Now that the Michigan GOP delegation has returned home after telling Trump to stick his voting ‘fraud’ nonsense up his rear end where it belongs, just about the last legal challenge cooked up by the Trump team (Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, et. al.,) is another silly pleading before a Pennsylvania federal court that has already witnessed what is becoming an expected Giuliani melt-down in front of the press.
Want to get a real, no-holds-barred portrait of how Giuliani has become such a stooge? Read this op-ed memoir by his daughter Caroline Rose which somehow escaped my attention when it appeared last month in Vanity Fair. It turns out that the way Rudy reacts whenever someone asks him a question he doesn’t like, is exactly the way he used to respond to his daughter when she questioned anything he said.
Having lived through the childhood of my three kids and actually survived the ordeal, let me tell you this. The one thing you better learn as a parent is to assume that every word which comes out of your mouth will be challenged by your kids. You don’t figure that one out, you better forget parenting in any real sense. Obviously, Rudy hasn’t figure it out either as a parent or as a person who leads a very public life.
It turns out that when you compare county election results in Pennsylvania between 2016 and this year, you finally understand what the whole ‘election fraud’ narrative is all about. Back in 2016, Trump flipped Pennsylvania by less than 45,000 votes out of almost the 6 million votes that he split with Hillary. Like in Michigan, the Clinton campaign was managed so miserably that Jill Stein got more than 45,000 votes.
Of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, Hillary got a majority in 7 counties, Trump got all the rest. Where did Hillary score? In the counties representing Philly and Pittsburgh, as well as some of the smaller, industrial towns like Scranton and Allentown where the unions still have some say.
In Philadelphia and the surrounding burbs, Hillary piled up almost half her total, statewide vote. In some of the smaller rural counties, on the other hand, her numbers were so slight that it’s almost like she wasn’t on the ballot at all. She got less votes in Cameron County, which is up in the Allegheny State Forest, than she got in the little town where I live which is adjacent to Amherst, MA.
Trump, on the other hand, piled up more than 70% of the votes cast in 22 counties. Getting 7 out of every 10 votes in any jurisdiction is a remarkable example of a candidate’s appeal. Together, these 22 counties didn’t give Trump even half the votes that Hillary got from the city of Philadelphia alone, but again the comparison explains how and why Trump talks the way he does.
Now let’s turn the page and look at this year’s returns. For all the talk about how the Trump campaign pulled out more GOP voters than anyone had ever previously seen, what is remarkable about the Pennsylvania results was not only how many new votes Joe found in the usual ‘Democrat’ strongholds, but how his campaign made inroads into places where the GOP has always controlled the votes.
This time, Trump piled up more than 70% of the vote in 21 counties and his total popular vote increased by 13.6% over 2016. Impressive, right? Now dig this: Joe carried the 7 counties that Hillary carried and flipped 4 more counties as well. His popular vote increased by 18% over the statewide Hillary vote. More important, there were also 9 other small counties where Trump’s percentage of the 2020 total vote was less, and Joe’s percentage of the total vote in each county was greater than what Hillary received in 2016.
Let’s recall that Obama made his biggest verbal gaffe of the 2008 campaign when he talked about how residents of small, rural towns were ‘clinging’ to their religion and their guns. He happened to be talking about towns in places like Carlisle County, where Trump got almost 60% of the 2016 vote, Hillary got 38%. This year Trump got 54%, Joe got 44%. A 22-point gap between red and blue numbers has been reduced to 10 points.
No wonder the judge in Williamsport threw out Trump’s last challenge to the Pennsylvania vote last night.