If I were to write a book about the Donald Trump presidency, it would begin and end with the opinion published yesterday by the 3rd Circuit, which rejected yet another attempt by Trump’s legal team to reverse the vote in Pennsylvania – an opinion that you can download here. The opinion was written by a judge who not only was appointed to the 3rd Circuit by none other than Donald Trump, but happens to be an active member of the Federalist Society, a “group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order.”
Here is how the opinion begins: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
Trump has been bleating about ‘massive voter fraud’ ever since his attacks on Joe as a ‘far-left radical’ didn’t make a dent in the polls and also didn’t deflect away from the miserable job he has done responding to Covid-19. However, there was only one, little problem on November 4th.
Not only did Joe win the popular vote by 52% of all votes cast, but he also racked up sizable pluralities in the must-win battleground states. He won Michigan by 150,000 votes, the margin in Nevada was more than 30,000 votes, in Pennsylvania Joe garnered 85,000 more votes than Trump. Joe carried these three states by more than 265,000 votes. In 2016, Trump flipped these three states with a margin of slightly less than 90,000 votes.
When ‘killer’ Rudy Giuliani stood across the street from the Fantasy Island porn shop and made his first public statement about the Pennsylvania vote, he must have mentioned the word ‘fraud’ at least four times. Twice during that bizarre performance, he stressed that what happened in Pennsylvania was ‘massive fraud.’ The phrase ‘massive fraud’ is now used by members of the Trump noise brigade (e.g., Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity) to the point that you can’t mention one word without mentioning the other.
But when Giuliani pleaded his case before the 3rd Circuit, he didn’t talk about ‘fraud’ at all. Instead, he said that some counties didn’t let Republican poll watchers get right next to the ballot counters, and also allowed voters to fix technical defects in their votes. Rudy’s been going around waving a pile of papers which he says are ‘hundreds’ of affidavits supporting these claims, but somehow no evidence of any kind was presented to the Court before, during or after his appeal.
Incidentally, the same day the 3rd Circuit told Trump and his ‘legal strike force’ to get lost, the state of Wisconsin finished its recount and found that Joe, not Trump, deserved a few more votes. This little exercise in post-election nothingness only cost the Trump campaign $3 million, money which perhaps they got from a donor in Texas who is now suing the campaign to have his donation returned in full.
On the one hand, I really wish that Trump would do what every, other loser in a Presidential election has done (with the exception of Hillary Clinton), which is to simply shut the f##k up and go away. On the other hand, he is providing us with a remarkable degree of entertainment during the holiday season, a time when newsworthy content tends to be slight.
When Trump first began ranting about a ‘rigged’ election, I thought that maybe it was a strategy designed to cover up his attempt to steal some votes. Given the closeness of the 2016 election and the miserable job he has done in the following four years, how could he imagine that he might win an honest election the second time around?
Why wouldn’t Trump sit down with Roger Stone and try to figure out how to steal the Presidential vote? After all, Dick Nixon might have fixed the 1972 election if the Watergate burglars had remembered to remove a piece of tape from the office door.