Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Russia Thing

Look, I get it. The system sucks. The Democratic Party blew an easy lay-up of an election against a reality show host who has a Tweeting problem and comes across as a buffoon most of the time, but things are starting to get a little scary here. Let's start with the Electoral College:

If I'm reading the map on this Wikipedia Page correctly, about 26 states or so have laws against faithless electors. A quick trip over to 270toWin.com and some mouse clicks later reveals that those states, all told account for 282 electoral votes. In other words, despite all these petitions for the Electoral College to put Hillary in over Trump, it just isn't going to happen. People like not going to jail or paying fines or whatever. It's also worth noting that the whole 'faithless elector' phenomenon isn't the least bit new. There have been 157 cases over the history of our Republic and not once has it impacted or changed the results of an election. I see no reason to believe that this year will be any different.

Next, let's tackle the Russia thing:

Do I think Russia hacked our elections somehow? It's possible, but unlikely, in my humble opinion. They may have had a preference for one candidate over another, but if you're going to steal an election, steal a damn election already. Why bother splitting the electoral and the popular vote? Why not be more audacious with your theft? I think if Russia is playing games, they're subtle ones. Why go to all the trouble of hacking an election when you can just draft a memo, leak it to any of the cable news channels and they'll just repeat 'Russia hacked our election' over and over again until every one believes that it's true.

In this, the elites and the Democratic Party are doing Russia's work for them- and, seemingly without- as of right now- too much evidence to back it up. The elites of this country don't like Donald Trump. He may be as rich as they are, but he doesn't get invited to their country club brunches and there's a real chance he could wreck their precious playground. Of course they'll seize on anything to take him down. The Democratic Party, instead of a real self-examination as to how they managed to blow an easy lay-up of an election, is frantically trying to rationalize anything at all to explain how Donald Trump managed to win the electoral vote.

This is starting to look uncomfortably like a minefield we shouldn't be playing in here. I doubt the Electoral College flips. But what if it does? Is that a mandate? Is that any way to become President? It would essentially be a giant middle finger to every single flyover state and one that would produce a backlash that would be a body blow to the Democratic Party as a national institution- if not a Constitutional Crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Civil War.

Can we rule out Russian Shenanigans? No, we can't. But of all the media outlets out there, The Intercept has hit the nail on the head twice now about this issue. Anonymous sources are no substitute for evidence- and if there is proof, it needs to be aired in public.

Even if we take the allegations at face value, it's a blow aimed at undermining the legitimacy of our entire democracy. If it's that serious, why aren't these sources standing up and speaking out? If our democracy and the Republic is at stake, why haven't we seen evidence? That's not to say that there's not evidence, it's just that this echo chamber of allegations carries a very real risk of accomplishing what Russia might have hoped to do ourselves. Why do they need to hack our voting machines, when cable news can cast doubt on the legitimacy of our Presidential elections for them?

I'm in favor of more secure elections. I think audits and recounts increase transparency and give people the peace of mind that the system is fair and shenanigan free. We have work to do on that front, obviously. But these allegations are serious and haven't been backed up with any solid evidence that I've seen yet. I tend to roll my eyes whenever Conservatives start whining about 'liberal media bias.' I mean, they've got Fox News, the internet, Talk Radio- it's not like they're down in their foxhole alone, under bombardment from the evil liberal propaganda, but in this case, they're making a not unreasonable point. This could be Russian shenanigans, but what's its starting to look like is a Democratic Party trying to rationalize their defeat and their media mouthpieces undermining the results of an election that didn't go their way. (Wisconsin's recount actually increased Trump's lead, I guess. So there's that.)

As a voter who held my nose and voted for Secretary Clinton despite many misgivings- largely on the basis of Donald Trump's refusal to commit to respecting the results of the election, this pisses me off. The Democrats do themselves no favors with this monkey business and oh, by the way, if the parties were reversed, the Left would be screaming about sexism, racism, conspiracy theories, fascism and every other thing they could think of. They would not, despite their protestations, be the least bit concerned about these allegations.

I get it. The system sucks. The answer is to figure out how to make it better and you can't do that by being a bi-coastal party. But that seems to be what the Democrats are doubling down on right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment