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Institutional decay
Already saying stuff like that has consequences, and there are other parties in the mix. Familiar parties, once again those Russians:

Quote:Singer contended that we've seen this type of thing play out in the past — Russia meddling in an election — with the intended goal not always being to change who wins, but instead to sow doubt in the electorate. In 2014, Russia-linked hackers attacked the computers of Ukraine's central election as votes were being cast. In one incident, they used a virus that would declare the far-right — and pro-Russian — candidate the victor, even though he got only 1% of the vote. Russian state TV almost immediately declared him the winner.

So perhaps the election won't be hacked, but the information surrounding it will seem tainted and untrustworthy to people. "That's where this latest Trump track of 'the polls are false, if I lose it's been stolen' — it's laying the groundwork for a narrative that we can see coming," Singer said. "The idea is to cast illegitimacy on an election." Singer said that it's in Trump's interest to tell supporters not to believe the polls, or cast doubt on the election in November, but it also plays right into Russia's goals. "It's the idea of sowing dissension, sowing doubt, and delegitimizing," he said. "This is classic information warfare operations that date back to the Stalin era. It feels new to Americans, but it actually fits a prior pattern."
Peter Singer talks about the DNC hack and its implications - Business Insider

This could be disastrous for the legitimacy of democracy. The Republican fringe has already eaten away at the legitimacy of the media ("biased"), universities ("PC liberal hotbeds"), government ("always the problem, never the solution"), parts of science which is doesn't like, etc. etc.

VERY worrying development.
Expect more of this hyperventilating..

Quote:A long, long time ago (as recently as eight years, in fact) in a not-so-strange and distant land (our own, actually), it was not surprising that a candidate for president might have a kind word or two about his rival. Jimmy Carter could end a debate in 1976 by calling Gerald Ford “a good and decent man”; Bob Dole could remind the 1996 GOP convention that Bill Clinton is “my opponent—and he is my opponent, not my enemy.” And John McCain could firmly reject the idea that Barack Obama was an alien presence—in fact not even a legitimate American. "I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States,” McCain told an agitated supporter in 2008.

On Wednesday, we learned the tone is almost certain to get a lot uglier. Trump announced he was appointing Stephen Bannon, the firebrand CEO of right-wing Breitbart News, as his campaign chief executive, apparently ending the efforts of his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to moderate his message for the general election. Most pundits interpreted the move as a straightforward move toward further de-legitimizing Hillary Clinton, given Breitbart’s conspiracy-encouraging reports about Justice Antonin Scalia’s “suspicious” death, Hillary Clinton’s health, and so on. “Bannon has convinced Trump that rest of campaign needs to be bare-knuckles brawl, w/ full-bore populism/movement politics," The Washington Post’s Robert Costa tweeted. "Huge rallies. Gloves off. Brutal fights with Clinton. Heavy emphasis on nationalism and populism. That's the Bannon strategy."

It’s also the strategy that Trump’s onetime aide, Roger Stone—who has appeared on Bannon's radio show bashing Clinton and her staff—outlined to Breitbart News earlier this month: “Trump needs to say for example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’ I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be a … bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.”
Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton - POLITICO Magazine

And perhaps here is where it all started

Quote:One of the roots of this argument can be found in the famous list of words that the then-Rep. Newt Gingrich and pollster/communications strategist Frank Luntz offered Republican candidates in the run-up to the 1994 midterms. “These are powerful words,” they said, “words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party. … decay… failure (fail)… collapse(ing)… deeper… crisis…… corrupt…destructive… destroy… sick… pathetic… lie… … betray… traitors…”
Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton - POLITICO Magazine

McCarthyism against Democrats..

And Obama's victory brought this to new depths:

Quote:What’s striking, however, is the degree to which the hostility to Obama metastasized into a willingness—an eagerness, really—to change so many of the fundamental rules of governing in an effort to deny their political opponents the fruits of their political victories. It might sound like something from a Hollywood movie, for example, that a roomful of powerful Republican conservatives gathering in a Washington restaurant the night of Obama’s inauguration would agree on a scorched-earth, “give him nothing” approach. But according to journalist Robert Draper, that is exactly what happened. Among the recalcitrants was none other than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who infamously declared in 2010 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” They acted accordingly.
Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton - POLITICO Magazine
And that stuff actually seems to work:

Quote:A year after an election that Obama had won by 10 million votes, Public Policy Polling asked: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?” Among Republicans, only 27 percent say Obama actually won the race, with 52 percent—an outright majority—saying ACORN had stolen it, and 21 percent were undecided. (Four years later, PPP reported dryly that "49 percent of GOP voters nationally said they think that ACORN stole the election for Obama … so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.”)

The notion that a political persuasion would lead to the conclusion that the president was lying about his religion or his birthplace is something out of a nation riven by ancient blood feuds. But that is what the political dialogue appears to have created in America today; according to a CNN poll last fall, 43 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim; and according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll earlier this year, more than half of Republicans do not think Obama was born in the United States. That may help explain why they have nominated a candidate who in 2011 repeatedly and insistently argued that he had unearthed evidence so astounding that “you wouldn’t believe” what his investigators had turned up. We still haven’t seen it.
Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton - POLITICO Magazine
Make Obama a one time President..

Quote:Whether or not that’s shocking depends on the degree to which one’s view of politics has been jaded. What’s certainly noteworthy is the timing. When Mitch McConnell said in October 2010 that his party’s primary goal in the next Congress was to make Obama a one-term president, it was treated as remarkably candid and deeply cynical. Had he said it publicly in January 2009, it would likely have caused an uproar.
Robert Draper Book: GOP's Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration
Further delegitimizing..

Quote:According to her doctor, Hillary Clinton is in excellent health. But the internet doesn’t believe it. The candidate released her health records in 2015, which showed her to be in physically fit to serve as president, if elected. But Clinton’s physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, was forced to reiterate those facts this week in response to fake medical documents that cropped up online. “Right now what you’re seeing on the right — and it’s really pernicious, but it’s really effective in the right-wing echo chamber — is the belief that Hillary Clinton isn’t healthy,” Donna Halper, an associate professor of Communication and Media Studies at Lesley University, told ThinkProgress. “It’s being spread by right-wing blogs, it’s being spread by the National Enquirer — where it’s a front page story — it’s being spread by memes, it’s being spread by doctored images that Sean Hannity put out there, and by Donald Trump: ‘Oh, well she doesn’t have the stamina!’”
The Origin Of The Trump Campaign’s Bizarre Obsession With Hillary Clinton’s Brain — ThinkProgress
And the beat goes on..

Quote:With just a few weeks left until voters start casting their ballots, GOP nominee Donald Trump has finally cut a general election TV adwhich will air in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. One of the very first images in the 30-second ad shows a line of people waiting in line to vote, with a soundtrack of ominous music playing and the words “system rigged” emblazoned across the screen. In the context of the last few weeks, amid Trump’s warnings of election rigging and potentially illegal exhortations for untrained supporters to help root out voter fraud, the message of the ad is clear. Trump, who is down in the polls (all of them), is encouraging his base to view a Clinton victory as illegitimate.

Trump’s insistence in interviews and campaign speeches that the election could be rigged seems to be resonating with his supporters.

At a town hall in New Hampshire this week, a resident asked Trump’s running mate Mike Pence what the campaign is doing to address election integrity. “Even if we get out and we vote, and the voting machines are rigged,” the voter said. Pence called it a “great question.”

Pence said nothing about the measures proposed by experts that would make the country’s aging voting machines more secure — such as encryption software, audits, and a secure paper trail. Instead, he held up voter ID laws as the solution to Trump supporters’ fears of election rigging, touting the law in his own home state of Indiana. Pence also encouraged the roughly 200 people present to become election day poll watchers, telling them: “You are the greatest vanguard for integrity in voting.”

Voter ID laws disenfranchise many eligible voters — disproportionately low-income people of color. The Indiana voter ID law Pence touted was challenged and taken all the way to the Supreme Court, where one Justice worried that it would impose nontrivial burdens on the voting right of tens of thousands of the State’s citizens.” It was ultimately upheld 6–3.
Donald Trump’s First General Election Ad Pushes Election Rigging Conspiracy — ThinkProgress
And we have yet another conspiracy theory trying to delegitimize government and political opponents. This time it's shown as BS by no less than the WSJ:

Quote:Here is a breakdown of how Mr. Trump’s assertion cannot be true: Mr. Trump said on Aug. 10: “The big increase is now going to come on November 1. And they’re trying to delay it until after the election, because it is catastrophic. It is going to be an increase like never before. I’m hearing numbers that I don’t even want to say because the press will say, Oh, that’s terrible, he exaggerated. It’s not going to be an exaggeration. It’s going to be election-changing. And we can’t let those numbers be released on another date some time after the election, because it will show what a total disaster Obamacare is. So important.”

Consider, first, that we already have a good sense of what the 2017 premium increases will be. Proposed rates have been submitted; the Kaiser Family Foundation and others have analyzed them. As the graphic below shows, the average increase for the commonly selected benchmark “silver plan” in the major cities in states where full rate information is available is 9%. That’s a steeper increase than we have seen in recent years, but that may be because insurers are making a one-time adjustment to a variety of factors. The size of rate increases also varies considerably around the country. We will have to see the 2018 increases to determine whether it is a short-term correction or a longer-term problem. Most consumers–83%–receive subsidies and don’t pay the full increases.

Recall also that rate increases are submitted by private insurers to state insurance departments. The Obama administration does not control the insurers or the state insurance regulators even if an insurer has a plan listed on the federal ACA marketplace through

Finally, the next open-enrollment season for marketplace plans–the ones whose premium increases already are generally known–begins on Nov. 1. That’s a week before Election Day, Nov. 8. All premiums will be public at that point. So there is no possibility of concealing rates until after the election. The only thing that could change the timeline is a delay in open enrollment, and there is no reason to expect that.
How Donald Trump’s Assertions About Obamacare Premium Increases Can’t Be True - Washington Wire - WSJ
Actually here are some more shocking delegitimizing efforts you can read here. Shocking, as the intent here is not merely to delegitimize, but to criminalize opponents and declare them guilty before a mass audience McCarthy stile
Actually, thanks for that, Martin. Sometimes we forget what we posted where..
20 years of independent inquiries (8 of these only on Benghazi) have uncovered little or nothing, but the stream of abuse is only increasing. 

Quote:There’s ample evidence that his rhetoric is having an effect. According to a PPP poll conducted in North Carolina, 69 percent of Trump supporters believe that if Clinton wins, it will be because the election was riggedEven more remarkably, 40 percent of Trump voters are prepared to blame this impending vote theft on the long-defunct organization ACORN. This means that a huge chunk of voters will believe that Clinton cheated her way to the White House.
Hillary’s Looming Legitimacy Crisis Is the GOP’s Fault | New Republic

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