I didn't think this was more than a handful of tinfoil hatters running around -- apparently, it is.
Two days ago, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reported that Donald Trump “has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August.” In response, many figures on the right inserted their fingers into their ears and started screaming about fake news.
Instead, they should have listened — because Haberman’s reporting was correct. I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office....
As I pointed out back in November and December in a handful of articles I penned at the time if Trump really believed the election was stolen and could not get judges to issue injunctions or state authorities to actually go in and prove (or disprove) his theories then he had only two choices:
- Accept that he was cheated and retire from the field of play on January 20th and, if he so decided, make another run for it in 2024.
- Pick up a gun, get a bunch of other people who believed it too that were willing to do the same thing and go seize the election materials by force and prove it.
Yeah, that second option is, well, a pot-commit that you're right. If you do it and are wrong the best outcome is that you're destroyed; you spend the rest of your life in prison, so do a lot of other people and, if someone shoots (and someone probably will on one side or the other) you may well get the needle depending on exactly where that happens.
This situation -- where one candidate or the other declares that there were shenanigans sufficient to change the outcome has happened before. Depending on who you ask it's somewhere between four and eight Presidential elections. 1876 was one of them, where widespread voter intimidation (aimed at blacks) was alleged. Maybe enough to change the outcome. Hayes won -- by one EV. Or did he? Well, maybe and maybe not, but Tilden didn't pick up a gun.
Not long after Cleveland lost -- but then ran again, and the next time beat Harrison, being the only President to win non-consecutive terms of office. Yes, that's happened before too.
Of course there's the infamous 1960 Nixon and Kennedy election. That was the very-famous Daley political machine in Chicago, and yet.... Nixon walked off. Only to come back, of course in 1968.
People argue 2000 but frankly, compared to the other three that's weak sauce and I was in Florida at the time.
The problem once January 20th comes and goes is that there is exactly no possible way for it to be undone in our Constitution. It literally does not matter if it's proved after that date. Once Congress has accepted the EV certificates and voted to confirm them that's the end of it. You could conceivably impeach both Biden and Harris, but even that doesn't get there because there is a line of succession and guess what party is in control of The House right now? Even if you don't do it until 2022 and the House flips you still don't get there.
With that said we do deserve these answers. Anyone who doesn't support independent audits is nuts. There's only one reason to not want those to take place: You think there was cheating and thus there's something that will be found! After all a complete audit in Maricopa County that fails to find any evidence of tampering, stuffed ballots or other misdeeds ends the discussion for that county, does it not? Does not the same thing in Georgia and other states do the same thing there? It sure does considering that those who think there was tampering are the ones doing the auditing. If the state Legislatures want to fund that what's the problem? If private groups want to fund it what's the problem? The law requires ballots and materials to be maintained and not tampered with for an extended period of time after an election for that very reason -- in case someone challenges what happened. So long as the aggrieved party pays for it I fail to understand what the potential issue is that justifies saying "No."
Are there remedies if, in fact, tens of thousands of ballots were printed on a laser printer and stuffed in Arizona -- or Fulton County? Sure. People could go to prison. Laws could be changed related to elections so it can't happen again. We could even have a drive to do what I've long advocated since the 2000 fiasco: All paper ballots, all mark-sense readers, originals are kept, no absentee unless you can prove you will be out of the County on election day, such as for the military, and everyone dips their finger in indelible ink so you can't vote twice.
Now if I think the counting machine has been tampered with I can count the ballots by hand. All of them. Unless someone is willing to chop off their finger they're not stuffing the box; the poll books have to balance. And if I have to prove (and submit said proof) that I'm not going to be there on election day to get an absentee ballot then the number of people who can potentially tamper with that part of it is small enough to likely not matter in national and state-wide races.
I have also advocated that the counting must be both continuous and hermitic; that is, until the results are final there is no release of anything to anyone by any means. This can be done; you can take an entire state (the unit at which EVs are computed) and mandate that the counting rooms at the precinct or county level are sealed and nobody, nor any thing (including electronic signals) enters or leaves the counting rooms once the process begins until the entire state is complete. Yes, this means you need some way for people to use the bathroom in the counting area and all electronic devices must be confiscated with no outside connectivity for anything whatsoever. So what? Now there is no way to know "how much" you're up or down by until it's all done. It suddenly becomes a lot harder to cheat during the counting process.
So yeah, I think this all ought to go forward by whoever's willing to pay for it, whether a legislature or private party. Let's see it, let's have it, I see no reason not to. The entire purpose of retaining the material is to make that possible; no law is without purpose, and that's the clear purpose.
But the premise that someone Trump "returns" -- prior to running in 2024 should NY not hose him first, and he actually wants to run again, is nuts.
Flat out screaming full-sheet of LSD-dropping bonkers.