Saturday, December 17, 2016

What do you EXPECT to happen?

I keep seeing people wishing for faithless electors to abandon Trump when casting their votes. Actual quotes include prayers like "Please, please, please".

At this point I'm 100% positive that most of these people have not schooled themselves in how an American presidential election actually works, and have no idea what it is they're asking for. At one point I thought that pundits actually did know, and were being devious, but the more I hear, the more I realize that they're just ignorant, too.[1]

At first this was fueled by simple sore losing.  Democrats could not believe that their gal didn't win the election. Surely it's illegitimate, they cried, because Trump lost the popular election. That was shot down immediately in that people know we have an Electoral College, and they've seen it at work before. Some Democrats felt right clever about remembering that electors can choose to vote for anyone they like. These "faithless electors" would surely "save" the country. 

They posted a petition. Petitions mean nothing to the electoral college. The electors who are voting for Trump are Republicans. They're a completely separate group of people than the ones who would be voting if Clinton had won their state. It wasn't enough to decry Trump as the new Hitler, a racist and homophobe and every other mean, Grinchy thing imaginable. His supporters didn't buy a word of it, and largely that's the doing of Hillary Clinton herself. When she called his supporters "deplorable", she forgot that they know their own hearts. They knew it wasn't true of themselves, and her party lost credibility.

So they needed to up the stakes. They needed a boogeyman... one that Republicans could get behind. "Russian hacking" of the election is that boogeyman. Surely the Republicans still have a Cold War grudge against the Russians! So the story is now that the Trump presidency is illegitimate because the Russians stole our election. They manipulated and modified, they hacked us. They hacked John Podesta's emails to discredit the Clinton campaign. Oh, boy, they tricked the people into voting for Trump, and somehow the whole country should overlook the content of those emails because we're just so darned incensed about being hacked.

The "Russian hackers" are a transparent excuse to de-legitimize the Trump presidency. Perhaps in this last-ditch scare-fest, they might get the Electoral College to vote their gal in after all. And the fact that they're attempting this proves to us that they don't know what they're doing.
The problem is several-fold. 
  1. has a 100% track-record regarding the authenticity of the documents they publish. Even if the Russians had obtained the information, they didn't write the contents. And here, the content matters.
  2. Julian Assange says the Podesta emails on WikiLeaks didn't come from the Russians. Craig Murray claims he personally got them from Democratic insiders. Again, they've got a 100% track record. So even if the Russians independently hacked the organization, they aren't the ones who leaked it, and they didn't affect the election.[2]
  3. The Cold War is over. The Democrats seem to have a problem understanding that old, worn out memes expire.
  4. The electoral process doesn't work that way.
We don't do election "do-overs". We conduct an election once. Sometimes we re-count the votes. Even then, that doesn't mean the recount means anything. For instance, we know for a fact that more votes were counted than cast in precincts around Detroit. The original counts stand anyway. So if an official recount that give you an actual corrected vote count doesn't change the results, what do you expect from a nebulous accusation that the Russians swayed the election, with no proof, no measurable effect, no indication of how it was accomplished?

Every American knows why they voted the way they did. Do you know of anyone at all who claims to have been swayed by Russian influence? No? How about this... do you you know anyone at all who claims they would have voted differently if they knew the Russians leaked the Podesta emails? Me neither. So how about this... do you know anyone who would have been royally pissed if they had NOT heard of the Democratic corruption, cheating, and manipulation until after the election was over and their votes were cast? I can find more than a few of those, yeah; in both parties.


So it wasn't the Russians, and even if it had been, it wouldn't have mattered. But if it did matter, what do you expect to happen? Seriously, let's think it through...

Remember that Republican electors are Republicans. Do you think you'd be able to convince them to vote for Hillary Clinton? That's a pipe-dream. Blaming the Russians wouldn't do that. You'd have to convince them that Trump was at fault. They'd have to vote against Trump. Why would they do that? Not because the Russians did them a favor. They won the election, and they'll take it.

What do you expect to happen?

But just imagine you could find enough electors to vote against Trump to put him below 270 votes. Will those votes go to Clinton? Again, no. That's not even a pipe-dream. It's not going to happen. Those votes would likely go to a different Republican... Cruz, maybe; or Paul Ryan. So let's imagine that happens (and you'll notice we have to imagine quite a lot of people doing things against their self-interest to get this far).

If no candidate gets 270 votes, then it goes to the House of Representatives, and they elect the President. They don't get to select just anybody, though. They have to choose from the top three persons with electoral college votes. So let's imagine that this is Clinton, Trump, and anybody at all. And the Republicans hold control over the House, but not by much. So there's a chance that you could entice a few of them to vote for Hillary Clinton, right? 

Oh, puh-leez. They'll have two Republicans to choose from, because they're limited to the top three vote recipients. And the Democrats aren't going to give up enough Hillary votes in the Electoral College to make sure that third choice is another Democrat.

But WAIT. In this election, it's not one-Representative, one-vote. It's one-STATE, one-vote (look up the 12th Amendment). So all of the Representatives in a State have to pow-wow and decide how their State is going to cast its one vote. Now it's important to look at who's got representative control of each individual State.  

  • The Republicans control the following 33 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
  • The Democrats control the following 14 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
  • The following states are tied. Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey
The winner needs 26 votes. The Republicans control 33. Congratulations. The Republicans win again, in a narrowly controlled House, by a landslide. 

What do you expect to happen?

Now... would it be Trump? Honestly... yeah. If the Republicans voted otherwise it would de-legitimize their own primary process. They don't like that he was elected, but now that he's their candidate, they've made the political investment of getting behind him and defending the process that put him there. So yeah, he'd still win. As everyone in a state's delegation would have to vote to prevent it, the minority opinion would be overruled. One state, one vote.


There is absolutely no way whatsoever that this will break for the Democrats. The Democratic leadership, unlike the unwashed masses and delusional pundits, know this for a fact as well. So WHY do we see them blaming the Russians?  We know this will not change the election.

Changing the election outcome can't be their goal. But they can de-legitimize the Trump presidency in hope of regaining the House in 2018. And one of the ways of doing that is to make sure he has some insurmountable problems that have to be "fixed" by electing more Democrats. So they're trashing international relations with the Russians. They want you to remember the vision of Donald Trump collaborating with Russian spies. Instead you'll remember that this was Obama's "WMD" moment, when he tried to force an international incident because he didn't get his way.
Basically, the Democrats know they can't win, so they're shitting all over the carpet before they leave. But this President-elect is not having it. Hell, he's already making phone calls to foreign leaders. I believe that both he and Putin know what's going on, and everybody on the planet knows that Executive Orders are the only power Obama has left. Anything he does with that power will be undone the nanosecond that Trump assumes the office. And instead of an international incident we get something that's easily undone with a handshake.

Literally, at this moment, best thing the Democrats can do is shut up and wait.

[1]  Let me be clear: I don't like Trump. Lord knows I said so often enough on this blog, and spend more time talking about his faults than I ever spent on Hillary Clinton's. But this was an election, and the results weren't a "mistake". The voters had actually spoken, and such recounts as were done confirmed it. So it's the time to stop posturing, be Americans, and make the best of it.

[2] Note the radical difference between political posturing of those who expect this to change the outcome of the election and the Congressional investigation aimed at the prevention of future cyberattacks. In the latter case, the legitimacy of the election is not questioned, though the security of our systems is. This is, however, properly the purview of those who were hacked, and not the Federal government.

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