Much has been made of President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement and his willingness to contest the results of the 2020 election right up until Biden entered office. But what about others who have made countless similar claims since Al Gore lost to George W Bush by 502 votes in Florida? Maybe Trump’s case for election tampering is illegitimate and maybe Al Gore really lost in 2000 as well. Or maybe not? We shouldn’t consider only one side’s claims while ignoring the other’s.
Must we also continually be subjected to the same well-worn mantra reflexively uttered immediately after the 2020 election–before there even was a chance to validate that this was the cleanest election that ever was?
“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.
“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. —- Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee, November 12, 2020
Can we be certain it was “the most secure” before any investigations, before litigation completed, before the books were written? I want to look under the covers because what we have already seen raises much suspicion. Why not at least kick the tires first? Do we protest too much regarding 2020?
Election denial is not subsiding in 2022. Last month, Hillary Clinton started this ball rolling yet again as she warned about 2024. Her logic seems to be: if Joe Biden wins, it’s the most secure election ever, but if Democrats lose, it’s because of disinformation and voter suppression. In other words, President Trump’s claims are illegitimate but her own and her party’s are legitimate. After her party is walloped next week, we will surely hear more from Mrs. Clinton, perhaps an “I told you so”?
Does this claim make Clinton an election denier?
Clinton started her Christmas shopping even earlier in 2020 as she warned candidate Biden in August: “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/25/hillary-clinton-joe-biden-election-advice-401641
After the 2020 election was officially certified months later, she inconspicuously slipped into her best Monday morning quarterbacking routine, ignoring earlier comments:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said that elected officials who have suggested the 2020 presidential election was not conducted fairly are aiding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to undermine America.
Ignore my previous election denial now that my candidate has been declared the winner?
Can we at least say questioning an election is not a grave sin? Democrats are allowed to question elections as much as Republicans and President Trump. Let’s hear from all. What is a problem though is calling Republicans traitorous the last TWO YEARS while engaging in very same thing for TWENTY YEARS. Democrats perfected the art of election denial long before Clinton and Trump came on the scene.
These days, every political issue is contested like a sporting event; winning is paramount, but it is winning without sportsmanship. Attacking election deniers on the other side brings acclaim and many votes, whether you speak the truth or not. The temptation to indulge is too great. Vilifying your opponent regarding this issue is good for business. Offer no grace to opponents, take no time for introspection, and God forbid never admit you are wrong.
Each side tries to hold the other accountable, but your own side’s actions matter more. For example, in 2022, Democrats shouldn’t vote for John Fetterman who, after a stroke in May, is physically incapable of being a senator; Republicans shouldn’t vote for Charles Grassley who at 89 years old should have retired twelve years ago. Don’t overlook such disqualifications simply because of the magic R or D beside their names. Hold candidates and the parties supporting them accountable for such bad decisions. And, for God’s sake, if they cheat, are corrupt, or send people with COVID to old folks homes, kick them out of office altogether. Without a few consistent, let’s call them minimal, standards, enforced by voters on their own side, we get corrupt, incapable, and lousy politicians.
Both Trump and Biden say they will run again in 2024, but neither should. After his party is wiped out in mid-terms and we all finally acknowledge he would be 86 at the end of a second term (and is not quite with us at the moment), Biden will be cast aside. Trump shouldn’t run either; at 76, his time has also passed. Besides, Republicans need a younger, more likeable candidate to advance the movement Trump started. Voters in both parties should demand these soon-to-be octogenarians (along with Sanders, 81, and Clinton, 75, waiting in the wings) step aside.
I say it is fine to criticize Trump for not fading into the background and not letting go gracefully in 2020, but then you must also criticize Stacy Abrams who tread this exact same path two years before Trump. When half the voters recognize only half the problem (and are willingly duped about the rest), election denial becomes a national pastime. Even if many claims are not legitimate, don’t shout them down. How can we ever fix a system when legitimate claims are lost in the shuffle?
Bring the Receipts
If you claim an election discrepancy, please show the receipts. Don’t depend on a committee comprised of seven Democrats and two (wavering) Republicans which looks at the only at one “election denial” event while ignoring all others what-did-we-learn-from-the-january-6-committee. Copernicus, Galileo, and many other pioneers in science were doubted, but persisted in their claims. We don’t advance science by consensus, nor should consensus (and one-sided narratives) determine which election claims are legitimate.
I stipulate to many of President Trump’s egregious actions, starting in 2016 with a bizarre attack on Senator McCain’s war record and wild claims about Senator Cruz’s father (although he did nothing which I believe rose to the level of impeachable). Republicans must hold Trump accountable for over-the-top tweets and off-base ideas while still countering the outlandish claims routinely made about him.
The country as a whole should want to avoid dueling stolen election narratives, and demand facts instead of rhetoric. The claims about January 6 and Trump’s election tampering continue to grow while Trump’s own words to “peacefully and patriotically protest” (on January 6 itself) are conveniently ignored. Two years later, Hillary Clinton, not President Trump this time, warns of a plan to steal the next presidential election. President Biden also this week warns us democracy itself is under threat this year if we vote the wrong way: “Make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63494618. In September, he told us:
They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.
Where are their receipts? The Mueller report (2019) and the J6 committee didn’t have the goods on him, so Trump’s Florida home was raided in 2022 to find the elusive evidence.
Mrs. Clinton makes a serious claim regarding election integrity, but based on what evidence? I will entertain the notion, but I need more proof.
President Biden tells us upcoming elections will undermine of democracy itself. How so? Is it acceptable to cast such doubts among his voters without proof? Republicans are unhappy about the 2020 election results, but did they actually refuse to accept them? That’s a very suspect interpretation.
Despite the rancor, did the 2020 election end democracy in America? Was there not still a peaceful transfer of power? How does this translate to a refusal to accept results? Did MAGA Republicans riot after Biden’s inauguration? There were actual violent protests in 2016 after Trump’s inauguration. Did MAGA Republicans start fires, burn police cars, attack courthouses in Portland, break into Foot Lockers and cause billions in property damage across the nation, attack police in the streets, for weeks occupy a dozen city blocks in Seattle, and incidentally kill more than 20 people, including a former police officer, during months-long “mostly peaceful” riots? Or was that some other group? January 6, 2021, was a serious riot and should not be dismissed, but it was over in three hours. There was no sustained, politically motivated violence over the 2020 election. No politicians encouraged such violence, before, during, or after January 6. However, there have been other calls for political violence. Who might be the ones encouraging violence?
This ten-minute video should be required for all registered voters. Here are the actual receipts. Democrats refused to accept results in the 2000, 2004, and 2016 presidential elections along with gubernatorial races in 2018.
We need the entire story. This video last ten minutes and has tons of examples. This is not fake news; it is actual footage.
The most prominent Democrats: Hillary and Bill Clinton, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter, Barrack Obama, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, and dozens more senators and representatives raised concerns as serious and as direct as President Trump’s claims. Years later these same people attack President Trump for his “outrageous and unprecedented” claims. The double standard is stark. The ignorance is feigned as well.
Stacy Abrams used election denial to become famous. In the video, Kamala Harris and several other senators along with Biden’s own press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, support Abrams’ claim of a “stolen election”. She lost the Georgia gubernatorial race by 55,000+ votes. Trump lost Georgia by 12,000 votes. Why is Trump labeled an election denier but not Abrams?
Now Abrams is denying that she ever denied the election results. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZbQjk_FVzY. Compare this with the evidence from above.
Trump’s 2020 Claim
On January 6, 2005, Benny Thompson (current J6 chairman) and James Clyburn (current House leader) challenged the 2004 Ohio presidential election. Senator Barbara Boxer supported them in the Senate. Ohio was a linchpin in George W. Bush’s win. Bush would have lost the presidency without it:
The difference in Ohio was approximately 118,000 votes out of 5.6 million cast. One of every 47 votes would have to be problematic for Kerry to win. In 2020, Biden won Georgia by only 12,000 votes (Wisconsin and Arizona were also in this range). For Trump to win, one in every 417 Georgia ballots would have to be problematic, nine times fewer than was needed in 2004.
It is legitimate to contest Ohio in 2004 but not Georgia in 2020?
When an Atlanta vote tabulation center was shut down and media and poll watchers sent home election night, only to have tabulation start shortly after, there is reason for concern in 2020.
I have also heard: “there are 5 to 10 fraudulent votes in each state every year.” The reward for cheating is too high and the opportunities too many for it to be that low. In 2020:
- Poll watchers were denied access to observe counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan. https://rairfoundation.com/the-coup-poll-watchers-denied-access-to-ballot-counts-across-america/
- Mark Zuckerburg strategically spent $419 million to encourage voting in mainly Left leaning districts in battleground states zuckerburg-election-spending-was-orchestrated-to-influence-2020-vote. That amount by any individual, let alone a partisan, poses a problem.
- There were massive increases in mail-in voting https://apnews.com/article/health-elections-coronavirus-pandemic-election-2020-campaign-2016-f6b627a5576014a55a7252e542e46508 coupled with significant decreases in validations of voter signatures and address checking https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/a-big-deal-for-voting-pennsylvania-relaxes-mail-in-ballot-rules-will-no-longer-match-voters-signatures/. Former President Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker warned of increases in mail-in voting in a 2005 joint report: https://www.wsj.com/articles/heed-jimmy-carter-on-the-danger-of-mail-in-voting-11586557667
- There were late changes to voting laws often without the required approval of state legislatures (as per the US constitution). Courts refused to hear challenges before the election as no harm had yet been done, and then refused again after the election saying it was too late. Where’s the justice in that?
- There was an uptick in ballot harvesting, an especially egregious process which often preys upon immigrants unfamiliar with voting procedures and elderly in nursing homes who have no idea who they may be voting for. https://nypost.com/2020/09/27/project-veritas-uncovers-ballot-harvesting-fraud-in-minnesota/. Ballot harvesting is now legal in California.
Biden had no coattails in 2020, reaching a 60-year low, another anomaly that raises suspicions. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/11/daily-202-biden-won-with-weakest-coattails-60-years-that-could-make-him-dependent-gop-senators/.
In 2020, Biden and Harris drew crowds in the hundreds while Trump routinely drew tens of thousands, even in places like LA. I mention crowd sizes because of the dramatic difference. Biden received more votes than Obama who is still today far more popular than him among Democrats. He barely campaigned and when he did very few attended.
Any one concern is not dispositive by itself, but taken together there is reason for concern. Give us the benefit of the doubt for raising concerns instead of labeling us election deniers out to undermine democracy.
Georgia Voter Laws
President Biden said new Georgia voter laws are “Jim Crowe on steroids”. The 2021 MLB All-Star game was relocated from Atlanta because of this so-called “extreme” law. The game was moved before the impact was seen; simply the claim of future bad results somehow equals reality.
Tell me exactly WHO had votes suppressed. Show the evidence. Put their faces on TV. Bring the receipts.
A year later, the 2022 voting totals (for both primaries and early voting) are record breaking. Does this matter to those who continue to make claims? Stacy Abrams says: more voters does not mean votes are not being suppressed. Do you believe her or your own lying eyes?
Why also does the Democrat party consistently say only black votes are suppressed by voter ID laws? Voter ID laws suppress votes of those not authorized to vote. Nobody else. How exactly are these laws targeted against certain ethnic groups?
The liberal periodical, The Atlantic, says Delaware’s voting laws are MORE restrictive than Georgia’s. Delaware’s are not necessarily a problem, but why focus only on Georgia?
Florida and the 2000 Election
I received this comment from another blogger:
On Al Gore, turns out he won Florida by 502 votes. If the vote count had been able to continue instead of being stopped by the SCOTUS Bush wouldn’t have been president, Gore would have. But like most people before trump the tradition of peaceful transfer of power which is a hallmark of democracy was too important so Gore wished Bush well and urged the country to support him.
I lived through this two month saga. Al Gore conceded the day after the election and then withdrew his concession. The next two months, he asked for dozens of re-counts and tried to exclude votes in Republican leaning Florida counties. For eight years afterward, we heard George W. Bush was illegitimate and the 2000 (and later 2004) election was stolen. The receipts are in the video above.
It was legitimate for Gore to contest this extremely close race, but where is the proof he won?
Al Gore was gracious in defeat? I don’t remember that either.
Senator Ted Cruz recently exposed the election deniers on The View. The full interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7Ey_G1JU1o
Here is another short clip:
Hillary Clinton has provided countless excuses for her 2016 loss, everything and everyone but herself.
The Mueller probe continued for two years, all to prove Clinton won and Trump cheated. The report was never used to impeach Trump. They shifted to a quid-pro-quo with Ukraine in 2019 when it was found lacking. quid-pro-quo-Trump-impeached-for-it-why-not-Biden
The 2016 election tampering (by Democrats this time) is still being investigated by federal prosecutor John Durham. Perhaps justice will eventually be served. I recommend watching this very well-done movie to obtain a better understanding of what happened in 2016.
Furthermore, numerous representatives objected to Trump’s election on January 6, 2017. Can we label these folks “election deniers”?
- Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) objected to Alabama’s votes.
Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) objected to Florida’s votes.
Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) objected to Georgia’s votes.
Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) objected to North Carolina’s votes.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) objected to the votes from North Carolina in addition to votes from South Carolina and Wisconsin. She also stood up and objected citing “massive voter suppression” after Mississippi’s votes were announced.
Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) brought up allegations of Russian interference in the election and malfunctioning voting machines when she objected following the announcement of Michigan’s votes.
Maxine Waters (D-Calif) rose and said, “I do not wish to debate. I wish to ask ‘Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?'” after the announcement of Wyoming’s votes.
One Other Take
By Frank Bruni 27 October 2022 I appreciate little about Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, but I do thank her for her candor. For her transparency. For laying out and laying bare the double standard that she and other Republican candidates and leaders embrace: A Republican victory in a tightly contested race means that Democrats’ desires or schemes to corrupt it didn’t pan out. Let freedom ring! A Democratic victory means that George Soros cast a magic spell over voters while a global cabal of socialists and pedophiles used space beams to scramble the results that voting machines spit out. Those weren’t Lake’s exact words in a recent interview with Dana Bash on CNN, but that was the spirit of them.
I am sure these were not Lake’s exact words nor her sentiment.
Bash asked Lake about her crackpot insistence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump — a fiction that happens to enjoy special favor in Arizona — and whether Lake was prepared to concede graciously if her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, prevailed in the midterms on Nov. 8. “I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,” Lake said, oracularly and obnoxiously. Bash rightly pressed her. What if she lost? “I’m going to win the election,” Lake repeated, word for robotic word, “and I will accept that result.”
Asking questions makes one a crackpot? Seeking answers to legitimate concerns raised promotes the democratic process; it does not inhibit it.
I don’t know how you interpret that, but here’s my translation: The only outcome she will consider legitimate is her own victory. Anything else is potential grounds for a fresh round of rancor and a new cycle of conspiracy theories. She’s poised to pump more poison into the body politic. For Lake and too many other Republicans, there are just two possibilities: validation or victimization. There’s no such thing as losing fair and square.
Is this a fair interpretation? Insisting you will win is a common theme. Nancy Pelosi insisted Democrats will win the 2022 mid-terms. Politicians promote their own team’s chances even when we all know there isn’t a chance. Kari Lake, on the other hand, actually has a good chance Tuesday. Confidence in her campaign is not tantamount to “poisoning the body politic”.
Lake argued, for example, that the bogus issue of election integrity must be prioritized and addressed because many Americans believe it should be. See how that works? You sow the seeds of doubt. Then when doubt grows, you say: Look at all that doubt! It’s a garden, it’s a thicket, it’s a wild anti-Eden all its own. It must be tamed — and you know how? Elect Kari Lake. Bow to Ron DeSantis. Because they’re spotlighting that doubt. They’re boldly confronting it. They’re not letting evidence, or the lack thereof, get in the way of emotion.
Aren’t Democrats prioritizing election integrity as well? Are there claims bogus also? Are Hillary Clinton and President Biden sowing seeds of doubt?
A reasonable person might ask: If the system has been corrupted, if the counting can’t be trusted, why should we accept a win by Lake? Or by DeSantis? Or by any other Republican who is telling us how degraded the vote has become, how suspicious the returns are? That’s my favorite part of their theatrical panic: how conveniently selective it is. The same system that tallied fewer votes for Trump than for Joe Biden in 2020 also tallied more votes for many Republican senators and members of Congress than for their Democratic rivals, but Republicans didn’t emit so much as a peep of concern about those counts.
Can’t we say the same about Democrats who protested the 2000, 2004, and 2016 presidential elections while raising no concerns about 2008, 2012, and 2020 when their candidates won?