The Boy in the Bubble: Peter Daou's Verrit is Peak Clintonism

A stan for all seasons

Politics Features Peter Daou
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The Boy in the Bubble: Peter Daou's Verrit is Peak Clintonism

FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD, was inscribed on the end wall of the barn … When they had once got it by heart, the sheep developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as they lay in the field they would all start bleating “Four legs good, two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!” and keep it up for hours on end, never growing tired of it.
— Animal Farm

Verrit cannot be real. Peter and Leela Daou, professional Clinton fans, launched a strange new site to praise Hillary and provide a safe space for her followers, and my God, it is everything you’d expect. After it was publicized, Verrit was immediately hacked. As it should have been. The break-in added a touch of gilding to an impossibly hilariously situation. Verrit is so empty, so vapid, I actually feel sorry for Hillary: whatever her crimes, surely she never deserved to have stans like the Daous on her conscience.

On its surface, Verrit is a Snopes for liberal facts. Whatever Daou is claiming now, I am sure that was the original plan. What happened was something very different. According to the Post:

Hillary Clinton crusader Peter Daou advertised Verrit, which the former Democratic nominee endorsed Sunday night, as a “media platform” designed for the 65.8 million Americans who voted for Clinton in November. Verrit is supposed to “collect and contextualize noteworthy quotes, stats, and facts for politically engaged citizens.” In practice, it slaps informational tidbits onto shareable images with seven-digit codes that allow users to … verify that the images come from Verrit. ... Verrit’s collection is finite — filled only with carefully curated cards that confirm Clinton voters’ views. It serves no purpose except to spare those voters the need to confront beliefs that conflict with their own.

Politico informed the world that Daou had “launched a propaganda rag so shameless it would make Kim Jong Un blush.” As the Verge reported, “Many of those facts are just image macros with quotes from Hillary Clinton, who asked people to sign up for the website in a tweet on Sunday.” Daou is a former dance musician, so he has a history of building contained, low-light spaces where the harsh light of day does not intrude. It was perfect that Verrit coincided with the release of Hillary’s self-serving and maudlin memoir, “What Happened.” What happened is that a thousand Peter Daous surrounded Clinton, and she never thought twice about it. Politico explains:

His is a reductionist world where evidence of misogyny and sexism can be deduced from almost any political discussion of Madame Secretary. When Verrit launched, it inspired not only a mudslide of negative reviews but an ugly denial-of-service attack on his servers. From this rocky reception, Daou didn’t extract the perennial lesson that politics ain’t beanbag. He didn’t cinch up and concede that political passions will cause folks to overheat. Instead, he flew to Twitter and raged in all caps, “PEOPLE ARE STILL TERRIFIED OF HILLARY. PEOPLE STILL WANT TO DESTROY HILLARY. PEOPLE WANT TO SILENCE ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS HER.”

FOUR LEGS GOOD.

The blowback came like the rains of Irma, unholy and unstinting:

I had debates with my colleagues here at Paste HQ about what the hell the site was. Was it supposed to be a fact-check hub? Then why have cards with titles reading “Sanders and the Mainstream Media Helped Put Trump in the White House”—not a fact, not even a true opinion? Was it a blog? Then why have verification codes? Was it supposed to be an advocacy site? Then why was it so laughably ugly, designed in shades of dead-muskrat grey and dying-television-white? Was it fish or fowl, beast or man? Was Verrit supposed to remind us of Hillary in her blinding white pantsuit, or Hillary vomiting on 9/11?

Imagine the self-regard of the people who could write the following Verrit entry: “Hillary Democrats are the heart and conscience of America. They cast a vote for compassion, inclusion, justice, and equality – the values that make America great. It is a travesty that they continue to be treated with disdain and disrespect.”

Here is the evidence presented by High Priest Daou of the Clintonic Church:

Twitter’s Aphra Behn posted an excellent thread describing herself as a “proud Hillary Dem.” ... Verrit was created to be their home in the media. A resource for anyone who shares their common interests and beliefs. On Sunday, September 3, Hillary Clinton endorsed Verrit. ... The effort to silence and invisibilize Hillary Clinton and her voters continues unabated since the 2016 election. In fact, if the frenzy over Verrit’s launch is any indication, the hostility has intensified. But that won’t deter us from serving the needs and aspirations of our community, no matter how desperate the attacks.

This.
Is.
A.
Cult.

Verrit is explicitly a tribal product, a burn book for the suburban Democrat. A fortress for Pantsuit Nation to heave blame at the poors and the youngs. It says so on the tin: “Media for the 65.8 million.” Odd figure to include. Last year, 13.2 million primary votes went for the Prophet Sanders. Hillary’s November count included the vast majority of Bernie voters, who voted for the lesser evil. That knocks down the total.

It gets worse for Daou’s numbers game, the closer you look. In August 2016, 56 percent of the public had an unfavorable opinion about Clinton. Among registered voters, Clinton negatives were 59 percent. A Bloomberg poll released this July gave Clinton a 39 percent approval rating, two points lower than Trump’s. Who do you think you’re speaking for, Daou?

The sociology of Verrit is a thousand times more interesting than what the site actually does. I’m wise enough to the ways of Clintonworld to make an educated guess about how Verrit was born. A bunch of people with boodles of money and mountains of entitlement and not a lot of foresight cooked up a site without thinking.

The right questions here would’ve been basic high school debate queries, stuff like “What the hell does this site do?” and “What in God’s gigantic flaming name is this for?” and “Is it possible that this would make us laughingstocks again?” And the most crucial question: “We have a reputation for being entitled, defensive, corporate shills who are unjustifiably smug, given that we lost to someone’s Eclipse-Staring Grandfather. Should we really double down on that?” Verrit has nothing to do with the real world. Why would it?

Hillary ran for President twice. Here’s where that’s brought us; a world where rich people tell their lessers that they weren’t good enough for their mistress. It’s turtles and entitlement all the way down.

Verrit is the abyss: stare into it too long and you’ll lose your damn mind. It’s so endlessly inane that it might be the ultimate, final compression of the Clinton campaign: an altar to incompetence disguised as skill.

I am pleased to announce that Verrit is the greatest self-own in American political history. Verrit.com authentication code: 145060550606

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