Commentary: Grave Damage to Our Democracy As Many Convinced of Stolen Election

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By David M. Greenwald

A Reuters article painted a scary picture—rural areas, large swaths of voters refusing to believe that Joe Biden won the presidency, some willing to take up arms if President Trump calls for it.

Truth be told, while this group is a bit scary and the thought that “preparing for the possibility of a ‘civil war’ with the American political left” is a bit unsettling, the bigger danger is not in the wingnuts but rather the core.

A recent poll by Reuters found that half of Republicans believe that Trump “rightfully won” the election but it was stolen from him in systemic fraud—while just 29 percent believe that Biden rightfully won.  Some polls have shown that figure to be as high as 80 percent of the base believing Trump’s fraud narrative.

But the narrative lacks proof or even really evidence.  Thirty-two lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign, only two wins—minor and technical as they were.

Moreover, most of the lawsuits have not even alleged fraud or, if they have, have not offered any proof.

From yesterday: “The District Court abused its discretion in denying the Motion to Amend for numerous reasons…  This prevents the Campaign from litigating its serious and well-founded claims that Defendants – Secretary Boockvar and seven County Boards of Elections controlled by Democrats – engaged in a partisan scheme to favor Biden over Trump by counting potentially tens of thousands of defective mail ballots.”

Important here is the word “potentially” which means they don’t have proof of this.  And more important is that they are asking them to set aside 1.5 million votes because there are potentially tens of thousands of defective mail ballots.

Like most, this one just filed is not going very far.

The evidence of fraud is simply not materializing.  But the claims if anything are becoming more bombastic.  Many focused on Giuliani’s press conference last Thursday, but it was Sidney Powell who has since become completely unhinged.

In an interview with Newsmax she wove an elaborate weave, tying the fraud to the REPUBLICAN and Trump-supporting Governor and Secretary of State, through the company Dominion with ties to Huge Chavez (dead since 2013) as well as the CIA and communism.

“That’s a total farce, Georgia is probably going to be the first state I’m going to blow up,” she told the interviewer.  “Mr. Kemp and the Secretary of State need to go with it.  They’re in on the Dominion scam with their last minute reward of a contract to Dominion of $100 million.

“The state bureau of investigation for Georgia ought to be looking into financial benefits received by Mr. Kemp and the Secretary of State’s family about that time,” she continued.

She said that Dominion was created as “election insurance,” and said “that’s why Hugo Chavez had it created in the first place.”  She added, “I think it’s hammer and scorecard from the CIA.”

The commentator broke in: “Just to clarify, you’re saying that Governor Kemp who has been a long time ally of the president, is directly involved because of financial benefit in a conspiracy to defeat the president in Georgia?”

She has the opportunity at this point to back off and soften the blow of her comment.  Instead she doubles down.

“We have certainly been told that there is evidence of that and would warrant an investigation if anyone were going to do an honest investigation,” she said.

She was pressed for details.

“I can’t give you any more details,” she responded.

Of course not.

The President’s people sought to distance themselves from Powell.  Rudy Giuliani, whom people were questioning after Thursday’s press conference, put out a statement, ‘Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own.  She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team.  She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”

The exact role of Powell is not clear, but she had appeared with its legal team at a press conference last week and had been embraced by them because of her defense of their claims.  She was described last week as a member of the team’s “elite strike force” but the entire conspiracy theory linking to Hugo Chavez, dead since 2013, in an effort to rig elections with the help of Republican-elected officials who are allies of the President seemed too far-fetched, even for the Trump team.

But not everyone.  There are people who really believe this stuff.

One person I exchanged messages with on Facebook said: “I’ve been following this.  Been trying to get you to see it for months but you ‘don’t have time for such nonsense.’”

I asked if she thought this was a plausible theory.

She said, “Yes I do.  There is a lot of information that you just won’t be hearing from corporate news.  I encourage you to look at those sources.”

I responded that while there are a lot of stories not covered by the mainstream news, in my view Powell’s comments were “completely unhinged.”

Her response: “You only think so because you don’t know all the background information leading up to her statement.  I and others have complete confidence that she knows what she is talking about.”

Later she said, “she stands by her words. she has an honorable track record. only time will tell if she is right.”

Yes, I’m sure the Republican Governor of Georgia who is an ardent Trump supporter conspired with nebulous forces to steal the election from Trump.  You can write this stuff off, but Sidney Powell was a person who clearly had endeared herself to the Trump legal team before they had to cut her loose.

One observer yesterday made an interesting point—this election really wasn’t *that* close, we saw a MUCH closer one in 2000, so would Trump have succeeded in undermining the results of a closer election?

Then again look what happened in 1876 and the nation survived.  So there is that.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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103 thoughts on “Commentary: Grave Damage to Our Democracy As Many Convinced of Stolen Election”

  1. Keith Olsen

    A recent poll by Reuters found that half of Republicans believe that Trump “rightfully won” the election but it was stolen from him in systemic fraud – while just 29 percent believe that Biden rightfully won.

    Here’s the results of a recent Rasmussen survey that shows nearly a third of Democrats also believe that the election was rigged:

     

    “How likely is it that Democrats stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure that Biden would win?”

    Democrats – 30% – 20% say Very Likely (VL)
    Unaffiliated – 39% – 29% say VL
    Republicans – 75% – 61% say VL
    All Voters – 47% – 36% say VL

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          There is something to this comment by you. The person I quoted in today’s column, was once a clear, level-headed person. Now she buys full stock into this QAnon mentality. I don’t know what is at the root of this seeming rise of paranoia in a segment of the electorate, but that’s at the heart of my concern at this point.

  2. Keith Olsen

    Commentary: Grave Damage to Our Democracy As Many Convinced of Stolen Election

    I’m just wondering, was there also grave damage to our democracy in 2000 when 50% of Gore voters said the election process had been permanently harmed by Bush’s victory.

    1. Richard McCann

      Keith O

      Yes there was grave damage to our democracy in 2000. In fact, the machinations by James Baker then has led to the undermining of democracy today. David Frum, who was a speech writer for Bush, wrote about the effect of Baker’s efforts here last month: 
      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/raw-desperation-republican-party/616904/

      And the Supremes’ 2000 decision essentially said that ballot damage/irregularities can be ignored if the election was otherwise staged in good faith. Since the conspiracy theories are clearly preposterous, this is going no where if the Supremes’ adhere to Scalia’s reasoning.

      BTW, I also see references to other information sources that refute the “corporate news” but I never see any of those folks actually post links to those other sources, so I can never examine them. I’m left to either somehow go off and research this myself or rely on the unsubstantiated assertion of the poster. Why is the burden on me to find the supporting documentation for the claims?

        1. Keith Olsen

          Eggzactly!!!!  It doesn’t matter what gets posted because anyone can find supporting articles on the Internet to back whatever position they take.  Then it all reverts to bashing the sources.  And please don’t tell me the Washington Post and the NY Times are reliable sources.  Maybe they used to be but those days are long gone.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          They are more reliable than Breitbart and Infowars that’s for sure.  They may occasionally botch a story, but for the most part, they are pretty reliable.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Infowars is a joke.  Breitbart is becoming more reliable but leans way right.  The NY Times and WashingtonPost have sold out to the left.  Just ask the several conservative leaning reporters and editors who have recently left the NY Times calling it a hostile work place.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Left/ right are not the only mark of reliability. The question is: is what they report accurate and the answer is most of the time, yes.

        4. Keith Olsen

          The question is: is what they report 

          If you had stopped there you would be right.

          It is what they report, or don’t report based on their political bias.

          The NY Times and Wapo gave Biden a complete pass this election year.

          I think that you defend them just proves my point, you like them because you agree with them.

  3. Ron Glick

    Many people didn’t think W. Bush was legit. It didn’t stop him from being President or governing. Biden will likely gain in popularity over time as he restores confidence in governance through compromise and more normal leadership.

    1. Keith Olsen

      Just as we can now see from the polls and surveys, many people don’t feel Biden is legit but it’s not going to stop him from being president.  As for Biden gaining popularity let’s just say that the jury is still out on that.

      1. Tia Will

        Keith

        While the jury is still out on Biden’s popularity, a couple of objective indicators already support his approach.

        1. COVID-19 did not go away within days of the election. This was a claim Trump/GOP had hammered repeatedly.

        2. The stock market did not crash on the news of Biden’s election also as predicted repeatedly by the Trump/GOP partisans.

        I doubt however this will change any hard-core Trump supporter’s opinion since they do not seem to be connected to the same set of facts that inform my reality.

        1. Keith Olsen

          2. The stock market did not crash on the news of Biden’s election also as predicted repeatedly by the Trump/GOP partisans.

          The stock market hasn’t crashed for two reasons, the Democrats didn’t take over the Senate (at least so far) so investors know that the GOP can still stop much of the Democrat economy hurting policies and secondly because of the announcements of several successful COVID vaccines.  (Much credit can be given to Trump for that)

        2. Ron Glick

          Keith is correct on two points.

          1. The Covid-19 vaccine development story is the biggest success of Trump’s Presidency. God willing if we survive long enough to get it.

          2. Mr. Market likes divided government.

          However Mr. Market also likes liquidity from zero interest rates and massive deficit spending. The market also likes the return to meritorious and competent appointees like Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary instead of toadies like Larry Kudlow, crony’s like Wilbur Ross or nepotism like Ivanka.

        3. Eric Gelber

          Like Billy Beer Carter, Hunter will not serve in his father’s administration.

          Correct. Keith apparently doesn’t know the definition of the word nepotism—as in Jared, Ivanka, Don Jr.

        4. Keith Olsen

          Nepotism:  patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics

          Patronage:  Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.

          We all know Hunter will handsomely profit off of his daddy’s presidency and influence just as he did when his dad was VP.

        5. Eric Gelber

          “We all know”? Tell me you didn’t just use the Trumpian phrase “everybody knows that” to falsely assert that what you believe to be true is, in fact, universally accepted as fact.

        6. Richard McCann

          GOP can still stop much of the Democrat economy hurting policies 

          Keith O

          The economy was at best growing at the same rate as under Obama. (Please don’t force me to yet AGAIN produce the data proving this fact.) And several studies have shown that corporate and high income tax cuts have no impact on economy. Instead, what the stock market likes is that the Senate will protect the redistribution of wealth back to the wealthy due to the 2017 policies. We can see the strong evidence of this effect in the market prices that continue to rise while the rest of the economy remains well below pre-COVID levels.

        7. Keith Olsen

          (Please don’t force me to yet AGAIN produce the data proving this fact.) 

          Nobody is forcing you to do anything, do whatever you want because I don’t care.

  4. Tia Will

    Sidney Powell said:

    “We have certainly been told that there is evidence of that and would warrant an investigation if anyone were going to do an honest investigation,”.

    Our country has a rich history of persecuting, imprisoning, torturing, and murdering people based on “we have been told that there is evidence”. Witch trials, the Japanese internment camps, McCarthyism, the torture and hanging of too many blacks to count over countless decades have been based on “we have been told that…”. I would have though these experiences would have taught us to avoid hearsay evidence and conspiracy theories. It would appear I was sadly very wrong.

    1. Keith Olsen

       I would have though these experiences would have taught us to avoid hearsay evidence and conspiracy theories. It would appear I was sadly very wrong.

      Like the fake Russian collusion and sham impeachment conspiracies against Trump?

      1. Tia Will

        Keith

        You can apply the conspiracy charge to any set of events you believe it applies to. You and I will most likely always disagree on what is a conspiracy theory and what is backed by substantial evidence. But putting partisanship aside, do you believe any of the examples I gave are not substantiated by history? The topic of the article was about people’s beliefs and how they are shaped in our culture. I believe hearsay has played a major historic role in many atrocities. I believe Powell’s quote is an example of such hearsay. I don’t believe Powell “dropped the ball”. I believe she has some interest in promoting an ever increasingly paranoid conspiracy. I do not pretend to know her motive, only that I believe her actions are deliberate and calculated.

      2. Richard McCann

        Keith O

        I already posted recently links that showed the number of convictions coming out of the Mueller investigation related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. Do you believe that the courts are in on this conspiracy?

        As to the impeachment, that the Senate decided for political reasons to overlook the use of the Presidency to attack political opponents does not mean that the accusations which are extremely well documented were part of a “conspiracy.” The House was swayed by the facts presented. Note that Mitt Romney was the first ever Senator from a President’s party to vote to convict on any counts. That had not occurred with Johnson or Clinton.

  5. Tia Will

    Keith

    I doubt either of us is astute enough to judge all the factors that go into stock market decision making. I can say speak only for myself as a long term investor. I have observed that what markets tend to do best with over time is long term stability. I find that much more likely under Biden than Trump. Either way, it does not alter the fact that Trump was incorrect on both the immediate effects of the Biden victory on the market or the pandemic which rages on.

  6. Alan Miller

    Lawyers making outrageous claims.

    Candidates questioning the election results, pursuing in court.

    People believing conspiracy theories, outrageous or not.

    How will our country survive? 😉

      1. Tia Will

        Keith

        Since you asked, I considered Bush v Gore, what I consider Trump’s cheat of his way into the WH, and the current situation “grave damage to our democracy”. I consider the idea that a handful of states overruling or the presence of absence of “hanging chads” in one state, or acceptance of foreign interference in an election all utilized to overcome the will of the majority of voters, just via different mechanisms, all to be grave dangers to our democratic republic. I also consider gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voter fraud ( if it could ever be demonstrated to be a factor) to also be grave threats.

        1. Eric Gelber

          The Democratic party never makes exaggerations or lies for political gain.

          So witty, as usual, Alan. What is lazy are broad assertions that both sides do it without any attempt to cite to relevant facts. There is no precedence for Trump’s level of dishonesty and demagoguery in recent history by a losing presidential candidate.

      2. Eric Gelber

        The “both sides do it” counter argument is both lazy and false. Trump’s persistent refusal to acknowledge the outcome of a presidential election—and, in fact, to claim he won “by a lot”—based on myriad allegations of widespread fraud without a scintilla of actual, admissible evidence is disgraceful and unprecedented in recent history. As Don (and David Brooks) point out, it’s McCarthyesque.

        Gore bowed out gracefully after the Supreme Court, in an historically outrageous partisan decision, halted a recount in a state that could have determined the outcome of the election, where a few hundred votes separated the candidates. In 2016, there was widespread consensus among intelligence agencies of Russian interference in the election on behalf of Trump, not to mention Comey’s unethical last minute revelation of a reopened email investigation.

        The democracy will survive notwithstanding Trump’s best efforts to undermine the integrity of its foundation to serve his personal interests.

        1. Keith Olsen

          What’s “lazy” is acting like Trump is the first politician to fight the results of an election when it has happened several times in history by both parties and then say this time it’s “Grave Damage to Our Democracy” (said in my deepest most frantic voice)

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            No one is acting like he is the first one to question the results of an election – they are acting like he has gone further with less evidence in doing so in an outcome that really wasn’t that close.

        2. Eric Gelber

          What does damage to democracy are the masses who fail to distinguish between a presidential candidate’s request for a recall in a close state race, and a narcissistic demagogue’s a priori challenge to the validity of a national election he lost by over 6 million votes, based on demonstrable lies and concocted conspiracy theories.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Keith seems to forget that 2000 came down to one state, 500 votes, even the Florida Governor’s office in their report on elections acknowledged there were all sorts of problems with the way ballots were handled and processed. This election is about maybe six states, the closest of which was about 10,000 votes margin and some states were over 50,000 and even more than 100,000. Like I said before, this election wasn’t nearly as close. Still Trump went much further than Gore ever did – and all Gore did was file a challenge, which he should have given how close it actually was.

        3. Alan Miller

          The “both sides do it” counter argument is both lazy and false.

          Yeah, EG is right.  Conservatives are inherently evil and wrong, and liberals and progressives are compassionate, correct and right.  The Democratic party never makes exaggerations or lies for political gain.  How could I have forgotten this basic tenant of good and evil? 😐

        4. Alan Miller

          they are acting like he has gone further with less evidence in doing so in an outcome that really wasn’t that close.

          And that’s some sort of surprise coming from Donald Trump?  What Trump is doing is what Trump has always done, F-ing with liberals who have emotional reactions to what he does.  He loves doing this.  When you cause someone to have an emotional reaction, they give their power away to you.  Trump has been doing this for four years, and most of his opponents can’t figure this simple fact out.  That’s one reason his followers love him, he drives his opponents ape S.  Stop reacting to his shenanigans, and he fades away.

        5. Richard McCann

          The last time that a Presidential election rose to this level of rancor was 1876. And that probably struck the gravest blow to date to our democracy by effectively disenfranchising Black voters in the South. We are still living with the legacy of that disaster in the regional and ethnic disparities in how are citizens view this country. So, yes, we face a grave threat if history is a guide.

  7. Tia Will

    Alan

    I would probably be taking this more lightly if we were not in the worst COVID spike yet, if it were not almost the entire country that is affected, if I had not seen the pics of packed airports and know this will only get worse as we hit peak winter holiday time, if I did not know that several states ( not municipalities), states have no more staffed ICU bed capacity. And where is Trump during this time of national crisis…golfing, tweeting, fundraising, doubt and fear stoking and suing. I am sorry, but I do not see the humor.

    1. Alan Miller

      There was no humor intended, despite the wink.  Trump is despicable, especially regarding Covid.  There is also absolutely nothing we can do about him.  There is simply no value in people getting wound up about what he is doing, and it is destructive to pay it any mind.  Trump is a drama queen who lives off attention.  His shenanigans are clearly failing – I have no doubt Biden will be president in January, and that Trump will leave the Whitehouse on time.  Don’t focus on Trump, and he vanishes.

      “It’s nothing to get hung about” – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison

  8. Matt Williams

    Here is some context from Money.com to add to this discussion … especially with respect to the 50% of Republicans who believe that Trump “rightfully won” the election but it was stolen from him in systemic fraud

    How Does the Trump Economy Compare to Obama’s? A Look Back at 4 Key Data Points

     A recent report from Pew Research found that about three-quarters of all registered voters said the economy was a “very important” issue for them. A majority of voters on each side of the aisle — 66% of likely Biden voters and 84% of Trump supporters — named the economy as one of their top concerns.

    In a recent report on the COVID-19 crisis, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, broke down the differences between the economy under the last three years of Obama’s presidency and first three years under Trump. (Take note that economic data for 2020 was not included, in order to leave out the pandemonium caused by the coronavirus — and which would make Trump’s numbers look worse.)

    In contrast with Trump’s numerous claims about building the greatest economy in history, Zandi found that by most measurements, the country’s economic health under both administrations is quite similar. “The reality is that the economy did equally well in the last three years of President Obama’s second term as in Trump’s first three years,” Zandi wrote.

    Here’s a closer look at what the numbers say, based on Zandi’s report for Moody’s:

    Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    When Trump took office in 2017, he promised a targeted economic growth rate of 3% each year. While the administration failed to meet that target three years in a row, Trump’s real GDP (adjusting for inflation) was still slightly higher in his first three years than in Obama’s last three. In this case, “slightly” really means just that: Annual economic output under Trump was 2.5%, compared to 2.4% under Obama.

    Jobs

    The last three years of President Obama’s administration saw an increase of 8.1 million jobs and a 2 percentage-point drop in the overall unemployment rate, decreasing from 6.2% in 2014 to 4.9% by the end of 2016. Under Trump, the number of jobs increased by 6.55 million in his first three years, and unemployment dropped from 4.4% to 3.7%.

    The Stock Market

    During President Trump’s first three years in office, the S&P 500 rose by 12.2%, compared to a 7.5% increase in the last three years of the Obama administration. Is this purely because investors love Trump? Maybe, but probably not.

    A more likely reason, according to Zandi, is that provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 meant large, publicly-traded corporations saw a sizable cut in the amount of taxes they had to pay in 2018 and 2019. Less taxes on corporations equals higher revenues, which in turn fuels interest in the stock market — and higher stock prices as more people look to get in on the action.

    Budget Deficit

    The federal budget deficit — accumulated when the government spends more than it receives in revenues — has ballooned from $15 trillion at the end of the Obama administration to over $25 trillion during Trump’s first three years in the White House. Soaring deficit levels come as a natural consequence of the 2017 tax cuts: researchers at the Tax Policy Center found that corporate tax revenue declined by 40% between 2017 and 2018, while income taxes paid to the federal government declined by 5.4%. With less tax money coming in but similar levels of spending going out, it’s no wonder the federal deficit has increased.

    1. Bill Marshall

      C’mon, Matt… folks’ minds (if they have one) are already made up (pun unintended), so no point confusing them with facts… that ship has sailed…

      The “man who would be king” is starting to realize ‘that ain’t a happening thing’, and probably is considering his “exit strategy”… perhaps resigning a day early, and get a presidential pardon from President Pence… covering all potential federal charges as to income taxes (fraud? tax evasion?), or malfeasance in his official capacity… [Nixon playbook… supposedly Nixon accidentally stepped on Gerald Ford’s foot, said “pardon me”, and Ford took it literally]

      I predict that Trump will do something that probably hasn’t happened since James Buchanan left office… leave DC a day early and not attend the inauguration of his successor… I may be wrong, but that’s my prediction…

  9. David Greenwald Post author

    Former Speaker Paul Ryan said today, the unfounded claims of Trump’s legal team are “doing damage to our country, to our democratic institutions and norms.”

    1. Keith Olsen

      Former Senator and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said this:

      “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is” 

      1. Bill Marshall

        Why would Biden concede?  Unlike the current prez, he won both popular and electoral votes…

        I can’t imagine why Clinton would say that… if she, in fact, did… I note you did not cite the source indicating she said that (and, when, in what context?)… more disinformation?

    2. Ron Glick

      Hilary smillary. Who cares?

      Paul Ryan is one of many Republicans waiting to run for President. Mitt Romney, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are as well. All are stymied by the idea of Trump running in 24.

      Trump will run to keep the money and cheers flowing. The show must go on.

       

      1. Keith Olsen

        Hilary smillary. Who cares?

        I do.

        Former Speaker Paul Ryan said today, the unfounded claims of Trump’s legal team are “doing damage to our country, to our democratic institutions and norms.”

        Who cares?

        1. Alan Miller

          I imagine those running in ’24 would like to distance themselves from Trump whether he runs or not.  Ryan’s comments are no surprise from a political point of view.

        2. Richard McCann

          Keith O

          That Hillary matters to you illustrates your problem. Your stuck fighting the last war. She’s no longer relevant. The rest of us have moved on.

  10. Ron Glick

    “We all know Hunter will handsomely profit off of his daddy’s presidency and influence just as he did when his dad was VP.”

    Probably will. It seems they all do, but none, besides Javanka, have ever received a security clearance over the objections of the intelligence community.

  11. Ron Glick

    “I predict that Trump will do something that probably hasn’t happened since James Buchanan left office… leave DC a day early and not attend the inauguration of his successor”

    I hope not. The Civil War followed that inauguration.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Difference… Buchanan didn’t run against Lincoln… Lincoln won primarily because the Demos were fractured between ‘Northern Democrats’ and ‘Southern Democrats’… the election of 1860 had 3 viable candidates for prez…

      Lincoln is among the most highly regarded presidents… Buchanan among the least… oh!  Now I see your comparison!

    2. Alan Miller

      I hope not. The Civil War followed that inauguration.

      Exactly!

      “preparing for the possibility of a ‘civil war’ with the American political left”

  12. Alan Miller

    the bigger danger is not in the wingnuts but rather the core.

    I’m more concerned about the wingnuts – on both sides.  If Facebook and the rest of social media didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be concerned, but social media has given wingnuts the ability to find other wingnuts like them, and justify their wing nuttiness.  Blogs contribute to this phenomenon as well.

        1. Alan Miller

          They wouldn’t be as much of a problem if The Vanguard didn’t give voice to their hate speech and nonsense while censoring their critics.

          I just wanted to copy the above so people could read it again and think about it.

      1. Alan Miller

        the wingnuts would not be nearly as much of a problem if the core weren’t paying lipservice to them.

        On that we agree – maybe not on the details, but on the concept

  13. Ron Glick

    “They wouldn’t be as much of a problem if The Vanguard didn’t give voice to their hate speech and nonsense while censoring their critics.”

    Its long been a failing of this site.

  14. Ron Oertel

    Everything’s fine, and Alan Miller would have won his bet (if he had any takers).

    There may be some who cause problems, but not to the democracy itself (or to the country as a whole).

    By the way, has anyone noticed the relative lack of (foreign) wars, the past 4 years? As promised, as I recall.

    1. Alan Miller

      Alan Miller would have won his bet (if he had any takers).

      Would have been nice, as I lost two $50 political bets, one local, one national.

      By the way, has anyone noticed the relative lack of (foreign) wars, the past 4 years? As promised, as I recall.

      I have, but — “BABIES IN CAGES!  BABIES IN CAGES!” . . . . . I’m sorry, what was that about wars?

      1. Don Shor

        By the way, has anyone noticed the relative lack of (foreign) wars, the past 4 years? As promised, as I recall.

        I have, but — “BABIES IN CAGES! BABIES IN CAGES!” . . . . . I’m sorry, what was that about wars?

        American made bombs are raining down on the Yemenis courtesy of the Saudis, and the Trump administration is supporting that. It’s the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, has been for a couple of years, and our State Department has been fully aware of the civilian killings. But yeah, we’re not actually doing it ourselves.
        Also, we are still in two hot wars at the moment.

        1. Keith Olsen

          As much as you guys might try and hate to admit it the last four years has been relatively war free compared to past administrations.  Trump is currently drawing down in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Ok. One upside of Trump’s isolationism has been the ramp down of old wars and lack of new wars. But that’s counterbalanced against other things – and I suspect we won’t know for some time just what the consequences will be for the balance his policies.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I do have another one, though (regarding Trump):  “Operation Time Warp”, regarding the vaccine? 

          To be delivered by the new “Space Force”? 😉

          In any case, it seems to me that he directed a lot of resources toward it.

          Oh – and the stimulus programs that he approved of. (Not sure, but I suspect that his general ideas regarding that might conflict with some in his own party.)

           

        3. Ron Oertel

          And then, there his was appeal to blue-collar/working class folks, who have been seeing their industries leave the country.  (But, Biden might have picked up some of those folks.)

          There’s also the issue of immigration.  Personally, I don’t think you can have a situation where people come to the country illegally, and eventually gain citizenship.  (That is, if U.S. citizenship continues to be “valued”, in comparison.)

          Nor do I think a wall or mass deportations will work.

          Just my post-script to the Trump phenomenon.

          Pumpkin is probably my second-favorite pie. (Well, maybe apple.)

  15. Alan Miller

    DS and RG are both correct about the atrocities going on.  Often, these are not our fights and the real question is do we do more harm (both to ourselves and others) by staying in or pulling out?  The examples given were war caused by aiding, and war caused by withdrawing – and due to the volatility of the areas, war could have popped out in another way if the opposite were done.

    I believe the readers often miss the point.  One could criticize Barack for the daily drone bombs – and had Trump done the same, he would have been skewered for it by his political opponents.  Run the scenario with the other party, and what is criticized and what is ignored are often reversed.  It goes to what would have happened if the election closeness would have been on the other side.   It goes to whether the Proud Boys or Antifa would have started the post-election riots/attacks had their side lost 😉

    I’m not saying one should be immune from criticism, I’m saying seriously ask yourself what the criticism would be if the shoe were on the other foot.  It was all just a four-year, poorly-scripted reality TV show.  And give thanks on this day that we live in a democracy that will experience a peaceful transition of power this January after four years of a domestic Hitlerian dictatorship!!!

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      This is mostly a reasonable point. I do think you are ceding a peaceful transition and underplaying the damage done by the conspiracy theories about stolen elections, but your point about people overlooking their own side’s flaws is a strong one.

  16. Bill Marshall

    Grave damage to our democracy?   Nah…

    “Grave damage” usually means desecration of a grave, or monuments thereof… democracy is not dead, it is working as designed… the “man who would be king”, and his minions, have filed more than 30 suits in court… all have been dismissed/refused… his attempts to change the results… many of those were Republican appointees, and several were judges Trump personally appointed…

    Given that, he’s got a snow-balls chance in hell with the Supreme Court (even with 6 conservatives, of whom 3 are his appointees)… the best he could get is a remand to lower courts… after over 30 “swings at-bat”, Team Trump has neither gotten a hit nor a ‘walk’… “there is no there, there” as to the legal claims.

    I hope it goes to the SC… will prove that democracy works, however protracted/messy… if they (the Supremes) remand to lower courts, could well be that given timing, etc., if it isn’t resolved quickly, then, by operation of law, Nancy Pelosi will be inaugurated as ‘interim’ President @ noon of Jan 20, 2021… Trump/Pence terms, by law, end at 11:59:59  on that date.

    So in addition to the first woman elected as VP, we will have the first woman (albeit interim) president…

    So, if POTUS pushes it to the limit, conservatives/republicans will be eating crow (not mincemeat, pumpkin, Trumpkin, meringue, etc. pie)…

    This should be “fun”…

        1. Alan Miller

          Actually someone else did, earlier, but they plugged a 110-volt bubble machine into a 220-volt outlet (via some fancy illegal adapter plug) with predictable results.

  17. Ron Glick

    Ron O. said:

    “I do have another one, though (regarding Trump):  “Operation Time Warp”, regarding the vaccine?”

    I guess you missed where Ron G said: 

     “The Covid-19 vaccine development story is the biggest success of Trump’s Presidency. God willing if we survive long enough to get it.”

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