Sunday, December 11, 2016

Liberal Dreams of Revolution

(Source)

The results of the presidential election have, as Scott Adams points out, given the left a huge case of cognitive dissonance. They have to either accept that their world-view was wrong, or that half of the country wanted to elect someone that the left claims is the next incarnation of Hitler. The left has chosen the latter course, which explains the sudden hysteria about "fake news" and the Alt-Right. As Richard Fernandez explains that Hillary lost the election because a large portion of electorate woke up to the fact that the emperor had no clothes:
     Suddenly it's clear not everyone benefitted from the era of Hope and Change. The Washington Post reports that "for the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year". Princeton economist Anne Case said  “this is singular. This doesn’t happen."
Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death. ... Death rates rose for white men, white women and black men. They stayed essentially even for black women and Hispanic men and women. ...
     "This doesn’t happen." But it did happen and inconveniently coincided with president Obama's term of office.  It was not the only disappointment in the rear view mirror . Suddenly there's news that Afghanistan may be falling, Iran has expanded its missile arsenal, North Korea has viable nuclear missiles,  Assad has come back from political death and is poised to wipe out US backed rebels in Aleppo. 

      The administration in its last days is now providing the press with a list of secret wars.  The president himself the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Tweeted that "on January 20th I will become the first President of the United States to serve two full terms during a time of war", without ever once revealing the definite identity of just who America has been at war with. 

     It is as if the actual contents on the Obama box didn't match the packaging. However it is domestic decline that appears most linked to voter frustration.  Hope turned out to be dope.  The Washington Post noted that that support for Donald Trump was highest in counties with "the highest drug, alcohol and suicide mortality rates".  It was the revenge of the despairing.
It is not enough, however, to blame "fake news" and "bigoted" voters. Thus, the left has invoked the Russians as a bogeyman in a spate of actual fake news. As The Intercept summarizes:
     The Washington Post late Friday night published an explosive story that, in many ways, is classic American journalism of the worst sort: The key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret. 
     These unnamed sources told the Post that “the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.” The anonymous officials also claim that “intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails” from both the DNC and John Podesta’s email account. Critically, none of the actual evidence for these claims is disclosed; indeed, the CIA’s “secret assessment” itself remains concealed. 
      A second leak from last night, this one given to the New York Times, cites other anonymous officials as asserting that “the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.” But that NYT story says that “it is also far from clear that Russia’s original intent was to support Mr. Trump, and many intelligence officials — and former officials in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign — believe that the primary motive of the Russians was to simply disrupt the campaign and undercut confidence in the integrity of the vote.”
 There appears to be no facts to support the claims; the Republican National Committee has flat out denied that it was hacked.

However, even if there is validity to the claims, we have to look at what happened. Unlike Ted Kennedy's appeal to the Soviets to actually intervene in the 1984 presidential election, there is no evidence that the Russians were trying to help a particular candidate. Also, the interference claimed was not the publication of lies, but the documents (mostly emails) that were leaked by Wikileaks showing the corruption and collusion of the DNC, Hillary campaign, and major news media. Moreover, even the Democrats own analysis show that that it was not Wikileaks that proved the most damaging to Hillary's campaign, but when Hillary called Trump voters a “basket of deplorables.”

Nevertheless, the story is now being spun by the left as evidence that the Russians were responsible for Trump's victory. Why? For the very reason espoused by the left--to undermine confidence in and the legitimacy of the electoral system and Trump's victory. Already the Huffington Post is claiming that "Russian Interference Could Give Courts Legal Authority To Install Clinton" and that "Russia Stole The Presidency. The Electoral College Can Take It Back." In the first article, the author claims that:
[A]t least one court decision suggests there is some federal authority to invalidate the election outcome after the fact. 
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the ruling of a federal district judge in Pennsylvania that invalidated a state senate election due to fraud, ordering the winner be removed from office and the subsequent vacancy be filled by his opponent. (Marks v. Stinson, 1994).
The Marks v. Stinson case, however, was based on actual voter fraud--fraudulently filed absentee ballots--and only ordered that a recount be performed based only upon the votes made in person at voting machines. Thus, it is hard to see how it would be applicable to this election, where the alleged fraud is that the voters found out the truth about one of the candidate's shady dealings.

The second article/op-ed descends further into the absurd, suggesting the while unfaithful electors do not necessarily have to cast their vote for Hillary, they could elect another Republican--the author's suggestion is Jeb Bush! Rest assured, any shenanigans at the electoral college risk severe civil unrest.

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