Election 2020 #15

Well … That was fun …

… but, it’s not quite over.[1]

November 8, 2020

I’m not referring to the Presidential election. By November 9th, that was over. Without Pennsylvania, President Trump could not win. According to the Associated Press (see below), 99% of the votes in the Commonwealth had been counted. If about 71% of those votes had been for the President, he would have won Pennsylvania, giving him a chance of winning reelection.

Unfortunately for our “beloved” President, most of the remaining votes were in Allegheny County and Philadelphia County. President-elect Joe Biden had taken 59.6% and 81.2% of the votes in those two counties respectively. The chance of President Trump taking 71% of the remaining votes was about one half of 1%. Donald Trump is nothing more than a lame duck with lawsuits.[2]

November 14, 2020

Joe Biden was projected to win Arizona on Thursday, November 12th. On Friday, November 13th, the former Vice President was declared the apparent[3] winner of Georgia. The current Electoral College count is Biden 306 – Trump 232 … which is exactly the same margin as Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. The President called 306-232 an electoral landslide at the time. Now, he seems to believe that it’s sufficiently close that a lawsuit here and there can change the final result. Curious, isn’t it?

As is usual with the mewling cacophony of complaints, the real or threatened legal actions of “Donald and the Trumpists” vary from state to state based on the perceived wounds and needs of the President. When he was ahead in Pennsylvania, Trump and his enablers wanted to stop the counting. At the same time, they wanted Arizona to speed up its counting because he was lagging behind Joe Biden. Their stance was internally inconsistent and irrational.

Between the primaries and election day, President Trump tried to convince us that mail-in voting was guaranteed to generate voter fraud on a massive scale. In Election 2020 #9, I explained why that is total nonsense. As mail-in and early voting got underway, he switched to complaining that the election would be rigged because we would not know the results on the night of election day. The President seems to believe … or wants his followers to believe … that the news media certifies election results.[4]

The “horror story” of an unending ballot count without resolution “for weeks, months, or years” … or maybe never … is like most of Trump’s warnings. “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

November 16, 2020 and Beyond …

Something to Worry about …

The behavior of the members of the Trumpist Mob who live in the extremes of the lunatic fringe are cause for concern. They hear “the Boss” urging them to threaten and, perhaps carry out, violence.

On Sunday, November 8th, “60 Minutes” ran a longer (13:22) segment that examined this problem in depth.

Threatening public officials for doing their job is not just un-American; it is criminal. It places intimidation and mob rule above the rule of law and the very basis of human civilization.

Never wanting to miss an opportunity to ingratiate himself to the President and enjoy some reflected publicity, Lindsey Graham, the re-elected senator from South Carolina, called Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to discuss Georgia’s election recount. Raffensperger was not comfortable with the content of the conversation.

When questioned, Lindsey painted a different picture of the conversation.

Perhaps unknown or ignored by Senator Graham, there was a third person listening to the call.

When asked why a senator from South Carolina asked Georgia’s Secretary of State about that state’s recount, Lindsey said because “the future of the country hangs in the balance” and began a minor diatribe about mail-in voting. If you’ve read #9 of this series, you already know the real reasons that Republicans fear widespread early voting in all forms, especially mail-in voting.

Ghosts of Elections Yet to Come

Lindsey isn’t the only senator who is unusually concerned about elections in the state of Georgia. Two Georgia Senatorial Races are extremely important to members of both parties … particularly to those who will become members of the 117th Senate when it convenes in January 2021.

Because no candidate in either contest has accumulated at least 50% of the votes for the seat he is seeking, both Senate races in Georgia are undecided. These races will be decided in runoff elections on January 5, 2021. The current balance in the next (117th) Senate is 50-48 in favor of the Republicans. If the democrats, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, win those elections, representation in the 117th Senate will be 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Since the Independents, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Angus King of Maine, caucus with the Democrats, the 117th Congress will be split 50-50.

“So what?” … you may ask. “A divided Senate is still divided, right?” The answer is, “No, not exactly.”

Whenever a Senate vote is 50-50, the Constitution provides a tie-breaker. Clause 4 of Article I, Section 3 says:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

If the 117th Senate were split … with Republicans holding 50 votes against a bill and the Democrats (and their Independent allies) holding 50 votes in favor of the bill., Vice President Kamala Harris would vote with the Democrats. Any bill would pass except the most outrageous.[5]

Electing Ossoff and Warnock to Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats is the last chance in this election cycle to neutralize the Trumpist Mob that we discussed in Election 2020 #13. Removing “Boss Trump” is not enough. “Underboss McConnell” and his committee chairs (including Lindsey Graham) would still be able to block any bill passed by the House of Representatives … and to harass the President and Vice President.

Many people believe that the President has the power to fix any problem. The “Conman in the White House” believes in the Imperial Presidency. Some of his mob believe it. Some of them take advantage of his belief for their own purposes. Beyond Washington, D.C., his cult members believe he has godlike authority and power. Presidential omnipotence is not true. Any Executive Order signed by one President can be eliminated at the stroke of the pen by a counter-order of his successor. Only the Congress can pass a law and … if they have the will of enough members in both houses … they can pass that law in spite of a recalcitrant President.

To enact lasting change, a President must have the cooperation of Congress. In the current political climate, a divided Congress is unable to cooperate even with itself.

If you are not a registered voter in the state of Georgia, your power to affect the Georgia senatorial runoffs is limited. I have made my meager monetary contributions to the campaigns of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. I have written this article. I intend to share it.[6] Feel free to share the article with anyone you choose … particularly anyone who lives in Georgia.

If you are a registered voter in the state of Georgia, you have the power to help steer our Federal Government out of perpetual deadlock and toward a more productive future. Everyone who helped Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win your state needs to get out to vote one more time and elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to represent you in the Senate. Request your mail-in ballot and return it promptly … or vote early in person … or vote in person on January 5th.

I thank you and, by or before the end of 2021, the country will thank you.

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End Notes

[1]
It has been hard to keep up with all of the twists, turns, and machinations of President Trump and his supporters trying to deny the reality of his loss. Over the course of 3 weeks, some of what I wrote at the beginning of this article has passed into what now seems to be ancient history. I’ve added approximate dates-of-entry before those sections to help the reader make sense of the “history”.

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[2]
At least, the President and his lackeys are filing a few lawsuits and making a lot of noise about wide-spread fraud. So far, nobody has been shown any hard evidence. It’s possible that the papers in the duck’s hands are blank. Having his private lawyer hold a press conference in front of a Philadelphia hardware store located between a sex shop and a crematorium has been described as a clown show.

I guess that makes Rudy Giuliani the head clown. That sounds about right, considering his performance at a later press conference at the offices of the Republican National Committee. His hair color meltdown was to “dye” for. With a lawyer and spokesman like that, how can the President possibly go wrong?

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[3]
The difference between Biden’s “projected” win in Arizona and his “apparent” win in Georgia lies in the election laws of the state of Georgia. When an election results in a difference of 0.5% or less, either candidate can request a recount. Some of the media declare the winner to be “apparent” until the recount is complete. Guess who requested a recount.

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[4]
This may explain why the “Trumpist Cult” and their fearless leader believes that COVID-19 is a hoax or, at least, not very serious. They see television commercials made in 2019 and before showing lots of maskless people in close proximity and believe it to be current reality. I wonder how many of them believe that drinking beer makes you slim, athletic, healthy, and attractive to the opposite sex.

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[5]
By “most outrageous”, I mean bills based on ideas of both the extreme left and the extreme right. Examples of ideas on the extreme left are:

  • An immediate and complete ban on the production of petroleum fuels and products.
  • The confiscation of all private firearms.
  • The total elimination of all police services.
  • The elimination of capitalism as an economic system.
  • The elimination of all religions.
  • Removing all immigration regulations and “opening our borders”.
  • The elimination of nations in favor of a World Government.

Examples of ideas on the extreme right are:

  • The immediate and complete elimination of all regulations that restrict business and industry.
  • The elimination of all social welfare programs … including Social Security and Medicare.
  • Further reduction of taxes on business, industry, and the wealthy on the assumption that the benefits will “trickle down” to the middle and lower classes.
  • Increasing the military budget and providing more military-grade weapons and deterrents to local police forces.
  • Eliminating all immigration.
  • Severely restricting the Press and non-Christian religions.
  • Economic, legal, and social isolation from other nations.

All of these extreme ideas from both ends of the political spectrum are unworkable nonsense. As a nation and as a species we are neither so angelic as the far left believes nor so demonic as the far right fears. The arc of human history is bending toward our higher ideals, but we still have a lot of “bending” ahead of us.

Return to point of Reference

[6]
I will be e-mailing a link to the article to friends and family. I’m more cautious about posting the article on Facebook and Twitter. Members of the lunatic fringe of the Trumpist Cult are distributed within the user community of social media … and, a lot of them have guns. Some are willing to use those guns on anyone who disparages their “messiah”.

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One thought on “Election 2020 #15

  1. Good stuff, Terry! I share your revulsion and trepidation over Trumpism, the #1 threat to American democracy. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Tom

    Like

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