The Stupendously Stupid Story of the “Stolen Election”

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.

19 comments

  1. 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.

    I think I may have found it. There’s a website that tracks voter registration by party since its purpose is to help third parties get ballot access (a useless move until we get rid of First Past the Post, but I digress…). When you add up all the parties, you get a little over 118 million.

    Yet the website specifically says that it doesn’t count registrations in states that don’t register voters by party (most states that do do so because they have closed primaries). A majority of the states don’t (usually they have open primaries), including some biggies such as VA and TX. So those aren’t included in the total (the same fact refutes that slander that was spread [which originated on some shock jock’s AM talk radio show, IIRC] after Sandy Hook that all mass shooters had been registered Democrats, since even if Seung-Hui Cho had been a citizen instead of a foreign national attending on a student visa and thus couldn’t possibly have been a registered anything, he still couldn’t’ve been a registered Democrat since there are no registered Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, or anything else registered to vote in Virginia — again, but I digress…).

  2. Appropriate title for this writer. Good luck convincing the real people who don’t buy into your PROPAGANDA.

    • nopcforme is probably one of those people who just can’t understand how Biden came from behind in many contentious States? Yes, it was largely because, as the law stipulated, voters who voted with mail in ballots were the last to be counted. And although the district map was covered with red, that red primarily revealed rural areas where Republicans have always done better. However, those who voted in large populated areas like Philadelphia or Atlanta, have tradionally included many more Democrats.

      Even in the wee hours of the morning (during which I stayed up to watch the results), one could see the votes form metropolitan areas starting to skew heavily in Biden’s favor. And impressively, although the journalists who covered the election on CNN could have projected Biden as the winner many times, they waited for a long time before doing so, because they wanted to be completely sure that there were no longer any avenues left that might allow Trump to win. As they said several times, they wanted to make sure that their coverage reported outcomes that were completely transparent and indisputable!

      • It’s always a sure sign that someone is not to be taken seriously when they say “your name is appropriate. ..”

  3. I love the fact that you are leaving more posts for your readers to digest at times as contentious as these. The only thing I might add, is that, in addition to taking into account whether there were truly 133 million registered voters, it’s also worth mentioning that everyone who votes is not necessarily registered to vote with either party. un-registered voters also vote!

    • If you are unregistered, your not supposed to vote. Just like if you are not a citizen you are not supposed to vote. But hey don’t let a little thing like laws get in your way.

      • In some places, unregistered voters can register when they go to the polls. Non citizens are allowed by law to vote in some situations. Otherwise, they are not allowed. And do not vote.

      • To asert that just because they are not supposed to vote, that they don’t is just crazy. In my humble opinion you should have to prove that you are a citizen to vote. I could care less what “party” you are, but you must be a legal citizen, PERIOD.

      • At one point I was a card carrying registered Democrat, but during recent elections the only prerequisite to voting is that the polling place records affirm that I have voted under the same name and at the same address, long enough. So yes, all I need is to go to my polling place, affirm my place of residence and then sign my name–(some signature forgers do a pretty good job of providing acceptable facsimiles, but how many of them could quickly sign with someone else’s name in a way that closely matches one’s authentic signature? And anyway, It would take thousands of convincing forgeries to affect the outcomes in swing states. In my state at least, essentially, when one’s name and one’s address confirm ones voting history, one does not need to prove that he or she is voting as a Republican or as a Democrat. Yet, the 133,000,000 votes mentioned in the POP’s article above don’t add up when used to verify which party a voter belongs to. So the data in the example seems a lot like crooking the books to me. Using the term “unregistered voters,” was an error, My intention was to prove that one does not need to identify which party one belong to before voting, Yet the data provided in this article is calculated so as to indicate under which party those votes were cast?–a seemingly illogical contradiction?

        One year, I did not have a driver’s license with my current address on it, yet all I had to do was drive to my local bank (a short distance away) and ask it to provide a list of my recent transactions and some personal account info, and then show it to polling officials. If we were all completely blocked from voting because our current addresses did not match the addresses we provided in previous years, period!–that would be a form of voter suppression to me. Thank god that in most states there are some other easy ways to confirm one’s actual identity at the polls!

  4. I’m reminded of another similar example from Obama’s election (or was it re-election?) in which the claim was made that there were more votes than voters in some precincts. Turned out in this case that the “citizen journalist” that “discovered” this had totaled up the “Ballot Cards Returned” column in a published table of results, not the “Ballots Returned” column.

    Turns out that in that election, there were a lot of candidates running for various offices, as well as a number of propositions and such, in that jurisdiction. The result was that the total ballot was too long to fit on one punched card, and since they can’t just make the punches smaller to fit more on (they have to be a specific size and spacing to be read by the machine), each ballot was two ballot cards: candidates on Card №1, and propositions and such on Card №2. Some people only filled out (or at least returned) Card №1, so it wasn’t quite twice as many cards as ballots, but it was pretty near that, and enough to put the number of ballot cards returned well over 100% turnout, even though the actual turnout was a respectable yet by no means improbable, let alone impossible, sixty-something percent.

  5. I again will assert the simple truth. There were illegal votes. To assert that there were none is stupidity at its highest level. As for your links to dubious organizations, I will kindly refrain from submitting myself to addle minded so-called facts. However feel free to do so to yourself.

    • Of course there were illegal votes. As always. About 5. As always. Virtually all Republican. As always. But the claim is that there was a huge number. For that, I’m still waiting for the proof. Take your time. It will make you rich and famous, since no one else in the galaxy has bèen able to produce it. As someone who has been an election worker, I know how nearly impossible it is to get away with. It might happen once in a blue moon. Just like someone running a 4 minute mile. But if someone said that millions of people did it at once, I’d say that extraordinary claims require at least SOME proof. Until you have it, you are done here. This is not a forum to promote stupid claims.

    • No one said there were no illegal votes, there were a very small number of them–some cast by Republicans. A few like these are cast in every major election but are statistically meaningless when understood as mere portions of millions of votes. The issue of voter fraud is mainly groused about the GOP which itself has used many sly means to commit voter fraud. To make it the issue it has become is really a red herring that is virtually non-existent!

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