If you believe the official tally of the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of 2.9 million ballots. But are those numbers rigged? If there’s one thing that the early days of Trump’s regime has shown us, there are facts, and then there are alternative facts.
The media have been quick to point out that Trump’s claim that between three and five million illegal votes were cast this cycle is “absurd,” as The Washington Post put it, or a “lie,” according to The New York Times. But so far, no reporter has asked about Trump’s insistence that all of those votes went for his opponent. Maybe we can assume that the “illegals” split 65-35 for Clinton — roughly the same as Hispanic and Asian citizens — but voters who moved and remained registered at their old address shouldn’t skew significantly toward one party or the other, and those who died would presumably be older and whiter — the very Fox News demographic that heavily favors the Republican Party.
At a minimum, this should call into question Trump’s decision to investigate voter fraud only in “larger, Dem-leaning states that were not electoral battlegrounds,” according to Time. After all, studies show that voters in those Midwestern counties that swung toward Trump in 2016 featured not only lots of white working-class voters, but also high rates of “obesity, diabetes, heavy drinking and a lack of exercise,” and ultimately shorter lifespans. One would imagine there are lots of dead voters in those districts that fall into Trump’s demographic sweet spot.
And we do have a small sample of verified cases of voter fraud in 2016. A woman named Terri Lynn Rote was caught voting twice in Iowa, and Phillip Cook was arrested in Texas for the same crime. Audrey Cook cast a ballot for her deceased husband in Illinois, 62-year-old Christopher Billups tried voting in both Idaho and Washington State and Gladys Coego, a Florida elections worker, was caught filling out the bubbles for a Miami mayoral candidate on multiple ballots. At least two other cases are still under investigation.
Prosecutors didn’t announce Christopher Billups’ party affiliation, but all four of the other confirmed cases were Republicans, and presumably Trump supporters. (Prosecutors say that three of the four cast their fraudulent ballots for Trump, and Gladys Coego, the Miami elections worker, filled in ballots on behalf of mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado, a Republican.) Several said that they were inspired to commit fraud by Trump’s repeated warnings that the election would be rigged.
Again, this is a small sample, so in fairness, let’s just assume that Billups voted for Hillary Clinton. Using the middle point between the three and five million illegal voters Trump that pulled from his rectum, and applying a statistical analysis I pulled from mine, it’s estimated that 3.2 million of those fraudulent votes were cast for Trump and 800,000 went for Clinton, which means that Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote by a margin of 5.3 million votes — far more than the 2.9 million that’s been reported by the mainstream media.
One would think that nobody could be sufficiently dumb, or gullible, to believe the paragraph I just wrote, but the President of the United States, senior GOP officeholders and 52 percent of rank-and-file Republicans appear to buy a conspiracy theory that’s just as silly.
It’s not just that George W. Bush’s Justice Department already went on a five-year hunt for evidence of voter fraud and only came up with 86 confirmed cases during that period — a finding consistent with other independent studies. There’s also no reason for a stable individual to think that casting an extra vote or two would have any impact on a race, and the idea that millions of individuals could be organized to commit voter fraud en masse without anyone spilling the beans just defies common sense.
But common sense doesn’t come into play in this story. The New York Times reported that Trump has been fixated on the idea of voter fraud since playing a round of golf with PGA pro Bernhard Langer, who supposedly told him that he had been prevented from voting while several others waiting in line at his polling place “who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote” (read: they looked too Mexican) were able to cast a ballot without any problem. Never mind that Langer is a German citizen who is ineligible to vote, or that he denies ever relaying such a tale to Trump, it’s now an established fact for about 30 percent of the population.
A note to readers: All of the claims in this column that are unrelated to Trump’s “absurd” belief that three to five million illegal votes were cast in 2016 — the studies and reports of fraud by Trump supporters — are factual. Now, facts don’t seem to matter much under the Trump regime, but we published this in the hope that the raging id now serving as our 45th president will throw a tantrum over the headline.
Democrats’ actions this week suggest they have no real intention to save our democracy
Democrats in Congress have done little more than pay lip service to bipartisanship in the week since the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even as the high court's ideological balance is up for grabs for the third time in four years — and as the president of the United States refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power — prominent Senate Democrats have rushed to tamp down talk of retaliatory action. This leaves little doubt that the opposition party is unequipped to handle the threat posed to democracy by Donald Trump and the Republicans.
The same Senate Republican leadership who refused to vote on Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland four years ago, denying liberals their first court majority since the 1960s, has made clear they intend to ram through a new Supreme Court justice, most likely in the final week before Election Day. By his own admission, Trump wants a new justice seated by then because he intends to use the federal judiciary to nullify enough absentee ballots to hand him a second term.
McConnell is getting blasted for hypocrisy – but the truth is even more sinister
Since at least Robert Taft’s heyday, the Republican Party has faced a conundrum. Things sounding just great to Republicans tend to sound just terrible to everyone else. Tax cuts for the rich. Contempt for the poor. Corporations permitted to do anything for profit. Control of women. Control of Black people, people of color and LGBTQ people. Control of civil society generally, even how Americans worship. In other words, the conservation of a white-Christian-man-on-top brand of partisan politics.
Trump ignites a new war over education and the meaning of patriotism
On Thursday, President Trump announced that he would be creating a “patriotic education” initiative called the “1776 Commission” that will develop a “pro-American curriculum” for the nation’s schools. Attacking the New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project and other anti-racist educational frameworks as “toxic propaganda,” a “crusade against American history,” and “a form of child abuse,” Trump claimed that “patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.”