Friday, November 9, 2018

About Those "Grassroots" Pro-Mueller Rallies

To read and listen to all the media reports, Thursday night's nationwide protests against Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and in support of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russiagate probe arose almost spontaneously.

From CBS News:
Protests have sprung up across the country Thursday night calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russia. Several hundred had gathered in New York's Times Square and other places like Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, North Carolina, Tennessee and Philadelphia.
In New York, demonstrators could be heard chanting "Hands off Mueller" and "Nobody is above the law" as they marched downtown. The Associated Press reported some held signs like "Truth Must Triumph" and "Repeal, Replace Trump."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois joined several protesters in Chicago's Federal Plaza, AP reported.
Organizers of the protest said the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation," according to AP.
Thursday's show of disapproval came a day after President Trump asked Jeff Sessions to resign as the nation's top law enforcement official. He was then replaced by Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, who has been critical of Mueller's investigation.
Whenever an elected politician joins a "spontaneous" grassroots uprising, your bullshit detector should immediately escalate into the red zone.

What the corporate media carefully doesn't tell you about the protests' organizers should disabuse you of any notion that these protests simply "sprang up" out of any mass outrage over the discredited Russiagate probe, which has been going on for almost two years and has resulted in just a handful of indictments against Russian troll farm workers and the usual sleazy mix of money launderers and low-level political operatives.

Polls show that most people don't put the alleged Trump-Putin "collusion" to swing the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton even close to top of their list of concerns and fears. Politico even recently warned all those Russophobes out there to tamp down their enthusiasm for any earth-shattering revelations or indictments from Mueller's office. And even if Mueller has or will uncover Trumpian malfeasance, his findings may never even be made public.

Therefore, the concern and the fear must be manufactured and packaged and marketed in order to get the citizenry ready for an otherwise issue-free Democratic Party presidential campaign season. It's slick, but it's also painfully obvious. 

I mean, what harried citizen would have the wherewithal to spontaneously construct a glitzy neon sign showing support for Iraq War cheerleader Robert Mueller, of all people? Summoning the proles to "save" this plutocrat is almost as bad as Trump summoning the proles to his neofascist rallies.

All you have to do to discover the powerful individuals and organizations and the scads of money behind these spontaneous grassroots protests is to visit the NobodyIsAboveTheLaw website and look for the fine print hidden beneath all the hype. Buried deep within the astroturf is a whole treasure trove of former and current Democratic Party politicians and consultants, alumni from the Clinton and Obama administrations, representatives of the permanent Security-Military State, and a healthy smattering of billionaire venture capitalists and hedge fund honchos.

Whether they realize it or not, the thousands of well-meaning participants in Thursday night's rallies were manipulated into serving power just as creepily as Trump's fans have been manipulated into serving power. The corporate media covering the rallies deliberately suppressed this vital information from its readers and viewers.

Among the protests' funders is Stand Up America, an astroturf propaganda mill started by Facebook billionaire Sean Eldridge, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 in my district after purchasing a mansion for that express purpose.  His top issue is not health care, civil rights or gun control. It is protecting Robert Mueller's investigation and by extension, vindicating Hillary Clinton and maybe even setting her up for a third run -- or as she seems to prefer, a coronation by acclamation at the 2020 party convention when the Superdelegates take over after an orchestrated first ballot failure.

So naturally, the Clinton fan club called Pantsuit Nation is also one of the main organizers of the spontaneous protests. It describes its main mission as "story-telling."
Libby Chamberlain created Pantsuit Nation as a “secret” Facebook group in late October 2016, inviting about thirty friends to wear pantsuits to the polls on Election Day. The group's emphasis on “going high” and a commitment to creating a troll-free space in which Clinton supporters could enthusiastically support their candidate struck a nerve. In the span of twenty-four hours, the group exploded to 24,000 members (new members can only be added by friends already within the group). Within a few weeks, group membership exceeded 3 million people. Our current membership is over 3.8 million people around the world.
Wow. "Exploding" sounds so much more spontaneous than "springing up", don't you think? There's nothing like spontaneous combustion to set all that plastic astroturf on fire and create a lot of smoke in the process.

And how grassroots can it possibly be without billionaire venture capitalist Tom Steyer's NextGen outfit in the mix? Maybe he can extend his get-out-the-youth-vote and impeachment franchise into petting zoos and puppies to keep the spontaneous protesters warm, if not fired up, on the next big march or rally.

One thing you can't help but notice as you click and scroll through all the grassroots "partners" is how eerily similar their websites appear, right down to the fonts and the layouts and the mission statements. As a matter of fact, many of them are renamed clones of one another, with the same consultants and directors. This broadcasts the message that there are many, many more spontaneous groups than really exist.

One such group,dubbed Every Voice, appears to be nothing but a re-tweeting platform and clickbait email aggregator whose Board of Directors all hail from the other organizations listed on the main NobodyIsAboveTheLaw website, including the Sierra Club and Democracy Matters. Those busy folks from the Democratic Consultant Class sure do get around, don't they? As a matter of fact, NIATL itself is the spontaneous creation of  MoveOn.Org, one of the Democratic Party's major clicktivist veal pens whose original purpose was to urge liberals to "move on" from the Lewinsky scandal.  It's a tangled web, for sure.

If it's a more diverse feel-good solidarity that you crave, then do check out the Truman National Security Project partner of the grassroots uprisings. I mean, any group named after the president who atom-bombed Hiroshima just to send a hegemonic message to the world and who later approved the unaccountable regime- changing CIA has got to have law and order on its side, right? Included on the board of directors is Hunter Biden, son of Joe, whose Ukrainian oligarchic connections are in direct capitalistic competition with Russia. Unlike Trump, though, he and Dad are apparently far, far above the law. Joining him is Steve Israel, late of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job is to advance centrist candidates and to bury progressive ones. 

If you joined Thursday night's marches, you might even think that its backers are also fighting Trump's mendacious campaign against Medicare for All, because a group calling itself Health Care Voter helped pay for some of those glitzy pro-FBI/Mueller signs. Fugeddaboutit. It's nothing but a campaign commercial boosting centrist Democrats whose aim is merely to "protect" the profit-driven Affordable Care Act from GOP assaults. 

Then there's a site called Rapid Resist, whose director, Yoni Landau, hails from Bill Clinton's White House Office of Management and Budget and whose assistant, Jacinth Yohi, has overseen digital operations for Democratic candidates when not engaged in "community-building" at Google and Uber, where the de facto salary for its gig drivers is less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

That's only a small sampling of the interconnected anti-Trump partnership of Democratic consultants, donors and other operatives who orchestrated Thursday's grassroots uprising. Read them and click through them until your eyes glaze over from all that spontaneous and very lucrative redundancy. 

Meanwhile, some cynics are even suggesting that liberal activists start a GoFundMe page for the ousted Jeff Sessions, whose last desperate act before being kicked out of office was ordering a halt to federal consent decrees to curb police brutality and other law enforcement abuses of the poor, the black, and the brown. Of course, these decrees have traditionally been nothing but unenforced slaps on the wrist and warnings to offending police agencies in such poverty-stricken cities as Cleveland. 

Still, Sessions managed to dig in the racist knife even further, by ordering that political operatives - not career nonpartisan lawyers from the Justice Department - will now have the power to "discipline" police agencies. Additionally, such decrees will have sunset clauses, meaning that the offending departments can simply run out the clock and do nothing to reform themselves as they continue to act with impunity toward an increasingly vulnerable and disposable population. 


Karl Kolchak said...

I have to give you credit, Karen, you really do your homework. When I first heard about these protests--via the formerly worth reading lefty website Common Dreams--I wondered how addled you have to be as a liberal to stick up for the likes of Jeff "Drug Warrior" Sessions, who was so extreme regarding marijuana that if he'd had his way most of those activists would have been sent to prison for years. I guess I should have realized there was an organized agenda behind the whole thing.

Emmy Aricioglu said...

Here in Placer County, CA, our grassroots orgs are 100% non-funded and not affiliated with any politicians. For example, one group I belong to, the RATT (Resistance Action Tuesday and Thursday) Pack began the Tuesday after Trump’s inauguration. Word of mouth grew the group from seven to a weekly average of 60-70. We meet up every Tuesday and Thursday from noon until 1:00 pm in front of our congresscritter’s office and hold up signs. Signs express whatever the signmaker has on her/his mind — for example, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, Trump’s Father Should Have Used a Condom, Build Kindness Not Walls. What holds us together is our mutual dislike of the president and our resistance to the values he exhibits. Most of us worked very hard this summer to oust our Repub congresscritter, but alas our district remains a bit too red. We will continue to demonstrate and work to turn our district blue. The indivisible groups also are not funded, nor are the Pantsuit Nation groups.

Clueless It Seems said...

"... how eerily similar their websites appear" I programmed once and you've noticed! Websites are generally just copies/pastes of the foolishness and lies that already appeared somewhere else. No, I'm NOT a former computer geek. Just someone, like you, who pays attention.