Michael Anton (famous for the 2016 “Flight 93 Election” essay) reflects on all the arm-twisting going on anent acceptance of the 2020 Election’s legitimacy and he has plenty of intelligent observations.
Recently, I appeared as a guest on Andrew Sullivan’s podcast. Sullivan is vociferously anti-Trump, so I expected us to disagree—which, naturally, we did. But I was surprised by the extent to which he insisted I assent to his assertion that the 2020 election was totally on the level. That is to say, I wasn’t surprised that Sullivan thinks it was; I was surprised by his evident yearning to hear me say so, too.
Which I could not do.
Sullivan badgered me on this at length before finally accusing me of being fixated on the topic, to which I responded, truthfully, that I was only talking about it because he asked. As far as I’m concerned, the 2020 election is well and truly over. I have, I said, “moved on.”
So I thought. Then I received two emails from a friendly acquaintance who is a recognized Republican expert on elections that suggested he, too, is troubled by my lack of belief. Then came two other data points, which I noticed only after the first draft this essay had been completed. Ramesh Ponnuru snarked (snark seems to be the go-to, indeed the only, device his in literary quiver) that one of the anomalies I cited in my most recent article in the Claremont Review of Books had been “debunked” by the partisan left-wing FactCheck.org. While I appreciate the insight into the sources from which National Review editors get their “facts” these days, the quote provided admits that the statistic I cited is, well, accurate. Ponurru naturally ignores all of the other points raised in my earlier article.
Jonathan Chait wrote yet another (his 12th?) article denouncing me, for this same sin of disbelief. Why did he bother? Is there even a remote chance that a single one of his New York magazine readers either read my article or encountered its argument? Or is he worried that the “narrative” of the election is so fragile that it needs to be shored up?
I wanted to move on, I really did. But when Left (Chait), center (Sullivan), faux-right anti-conservative ankle-biter (Ponnuru), and genuine, if establishment, Right (my correspondent) all agree that my lack of belief is a problem, I wondered why this should be so, and the following observations came to mind. Read the rest of this entry »
John Hinderaker notes that all the gaslighting and censorship we see is not the typical behavior of people enjoying the conviction of innocence.
Democrats are making extraordinary efforts to suppress all discussion of whether Joe Biden actually won the 2020 presidential election. In fact, they go even farther: they want to suppress all discussion of the extent to which voter fraud occurred. That naturally makes me want to write about voter fraud, and who really won the election.
First, this question: why are the Democrats so hysterical in their insistence that fraud not be mentioned? One reason is obvious. Joe Biden will take office under a cloud, since close to half of all Americans doubt that he really won the election. The Democrats want to stamp out such doubts to preserve Biden’s authority as president.
But there is a second reason that may be more important. The Democrats want the lax voting procedures that prevailed in 2020 to continue in the future. They know that efforts will be made in many states to improve ballot integrity, and they want those efforts to fail. By rendering all discussion of voter fraud out of bounds, they hope to forestall reforms that would make it harder for them to cheat, or enable cheating, in the future.
So, did the Democrats steal the presidential election, or not? I don’t know the answer to that question. No one does. A number of statistical analyses have been done, which on their face suggest large irregularities. I wrote about one such analysis, by John Lott, here.
Beyond that, major questions remain unanswered. In several key swing states, there were midnight dumps of 100,000 or more votes, virtually all of which were for Joe Biden, something that can’t normally happen. Those dumps may have made the difference in the election. I have seen no attempt by any Democrat to explain or justify them. Maybe I’ve missed it, and maybe they somehow reflected actual ballots cast, but the burden of proof is on those who seek to justify such anomalies.
Even greater doubts about the election arise from the deliberately loose procedures that governed voting. Something like 69 million mail-in votes were cast, and until two months ago, everyone agreed that mail-in voting is highly susceptible to fraud. But the laxity in 2020 went far beyond the risks inherent in mail-in votes. I put it this way: I don’t know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but I do know that they tried hard to steal it.
Those who followed my blog will be aware that I vehemently opposed Trump’s nomination and did not vote for him in 2016. Watching his behavior at the inauguration, I became persuaded I’d been wrong, that he really was sincere, and I sat down and mentally compared Trump’s deficiencies to those of other presidents during my own lifetime (Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, &c.) and concluded that, really, compared to others, he was not worse. Not every president was Ronald Reagan.
As his administration progressed, I found myself very happy with his appointments and his policies, by and large. I was always an opponent of Protectionism, but one must admit that it has a long political tradition in this country, and de-industrializing America and enormously enriching and empowering China is undoubtedly a very dangerous thing to do.
A lot of Trump’s appointments did not work out. He seems to be bad at working with people with strong opinions and large egos. Trump obviously is a spoiled, narcissistic millionaire. But, oddly, I thought the appointees I liked the very best, Jim Mattis and John Bolton, turned out to behave, IMO, even worse than Trump. Mattis revealed himself to be a great talker and self promoter, but an empty uniform principally concerned with being well aligned with establishment opinion. Mattis did nothing to oppose fashionable PC in the military.
John Bolton obviously proved to be an egomaniac fully competitive with Trump, and a greedy and disloyal subordinate, bent upon revenge and so eager to cash-in with a tell-all book that he felt not need to wait until the administration he would be savaging was out of office. A lot of people would not be quite so willing to give aid and comfort to the democrats.
Trump’s policy decisions, on the other hand, were generally great. Trump dismissed catastrophist superstition out of hand. He cleared away regulatory obstacles to oil production, creating millions of jobs, helping the economy, dramatically lowering energy prices, and making America energy independent again. He gave America back working dishwashers and useful showerheads. He blocked communist Woke propaganda where he could. He sold oil leases on the North Slope. And he restarted the Space Program.
Trump suffers obviously from Trumpiness, but he has one great and supreme virtue: he fights. We live in an emasculated age of trimmers, grovelers, conformists, and opportunists, all sticking a wet index finger up to find out which way the wind is blowing. When the Establishment turns its unlimited powers of credentialing and decredentialing, of ridicule, spin, and narrative framing, strong men surrender and run and hide. Not Good Old Trump. He stood up to them and fought back.
I could today be saying: I told you so. I said, back then, that Trump was limited and could very well screw up and hand the presidency and big fat mandate over to the democrats after one term, but I won’t be doing that.
Yes, Trump as out of his depth dealing with the stolen election mess. Yes, he did not seem able to locate and employ effective professional legal representation. But, when you come right down to it, most of the GOP leadership and the conservative commentariat funked out. It was Trump and a handful of real conservatives, Cruz and Hawley, who actually tried to fight. There was obviously little time, the holidays come between the election and the vote certification. Our judges tend to be democrat tools or just too timid to venture into the stormy waters of a contested presidential election. The Republican Party was not united and did not have Trump’s back. Shit happens. Ephialtes showed the Persians the way around the pass at Thermopylae. General Ewell should have taken the high ground on July 1st.
Things look black today. They have the presidency, the House, and the Senate. And they are vindictive. They will try to impeach Trump a second time. As Instapundit put it: “Big Tech today settles all family business.” But it is not the end. 74 million Americans voted for Trump. There will be resistance.
Robert Arvey finds the establishment’s standard of proof this year impossible to meet.
One of my idle hobbies is writing science fiction stories. The first one will be published after I die, at which point I will become rich and famous.
None of them, however, is as strange as the bizarre world in which we now find ourselves. It is as if criminals had broken into your house, while you were home, in broad daylight, and begun loading up your valuable belongings in a rented truck parked in your driveway. You immediately pick up the phone and dial 911.
“911. What is your emergency?”
“I’m being robbed.”
“Do you have any evidence of that?”
“Yes! I’m looking right at the robbers.”
“Okay. But do you have any video?”
“As a matter of fact, my security cameras are running right now.”
“Good. Put your phone next to the video and let me see.”
“Okay. Here’s the video, and here is live feed of the robbers, directly from my phone.”
“I see. But there are other possible explanations for what is going on.”
“What other possible explanation could there be? You can actually see them robbing my house.”
“Has any court ruled that they are doing that?”
“Court? What the hell are you talking about? You can see them with your own eyes.”
“Let me talk to them.”
“Talk to them? Are you crazy?”
Just then, one of the robbers hears what you said and takes the phone from your hand. “Hello,” he says. Then, “No, we’re not robbing this guy’s house. He’s just a sore loser.” He gives you back the phone.
“This is 911 again. He denies that he is robbing your house.”
“But you can plainly see him.”
“Sir, there are laws against robbing houses. And you have no evidence of widespread house-robbing.”
The police finally show up, and you say, “These guys are robbing my house.”
YouTube has announced that it will ban content that questions the fairness or legitimacy of the 2020 election. This is ominously Orwellian. Matt Taibbi comments from the left:
If you want a population of people to stop thinking an election was stolen from them, it’s hard to think of a worse method than ordering a news blackout after it’s just been demonstrated that the last major blackout [Hunter Biden laptop] was a fraud.