How long will we need to continue covering the outrageous campaign to overturn the 2020 presidential election? Well, how long will the seditious Republicans continue with their bumbling coup attempt? Twenty years from now, will they still be attempting to undo the Biden presidency and erase it from the history books? It’s beginning to look that way. One thing we know for certain: this is the wave of the future for the GOP. In any election they lose from now until Doomsday, they will declare there was “fraud” and do everything they possibly can to overturn it. And it’s entirely possible in some cases that they will succeed.
This time, however, the effort was doomed to failure for several reasons. For one thing, Biden scored a resounding victory, spread across several swing states — and it would be a gargantuan task to overturn them all. Second, Democrats still control the House and now effectively control the Senate; a slim firewall against total fascist takeover. And third, the attempted coup was just so inept and off-the-wall that it was laughed out of court even by right-wing judges, including some appointed by 45 himself. The claims of “fraud” and “stolen election” are mind-bogglingly dumb even by usual Republican standards. And they just got dumber and dumbererer.
How dumb were they? Well, dozens of members of Congress joined forces to try to subvert the democratic process on the simple grounds that “many people believe” the election was tainted. Well, sure. Many people also believe the earth is flat, the moon landing was faked, vaccines cause autism, Obama was born in Kenya, and DJT is a good Christian. And those people believe such things for the simple reason that certain people they look up to and follow like sheep — people like these very members of Congress themselves — keep feeding them such nutty claims and rumors. If Congress took action on everything “many people believe” they’d never have time to play golf, boink their mistresses, or try desperately to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Another curious talking point is that conspiracy theories about the election should be hashed over in Congress because otherwise the voices of 74 million voters will be silenced. Well, no. Their voices have been heard loud and clear at the ballot box. But the 81 million for Biden spoke considerably more loudly. And now Republicans are trying to silence their voices.
One of the arguments — and I swear to God the GOP actually said this in their Congressional contest of the vote — was that Biden couldn’t have possibly won because he just “hid in his basement” during the campaign, while the other guy got out and made a bunch of appearances drawing huge crowds. (English translation: Democrats take proper COVID precautions, while Republicans recklessly indulge in superspreader events.)
They can’t seem to wrap their gray matter around the fact that their Beloved Leader’s omnipresence is actually a tremendous liability rather than as asset. Every time he opens his lying, vicious pie hole, he alienates people a little bit more.
The American Conservative, which purports to be a journal of old-fashioned true conservatism, as opposed to recent rabid wingnuttery (but nonetheless has Tucker Carlson on its advisory board), ran several articles proclaiming that massive voter fraud unquestionably occurred. (Interestingly, however, the most prominent journal of “conservatism”, the National Review , flatly rejected the “stolen election” lunacy.) Perhaps the dumbest of these is an article by Daniel Oliver called “Lies, Damned Lies and Insane statistics” in which he declares that the election
was so obviously stolen that there is still a chance truth and justice will prevail…Let’s face it: everyone who pays attention to politics knows the election was stolen.
One of the really cool things about being a right-winger is that you can just “know” things, without having to bother with a shred of evidence. Oliver attempts to prove his case with some supposed “statistics”, taking the time to smugly observe that “the Left” makes a big deal out of statistics to prove a point, and so by their own standards the election was stolen. Got that?
And what statistics does he have in mind? Well, um… those cited in a “report” (actually one of three) by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro who, when he was not busy violating the Hatch Act, was compiling “irregularities” in the election. Looking at these “reports” really makes you wish someone would pass a law to the effect that nobody should be allowed to attempt to analyze an election without first demonstrating a rudimentary understanding of how elections work. Navarro, and those who buy into his tripe, clearly don’t have it. (The Washington Post has a good evisceration of his little treatise, calling it perhaps “the most embarrassing document created by a White House staffer.”) For his “research”, Navarro depended, among other things, on an “expert” who tried to pass off precincts in Minnesota as precincts in Michigan. (In other instances, Republicans cited “statistics” from precincts that didn’t even exist.)
Oliver’s thesis is based on the “statistics” showing that some precincts had more votes than registered voters. Except that didn’t really happen. Such claims result either from ignorance about how ballots are counted or just sheer dishonesty.
One of his key points is that Biden was trailing in the vote tallies in certain crucial states on election night, and then suddenly, the next day he was leading. After the mail-in ballots (which the White House Occupant repeatedly urged his fans not to avail themselves of) started to be factored in. Who ever woulda thunk it?
The “thinking” of the election deniers is perhaps summed up most succinctly in this tweet that’s been getting a great deal of air:
First of all, the numbers are way off. Or at least one of them. In fact, there’s no indication of just where that supposed total of 133 million voters came from — probably from deep in someone’s rectum. We don’t even know yet exactly how many registered voters there were in 2020. But in 2016, there were over 157 million, with over 137 million participating. This time, there’s little doubt that the number of registered voters was considerably higher. And we already know that over 159 million of them voted.
But even if we didn’t know any of this, and just took all of the figures in that post at face value, why would we assume that there is something wrong with Biden’s total? We just as easily could turn it around and say, “Biden got 81 million votes, so how could the Other Guy have received 74 million”? Especially since the Other Guy consistently polled at about 43 percent approval. Why do the spreaders of this narrative automatically assume that it was their boy whose count is valid?
Because such a presumption is the very backbone of “conservatism”. Not just the presumption that they are right, but the presumption that they have a god-given right to be right, and to have their way 200 percent. No matter how much stupidity is involved. That, in a nutshell, is the root of the Capitol riot. And of the “stolen election” story. And of the past few decades in America.