So much to be thankful for, she reminds us.
“They cannot represent themselves. They must be represented.”
A year ago, it was Donald Trump refusing to say he would accept the results of an election, it was Hillary Clinton calling that “horrifying,” and it was the Associated Press pronouncing the opinion of mainstream journalism on the matter.
“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and election officials across the country have denied and denounced Trump’s charges,” the AP wrote, in its strictly factual and in no way tendentious manner that only a paranoid kook would question. “Free and fair elections, with the vanquished peacefully stepping aside for the victor, have been the underpinning of American democracy since its founding 240 years ago.”
Last Friday, it was Clinton who was still refusing to accept the result of the 2016 election, saying in an interview with Mother Jones that “there are lots of questions about its legitimacy.” Trump, for his part, trolled Clinton on Twitter, telling her to get on with her life. Needless to say, there were no sweeping pronouncements about the pillars of democracy in any of the wire service reports on Clinton’s interview.
In the interview, Clinton declared that this “cyberattack on America,” by which she apparently meant John Podesta falling for a phishing scam, “was one of the major contributors to the outcome” of the election. Well, she of course meant to include the Russian social media ad buys — some $400,000 or so — that obviously made the difference, and not the other $2.4 billion spent on the presidential campaign.
“We don’t have a method for contesting that in our system,” she said. “That’s why I’ve long advocated for an independent commission to get to the bottom of what happened.” It’s true. We don’t have a method for overthrowing the Constitutional order because a handful of Russians have shown a talent for pitch-perfect impersonation of the stupidest people in America.
This seems to baffle the left. Actually, I think the Democrats are losing over the idiot question, and the Mother Jones-Clinton interview shows just what I mean. The left thinks the right has a stupid problem. And it does. But it’s not a problem, electorally speaking, because the right’s idiots vote. The left, on the other hand, has convinced its morons to stay home.
The first half of the left’s problem is that they keep worrying about what the idiots on the right think. “What if Mueller proves his case and it doesn’t matter,” asked a subhead at Vox the other day? “Say Mueller reveals hard proof that the Trump campaign knowingly colluded with Russia, strategically using leaked emails to hurt Clinton’s campaign. Say the president — backed by the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Fox News, Breitbart, most of the US Cabinet, half the panelists on CNN, most of the radio talk show hosts in the country, and an enormous network of Russian-paid hackers and volunteer s***posters working through social media — rejects the evidence…. and conservatives believe them…. In short, what if Mueller proves the case and it’s not enough?”
Well, who said “collusion” was enough? Trump and the Russians might be really, really tight, ickily close, rubbing up on each other so much that we should expect eight former Russian interns to tell their #metoo story to the Washington Post any day now. That’s not a crime. The thing they’re looking at Michael Flynn for? That would be a crime. But trying to nail Donald Trump, Jr. on some specious campaign finance law theory because he DM’ed Julian Assange a couple of times? Get real. If you’re going to call Trump a traitor, let’s see one concrete example of him selling out America’s interests. Then we’ll talk.
This Vox guy and plenty of lefties like him think that the right’s problem is that we’re all too stupid to know anything about reality. That’s the “epistemic crisis” in his headline. The truth, however, is that only some of us are that stupid. And they vote. Steve Bannon, the admitted Leninist, discovered an untapped market of people who like poorly reasoned emotional appeals littered with misspelled words. While most Americans of even mildly developed sensibility looked at Breitbart and saw bathos, our Russian interlopers saw an opportunity. You don’t dominate the proletariat for decades without learning a little something about how to manipulate vulgar simpletons. Enter the “weaponized false information,” as Clinton called it, otherwise known as memes. It worked, though, just not on the scale Clinton thinks it did.
The other half of the left’s problem is that they’ve convinced their own legions of fools not to vote. On the right, we chuckle at all the fake emotionalism in the voter ID debate, at the left’s sorry attempt to get high off the last few vapors of the civil rights movement. But a lot of rank-and-file Democrats apparently think their leaders have been telling the truth about how hard it is to vote, and have decided not to even try. That’s according to two studies that Clinton and the Mother Jones reporter were bonding over.
Here’s the passage from Mother Jones:
According to an MIT study, more than 1 million people did not vote in 2016 because they encountered problems registering or at the polls. Clinton lost the election by a total of 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“In a couple of places, most notably Wisconsin, I think it had a dramatic impact on the outcome,” Clinton said of voter suppression.
Wisconsin’s new voter ID law required a Wisconsin driver’s license or one of several other types of ID to cast a ballot. It blocked or deterred up to 23,000 people from voting in reliably Democratic Milwaukee and Madison, and potentially 45,000 people statewide, according to a University of Wisconsin study. Clinton lost the state by fewer than 23,000 votes. African Americans, who overwhelmingly supported Clinton, were more than three times as likely as whites not to vote because of the law.
“It seems likely that it cost me the election [in Wisconsin] because of the tens of thousands of people who were turned away and the margin being so small,” Clinton said.
That first figure is just an expert guess at how many more people might have voted if voting was even easier, derived from an internet survey in which 98 percent of respondents said it was either “very easy” or “fairly easy” to find their polling place. And it wasn’t indirect voter suppression that cost Clinton Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. She spent almost nothing on ads in the first two, and never set foot in Wisconsin.
But what about those Wisconsinites? Didn’t the study find that a voter ID law “blocked or deterred” tens of thousands of people, potentially? Actually, in its own words, “the survey found considerable confusion about the law. Most of the people who said they did not vote because they lacked ID actually possessed a qualifying form of ID.”
Tell enough people that the Man’s trying to keep them from voting, and some are going to believe you. There’s your weaponized false information.
Zachary Moskow/Creative Commons