pretend the problems with Trump are just wild conspiracy theories.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Fear makes for lame opposition.

    It also makes it much easier for the True Believers to dismiss any opposition, even legitimate opposition as "fear mongering." During Obama's terms in office, any and all opposition or criticism was disregarded by many on the left as "racist," and now we see the same phenomenon among Trump supporters where any and all criticism - even legitimate criticism - is disregarded as "TDS."

    This is also helped by the fact that both Trump and Obama built up huge cults of personality during the course of their campaigns. To someone who's already a True Believer, nothing their "messiah" does can ever be wrong. So then, when they see a lot of hyperventilating, irrational fear mongering from the opposition, it makes it that much easier for them to lump all criticism into that same category. What this will ultimately mean for the future of the country, I don't know, but it probably isn't good.

    In many respects, while Trump and Obama's rhetorical style, personality, and in many cases their preferred policies may be very different, the way they came to power and the nature of at least some of the backlash they've inspired have been eerily similar.

  • Free Society||

    I think Trump would like there to be a cult of personality around him, but I don't see it. Even among the most strident supporters, it seems that most of them are animated by a disdain for the media and the party establishments than for an abstract sense of love or admiration of Trump as a person.

  • chemjeff||

    I think Trump would like there to be a cult of personality around him, but I don't see it.

    Umm wut? Go read some of the pieces written right after the election where journalists wandered into the jungle of Middle America to ask the voters why they voted for Trump. They were along the lines of "Trump will make everything right again by turning back the clock to the 1950's when we had good jobs". They see him as a savior of the Real Murican Way Of Life.

  • MikeP2||

    You mean like how Obama was going to lower the seas?

    Everyone pins their hopes on external things or people. It's bipartisan human nature.

  • Zeb||

    Yes, and when they pin them on a particular person, it's called a cult of personality.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I remember on election night, not long after Trump had passed 270 EC votes, watching the local news go out to a reporter at a Pro-Trump "watch party" somewhere and interviewing a Trump supporter. The guy said [paraphrasing] "Tomorrow's a new day and now everything's going to change and Trump's going to 'Make America Great Again' hurr-durr derp!"

    I couldn't stop myself from saying "Great, another god-damned cultist. It's fuckin' Obama all over again! It's the same shit, different smell."

    Although, I just realized something: the guy they interviewed sounded like he had a Russian accent. CONSPIRACY CONFIRMED! /sarc

  • TheZenomeProject||

    One major difference between Obama fanatics and Trump fanatics is that many of the former held, and still hold, a giant megaphone from being part of the journalist class and could actually influence mainstream culture. It speaks to the power and ability of the human mind that there weren't more ordinary folks in the Obama cult.

  • Free Society||

    I think what speaks even more powerfully is that Trump won a critical mass of voters despite the relentless and nearly universal negative coverage of Trump from the media, but also the influence of academia and Hollywood. He overcame all of them, I think that's impressive, whatever else I might think of Trump. It speaks to the widening gap between academic, journalistic, political and entertainment industry elites and regular people. It's a gap I'm happy to see when the aforementioned elite groups are so utterly poisonous to civilization.

  • american socialist||

    Yep

  • ||

    It's not a "gap" but a fleeing from a burning house.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Liberals and conservatives ... two sides of the same coin.

  • ||

    I still think conservatives hold more principles.

  • ||

    I'm sorry but the complete, utter, irrational meltdown we've seen not just by sore losers on the left but the DNC establishment and media as well is stratospheric in comparison to the stuff we saw with Obama. Whatever Obamaphobes did, Trumpaphobes have done bigger, badder and bestest.

    Also, O'Neil's links are to fringe blogs. Now go take a look at the anti-Trump hysterics - you'll find it in most MAJOR papers and publications. He even proves it by linking to WaPo and The Guardian (and Nick Cohen can go fuck himself) and their willingness to (smugly)engage in this unhinged stupidity.

  • Not a True MJG||

    That's his point.

  • ||

    What's his point? Both sides do it and he's right.

    I'm just pointing out on one side it's a little more on the open and mainstream. And I sure hope that sentence about commenters was directed at comments on the Internet in general and not at us. Because if it is....WATCH THE FUCK OUT. B-b-b-aby you ain't seen nothing yet about what I really think.

    /bites into puck.

    The reaction to Trump is retarded. That's all I'm going to say.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    I'm sorry but


    That's when you know a Canadian is about to open a can o' whoopass™. Get 'em, Rufus! *drops gloves in solidarity*

  • ||

    Not sure I want to get a game misconduct for Reason at the moment.

    Reason is borderline acting like the sniper losing his edge and being a dick about it that fighters aren't always willing to defend.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    *bangs glass*
    Let's go
    Break bones
    Let's go
    Rains blows
    Let's go
    Drop bones
    Let's go
    Blood nose
    *bangs glass too hard...glass breaks and bacon falls on ice with beer in hand*

  • Rebel Scum||

    Outlandish Trump Hysteria Mirrors Obamaphobia

    Remember the protests/riots that took place after Former President Teleprompter was elected (twice...)?

    Me neither.

  • ||

    Exactly.

    So fucken what a couple of bloggers went conspiracy? Conspiracies have been a part of the political landscape for centuries.

    Although I happen to think - based on Obama's rhetoric - the criticism of his progressive poop on capitalism and economics are warranted and then some.

    Wasn't his father a commie?

  • Rebel Scum||

    Wasn't his father a commie?

    As I recall, yes. Obo was raised by marxists and was, apparently buddy-buddy with Bill Ayers (not to mention reverend Wright). The conspiracy theories did not come from nowhere. And he showed his disdain for free enterprise, lest we forget the "you didn't build that" comment.

  • ||

    There you go. But let's ignore all that and pretend it's conspiracy.

    'You didn't build that' came from somewhere, no?

  • Bra Ket||

    Don't forget "spread the wealth around".

    If you bring up any of this evidence to an Obama worshipper they will claim it is taken out of context and try to argue it is such a weak nuanced point as to be meaningless. Then when you try to argue any other socialism-related topic with them they take the socialist side every time.

  • ||

    Such buddy-buddy that Ayers wrote his book for him, the real genius behind "Dreams of My Father", which Obama and the media passed as a self written biography.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The Obama fearers and Trump fearers come from very different sections of society. The former were were less likely to be well-educated or well-connected; they indulged their fears on amateurish, weird blogs. The latter are part of the Smart Set and ply their presidential panic in newspaper columns or well-read blogs.

    The Obama fearers were nutjob conspiracy theorists, lurking at the edges of late, late night talk radio and the fringes of the internet.

    The Trump fearers are the mainstream media, mainstream Democrats, mainstream academia. They're not lurking at all--they're using their considerable influence to scream their insanity--which IS just like that of the crazy Obama fearers--from the most watched and well read points in society.

    It's as if the people who Art Bell hung up on, the people who were too crazy for Art Bell, were given control of all network news.

    That's a huge difference from the days when writers on SNL were complaining that they couldn't find anything to make fun of Obama with.

    This in no 'mirror'--it's a magnifying glass.

  • ||

    Jesus, talk show hosts decided to editorialize. THINK of that for a second.

    The next day my American emailed a pile of pant shitting drivel about world wars and needing to hug my daughter and that he didn't know what to tell his kids.

    After I tried to reason with him, he went after me. So, I basically told him to fuck off and man up he sounded like stupid progressive elite.

    Needless to say, things are chilled now. But I really don't give a shit. I don't need that crap around me.

  • ||

    So, I basically told him to fuck off and man up he sounded like such an unhinged, stupid progressive elite.

  • mtrueman||

    "That's a huge difference from the days when writers on SNL were complaining that they couldn't find anything to make fun of Obama with."

  • mttiro67||

    What silly nonsense. Those who opposed Obama never came close to behaving as hysterically as the current unhinged leftists are acting. And the fact remains that those anti-Obamaists had legitimate reasons for opposition, including the fact that we have not, to this day, seen a valid birth certificate. All we ever saw was a fake electronic copy, which was obviously bogus, and the lame-stream media bowed down in front of it and kissed the ground and DECLARED IT legitimate. Obama's entire life is one big, long fabrication. And especially seeing all the real damage he did, and CONTINUES to do, to this country, it appears that our fears were justified. This article is an insult to American patriots who recognized a traitor when we saw one.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Obama and Trump are both authoritarian demagogues, destroying everything that was great and exceptional about America. The "hysteria" was justified then and is justified now.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Obama and Trump are both authoritarian demagogues, destroying everything that was great and exceptional about America. The "hysteria" was justified then and is justified now.

  • Snort||

    Any political party can find bad things to say about any other political party party. Does that automatically make one party's accusations newsworthy? I can't help thinking about two boys on the playground where one says "your party said something bad." Then the other says "Oh yea? Your party said something worse!"

  • Siegzon||

    NRO is a NeverTrumper home, though R
    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....rian-obama

  • DesparateReasoning||

    The comparison fails on size of conspiracies, and the number of believers. I have lots of friends on both sides of the isle. I only knew one or two people who seriously thought Obama was a mole or part of the MB. Maybe 20% of my Conservative friends thought Obama was a socialist and/or a Muslim (another 10% might have lightly entertained the idea). Either of those isn't that crazy, and certainly within the realm of possibilities considering his documentable upbringing. On the other hand, roughly 60% of my liberal friends believe that Trump is actively influenced by Russia and working with them. Roughly 20% are convinced the election was hacked and that Trump is a mole. 65% are convinced he is a Nazi or sympathizer. Those aren't even in the same ballpark as the Right's delusion levels about Obama. Furthermore, those conclusions are far, far more dangerous. If you truly believe Trump is a Russian mole, that the elections are hacked, or that Trump is a Nazi, those beliefs can justify some pretty insane actions, such as full scale rebellion, riots, violence, or assassination attempts. Believing Obama is a Socialist or a Muslim doesn't imply that he wants to commit genocide or that he is a traitor. Furthermore, the Trump conspiracies are almost entirely devoid of any facts, whereas Obama being a Socialist or Muslim was fairly well at least propped up by the facts of his childhood/early adulthood.

  • DesparateReasoning||

    The comparison fails on size of conspiracies, and the number of believers. I have lots of friends on both sides of the isle. I only knew one or two people who seriously thought Obama was a mole or part of the MB. Maybe 20% of my Conservative friends thought Obama was a socialist and/or a Muslim (another 10% might have lightly entertained the idea). Either of those isn't that crazy, and certainly within the realm of possibilities considering his documentable upbringing. On the other hand, roughly 60% of my liberal friends believe that Trump is actively influenced by Russia and working with them. Roughly 20% are convinced the election was hacked and that Trump is a mole. 65% are convinced he is a Nazi or sympathizer. Those aren't even in the same ballpark as the Right's delusion levels about Obama. Furthermore, those conclusions are far, far more dangerous. If you truly believe Trump is a Russian mole, that the elections are hacked, or that Trump is a Nazi, those beliefs can justify some pretty insane actions, such as full scale rebellion, riots, violence, or assassination attempts. Believing Obama is a Socialist or a Muslim doesn't imply that he wants to commit genocide or that he is a traitor. Furthermore, the Trump conspiracies are almost entirely devoid of any facts, whereas Obama being a Socialist or Muslim was fairly well at least propped up by the facts of his childhood/early adulthood.

  • mtrueman||

    "whereas Obama being a Socialist or Muslim was fairly well at least propped up by the facts of his childhood/early adulthood."

    It's obvious he was both a Muslim AND a socialist yet not one brave patriot lifted a finger to stop this traitor during two terms in office.

  • ||

    When Trump commits an impeachable offence, it will then mirror Obama's. Obama continually got away with impeachable offences without so much as consternation. Trump can't get away with a deplorable comment.

  • ThomasD||

    when the kooky fringe loses their shit over Obama, it's confirmation of their kooky fringeness.

    When the mainstream lose their shit over Trump it's just understandable excess from otherwise not kooky fringeness.

  • Lowen||

    Obama was a definite mole for Muslims and this is what the plan was all along. They needed a way to infiltrate, multiply, claim discrimination, advance a agenda, etc. etc. This is why Obama did nothing to protect us. Then he actually campaigned for Hillary in rah rah speeches and actually stating the following: "I REALLY NEED HILLARY TO WIN". Man did we get lucky!!!

  • Lowen||

    "Just as some of those frazzled comment-section dwellers became convinced Obama was a Muslim Brotherhood mole, bent on laying waste to their way of life"

    Then your statement goes on portray you as even more clueless. "Frazzled" as you stated is, now stay with me, a perfect word for oh my God we can't fool President Trump so now what do we do.

    The man (President Trump) is not against what is right ONLY the magic act we have experienced and could not quite get a grip on or understand. The illusion is busted!

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