Can Trump Challenge The Election?

Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President

              Notwithstanding the fact that Trump’s poll numbers are moving downward to the trash heap, I continue to be depressingly surprised at how he continues to define and control the public narrative in the 2020 Presidential campaign.

              Give Trump one week and all this nonsense about how we will ‘beat’ the virus by fighting it together will disappear. And the messaging next week will probably go back to how and why the election results should be rejected because they will represent just another liberal ‘fraud.’

              And the moment that Trump, for the umpteenth time, refuses to speculate on whether he will accept the electoral results, the mainstream media will respond by writing and saying that Trump’s a threat to democracy, that he’s trying to imitate Putin and install an autocratic regime, that we are heading for a governmental crisis the likes of which has never been seen before. We’ll get this nonsense from Bob Woodward and everyone else.

              It’s crap. And the reason it’s crap is because we know exactly what Trump would have to do to challenge the November results, and such a challenge presupposes that Trump has either the organizational or financial wherewithal to mount such a legal assault..

              It really doesn’t matter whether the Supreme Court adds another conservative justice who could tilt an electoral decision towards Trump. The Supreme Court won’t even hear a challenge to the outcome if it isn’t first run through a state court. And in order for any court to hear such a case, the plaintiff, in this case Trump, would have to first show that the so-called ‘fraud’ was such so as to affect the outcome of the race.

              Every time someone starts kvetching about how the GOP ‘stole’ the 2000 election by finding a friendly judge in a Florida court, they neglect to mention that in the entire national election, Bush and Gore split 101 million votes by a difference of one-half of one percent, and Bush wound up with 271 versus 267 electoral votes.

They also neglect to mention that the two candidates split 5.8 million votes in Florida by a difference of 537 votes.  In other words, a national election came down to the results of one state in which the winner ended up getting .00009 percent of the statewide vote. Now who wouldn’t contest an election result like that?

So a candidate can’t just decide to challenge the outcome of an election. In order to mount a challenge, here’s what, according to a Republican election lawyer, you have to do: “You have to know how many votes either from fraud or by mistake. And it has to be enough votes to cover the margin between the candidates. And so, if you think that you have to go out and actually get this evidence, you have to find voters, you have to election records, and you have to quantify this, and you have to do it in a time period of about a month.”

You think that Trump has the organizational apparatus to conduct such a strategy in one state?  He can’t even put together a coherent message about his illness that doesn’t contain multiple mistakes, take-backs and outright lies. You can lie to CNN all you want. It’s not quite that easy to lie to a judge.

But the more important reason why the refusal of Trump to accept the election results is just so much cockarei (translation: bullshit) is because the way things are going, this election isn’t even close. As of this morning, Joe isn’t ahead in the national polls by one-half of one percent. He’s ahead by almost 9 percent, the widest gap since mid-July.

Things are a little tighter in the 4 states (MI, PA, MN, WI) that Joe needs to sew things up. He’s only up by 7% or more in each of those states, which is a lot more than the tiny fraction that Bush ended up ahead of Gore in the 2000 count from the Sunshine State.

Do yourself and me a favor. Stop worrying about a totally-contrived political narrative and send Joe some dough.  Or do it tomorrow night while Kammie is wiping the floor with Mike Pence.

A High 5 to Drew Kadel for suggesting this column.

Once Again The Liberal Media Gives Trump A Pass.

              Three weeks ago, The Atlantic Monthly magazine published an article alleging that Trump had mocked the deaths of U.S. troops when he visited a military cemetery in France. The article was truly a bombshell and the magazine promised more such assaults in the weeks to come.

              Yesterday the promised piece came out and in every respect it demonstrates to me just how craven and unreliable the liberal media has become.  The current article is a piece about how Trump and his minions are cooking up a big scheme to ‘subvert’ the results of the 2020 election through a combination of voter intimidation, electoral-college interventions and disqualifying mail-in voting; all measures justified by charging the Democrats and/or the Deep State with fraud.

What’s the difference between calling the Presidential election a ‘scam’ and saying exactly the same thing about the Mueller report? There’s no difference. It worked once, why not try it again?

              What I find both interesting and disheartening about this article is the degree to which the liberal media continues to let and even encourage Trump’s ability to establish the public political narrative on his own terms. And if the narrative is total bullshit and has absolutely no connection to any reality at all, so what?

              There’s a remarkable anecdote in Michael Cohen’s book where he describes a meeting between Trump and a group of Evangelical leaders in 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to begin laying the groundwork for a Trump campaign, and the confab ended with a ‘laying on of hands’ ceremony in which the ministers all gave Trump their blessings because he promised to fight for their most cherished issues; i.e., school prayer, tax exemptions and ending abortion ‘rights.’ [See pages 125 et. seq.]

              So the meeting ends, the Evangelicals walk out of Trump’s office and Trump turns to Cohen and says, “Do you believe that anyone believes that bullshit?” And that moment perfectly and completely sums up what the Trump presidency is all about.

              There is absolutely nothing Trump says that necessarily connects to anything he either thinks or does. But if he says it more than once, it becomes the rhetorical framework in which the entire political narrative is then defined – by the media on both sides! Which is perfectly exemplified by The Atlantic Monthly piece.

              Here’s the statement around which the entire article revolves: “Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states.” And this groundwork consists primarily of various voter-suppression efforts in the battleground states based on the alleged recruitment of 50,000 GOP volunteers who will be at all the polling stations to challenge ‘suspicious-looking’ individuals (read: Blacks) who show up to vote.

            Where does the author of The Atlantic piece, Barton Gellman, get his information about the formation of this poll-watching army that will appear at various polling locations on November 3rd? He gets it from an article published in The (failing) New York Times back in May which was based entirely on statements made by operatives from the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, when a reporter for New York Magazine went out to Harrisburg in August to interview the staffers who were organizing the grass-roots Trump effort in the all-important battleground state of Pennsylvania, she couldn’t find one, single meeting that was held to recruit and train these dedicated volunteers.

Did Barton Gellman bother to go out to rural Pennsylvania to validate the claims that Trump had a 50,000-strong army getting ready to pounce on anyone suspected of trying to vote for the Biden team?  Of course not. What he did was sit in his office and talk to a couple of liberal academics who know what’s going on in the boondocks because they have written books about various voting issues that have come up in the past.

The liberal media falls for it every time. They take the totally false messaging from the Trump campaign, compare it to evidence-based, academic research that has to be true because, after all, it’s evidence-based, and then compare the two versions as if anyone should be taking anything said by Trump seriously at all.

Trump’s comment to Michael Cohen about how anyone could believe such bullshit could have been a comment made not just about Evangelical ministers, but about liberal media as well.