The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Neal Rauhauser’s Crazy-Evil Obsession

Posted on | September 22, 2012 | 30 Comments

Neal Rauhauser was a speaker at the 2010 Netroots Nation conference

“I’ve been all over Patterico for the last several weeks, as he looks to be a pretty good candidate for the planner/operator behind Weinergate . . .”
Neal Rauhauser (“Stranded Wind”), Daily Kos, “Weinergate Perps Pay Dearly,”July 27, 2011

“Frey is often at the center of questionable activity, lending undue legitimacy to things that border on criminality . . . I have long felt that he was misusing his position and abusing the public’s trust, and these logs presented me a chance to file a formal complaint.”
Neal Rauhauser, “Pat Frey – Safe, At Least For Now,” Sept. 21, 2012

Why did Neal Rauhauser become obsessed with Patrick “Patterico” Frey? Well, Patterico had done valuable work writing about the Anthony Weiner cybersex scandal, but you see that he assumed an inordinately large significance in Rauhauser’s mind. Why?

Long story short: It’s the day job, stupid.

It seems that once Rauhauser learned that Patterico works for the L.A. County District Attorney’s office — which was not a secret, by the way — this offered what must have seemed to Neal a chance at an easy “win”: He would get Patterico fired, and this scalp on his belt would then become the symbolic trophy that certified Rauhauser’s vindication.

Neal was Patient Zero in the epidemic of Weiner Truther madness on the kook fringe of the Left. Rauhauser had convinced himself (and staked his credibility on the claim) that Weiner was the victim of a heinous conspiracy.

“Congressman Weiner was stalked and set up by a Christian Infowar Militia cell based largely in Oklahoma City,” Rauhauser wrote at Daily Kos under his “Stranded Wind” alias on June 4, 2011.

Looking at the elements of that accusation — “Christian,” “Militia” and “Oklahoma City” — you have a tight cluster of right-wing demons, calculated to inspire Fear and Loathing in the hearts of the type of liberal who, as soon as Gabby Giffords was shot, leaped to the conclusion that her killer must have been a deranged Tea Party extremist. (Jared Lee Loughner was, in fact, a psychotic 9/11 Truther obsessed with the cult conspiracy film Zeitgeist.) This is where we arrive at a basic point of debate about Neal Rauhauser: Crazy or Evil?

That is to say, in examining his behavior, we are forced to consider two alternative explanations:

A. He’s crazy. Rauhauser seriously believes the lunatic conspiracy theories he promulgates online.


B. He’s evil. Rauhauser is a vicious cynic, who creates elaborate fictions carefully calculated to appeal to the kook-fringe types, thus enabling him to manipulate them for his own selfish and malevolent purposes.

Of course, we cannot rule out the hybrid theory:

C. He’s both crazy and evil.

At some basic cognitive level, Rauhauser appears aware that his conspiracy theories are ludicrously false. There are times when the cynicism is so apparent — e.g., Neal’s manipulation of his gullible Twitter defender (and devoted Weiner Truther) “Occupy Rebellion” — that it seems obvious that he knows it’s all nonsense.

So that would seem to support the “evil” theory, but the “crazy” explanation is bolstered by Rauhauser’s strange persistence in his obsessive pursuit of certain targets. More than two years after the 2010 TwitterGate scandal, for example, Rauhauser still continues to lash out compulsively at “Zapem,” the woman whose research did so much to expose Rauhauser’s role in that bizarre episode.

No rational person would continue pursuing her in the same mad way Don Quixote pursued windmills, as Rauhauser has done. And I think that Ladd Ehlinger Jr. came closest to identifying the exact nature of Rauhauser’s madness:

[Rauahsuer’s behavior] displays a breathtaking lack of human empathy. He thinks of people as playthings to be toyed with. By categorizing them as “trolls” he can do to them whatever he wishes, and creates all sorts of elaborate games to entrap them. His revelry in their misery is quite apparent, justified by dehumanizing those he manipulates.

In other words, Neal Rauhauser is a sadistic sociopath who enjoys inflicting suffering on others, for whom he is incapable of feeling empathy. Furthermore — and I’ll ask readers with psychological training to tell me how common this is — Rauhauser’s sociopathic tendencies are closely associated with narcissistic grandiosity and paranoia.

He is a sort of cyber-serial killer, stalking prey on the Internet, seeking to inflict on them virtual torture and destruction.

Rauhauser thinks of his evil acts as heroic, avenging the wrongs he alleges have been done by the dehumanized scapegoats whom he alternately diminishes (as insignificant “trolls,” etc.) and magnifies as dangerous enemies, as suits his selfish purposes. And so we go back to the WeinerGate scandal and the beginnings of Neal’s obsession with Patrick Frey. Patterico was targeted in multiple July 2011 posts by Rauhauser (“Stranded Wind”) on Daily Kos:

Unlike some other of Rauhauser’s targets, Patterico has the kind of day job where such defamatory accusations can cause him real harm. Although his supervisors seem to understand that the false accusations against Patterico are just psychological side-effects of Rauhauser’s conspiratorial fixation — Patterico is never going to get fired because of this crap — being the target of an obsessive cyberstalker’s repeated attacks is nonetheless harmful and annoying.

Furthermore, the rational (evil, not crazy) side of Rauhauser’s mind functions well enough to inform him that his target’s ability to retaliate is impeded by the very fact that Patterico has a day job with serious responsibilities.

Whereas Neal can spend all day every day smearing Patterico, Patterico cannot turn around and do the same to Rauhauser. And while Neal has been able to incite his own basement-dwelling troll army (including “Occupy Rebellion,” among others) to parrot his smears against Patterico and other targets, Patterico’s potential allies are for the most part responsible job-holding professionals who would think it unseemly to spend time refuting the crazy-evil lies of such an odious and obscure person as Neal Rauhauser.

The advantages enjoyed by Rauhauser in such a situation — what we might term assymetric online warfare — are not neglible, and his sadistic personality delights in nothing so much as the cruel exploitation of such an advantage. Crazy evil is like that.



30 Responses to “Neal Rauhauser’s Crazy-Evil Obsession”

  1. Dustin
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Crazy and evil.

    This is great background. Why aren’t newspapers covering this fascinating story? As Patrick Read noted recently, and I’m sure you have as well, this sleazeball was supported by democrat candidates during at least some of his evil behavior.

    Goes to show where you can and can’t go if you’re looking for news.

  2. JadedByPolitics
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    You give them to much credit for thinking, I don’t believe these so called “progressives” think in a logical manner ever. EVIL yes, CRAZY only insofar as EVIL denotes insanity!

  3. saturnian
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    To quote from above, “Well, Patterico had done valuable work writing about the Anthony Weiner cybersex scandal, but you see that he assumed an inordinately large significance in Rauhauser’s mind. Why?”

    Stacy, you have to realize that if Neal was behind the fictional characters
    (Nikki, Patricia, & John Reid, Marialena Alicea, Dan Wolfe, etc.), related to Weinergate, who Patterico covered in detail on his blog, that Neal (if he was the one) created all of that to target Patterico.

    Fictional “John Reid” actively sought out Patterico to cover this “story” and to publish Nikki’s “documents.” For a time Patterico, and many others, thought that there was a real story there. Based on his prior knowledge of such trickery, Patterico wised up to the scam before many others did. (Pat famously wrote, “Hi Neal!,” when most others didn’t even know what this meant.) As it turns out it was all a scam.
    Your quote above suggests that you might not realize that Patterico’s coverage of Weinergate centered on the part that turned out to be fake, which may have come from Neal or his allies.

  4. RebeccaH
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I’m going to go with “C”.

  5. teapartydoc
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    I think even my liberal friends and acquaintances now meet the qualifications to be classified as both crazy and evil.

    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    did it occur to anyone..the reason this donkey requires so much attention? could be because he is one really ugly rotten toothed loser!

  7. UGLYmommysboy
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    is he english? not just his teeth but his face looks like he ran into a semi, more than once, ugly men are crazy, bitter, power hungry, brokeasses mommmmmmy didn’t give this scum any love, awww

  8. jwallin
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    Beauty’s only skin deep they say but crazy goes to the bone.

  9. WJJ Hoge
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Just one quibble:

    “Neal was Patient Zero …”

    Was he Patient Zero or the virus?

  10. Robbins Mitchell
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    I think he is just one of the lefty bloggers…among others….who are practitioners of the idea that it’s not the facts…it’s the “narrative”..whatever that might be for this bunch at any point in time…”objective truth” has nothing to do with it….it’s what ever advances their cause….by any means necessary,as anAL GOREtentive would say

  11. Quilly Mammoth
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    I’ve always wondered if part of Neal’s obsession with Patterico isn’t due his use of sock puppets during the Weinergate event. It would explain a lot.

  12. gjoubert
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    So, in the grand scheme of things, who is crazier, who is more evil, Rahauser or Kimberlin? And to think these two reprobates found each other and hooked up.

  13. jlwellfonder
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    I vote C, he’s definitely both….scary dude…

  14. In the Hall of the Mountain King | hogewash
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    […] was reminded of the phrase while reading this post about Neal Rauhauser over at The Other McCain. Stacy McCain wonders whether Mr. Rauhauser is evil […]

  15. Peter Ingemi
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Stacy you are discounting the possibility that payment is part of the factor.

    Media matters and their folks say all sorts of things that people with sense would discount but they make a living off of it.

    It’s amazing what crosses in one’s mind from “Loony theory” to “interesting topic for discussion” when there is money involved.

  16. yestradamous
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    He’s like some mutant Star Trek life-form that feeds off negative energy and hypnotizes his crew to do his bidding. Asimov couldn’t have written it weirder.

  17. David Govett
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    When things get worse — and they will — guys like this will vanish, never to trouble another again. They are tolerated in stable times, but become more than a simple irritant when lives are at stake.

  18. WJJ Hoge
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder as follows:

    A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
    1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
    2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
    3. impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
    4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
    5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
    6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
    7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

    B) The individual is at least age 18 years.

    C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.

    D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

    IANAPsychologist, but from what is publicly known it seems that one could check the boxes for A1, A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, and B. I have no knowledge relating to C and D.

  19. orbicularioculi
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    The “Rat” is indeed a sociopathic personality. I believe if he thought he could get away with it he would probably resort to torture and murder of innocent human beings. He’s a sick jackass.
    If we lived in another age, less than 100 years ago, I do believe someone would probably make him “disappear”.

  20. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 3:44 pm
  21. crosspatch
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    I think both Kimberlin and Rauhauser know how to LEVERAGE crazy for personal gain. They know that if you tell a bunch of people what they want to hear, you gain support. If you look at the political landscape, you see that there are billions more dollars to be made on the political left than on the political right through various “activist” organizations and “progressive” money channels such as Tides foundation.

    One example is the 2004 elections. We all are aware of the 2000 elections and the cries that Bush “stole” the election. Kimberlin knew there would be some basis of support if he could create a conspiracy story around stealing Ohio in 2004 and in electronic voting (Diebold) and so Velvet Revolution was born to mainly act as a designated receiver of cash from sympathetic groups and individuals looking for places to put such cash. In exchange, all they had to do was create a website, promote it through the right “progressive” channels and the followers would flock in because he was telling them what they want to hear.

    I think they just know which side of the bread has the butter on it, they know how to say all the right things, and they have the right connections to take advantage of that. Or did, I am not sure how effective that is going to be going forward. They say the most cockamamie things and say it as if they believe it. Watch the nonsense coming out of the Occupy Rebellion twitter account sometime, it is absolutely insane and I don’t think for a moment that the person spewing that drivel actually believes a word of it. BUT there are a lot of people who WANT to believe that stuff is true, so they provide it in exchange for their support and with enough support, the cash follows.

    Basically it is no different than the huckster preacher who shakes down little old ladies and poor people by telling them what they want to believe. It’s a business. It doesn’t matter what the real truth is, it is a matter of telling people what they want to believe and validating the world view of those people.

  22. crosspatch
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    The best way to make money these days is to set up a “non profit”, build a website, become an employee of that non-profit and pay yourself handsomely. Since you don’t have to worry about making a profit or the organization having to pay taxes, that leaves more money for you. If you then go about saying things that some rich people want to hear, the money flows in and you give yourself a raise. “Non-profits” are one of the areas with the most corruption in the country. If you want to rake in donations for personal gain, open a non-profit and pay yourself well. If it gets big, hire some interns who will work for nothing or for very little because, hey, it’s a non-profit! Being a wheel at a non-profit is one of the more lucrative positions one can have in places like San Francisco.

  23. Nate Whilk
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Ladd Ehlinger Jr. based his post on a post of Rauhauser’s that Ladd says is now “private”. At the moment, the “private” post is still available in the cache of a certain popular search engine. FYI.

  24. Patterico
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 5:02 pm


    The second sentence of this statement is not accurate: “Fictional ‘John Reid’ actively sought out Patterico to cover this ‘story’ and to publish Nikki’s ‘documents.’ For a time Patterico, and many others, thought that there was a real story there.”

    No, I didn’t.

    Even before John Reid approached me, it was known that his alleged daughter was fake — that had been reported in the NYT. I never said I thought there was a real story there, and consistently publicly remained agnostic on whether he was real. In my very first post about my discussions with him, I said: “[W]hile I will refer to him as “Reid” in this post, I have not talked to him on the phone or by Skype. I do not know whether the person sending me this material is an Internet jokester, or the actual father of a young girl. I might have an opinion, but I am not going to share it, because my opinion is not really relevant.”

    I did share that opinion privately with friends, however — and my opinion was that Reid was a fake, and that he was probably the same person who had been running the “Dan Wolfe” account. I revealed this later:

    And Mandy Nagy aka Liberty Chick confirmed it:

    Finally, I also disagree with this: “Patterico’s coverage of Weinergate centered on the part that turned out to be fake, which may have come from Neal or his allies.” Not entirely. In fact, the most important posts I published centered around a real Delaware teen. The media reports and police investigation that were prompted by my posts cost Weiner the support of Obama — which was the reason he decided to stop fighting and resign. See this post and the links therein:

    One thing I told Stacy privately is that I find it rather interesting that Neal focused on me like a laser so early, in June and July 2011. Because the importance of my posts to Weiner’s fight was not publicly known until almost a year later. But it would have been known to Weiner himself . . . and anyone he was paying to help him fight for his reputation. And here Neal seemed to consider me a central figure, when I didn’t even think of myself that way until I learned of the above facts in April 2012.

    File that one under “Things that make you go hmmmmm.”

  25. saturnian
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    To clarify the relative timing references in my post: Prior to the Jennifer Preston New York Times article revealing that “the girls” were not real people, ( ), the focus of Patterico’s (and others’) coverage for an intense week or two was on “the girls,” as well as one real girl in Delaware. These girls were also heavily covered by Lee Stranahan, Ace of Spades, and several others.

    In those pre-Preston days, there was lots of coverage on many such blogs that treated the girls as if they were real people. The Preston article was a big shock to anyone who was following this saga closely.

    When I refer to the time that people believed that the girls were real, I am only talking about the pre-Preston days (before June 18, 2011) of Weinergate, when whoever was the inventor of “The Reids” had the interested blogging community in his or her apparent thrall. After Preston’s story, of course, all bets were off and Patterico was among the first to suspect “Hi Neal!” as being involved. I don’t know if Neal was involved or not.

    When Patterico was dealing with “John Reid,” (this was post-Preston), Patterico was always very clear to his readers that he didn’t fully trust “Reid.”

    The final part of Patterico’s reply above is interesting, indeed.

  26. Zilla of the Resistance
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Too bad nobody on our side is offering up the big bucks for pro-right agitprop. Maybe time for another blogburst of “Hey, hit our freaking tip jars” posts chastising the pols who directly benefit from what we stupidly have been providing for free!

  27. Zilla of the Resistance
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:23 pm


  28. Zilla of the Resistance
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

    NR looks like what would happen if Q-bert & Alfred E Newman had a baby together and then dropped it on its face.

  29. saturnian
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    “his” ? who’s he?

  30. Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Worldwide Headquarters of Crazy, Inc. : The Other McCain
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    […] In a comment on yesterday’s post about Kimberlin associate Neal Rauhauser, Bill Hoge cautioned that he is not a psychologist in offering this information:The Diagnostic and […]