Bernie won't stop talking crazy
Bernie Sanders had the nerve to repeat an unacceptable opinion.
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has doubled down this week on calling the recent ouster of Bolivia’s now-former President Evo Morales a “coup,” but few other U.S. lawmakers or candidates followed suit.
The ongoing debate on whether constitutional order was maintained during and after the transition has echoed a larger divide in global politics. Sanders’s view is shared among the global left, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who granted asylum to Morales upon his exit from Bolivia.
But the Trump administration — and opponents of the Latin American populist left embodied by Morales and López Obrador — saw the end of the Morales government as a boon to democracy in the region.
"I oppose the intervention of Bolivia's security forces in the democratic process and their repression of Indigenous protesters. When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that’s called a coup," wrote Sanders on Twitter Monday evening.
Yeh, only crazy people on the left believe that when the military orders a president to leave that it's a coup.
And the proof is that no one on the right agrees. Because the truth is a popularity contest.
The distinction is important in the U.S. because a coup would require withdrawal of all assistance to the country.
At the center of the controversy is a damning report from the Organization of American States (OAS) on Bolivia’s October election that precipitated Morales's resignation earlier this month.
Ah, yes. Speaking of that damning report from the OAS, there's one little problem with it.
What is the difference between an outright lie — stating something as a fact while knowing that it is false — and a deliberate material representation that accomplishes the same end? Here is an example that really pushes the boundary between the two, to the point where the distinction practically vanishes.
It is difficult, almost impossible, to believe that this OAS mission, or those above them in the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, felt “deep concern and surprise” and yet were too incompetent to even look at this data.
That is why I would say that they lied at least three times: in the first press release, the preliminary report, and the preliminary audit. And that is why I would regard with great skepticism the allegations presented in their preliminary audit, and further publications — unless these can be verified by independent investigators from publicly available data.
How can it be that calling this coup, a coup, is controversial?
To understand that, you must understand 'bots'.
You see, not all bots are Russian.
As news of the right-wing coup reached American shores last week, a curious confluence of social media users — purportedly Bolivian — all wrote message on social media that were suspiciously phrased similarly. The common thread was the phrase “Friends from everywhere, in Bolivia there was no coup.” The intent of the coordinated social media campaign seems to be to build support for the right-wing coup in the Anglophone world. Yet nobody seems to know where these tweets came from, or who started the social media campaign.
Experts speaking to The Verge assured their reporter that it was the work of a bot, since many of the automated tweets were being tweeted to or in response to verified users, to give them maximum visibility. Twitter has removed some of the tweets, but many still remain. According to The Verge, the first message was posted on Facebook; variations have been seen on Reddit and 4Chan, too.
Michael Schmidt, who studies inauthentic activity on social media, who helped The Verge track down the beginning of the movement said many factors suggest it is an automated movement.
“My guess is that they used the polarizing events of the election to cause hysteria by pumping this post via a bot network. That is 100% true. This is a bot network. No doubt,” Schmidt said. “The real question is who is behind it.”
Speculation online ran rampant as to who was behind the messaging. Some tweets had location stamps that indicated Virginia, the home of the CIA, which many users found suspicious.
What?!? The CIA involved in a Bolivian coup and domestic misinformation?
Now that's crazy talk.