Back in 1937, a Texas high school teacher named Lyndon Johnson decided to run for an open Congressional seat. Now if you know anything about Texas politics in those days, you know that a Congressional election that could be won by either party was a rare event. This was one of those rare events.
The Sunday before the election, ol’ Lyndon met with his campaign brain-trust out behind the church. And very quickly one of his guys delivered the bad news: “Lyndon, y’all losin’. If we don’ do sumpin’ right quick, the campaign is done.”
After a brief and stunned silence, ol’ Lyndon jumped up. “I got it!” he shrieked. “We’ll spread the rumor that he f*cks pigs!”
“C’mon, Lyndon,” replied a member of the group, “you know he don’t do that.”
“Of course I know it’s not true” said Lyndon, grinning from ear to ear, “but we’ll get him to deny it.”
Our friend Bob Caro claims that ol’ Lyndon told this joke when he was President almost every day, particularly when he was giving advice to a Senator of Congressman who was behind in his campaign. When Johnson was Majority Leader and later the President of the United States, there was nobody who could count noses and votes as well as ol’ LBJ.
Obviously, at some point, the current President was told this joke. Because he stopped denying the story about his taxes one day after it appeared in The (failing) New York Times. This morning, his first tweet was a video produced by a group of alt-right scammers allegedly showing a Black guy with a heavy, foreign accent selling his mail-in ballot to someone else for $800 bucks. What was Trump’s tweet? “Rigged Election!” What else?
This video was the handiwork of Project Veritas, which makes videos for the alt-right social media that are about as honest as what I’m going to tell my dear wife tonight when she asks if I stayed on my diet today. These bums created several totally-fictional encounters with employees of the antipoverty ACORN organization and edited the tapes to make it appear that ACORN was giving out advice on how to bring underage girls into the United States for sex, among other things.
ACORN ultimately disbanded, but prior to closing down, they were investigated by no less than five law enforcement agencies, including the Attorney Generals in both California and New York. No charges were ever made against the group, but this is who Trump is now relying on to move the conversation away from how much he did or didn’t pay in federal income tax.
It’s too early to tell what, if any, impact the tax issue will have on the election outcome. But we are now exactly five weeks away from November 3rd, and so far the pre-election polling hasn’t moved in Trump’s direction – not one, solitary inch.
Here’s how the battleground states look today:
Trump was ahead in four battleground states on September 21, that’s now been cut to three. In the four must-win states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, Joe’s average in the 4 states is slightly higher at 50.02%, Trump has dipped a bit to 43.55%. And most important, the Sedaris dog-shit number which was nearly 7% is now just above 6% and the Libertarian vote is unchanged at 2%.
Last week, for the first time since late August, Joe jumped back into the lead in Ohio and the media made a big deal out of this change. Joe doesn’t need Ohio, okay?
The race is far from over. Every pollster gives himself a cushion by saying that there’s a 3% ‘margin of error,’ whatever that means. And of course the fact that someone says they are going to vote doesn’t mean they’ll actually mail in a ballot or show up.
But if Trump believes that there’s going to be a big meltdown on the other side or that somewhere out there he’ll harvest all these unseen votes, as my Grandfather would say, “gai gezinta hai,” the polite meaning is to go in good health, the not-so-polite meaning is to just get lost.
If we’re lucky, Trump will get lost.