2020 election: rebutting “things that make you go hmmm…”

December 3, 2020

Last week I wrote a post about oddities surrounding the 2020 presidential race that left me wondering if the election had been indeed stolen. I linked to an article in The Spectator from a pollster who look at several elements in support of the case that something was rotten here.

To say out-loud that you find the results of the 2020 presidential election odd is to invite derision. You must be a crank or a conspiracy theorist. Mark me down as a crank, then. I am a pollster and I find this election to be deeply puzzling. I also think that the Trump campaign is still well within its rights to contest the tabulations. Something very strange happened in America’s democracy in the early hours of Wednesday November 4 and the days that followed. It’s reasonable for a lot of Americans to want to find out exactly what.

At the time I had hoped someone would examine Mr. Basham’s contentions point-by-point to either support or refute them. Finally, someone has.

Writing today at the Darwin Catholic blog, “Darwin” has a long essay on the Spectator article and finds it wanting. The short version is that Mr. Basham’s assertions are facile and just wrong. Here’s one example, first quoting Mr. Basham’s piece:

Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.

Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.

Then rebutting it:

This conflates something that is true with something that isn’t.

It’s true that Trump improved his performance with black voters, but even with that improvement Trump only got the support of 12% of black voters (19% of black men and 9% of black women). It’s also true that Trump won white working class voters by a large margin — he beat Biden by 35% among white voters with no college degree. But in a sign of trouble for Trump, that was a decline in his core constituency from 2016 when he beat Clinton by 37% among whites with no college degree. Also a significant problem for Trump is that fact that while he won college educated white men by 14% in 2016 he only won that demographic by 3% in 2020, while Biden won among white college educated women by 9% which was actually an increase over Clinton’s win among the demographic of 7%.

So yes, Trump got lots of votes from working class whites, and he increased his support among blacks and Hispanics, but if we look at all the demographics we see a picture of Trump as a candidate who lost more support than he gained in terms of percentages of voters, even though partisanship drove record turnout numbers and thus a record number of ballots cast for both candidates.

There’s more like this, and I recommend you read the whole thing. I still think there was significant fraud in places, but not enough to swing the election. Darwin’s piece reinforces that belief.

On the other hand, I have not changed my belief that Nancy Pelosi and her allies exploited the pandemic to press for voting changes that would make it easier for their side to cheat …er… “win,” as Kim Strassel relates, even if they didn’t swing this particular race. We still need to institute serious reforms in our electoral systems.


2020 election: Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

November 29, 2020

To put it mildly, I’ve been skeptical of the idea that the 2020 election was stolen for Joe Biden. Yes, there was a fair amount of corruption (looking at you, Philly and Detroit) and incompetence (really, Georgia?), but the idea that some grand fraud could move enough votes over several states to rig the election just seemed unbelievable.

Even if the President believed it.

But, there are things that make you wonder. Writing in The Spectator, pollster Patrick Basham describes himself as puzzled:

First, consider some facts. President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking reelection. He got 11 million more votes than in 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. By way of comparison, President Obama was comfortably reelected in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he received in 2008.

Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.

He earned the highest share of all minority votes for a Republican since 1960. Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.

Trump increased his share of the national Hispanic vote to 35 percent. With 60 percent or less of the national Hispanic vote, it is arithmetically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to win Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Bellwether states swung further in Trump’s direction than in 2016. Florida, Ohio and Iowa each defied America’s media polls with huge wins for Trump. Since 1852, only Richard Nixon has lost the electoral college after winning this trio, and that 1960 defeat to John F. Kennedy is still the subject of great suspicion.

In addition to his general misgivings, he lists nine specific points. Here are two:

1. Late on election night, with Trump comfortably ahead, many swing states stopped counting ballots. In most cases, observers were removed from the counting facilities. Counting generally continued without the observers

2. Statistically abnormal vote counts were the new normal when counting resumed. They were unusually large in size (hundreds of thousands) and had an unusually high (90 percent and above) Biden-to-Trump ratio

I’ll admit, put all these together and it does look suspicious. It’s like a bank robbery: if you see security footage of guys coming into a bank and spray-painting the cameras so you can’t see anything else, you can still make reasonable inferences when, the next day, the money you thought was there is now gone.

But inference is not proof. This was a passionate election, with, if I recall right, the largest percentage turnout since 1900. Trump is a polarizing figure, and it’s not a stretch for me to think two things can be true at once: that voters chose to maintain the Republicans in the states and increase their numbers in the House, while at the same time enough of those same voters rejected Trump personally and voted to replace him. I’ve remarked several times that, regardless of the success and popularity of many of his policies (Operation Warp Speed, for example, the quest to find a vaccine for the Wuhan virus, is an undoubted success), his behavior, his inability to rise to the role of Chief of State during the pandemic, not just Chief Executive, hurt his campaign.

When many in the nation wanted that Chief of State, that “national reassurer,” if you will, Trump couldn’t do it, and I think that cost him a lot of votes. He needed to do that to beat the headwinds of an insanely hostile and dishonest media, but failed.

And to be fair, Mr. Basham is not exactly disinterested. He has written for the UK’s Daily Express predicting a Trump landslide. Thus, he has an arguable interest in self-justification. And there are questions about his claims to academic qualification. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the suspicious activity he cites are not still signs of a stolen election, nor that he’s wrong or disingenuous here. It does mean we should be wary, however.

Still, take a look also at this article from Kim Strassel about Nancy Pelosi’s biggest priority when she returned as Speaker in 2019: not healthcare, not the Green New Deal, but changing the electoral system:

House Resolution 1 is the designation for the first bill unveiled in any new Congress. It’s designed to highlight the majority party’s top priority. In early 2017, the Republican-led House gave the title to Donald Trump’s tax reform. When Mrs. Pelosi retook the speaker’s gavel in 2019, her party had just campaigned on a slew of urgent Democratic priorities: health care, climate change, immigration, student debt. None of these rose to the honor of H.R. 1.

Instead, Mrs. Pelosi unveiled a 600-plus page bill devoted to “election reform.” Some of the legislation was aimed at weaponizing campaign-finance law, giving Democrats more power to control political speech and to intimidate opponents. But the bill was equally focused on empowering the federal government to dictate how states conduct elections—with new rules designed to water down ballot integrity and to corral huge new tranches of Democratic voters.

She then lists the provisions of the bill:

The bill would require states to offer early voting. They also would have to allow Election Day and online voter registration, diluting the accuracy of voting rolls. H.R. 1 would make states register voters automatically from government databases, including federal welfare recipients. Colleges and universities were designated as voter-registration hubs, and 16-year-olds would be registered to vote two years in advance. The bill would require “no fault” absentee ballots, allowing anyone to vote by mail, for any reason. It envisioned prepaid postage for federal absentee ballots. It would cripple most state voter-ID laws. It left in place the “ballot harvesting” rules that let paid activists canvass neighborhoods to hoover up absentee votes.

The bill didn’t become law (thank you, Mitch McConnell), but Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats, following the infamous advice of Rahm Emanuel –“Never let a crisis go to waste”– used the pandemic to ram many of these measures through the courts and at the state level, the latter often via “emergency” decrees by Democrat governors, such as California’s Gavin Newsom, grossly abusing their emergency powers to rewrite their states’ laws.

As Strassel writes, these measures didn’t create cheating, they just potentially facilitated it. To use the bank analogy above, Pelosi the bank manager unlocked the doors and then went home, confident she’d get her cut.

So, did Joe Biden win the presidency through cheating? I still doubt it, but now less so.

But, even if he did, what can be done? The Trump campaign’s efforts have been weak and repeatedly thrown out of court. As National Review’s Andy McCarthy has written, the remedies they’re seeking (such as tossing out the votes and having legislatures name electors) are way out scale with any evidence of harm they’ve been able to produce.

But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It’s like the provision in Scottish law, “not proven.” In other words, “we can’t prove you did it, but we know you did it, so don’t do it again!”

It may be that, barring shocking revelations in the next few weeks that change the national mood, the best solution remaining, assuming corruption, is sunshine and reform: research proving the election was stolen that in turn leads to reforms to secure the integrity of future elections. These would include voter ID, strict limitations on mail-in ballots, and an end to vote-harvesting.

For now, however, I’m left thinking “hmmm…”


Will Corporal Klinger be our new National Supply Commander?

November 13, 2020

It’s going to be a long four years, isn’t it? Via Reason magazine:

“This week, President-elect Joe Biden previewed several ways he plans to take bold action upon assuming office in January. Among the most immediately consequential would be his promise to appoint a “Supply Commander” to “take command of the national supply chain for essential equipment, medications, and protective gear.”

Overburdened hospital capacity was one of the primary concerns cited by proponents of lockdowns as the COVID-19 pandemic gained steam in spring 2020. The system’s continued potential vulnerability is now a doubly contentious issue. On one hand, there are renewed calls for stricter lockdowns; on the other, there is criticism that the system did not improve under incumbent President Donald Trump’s watch.

‘We can no longer leave this to the private sector,” proclaims Biden’s website. “The Supply Commander should work with every governor to determine their needs, and then coordinate production and delivery of those needs in a timely and efficient manner. And, the Supply Commander should direct the distribution of critical equipment as cases peak at different times in different states or territories.'”

Lockdowns prolonged the problem, and the last thing we need is more statism and bureaucracy.


Joe Biden as Emperor Nerva?

November 12, 2020

Okay, America to Roman Empire analogies are way overdone, but something crossed my mind this morning that amused me a bit: What if President Joe Biden was America’s answer to Emperor Nerva?

Our next president?

Marcus Cocceius Nerva came to the throne in A.D. 96 after the assassination of Emperor Domitian, who was, shall we say, quite controversial in the Empire. Lots of people had reason to hate him.

Not that I’m saying Trump is a batshit insane murderer, unlike Domitian, but, after a term that roiled politics and society, not unlike Domitian’s, at least some of the people who wanted someone different in office were looking for a return of calm.

Enter the old man, a grandfatherly figure who promises everyone can relax, now.

Joe Biden, meet Nerva. Nerva, meet Joe Biden.

But bear in mind also that Nerva, as an old man, was a transitional figure. He died of a stroke and secondary illness after fifteen months on the throne. At the time of his death, he was 67, pretty old for the First Century.

Joe Biden will be 78 when he is inaugurated, and he is clearly slipping into dementia. He may not make it fifteen months.

The key to Nerva’s significance is who he picked to succeed him: Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, an experienced and accomplished general whom we know as the Emperor Trajan. Taking power in a peaceful transition after Nerva’s death, Trajan went on to become one of Rome’s greatest emperors.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, picked Kamala Harris.

We’ll see.


Well my, my, my. Has @HillaryClinton legally disqualified herself from office?

August 24, 2015

x

“Title 18…. wut?”

Might be one good reason why she’s been so reluctant to give a straight answer to simple questions, such as “Did you wipe the server, and, no, we don’t mean with a cloth?” Not only might she be criminally liable, but she may also be barred from ever holding office again, including the presidency.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air cites the relevant law, Title 18, Section 2071, paragraph b:

Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Michael Mukasey, President Bush II’s former AG *and* a former federal judge is the one who raised this possibility. He is absolutely no legal slouch; if he thinks Hillary may have crossed this line, then her legal advisers probably worry so, too.

Ed’s right that legal prosecution to this extent isn’t likely –She is A CLINTON!!, after all, and would be the first female president ever, which is more important than anything else– but the judgement of the voting public is another matter, and you can expect conservative groups and candidates to use this to hammer her.

Good thing the Democrats have this man waiting in the wings:

Joe Biden

I mean, think about it. If Hillary falters, their other choice is a 73 year-old open Socialist and… who? Might as well go with the plagiarist who’s also a walking gaffe machine.

This should be good. smiley popcorn


The man, the moment: “Draft Biden” is on

March 23, 2015

Joe Biden

Come on, Democrats. You just know America is yearning for the chance to vote for four years of politics’ answer to Professor Irwin Corey.

John Fund at NRO:

Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News says the buzz is that “if Hillary Clinton fails, he’s the man.” The vice president himself is said to be scrambling for a way to somehow run for president a third time.

Joe Biden? When the next president is sworn in, he will be 74 years old, but that’s only the beginning of his problems. A creature of Washington since he was elected to the Senate at age 29, he personifies the bloviating Beltway that voters have come to loathe. Like the best of bloviators, he can be oblivious to his habit, telling GQ magazine in 2013: “I never speak about anything I don’t know a great deal about.”

But at other times, he can be insightful and revealing about his own career. He told an audience at a 2012 Democratic fundraiser in Chicago: “I never had an interest in being a mayor ’cause that’s a real job. You have to produce. That’s why I was able to be a senator for 36 years.”

Look, Ted Cruz has already declared he’s running a populist, “us against D.C.” campaign; so why not run the ultimate Washington insider against him, should Cruz win the nomination? Can you imagine the debates between them?? Blogging gold!

Fund, of course has to be a bit of a killjoy:

I don’t think Biden is stupid, but I do think he is unserious. Not unserious in quite the same way that Donald Trump is. After all, Trump usually knows when he is being outrageous — and acts in this way consciously to build his brand.

I fear Biden, if not serious, is at least sincere, both when he is on the stump and in the many policy meetings in Washington where he leaves attendees scratching there heads. If so, we should all worry.

Few modern politicians have unfairly vilified their opponents as often as Biden has. In 2012, Biden stood before a Virginia campaign crowd, about half of whom were African Americans, and said of Mitt Romney in a comic, down-home accent: “He is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y’all back in chains.” Even Willie Geist, a co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, put it bluntly: “If Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate, said that to an African American audience, there would be calls this morning for him to get out of the race, for Mitt Romney to withdraw from the race. There’s a double standard.” Biden refused to apologize, because he knew the media would let him get away with not doing so.

Just this month, Biden told a union audience that its adversaries were “intent on breaking unions” and wore “blackshirts,” a clear reference to the skull-crackers of Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. As media critic Jack Shafer noted in Politico: “Biden’s political provocation drew slim attention. The near-universal newsroom response seems to have been, It’s only Uncle Joe going off again.”

Yeah, Biden is a boor, and there is some reason to question, if not his intelligence, at least his grip on reality. But, as Fund points out, he’s currently polling better with Democrats than Elizabeth Warren. If Hillary falters, who can the Democrats going to turn to?

Ready for Hillary Joe?


Biden: the gaffer who keeps on gaffing

August 23, 2011

So, our vice-president is in China. While there, you would think our nation’s second-highest constitutional officer would do his best to represent American values to our biggest creditors China’s rulers with wit, intelligence, and grace.

But then you would remember this is Joe Biden we’re talking about.

And when it comes to the Chinese national policy of once child per family, with its forced abortions, near genocide of female infants, and forced sterilization, Joe fully understands:

D’oh! 

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review quotes Speaker John Boehner to blast Biden’s… well, Biden’s moral stupidity:

“It’s disappointing that Vice President Biden did not mention the severe women’s rights atrocities that are committed in the name of the One Child Policy — forced abortion, involuntary sterilization, and gendercide,” Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights without Frontiers, says. “China’s One Child Policy causes more violence to women and girls than any other official policy on earth. To merely mention the economic consequences is to turn a blind eye to the terrible human suffering caused by forced abortion. Chinese women are literally dragged out of their homes, strapped to tables and forced to abort.”

KJL also mentions in passing the demographic bomb that will set off an economic disaster for China: briefly, China’s one child policy means that fewer and fewer workers will be available to support an increasingly aging and huge population, and it’s going to hit soon, by 2039, in some estimates. It is also a danger to their military, and thus China’s global ambitions. By any measure, China’s one-child policy is a self-inflicted slow-motion national disaster.

But Joe fully understands.

LINKS: My blog-buddy ST has a spot-on post with several good links of its own.

AFTERTHOUGHT: This is the guy Obama picked to lend “gravitas” to his administration? In that case, I’d hate to have seen what his idea of “buffoonery” was.


Obama and Biden’s 2010 Year-end review!

December 21, 2010

And they sing it, too! See how many references to events over the past year you can spot:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This just in: Harry Reid is an idiot

May 12, 2010

Via David Freddoso, we read in wonder as the Majority Leader of the United States Senate has an out-of-reality experience of almost Biden-esque proportions:

In a recent Senate floor speech, Democratic Leader Harry Reid likened Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to another woman who sat on the court, Sandra Day O’Connor.

“One of my favorite Supreme Court Justices in recent years has been Sandra Day O’Connor, not because she’s a Republican, but because she was a good judge. I think one reason she was a good judge is she had no judicial experience,” Reid said on May 11, 2010.

Um, not quite, Pinky. From the same article:

In 1975, O’Connor was elected a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, according to her biography on the U.S. Supreme Court Web site. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Want to try again, Harry?

Dear Nevada, do the nation a favor and elect this woman.


Sunday chuckles

February 28, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

😀


President Me! The Musical!

February 13, 2010

Andrew Klavan of PJTV has what he thinks is an idea for a sure-fire smash-hit on Broadway:

Katie Couric is sure to win a Tony for her solo performance, don’t you think?


Don Barack Obama as The Godfather

January 5, 2010

With Joe Biden as Freddo.

Word of advice, Joe: Stay away from Tahoe.   Rolling on the floor

(Via TNYOF and The Jawa Report)


Biden v. Palin, the no-contest rematch

November 2, 2009

Sarah Palin already mopped the floor with him once in their vice-presidential candidates debate last year, so Joe Biden should know better than to look for a rematch. The lady knows a sitting duck when she sees one.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Sister Toldjah.


It’s a good administration

October 12, 2009

It’s good that you’re wrecking the economy, Mr. President. Real good!

And for those not familiar with the source.

(via The Jawa Report)


9-11 on the rails?

September 11, 2009

It could happen; al Qaeda loves to attack mass-transit systems. Remember the Madrid train bombings and the London Tube attacks? It is as certain as he sun rising in the East that al Qaeda or some like-minded band of psychopaths will try to attack America’s rail system in order to inflict massive casualties.

Which makes news of the Obama Administration’s gutting of Amtrak’s Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations to please an allied union so comforting to learn:

Biden, in turn, is tight with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the powerful union that represents the Amtrak Police Department. According to OSSSO sources, the APD brass have been aggrieved over the non-unionized counterterrorism unit’s existence from its inception. A West Coast OSSSO team member told me that union leaders blocked police credentialing efforts by his office for more than a year. An East Coast OSSSO team member told me that the FOP recently filed a grievance against one of its counterterrorism officers for assisting a train conductor who asked for help in ejecting a ticketless passenger.

Unlike the highly-specialized officers at OSSSO, APD officers possess minimal counterterrorism training. Past studies show alarmingly low pass rates among APD patrolmen who have attended undergone basic special operations classes, according to government sources. The Amtrak FOP continues to squabble over turf with the rival Teamsters Union; its leaders can’t even agree on minimal physical fitness standards for its members that have yet to be implemented. Nevertheless, OSSSO is now under the command and control of the APD — and federal stimulus funding specifically earmarked for the counterterrorism unit has now been absorbed by the police department.

Be sure to read the whole thing. Makes you want to hop on board, doesn’t it?  Doh Nailbiting


Biden said that?

August 1, 2009

Your one-stop source for all of Joe Biden’s marvelous utterances.

(via ExurbanJon)


Man, are we ever lucky or what?

July 27, 2009

We could have been stuck with that Palin dope instead of Joe Biden. Whew