Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The Left’s Election Day Analysis: If We Lost, They Must’ve Cheated

A disturbing trend is emerging from the political left: When their candidates lose elections, rather than accept lawful defeat, they denounce the election itself.

In 2016, they explained away President Donald Trump’s victory as the product of Russian meddling. Now, they are blaming election losses in Florida and Georgia on “voter suppression” and other sinister acts.

In Florida, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum walked back his election night concession, claiming “tens of thousands of votes have yet to be counted,” and told supporters that a “vote denied is justice denied.”

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, described the Georgia gubernatorial race as biased against Democrat Stacey Abrams, claiming that if Abrams “had a fair election, she already would have won.” Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, announced that Abrams’ apparent defeat was a sure sign that Republicans “stole” her election.

Sure enough, when the final tally gave the victory to Republican Brian Kemp, Abrams refused to concede, because “concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper.” Instead, Abrams blamed her defeat on Kemp’s supposed “suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote.”

Such pronouncements are creating a dangerous perception within liberal ranks that electoral defeat automatically equals electoral theft. For years, the left has denounced election integrity measures as tantamount to disenfranchisement. Now they are saying the same thing about electoral defeats.

This sort of rhetoric can have profound — and dangerous — consequences. Democracy works only when the people have confidence that the electoral process is free and fair, and the outcome is valid. Sometimes, to be sure, this is not the case.

The Heritage Foundation election fraud database presently has 1,147 proven instances of fraud. Several of these cases involve elections that were overturned because enough fraudulent ballots had been cast to alter the outcome.

But there is a key distinction between those cases and liberals’ new accusations: proof.

Winning a court case to invalidate an election on the basis of fraud requires gathering significant evidence, and demonstrating, for example, that ballots were tampered with, that voters were bribed or coerced, or that elections officials rigged the results. Convicting someone on criminal election fraud charges requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

It’s a high bar to meet, leagues beyond the reckless and unsubstantiated allegations erupting after the Florida and Georgia elections. Consider the facts.

After a machine recount, in the Florida gubernatorial race, Ron DeSantis’ 33,683 vote lead over Gillum had hardly moved at all.

And in Georgia, the left’s claims that Kemp was overseeing insidious vote suppression efforts seem nonsensical, given that voter turnout actually skyrocketed.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, 55 percent of all eligible Georgia voters cast a ballot: “21 points higher than the state’s 1982-2014 average. That was the biggest change from the average of any state.” Exit polls indicate that minority turnout in the state may also have set records.

Still, Abrams declared to supporters that “democracy failed Georgia.” Not quite. A more apt summation of the election would be that “liberals are failing democracy.”

Telling voters that elections are only fair when their party wins sets up every election to be discounted by one side or the other. It foments distrust and dissension, and it feeds the vitriol that already pervades so many aspects of modern politics.

Some political strategists might hope that de-legitimizing the electoral process will frighten and enrage the liberal base, increase turnout, and pay dividends in 2020. If true, then the left’s cynical gamble on “voter suppression” rhetoric would be a great irony.

But for all the temptations of that approach, we can and should hope that the rhetoric of the last few weeks — overheated, baseless, and reckless as it has been — will fall by the wayside.

Even today, in an age of division and zero-sum politics, there remains something more important than winning elections: keeping our democracy.



Trump Keeps Promise to Farmers, China Folds in Negotiations

China will increase its purchases of a broad range of American products under an agreement that will stave off a tariff increase President Donald Trump had planned to impose on Jan. 1, officials announced Saturday.

China agreed to buy “a very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, according to Politico.

China will “start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately,” Sanders said.

In her statement, she said that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping “agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture.”

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the President’s Working Dinner with China:

The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and President Xi Jinping of China, have just concluded what both have said was a “highly successful meeting” between themselves and their most...

“Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent,” she said.

Xi also agreed to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance, meaning that Chinese citizens selling the drug are subject to China’s maximum penalty, Sanders said in the statement, according to the White House media press pool.

The move represents a crackdown on the deadly synthetic opioid which kills well over 100 people a day in the U.S.

The decision came after a meeting between American and Chinese officials at the G20 summit in Argentina.

“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China,” Trump said. “It is my great honor to be working with President Xi.”

At the summit meeting, Trump emphasized the positive nature of his relationship with Xi, New York Times reported. “The relationship is very special — the relationship that I have with President Xi,” he said. “I think that is going to be a very primary reason why we’ll probably end up with getting something that will be good for China and good for the United States,” he said.

Xi also offered an upbeat assessment of his partnership with Trump. “Only with cooperation between us can we serve the interest of world peace and prosperity.”



These Liberal Hypocrites Build Walls Around Their Own Houses

Hillary Clinton has a border wall around her Chappaqua estate.

Although, in fairness, shouldn’t every crooked (former) federal official who houses an illegal email server in their basement spare no expense trying to keep intruders away from the classified information they’re mishandling?

I mean she can’t have anyone get in there and expose what really happened in Benghazi or what her State Department did to Julian Assange, can she?

In fact, it seems that Assange too might benefit from a wall around the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since a would-be intruder apparently tried to break in there the other day.

Maybe someone should ask Mrs. Clinton a question or two about that … under oath.

Further, the Clintons aren’t the only folks talking smack about President Donald Trump’s border wall from safely within their own fortresses of liberal hypocrisy.

Check out the walls surrounding many of the dorms at Harvard University.

I wonder, how many anti-border-wall antifa protesters “raise the drawbridge” before they retire there for the night.

Indeed, one wonders why Harvard built these walls in the first place given that the university already fields its own private deputized police force and has strategically placed emergency call boxes what seems like every 10 feet throughout its campus.

And Cambridge, Massachusetts is hardly as violent as other Democratic city strongholds like Chicago.

So, given that Harvard’s campus already seems better protected than the border, why the walls?

Regardless, for a bunch of people who are pretty outspoken against building walls, this group sure seems to like having their own.

I wonder, how would they feel about their walls, if it was them and their cohorts exposed to the whims of whoever decided to drop by unannounced — kind of like the rest of America?

Might they demand someone build something to protect them?

Methinks that they might.



The House GOP Just Got a Whole Lot Trumpier

The RINOs are out and the Trumpies are ascendant. It’ll be good theater. But will it be good for the GOP?

With Rep. Kevin McCarthy poised to become the next minority leader in the House of Representatives, Donald Trump will get his first handpicked congressional leader.

Unlike Speaker Paul Ryan, whom Trump inherited, McCarthy has seamlessly transitioned from establishment “young gun” to being (as Trump has called him) “my Kevin.” He owes his position to Trump.

To skeptics who are wondering what might change (isn’t it already Trump’s party?), there will no longer even be the pretense that House Republicans will pursue an independent agenda. Trump now controls at least one-and-a-half branches of government.

The big question is whether Trump wants to wage war (as revenge for investigations) or whether he issues an edict to cut some deals on things like infrastructure (doubtful). If Trump chooses the former, he will have a loyal contingent in the House to serve as his surrogates. And remember, being in the minority can be fun. Absent the responsibility to actually prevent crisis (see the debt ceiling) a minority party can engage in high jinks and extract concessions and compromises.

Like a meddling NFL owner watching the game from above in a press box, Trump will be phoning in some of the plays.

Remember the days when Republican leaders and presidents had to deal with those pesky conservative insurgents? Yeah, that doesn’t exist anymore. In the House, Trump now owns both the conservative revolutionaries and the Republican establishment. That’s because most of anti-Trump Republicans either (a) decided against running for reelection or (b) were (ironically) defeated because of the anti-Trump backlash in the suburbs.

Although the percentage of Republicans in House will be smaller starting in 2019, the percentage of “Trumplicans” within the GOP caucus will have increased. The result is a leaner and (literally) meaner GOP caucus. It’s an Army of Trumps.

Jim DeMint once declared that he’d “rather have 30 Marco Rubios than 60 Arlen Specters.” That was when Rubio was considered a Tea Party conservative revolutionary and Specter a liberal Republican. But the premise—that purity and combativeness mean more than having a majority—is something that Donald Trump might endorse. Nobody said remaking the party in his image wouldn’t require sacrifices and setbacks.

McCarthy’s ascension, though, isn’t the only indicator for just how Trump-tastic we can expect the GOP House caucus to get. Given that Steve Scalise and Liz Cheney are both unchallenged for their leadership posts (minority whip and House GOP conference chair, respectively), there is likely no room for a more moderate "anti-Trump" alternative.

Trumpism, it seems, is the only game in town.

Trump also reportedly is helping Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, become ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. As Politico noted, during a recent interview on Fox News, “Jordan cited conservative priorities like repealing the Affordable Care Act, building Trump's long-promised wall along the southern border…”



The stomach-turning 'ballot-harvesting' that enabled Democrats to walk off with California

The picture emerging from California's election is grotesque. How again did Democrats engineer their strange midterm victory in Orange County and in other traditionally Republican areas? In that election, apparently winning Republican candidates were all unseated as the ballots just kept arriving, and arriving, and arriving, until the results flipped. Each and every time. And no such flips happened for Republicans, just Democrats, after they learned that Republicans were winning. And Democrats say it's just 'counting all the votes.'

Welcome to ballot-harvesting.

Attorney Robert Barnes, on Twitter, noted just how problematic that new practice is: "Cali new law for 2018 election "allow anybody to walk into an elections office and hand over truckloads of vote by mail envelopes with ballots inside, no questions asked, no verified records kept. It amounts to an open invitation to large-scale vote buying, voter coercion"

Which is why it's illegal almost everywhere in the world. California, on the other hand, back in 2016, passed AB1921, a law that actually permits it. Anyone can turn in ballots now, no questions asked, no chain of custody required. Back at the time, Democrats were hollering about low turnout and how getting more turnout was a priority, even though they were running a one-party state at that time, as they are now. They painted themselves as all concerned about 'democracy' given the low rates of turnout in their districts, many of which were known as 'rotton boroughs' full of non-citizen voters. But what they really had in mind was 'ballot harvesting.' Most of the attention at the time from Republicans was focused on the involuntary registration of voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has led to what was feared: the registration of illegal immigrants. But the bigger thing was going on on the outside, with the mail-in ballots nobody asked for and the apparent real purpose for these unasked for and unwanted ballot, which was ... ballot-harvesting.

I sign up for every party mail list in order to read what all political sides are thinking, so I get lots of Democratic Party mail, including polls of members, which I answer, probably horrifying Democrats who open such returned polls, as I tell them to get rid of Obamacare. If they want to know what I think, I tell them. Could the fact that I am on those lists be the reason why I got a mail-in ballot when everyone else in my household gets sample ballots and goes to the polls on election day? Despite my Republican registration, it sure sounds like it.

This signals a grotesquely changed electoral landscape. Turns out the mail-in ballots are all that matters now, because all anyone has to do is harvest, and keep harvesting them, until Democrats get the result they want. I wrote about those lingering questions in the recent midterm here.

'Count all the ballots!' has been the Democrat rallying cry. Yet in reality, it was their defense of this sneaky little project, making anyone who doen't like it someone who wants to disenfranchise people.

It's a lie. It's not about counting all the ballots in the slightest, it's about selectively counting the ballots of only voters who fill in the Democratic slots. The Democratic operative who called herself 'Lulu' in the video clip wanted to collect only the ballot of the voter in the household who had no party affiliation, not the ballots of the Republicans, so it wasn't about counting all the ballots, it was about counting all the Democratic ballots and the ballots of those on the fence who could be muscled into voting Democrat. She after all, offered to 'help' that voter, which we all know means the ballot would be filled out a certain way. Oh and here's another goodie in this: Ballots can be harvested and mailed even on election day, when the counts are happening and Democrats can see which candidates are performing weakly.

The operatives can be dispatched like flying monkeys to those districts to intrude on the private spaces of voters who maybe didn't want to vote or who were planning to go to the polls in the evening, and 'harvest' those votes. And you can bet a certain number of those ballots would be cast by people who were afraid of consequences if they didn't vote the way that ballot harvestor standing at the door wanted them to vote. After all, the harvesters, by coming to the homes, signaled they knew where the voters lived, and theoretically, many of these voters could have been illegal immigrants registered whether they liked it or not by the DMV to vote. Oh, and could the operative have steamed open the ballots to see how those people voted and make sure they were delivering the votes? With zero chain of custody rules, they certainly could.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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