# The election mess continues, but Biden and Harris remain the victors

November 11, 2020 • 11:30 am

It’s pretty clear by now that there was no widespread vote fraud in the election, as Trump keeps insisting, enabled by Mitch “666” McConnell and the silent Republicans who won’t speak up out of fear of Trump.  The New York Times called election officials in all 50 states, asking them about voter fraud. The results won’t be appealing to Republicans:

The New York Times contacted the offices of the top election officials in every state on Monday and Tuesday to ask whether they suspected or had evidence of illegal voting. Officials in 45 states responded directly to The Times. For four of the remaining states, The Times spoke to other statewide officials or found public comments from secretaries of state; none reported any major voting issues.

Statewide officials in Texas did not respond to repeated inquiries. But a spokeswoman for the top elections official in Harris County, the largest county in Texas with a population greater than many states, said that there were only a few minor issues and that “we had a very seamless election.” On Tuesday, the Republican lieutenant governor in Texas, Dan Patrick, announced a $1 million fund to reward reports of voter fraud. Some states described small problems common to all elections, which they said they were addressing: a few instances of illegal or double voting, some technical glitches and some minor errors in math. Officials in all states are conducting their own review of the voting — a standard component of the certification process. In Georgia, the Republican Secretary of State has authorized a hand recount, which is said to be unlikely to reverse Biden’s victory. That recount is only for the top of the ticket, not affecting the two Senate races there, which are critical in determining whether there will be a 50/50 split in the Senate, or whether the GOP will dominate that chamber. Trump could to at least some extent rehabilitate himself in the eyes of America if he simply issued a civil concession to Biden and exited peacefully. But remember that he’s got a personality disorder, and it’s not in his persona to do that. I’d really be surprised (but pleased) to see a polite concession and a noiseless exit. It doesn’t look like that’s in the cards. Below is an informative 25-minute summary from the Biden/Harris campaign about Trump’s legal challenges to the election. It makes perfectly clear the clownish maneuvers that Trump’s minions are pulling in court, and also the extreme unlikelihood that any recount will change the overall results. As Jennifer Rubin notes at The Washington Post, To summarize: Six pre-election and seven post-election lawsuits by the Trump camp have all been tossed out. They are, as President-elect Joe Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said, “noise.” Campaign counsel Bob Bauer cautioned that what is going on is “theatrics, not lawsuits.” Judges have described claims that the mail-in ballot system is rife with fraud as “fiction” or entirely based on speculation. None of the allegations about excluded poll watchers have been supported by facts. None of the social media memes about changed ballots or other shenanigans have stood up in court. Interestingly, Trump’s lawyers refuse to say before a real judge that they have found fraud or other reasons to overturn results. (Keep in mind that, since 2000, only a few hundred votes have ever been changed in a single statewide recount.) In a four-minute report, the indefatigable Jake Tapper of CNN shows how members of the Trump administration are refusing to accept the election results. The transfer of power requires that the old administration cooperate with the new, and I’m wondering if there will be any such cooperation. And the tantrum continues: It’s time for those who bet against me—these were all Democrats who said they’d be glad to pay me if Biden won—to fork over the dosh. ## 134 thoughts on “The election mess continues, but Biden and Harris remain the victors” 1. I re-read Historian’s Worst Scenario account, and still believe that Trump and his Republican enablers will try to send the election to state legislatures to pull off the win. At least a few folks are throwing in the towel – https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2020/11/11/dallas-robert-jeffress-leading-pro-trump-evangelical-conservative-biden-is-president-elect/?outputType=amp&__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR2gu21kvCNkZR6uHTX2Kcww4uWn4B_jhsFLOM1-krF3Mg-CzkdfkCRbJJw 2. darrelle says: I think it’s possible that Trump could eventually concede, but I think the chances of him doing so politely are slim to none. 1. Remove ‘politely’ and I will agree with you 🙂 1. darrelle says: I think you are probably right. But prior to his days as our Dear Leader Trump was known on occasion to quietly taking his ball and going home when faced with rejection, while pretending that it never happened or that he wanted things to turn out that way the whole time. 2. Saul Sorrell-Till says: Doesn’t it bother you guys a little that your media cannot help but let this absurd little man dominate the narrative? Case in point, it frustrates the hell out of me when reporters keep asking Republicans and Trump himself if he’ll accept the results. By constantly asking that question they lend legitimacy to the idea that Trump has some kind of latent power over the election, and it’s down to his whim whether or not Biden gets to take over. They seem to have learned almost no lessons over the last four years. I know the defense: it’s their jobs. But is it? Is it their job to entertain his nonsense? They control what kind of questions get asked, and they should not be taking his mewling seriously. 1. GBJames says: I think you miss the point. tRump is still President. In standard form, he’s told his tRumpster GSA administrator not to accept the results, blocking normal transition activities. This is a significant thing, not just a matter of the press giving His Orangeness some kind of undue respect. 1. eric says: Yes. And for our foreign friends, note that Trump will remain President, with a GOP Senate,* until January 20th. For us USAians, that mean more horrible judicial appointments. Likely a continuing budget resolution. More Executive Orders. More Barr doing biased DoJ investigations, etc… For you foreigner friends, it means that when Trump replaces a whole bunch of National Security staff with loyalists (he just did), that’s not just our problem, it’s yours. Though we all hope it’s just more lashing out, and he has no actual plan to use them. 1. eric says: Oops forgot my asterisk. *Even with Georgia going to a runoff, a tied 49-49 Senate means Pence casts the deciding votes(s). 1. Brujo Feo says: I don’t understand this last comment. The run-off is on January 5th; surely the new Senators aren’t seated much before January 20th, when Pence is gone, yes? Unless he isn’t… 1. eric says: Ah I think you are right. It’s going to be the old Senate making decisions until then anyway. 2. ritaprangle says: Newly-elected senators will be seated on January 3, 2021. 3. Brujo Feo says: Ritaprangle: Not in Georgia, they won’t. The election is on January 5th. 2. Saul Sorrell-Till says: Every time they ask Trump if he accepts the loss, the concept of blowing off an election defeat and refusing to accept the results takes on a little more ontological solidity. They are helping to lend legitimacy to it. And what does it gain to ask him if he’s going to accept losing? They know the answer they’ll get. Instead they could simply inform viewers of what is happening and how utterly, unprecedentedly absurd it is. Don’t help cement this alternative reality that he keeps building around himself everytime the walls close in. They should stop implying that he has a choice about whether he lost or not. 1. GBJames says: GSA hasn’t acted. The transition is seriously impaired. Stop implying that his actions are irrelevant. 1. Saul Sorrell-Till says: You haven’t understood my point if your take-away from what I’ve written is ‘his actions are irrelevant’. That’s literally the direct opposite of what I’ve been saying. Trump’s nonsensical refusal to concede is deeply dangerous. That is exactly why reporters should not be helping legitimise his claims by repeatedly asking him if he will accept the results of an election he has long since lost. Nowhere have I implied that what he is doing is “irrelevant”. Stop saying that I have. 1. GBJames says: “Stop saying that I have.” OK. I guess I’m feeling obstreperous for some reason. 2. The “little man dominating” is the whole point of DT. He has no other motivation. To predict his behavior, you won’t be far off by simply projecting what will get him the highest ratings. As long as people stare at him in wonder, he’ll keep doing exactly what he’s doing. When people look away, he will look around for something to throw. Think of a bored chimp at the zoo. 3. savage says: He is an opprobious specimen, but his antics are like fast food for news readers. Yet journalists are not guilty here. They all want to be the first to record him saying “Yes, I concede”. It’s not different from a lot of other scandals where people are pestered by the media and asked to comment. 3. Randall Schenck says: If you want to see one who is even crazier than Trump – look for the video Jon Voight put out. That guy is full blown nuts. He is telling people to keep fighting, most important thing since the civil war. The liberals are stealing the election. This guy is an embarrassment to all. 1. Randall Schenck says: Here it is… 1. Nicolaas Stempels says: What a disillusion, a dismantlement, I’m searching for the right word. I always thought of Mr Voight as a great actor and upstanding person, what a wet fart this is. 🙁 1. Well, there’s no reason to expect that an actor would have the expertise or self-awareness that would incline them to evaluate politics realistically. If anything, successful actors tend to get very “Dunning-Kruger” about things that are outside their area of expertise. The thing that most gained my respect for Brad Pitt (to give a counter-example) was, after he did “Seven Years in Tibet” and Time Magazine asked him what he thought China should do about Tibet, he replied, “Who cares what I think China should do about Tibet? I’m a fucking actor… I’m a grown man who puts on make-up”. Actors, of course, have as much right to express their political opinions as anyone else. The question is why people pay so much attention to them. Mr. Pitt, at least, has more self-awareness than many of his colleagues do. 2. Vaal says: It really is hard to keep up hope for the human species watching stuff like that video, and knowing just how many people think like that. 2. Keith says: Wow, that’s some powerful self-delusion on display by Voight. He makes a good case for why religion is at the heart of Trumpism. The christofascists will not go away. 3. aljones909 says: Midnight Cowboy was a fantastic film. 1. Max Blancke says: And Deliverance. A wise person does not seek legal or political advice from an actor. They are certainly expert at playing dress-up, and probably have a great many useful insights about hair care or what is the best moisturizer to use. 4. Ken Kukec says: This is how it’s done, Donald. Now, nut the fuck up and honor one of this nation’s noblest traditions: 1. Nicolaas Stempels says: Yes, that is how it is -and should be- done. I don’t really blame Mr Trump, he is a narcissist psycho with diminished accountability. I blame Republicans like Mr Mc Connell for supporting him in his destructive delusions. 1. And let’s not forget the voters who voted him in and continue to support him. 2. Kelcey Burman says: Love this compilation. Many thanks I wonder if the fool Donald cannot conceive of actually working with someone else of equal or greater power during this transfer so hence he rejects it utterly. 3. Max Blancke says: I believe Gore conceded on December 13th. One of the network morning news shows had one of the people mentioning Trump’s lawsuits. Another of the reporters was just shocked, and could only say “but we called it!”. That seemed a little absurd to me, as if she actually believed that the AP has final say in the election. 1. Ken Kukec says: The state at issue in the Bush-Gore contest in 2000 was Florida. Originally, the networks called Florida for Gore. Then they switched the call to Bush. Then they said it was too close to call. All the while, as is required by law, the votes kept being counted. Eventually, the difference came down to 537 votes out of nearly 6 million ballots cast. Gore sought a recount. The Florida Supreme Court granted it; the US Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-4 stopped that recount from proceeding. If you’re suggesting there is any resemblance between THAT situation and Donald Trump’s spurious claims of election fraud, the answer is none at all. Also, I’m no great fan of Al Gore’s, but I thought his eventual concession speech, after SCOTUS had ruled against him, was his greatest patriotic moment. Hell will freeze over before a self-absorbed narcissist like Donald Trump gives a speech anything like it. 1. Nicolaas Stempels says: There is no doubt that Mr Gore was the actual winner of the 2000 elections. Hanging chads and a majority black area voting for Mr Buchanan,… no doubt. The SC lost the already battered respect I had for it that day. It could be argued that Mr Gore should not have conceded, after all, these votes were not his, but his voters’. But then, going against the SC? 5. This is ugly. But of real concern is how these shenanigans by those scalawags are trying to hamstring Joe early in his presidency by putting the kabosh on funds needed to build his cabinet. Those bums! See, it feels good to talk like our next president. 6. DrBrydon says: How exactly do we know there are no issues? Because the Press isn’t reporting any, and Social Media keeps flagging posts about it with “This claim about election fraud is disputed”? We haven’t even got to the re-count stage in states like Georgia, and there are open lawsuits in Pennsylvania. 1. Randall Schenck says: I’m sorry but you do not know what you are talking about. The media has covered all of the legal games played by Trump’s lawyers. So far they have all been thrown out. Junk Remember, a lawyer can easily go to prison for lying to judges. I know Trump does not care but any lawyer who wants to keep his job knows this. They will recount Georgia and the result will not change. 1. Type Logician says: So far, Dr. Brydon, the Trump legal all-stars have gone 0-7 on their lawsuits, and a New York Times query of electoral officials in all 50 states has gotten identical responses from all accountable election officials, *Republican as well as Democrate*: we have no evidence of any fraud or other misconduct in our vote talley. Some of the Republicans in that role have been rather sharp-tongued in their responses to Team Trump efforts to promulgate the line you yourself seem happy to push. And the ballots under challenge in many cases split for Biden at the top and Republican candidates downballot, with no one yet explaining why the supposed mass fraud involved didn’t accomplish the rather critical task of providing Biden with the Senate majority that he would need to put his major agenda programs through. Your disingenuousness here is funny, in a sad way. You know as well as anyone else that the courts—real judges—have found no merit in *any* of the Trump-initiated lawsuits, yet you pretend that it’s just ‘the Press’ and ‘Social Media’ (I guess the caps are to show us what menaces these are, eh?) who are claiming that the administration doesn’t have a case. And we know it too. So just what is the point of denying it? Do you actually believe you’re fooling anyone? 1. Please read the Roolz on the sidebar; we don’t tolerate name-calling here, as in the first sentence of the second paragraph.Your last sentence is an accusation of lying, as well. Your comment is uncivil and could have been written in a way that doesn’t question the motives of someone. If you do this one more time, you’re banned. Get it? 1. Type Logician says: Got it, Jerry—sorry! 2. Saul Sorrell-Till says: What is it with the Random Capitalisation of words with Trump supporters? DrBrydon, I’m genuinely interested, is it a secret handshake or something? I’ve noticed a lot of people whose grammar has been perfectly normal suddenly start doing it when they turn Trumpwards and I’m baffled. 1. Brujo Feo says: +1 2. Brujo Feo says: “Remember, a lawyer can easily go to prison for lying to judges.” Would that it were so! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given judges incontrovertible proof that opposing counsel was lying (usually in their own sworn pleadings), and the MOST that it’s ever gotten them was a stern tongue-lashing and a threat to report them to the State Bar…which never happens. 1. Randall Schenck says: I guess you are right. If they threw them into jail anytime they lied, there would be very few lawyers. They would all be politicians… 2. eric says: An “unconfirmable lie” might be one thing, but if the lawyers for these meritless suits lie and claim they have evidence of fraud, the very next statement the judge is going to make is “produce it.” Whatever their ethics are – good or bad – they don’t seem willing to cross that line right now. So the suits keep getting thrown out. 3. Didn’t even FOX NEWS (!!) already call the election for Biden, and then not allow conspiracy-speakers such as the press secretary to be aired spouting unsubstantiated nonsense? Surely that should be convincing circumstantial evidence that the election has happened in as open and above-board a fashion as one could hope or at least expect (unless FOX has changed their tune since I last checked). 1. jezgrove says: Murdoch is no fool, so Fox is not going to antagonize president-elect Biden right now. 1. JP415 says: Political turmoil and civil unrest are bad for the stock market, so I’m guessing that Murdoch has a financial motive for promoting an orderly transfer of power. 2. eric says: There are probably minor issues, there always are. But if the GOP has brought 13 suits so far and they have all been tossed out as meritless, we can use induction to provisionally assess the what suit #14 will probably be like, can’t we? 3. Saul Sorrell-Till says: It is a sign of how strange the last four years have been that I can come to the comments of famously atheistic website WEIT and read the claim that because we haven’t yet 100% disproved the existence of x we must therefore take it seriously. Surely you see that that’s faulty logic when applied to god, so why is it legitimate when applied to voter fraud? 1. Brujo Feo says: Saul, I’m not sure that anyone is suggesting that it has to be taken seriously as a truth claim. But we absolutely have to take it seriously as an exercise of raw, cynical power. Right now, the GSA is interfering with the work of the Biden transition team. That’s a stone-cold FACT. You don’t think that we should be taking that seriously? 1. Saul Sorrell-Till says: I’m pretty sure DrBrydon was saying we should take it seriously. And I think you misunderstood my intent – I’m saying there is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud and therefore no reason to take the GOP’s claims seriously. Re. the GSA’s actions: they should obviously be taken seriously, since they undermine the delicate mutual accord that holds democracy together. It takes very little once the ball is rolling for that accord to fall apart and Americans should take the GOP at their word when they say they won’t accept Biden: they are cornered rats, their party is hollowed out by Trumpism, they have no plan B. They will stop at nothing to hang onto power because they know that the future for them in a fair and legitimate democratic landscape is apocalyptic. 1. Saul Sorrell-Till says: (first para refers to DrBrydon claiming voter fraud should be taken seriously.) 2. eric says: ‘Interfering’ is probably not the right word. As civil servants, they are supposed to follow the orders of their federal chain of command so long as those orders are not illegal. As far as I know, refusing to release the funds to the transition team is merely bad policy and a jerk move, not illegal. Now, if Trump tries to redirect those funds to himself or something else, I would expect them to say “no” or at least “not until the correct Congressional permissions are given for the redirect.” 2. savage says: Wouldn’t you expect some amount of fraud in a country of 300 million people, especially from a few of those who believe that Trump is a kind of Hitler? Democrats and Republicans have long been suspicious of each other’s election tactics. What’s unusual this time is Trump’s refusal to concede, but not an investigation of the election in itself. There was plenty of drama about the 2016 one, after all. 1. Saul Sorrell-Till says: I’d expect a statistically meaningless amount of fraud, as has been the case in the past, and I’d expect it to be done by both sides. In fact I’d expect slightly more of it from Trump supporters given their willingness to support a renowned liar and cheat. But the Trumpist claim isn’t that there is a tiny amount of statistically insignificant voter fraud: instead, they claim that voter fraud has suddenly increased by 100,000%, and only in the direction of Democratic voter fraud. They have adduced no evidence to support this claim whatsoever. I’m assuming you’re an atheist, and would consider the logic of such an argument worthless if it emanated from a religious apologist – so why take it seriously in this case? 4. EdwardM says: What would it take to convince you that the election was fair, Dr Brydon? 5. Ken Kukec says: I should hope that the embedded, just-completed legal briefing would answer the questions of any reasonable-minded observer in this regard. As to how do we know there are no meritorious issues, one could as lief ask how we know King Canute’s command for the tides to cease will fail. 6. Pliny the in Between says: I think that you are correct in suggesting that there has been widespread election tampering. Here are but a few examples: *Hamstringing the USPS *Trying to limit absentee ballots *Claiming vote by mail to be fraudulent despite decades of success with it in several states *Trying to disqualify large numbers of absentee ballots *Limiting access to polling stations along partisan lines *Stacking SCOTUS *Calling dibs on states *Encouraging armed supporters to intimidate voters *Trying to stop counts in places where their candidate is ahead *Insisting on recounts anywhere they are behind *Frivolous lawsuits *Partisan replacement of electors *Tautological social media arguments claiming that a candidate would win any fair election 1. Mark R. says: Thanks for the sanity check. 2. Brujo Feo says: +1. Yes, there has been widespread election fraud. But as you note, ALL of it on the GOP side. (And you don’t even mention gerrymandering, propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels blush, and working with Russian troll farms.) And this is from a libertarian who has little use for Biden, and less for Harris. But Trump, Trumpism, and the Trumputos? Please. 7. sugould says: Have you read some of the affidavits? There are several like this: “I experienced intimidation by a poll worker wearing a BLM facemask and another man of intimidating size with a BLM shirt on, very closely following challengers, including myself, even though there was supposed to be social distancing.” 1. sugould says: This was in response to DrBrydon; affidavits compiled and posted on Twitter by Brad Heath, DC reporter for Reuters on crime and justice. 2. eric says: Team Trump held up the count in PA with a lawsuit that demanded they be allowed to break PA’s social distancing rules and stand closer than 6′ to the counters in the counting room. The courts eventually ruled in their favor, so his Republican poll watchers all got closer than 6′. Now, we’ve got one of his poll watchers complaining people got within 6′ of them?!?! They are shameless. 8. How we know exactly is because, when the cases actually reach a court, they are being thrown out. Anyway, we can be pretty sure that there aren’t no issues. In an election of more than 100 million people, you will get some cases of fraud. There will be some votes by people who died after casting their ballot but before election day. Some people will vote twice (my mother did once in a UK election), some people will drive a Hummer full of fake ballots to the location where votes are being counted in the hope of getting them inserted into the count and so on. However, none of these rise to the level of changing the election result. 1. And when the courts tell us there are no election fraud issues, everyone please update their worldview by giving trust points to those media outlets that told you there were no issues and deduct points from those that said there were. 7. Jon Gallant says: We have known for 4 years—well, longer as a matter of fact—that Donald Trump had a four-year-old’s emotional development. The scary thing underlined by his latest tantrums is that this four-year-old is supposedly in charge of the nuclear missile codes etc. etc. And a subtler scary thing is the diffusion of four-year-old behavior patterns into the Republican Party, and thus into US politics. In Washington State, the Repub candidate for governor lost by 555,000 votes, or 14%, but is imitating his Dear Leader by refusing to concede and babbling about election fraud. 8. Mike says: Thomas Edsall at the NYT has a good post today about where Trump’s election denialism might be headed. He canvassed historians and political scientists and wrote about their concerns (or in a few cases their reasons for optimism). One horrible scenario described by Sean Wilentz at Princeton: “Trump [may] establish a center of power distinct from and antagonistic to the legitimately elected national government — not formally a separate government like the Confederacy but a virtual one…administered by tweets, propped up by Fox News or whatever alternative outlet Trump might construct for himself — a kind of Trumpian government in exile, run from Mar a Lago or maybe from wherever else Trump selects to reside in, in order to avoid prosecution by the State of New York.” 1. Brujo Feo says: Frightening, yes. But not sure how residing at Mar a Lago would protect him. Although the extradition proceedings might be entertaining. And just think of all of the real estate that the State of NY could proceed against directly… 9. Trump will fight to the end. There’s no way this guy ever gives up unless he has some alternate victory he can claim. This election was such a simply up/down vote on him that there is no alternate victory available so he will continue to double-down on his story. The only way this will end is with him twisting the arms of some state officials to send Trump-favorable electors to Washington. As Jonathan Last (JVL) says on the excellent The Bulwark site, he needs only one state to cave to his wishes. That will bring strong pressure on others to follow suit and his sycophantic GOP lawmakers will add their support. My guess is that no state’s officials will cave because it would be suicidal for them to ignore the will of their own people so blatantly but it could happen. 10. Historian says: Trump, the Republican Party apparatchiks, and his cult will never accept the results of the election. Most party leaders know Trump has lost, but will sell their souls to stay in office. The cult members, as in all cults, believe the leader can do no wrong. Almost all Republicans cannot accept the legitimacy of a government run by Democrats. Lindsey Graham is worried that allowing too many people to vote will mean a Republican will never get elected again. Fear of change is a prime characteristic of the Republican Party. I doubt that these people can stop Biden from taking office. Jonathan Chait echoes what I have commented here several times before: “Republicans played Russian roulette with American democracy by supporting the presidency of an aspirational authoritarian. They’ll continue doing so by supporting his paranoid attacks on the electoral process. The reason they’re willing to weaken American democracy is very simple: They don’t care about democracy.” In large measure, the election was between those who support democracy and those who don’t. The election was but a mere skirmish in a never ending war. The right wing has been relentless in trying to gain permanent control of American government. The left and middle have never fully grasped this. If they don’t wake up to the reality of what this war is about, sooner or later the war will be lost. Biden may suffer from Obama’s delusion that the right wing is reasonable and can be negotiated with. If this is the case, Biden’s win will be nothing more than a minor setback for the right wing agenda. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-election-fraud-biden-pennsylvania-lawsuit-voting-transition.html 1. eric says: Most party leaders know Trump has lost, but will sell their souls to stay in office. That’s the thing, though. State representatives are going to calculate what is best for their reelection chances. The notion of declaring their own state’s vote fraudulent and pulling the vote into the legislature is so out of the ordinary and likely to provoke a backlash that I can’t see many calculating that Trump’s support is worth it. Particularly amongst ‘realpolitik’ Republicans. They’ll figure that even if Trump’s support would be a big benefit to them, the cost of voter ire and the chances of Trump providing substantial support for their reelection campaign years from now just don’t make that option viable. So, I think what we’re seeing from both Dem and GOP election officials – defending their processes and results – isn’t going to change. There may be the odd true believer that would throw their state’s results under the bus to support Trump, but I really don’t see that being the majority response, even amongst Republicans. 1. tomh says: ” The notion of declaring their own state’s vote fraudulent and pulling the vote into the legislature…” It’s illegal in 31 states, including Pennsylvania, where state law requires electors to adhere to the popular vote. 11. Vaal says: Watching this election is still like watching a horror movie unfold. Trump gets buried, loses the election, in the normal world it’s over…and then you get the shock ending of the movie Carrie, with Trump’s arms suddenly jutting out from the grave and trying to drag everyone down with him! Also, given the confluence of how social media has distorted reality, combined with the continued success of Trump’s Post Truth battering ram of misinformation, it’s starting to feel like we have to re-capitulate The Enlightenment! 1. eric says: A very fun metaphor. Sadly on the nose. Though probably more like Freddie or Jason than Carrie, as he might keep coming back, and back, and back… 1. Vaal says: Yes I’ve thought of the ever returning serial killer theme too. It’s just hard to overstate how awful the Trump phenomenon is, in character and it’s effects on the USA and abroad. 12. GBJames says: Jake Tapper nailed it. 13. Miguel says: If what is happening in this election happened in any other country, we would be speaking of a slow-moving coup d’etat. I really hope the checks and balances work in favour of democracy or, at least of common decency. 14. Brujo Feo says: “On Tuesday, the Republican lieutenant governor in Texas, Dan Patrick, announced a$1 million fund to reward reports of voter fraud.”

Wait–SURELY he doesn’t think that PAYING FOR EVIDENCE–for testimony–might influence that testimony. I mean, that’s never happened, has it?

1. EdwardM says:

It is not at all uncommon to offer a reward for information which results in a conviction. Perhaps that’s what the Texas gov is offering; a million bucks if you can prove it.

Of course, he knows they will never have to pay it out. He’s making the offer because it keeps him from being forced to say, “yeah, Biden won”.

1. Saul Sorrell-Till says:

“It is not at all uncommon to offer a reward for information which results in a conviction.”

Yes, but usually there’s an actual crime that’s occurred first. It’s not just a giant fishing expedition. The dialogue in court doesn’t go ‘I pronounce you guilty’ – ‘of what? ‘ – ‘well, there’s a million dollar reward for anyone who can come up with a reason’

1. EdwardM says:

Like I said, Hiz Honor knows perfectly well the state will never have to pay that out. It’s just a dodge.

1. Saul Sorrell-Till says:

It’s definitely dodge-ey.

2. Max Blancke says:

I prefer my reward in cash, please. Election fraud happens all the time. It is fairly easy to accomplish, and the stakes are very high.
I think we are supposed to believe that there is no “substantial” voter fraud, although the word in that context is not readily defined.

“But the two Democrats on the three-member Board of Elections, elected body, testified that they were aware of the voter fraud, had intentionally failed to enforce the election law, and had later tried to conceal their activities by hurriedly certifying the Democratic candidate as the winner.”

That was from the Baltimore Sun, 20 Feb 94, about the state senate election which was voided.

1. Brujo Feo says:

“…and a number of them have been declared totally mentally incapacitated by a court, thereby making them ineligible to vote in Texas.”

Wait–total mental incapacity is a disqualifying factor? In TEXAS? Are you sure?

2. wetherjeff says:

Hmmm… call me a cynic if you like, but I have nagging feeling that the Texas AG is not approaching this from a politically neutral perspective:

“I strongly commend the Limestone County District Attorney’s Office ….. for their outstanding work on this case and their commitment to ensuring a free and fair Presidential election in THE FACE OF UNPRECEDENTED VOTER FRAUD,” said Attorney General Paxton.

Somehow he already knows there has been unprecedented electoral fraud, he just needs to pin it on a few people. Hardly impartial is it? I wouldn’t trust a single thing that guy, or his lackies said about the matter.

The whole reward situation is ridiculous, Something tells me it might encourage one or two citizens to be less than honest to try get their hands on it. This sorry tale reminds me of the story about when an archaeologist gave rewards for artefacts that had found on his excavation site. I think it was Arthur Evans in Knossos, Crete. The trouble was that he used locals as labour – who were poor – and paid them a set fee per piece of pottery or the like. Presented with such an opportunity his helpers simply pulled intact Minoan artefacts from the ground, then smashed them into seveeral pieces for the extra dosh! There was a similar story concerning colonial Brits in a cobra-infested area of India. The Brits paid the locals a reward for every snake they caught, but the infestation continued worsening. It took them quite some time to realise the locals had started breeding cobra in their thousands for the cash.

2. GBJames says:

Jeeze, Brujo, at first I read that as PRAYING-FOR-EVIDENCE.

1. jezgrove says:

They’re doing that, too. Btw, the $1m is the total fund and anyone expecting to receive that amount for their “evidence” will be sorely disappointed. 3. phoffman56 says: Given that he’s a Texas official (unsurprisingly Republican), is it possibly ONLY evidence of hanky-panky IN Texas he’ll pay up for? After all he’ll presumably be using tax money from those tex-generous Texans. And only if enough cheating to change the result in Texas? Further, that’s the least complete of NYTimes’ diligent canvassing of 50 states. Well, I realize it just won’t happen. But wouldn’t it be lovely if it did–now Texas’ 38 electoral votes go to Biden. So he gets 344, not just 306. I like it! I like it!–with even a selfish reason: makes me much closer to my stupid prediction of 380 for Biden. 1. phoffman56 says: “tex-generous”—->’tax-generous’, & intended as sarcasm. 2. eric says: Yes, that’s a good point. Given the GOP victory there, the only possible results of finding voter fraud are (a) no change, or (b) GOP loss. So he’s set himself up for an own goal if anything really shows up. I think Edward is probably right. It’s gotta be a PR stunt. Not much else makes sense. 4. No one would offer a large reward for evidence if they already had evidence… 5. Didn’t Texas go for Trump? Will he pay out for evidence of fraud that causes his state to flip to the Democrats? I know it won’t happen but I’d laugh until my head fell off if it did. 15. Filippo says: sub 1. jezgrove says: With his BMI, age, and diet that might not be all that long, as Tony Schwartz (the real author of The Art of the Deal) commented on BBC Radio 4 earlier today when asked about a possible Trump 2024 election bid. 1. phoffman56 says: Non-(non-strictly)-negative would be better, ha! Is -3 red observers = +3 blues? What about (\pi/2 + \sqrt {3}\sqrt {-1}) observers? Court’s need for expert observers is very clear. I volunteer, but my price is steep. And all the court’s time delay should keep the mass murderer in power for months. From what I have read, that’s how he kept himself in the grifting business for decades. 16. Charles A Sawicki says: Biden may suffer from Obama’s delusion that the right wing is reasonable and can be negotiated with. I agree, Democrats generally suffer from trying to be too nice to authoritarian Republicans and pretend that reason will win out. If they don’t toughen up and play practical politics, I fear Democracy will continue to fail. 1. Mark R. says: And if they don’t play hardball, it’s not only that “Democracy will continue to fail”. If we Democrats see Biden et al. kowtowing to Republicans (I don’t even consider it a political party at this point, but more of a criminal enterprise) he will lose in 2024 and the base will likely dissipate, never to return. Biden has said “they’ll work with me”. Yes, this indicates he doesn’t understand who the GOP is anymore. I won’t mind if he “tries” to compromise in the first month or so. But the first time the GOP obstructs (I’m sure it won’t take long) he needs to tell them to fuck off and pull out the big stick. I have to hope that he understands this. 17. The cultish following should note that Agent Orange is not the chosen one nor a prophet. He is in it for personal PROFIT and power, nothing else. He doesn’t understand what public service means. 18. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. I have no doubt that what’s going on here is Trump’s refusal to ever admit to losing anything (“loser” is, I think, the worst word that can be attached to his name, in his mind). However, many have noted that Trump is perfectly able to run for President again in 2024 (assuming he stays out of jail–not a sure thing). I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he announces his 2024 candidacy on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day. How does he thing his failure to obey the usual transition procedures, and failure to recognize the results of the 2020 election helps him? 1. eric says: Personally, I don’t think an official run is likely. But as I said on the other post, I think it’s possible he ‘does a Sarah Palin’ and implies he’s running without actually filing the paperwork. If he does that, he’s allowed to keep all campaign contributions for personal use, which seems a grift right up Trump’s alley. 1. jezgrove says: I can’t see Trump putting up$9m of his own cash…

1. Good point. Some say that the current fundraising to help him with the legal battles for recounts is really to help absolve him of campaign debts.

1. tomh says:

It’s not just that “some say” the fund raising is to retire campaign debt, it’s that the fund raising emails explicitly say it. Earlier versions of the “election defense fund” email solicitations included in the fine print that the funds were to be used to retire Trump’s campaign debt.

Presumably that goal has been reached and current versions specify that sixty percent of the contribution, up to $5,000, goes to “Save America,” Trump’s newly created leadership PAC (ostensibly for a 2024 run.) And 40 percent of the contribution up to$35,500, goes to the Republican National Committee’s operating account, its political (not legal) fund.

Only after reaching the first maximum would a single penny go to Trump’s “Recount Account,” and only after reaching the second maximum would a penny go to the RNC’s legal account.

Trump will continue to line his own pockets until the day he’s dragged out of the White House.

1. Thanks for providing these details. I had read that, but couldn’t remember the numbers.

2. jezgrove says:

“‘[L]oser’ is, I think, the worst word that can be attached to his name, in his mind).” Yup, he just can’t accept that he’s the lame duck Loser-in-Chief. (Apologies for the insult to walking-impaired ducks, naturally.)

19. merilee says:

🐾🐾

20. Randall Schenck says:

The news media seems to be saying it looks like the big baby may concede but not admit he lost. Just take your family and go home.

21. Is it only a convention that Trump be referred to as “President Trump” even after he leaves office? If so, let’s adjust that convention a bit by adding the requirement that the president must have conceded the election to receive that honor. Perhaps we can half his Secret Service contingent while we’re at it.

22. The machinations of the Pompeos and McConnells and Lindsey Grahams remind me of the Orc leaders in LOTR, when they throw their minions red meat. They are debasing themselves in full frontal view of the entire world.

23. Mark R. says:

OK, I did some number crunching. Between 2004 and 2016, there have been 8 recounts in battleground states. (Most were judicial races, but it includes the 2016 Presidential race in WI.)

That’s a difference of 883 votes. An approximate 7% difference.

Even the closest states this election have far too many votes cast to be changed by a fair recount (and there is no evidence any recounts won’t be fair).

But don’t let math get in the way of your collective delusion Trumpists.

It’s also ironic that as time goes on, counts are still going on in many states (including PA) and Biden’s lead continues to grow- esp. the popular vote.

1. phoffman56 says:

Actually 10 times less: 7/10 0f 1%, and actually a bit less than that.

Otherwise it would be disastrous. All the contested states have margins hugely less than 7%.

Also your total number of votes seems awfully small–maybe above even less by a lot.
E.g. the Wisconsin presidential race itself overwhelms the 128,000 roughly total.

1. Ken Kukec says:

I suspect maybe Mark is referring to the total vote differences between winners and losers in the eight contested elections.

1. Mark R. says:

Yes, I didn’t want to drill down to each race individually- just doing big picture. Plus, I’m not a math guy. 😉

24. aljones909 says:

I think you should consider the British system. The parliament is dissolved when a general election is called. After the election the Queen will invite the leader of the party which gained most seats to become Prime Minister (he must then command a majority in the Houses of Parliament).

1. Unfortunately, for that, you need a civil service that is politically independent. The US system is mostly run by political appointees at the top level which means a new president means a completely new upper level management tier. There has to be a transition period for that to work at all.

25. ThyroidPlanet says:

“I’d really be surprised (but pleased) to see a polite concession and a noiseless exit. It doesn’t look like that’s in the cards.”

what will make a great TV show? What will pull audiences in to watch the star?

2016 was just the pilot episode. I’m pretty sure the next three seasons of a reality show the likes of which has never been anticipated in the history of Fantasyland are all coming together as we speak. Unfortunately for all real actual people, until January 20th, the star is in a real actual position in a real actual government in a real actual country.

1. phoffman56 says:

…with a finger on a real actual button, connected to a real actual very large collection, of real actual thermonuclear bombs, each enormously more powerful than the nuclear bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

26. pablo says:

I’m concerned with Trump’s replacing DoD officials with loyalists. I wouldn’t put it past him to use the military to stay in power.

27. The CNN report with Jake Tapper misrepresented Mike Pompeo. If you watch the whole clip, it is clear that his assertion that there would be a peaceful transition to a second Trump term was a joke, albeit a bad one.

He went on to explain that there is nothing to be concerned about with the legal wrangling in respect of allowing for a smooth transition and he cited 2000 as a case where the lawsuits went on for weeks and still they managed a smooth transition.

1. GBJames says:

The fact that a Secretary of State would consider making such a “joke” considering the circumstances is beyond the pale.

1. GBJames says:

Even worse… the heat death of the universe!

2. I took it as a joke motivated by irritation at the press’s attempt to get him to say that Biden won the election. And a tinge of sadness and pain as he feels Trump squeeze his gonads just a little bit harder. I have no sympathy for him or any of those others that have sold their souls to Trump.

28. KD says:

Trumpie is just negotiating with the Deep State for a no jail-time deal for him and his family in exchange for conceding.