A blunt message about who is conning whom in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.

"If you put your faith in President Trump’s claim of a presidential election stolen through massive alteration of votes through the use of voting software, and in the legal skills of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, I am sorry to tell you that you have been conned." - N. Review

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Kevin Williamson has some great thoughts on this also. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-dumbest-coup/

This is not coming from mainstream media.

This raises some uncomfortable questions for conservatives. One of those questions is: How long are we going to keep pretending that this madness isn’t madness? Another is: How long will we continue to pretend that what’s being broadcast by Fox News and talk radio is political commentary rather than the most shameful, irresponsible, and unpatriotic kind of sycophantic for-profit propaganda? A third is: What exactly is the benefit — for our ideas, and for the country — of making common cause with these lunatics and hucksters?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JohnS's picture

Just from someone who has opposed Trump since he was running in 2016.  Check Jim Geraghty's tweets from back then.

Conning, if it is being practiced by Trump (doing so requires knowledge of motive - a most tricky thing), is not his exclusive domain. 

JD Miller's picture

If you believe that there was nothing wrong with the election, then there should be no reason not to audit all the allegations.  Why are people who hate Trump so resistant to look into these matters?  If Biden won legitimately, then we should have total transparency.  A lot of people including 1/3 of democrats believe that the election was stolen.  Whether it was or not, we need to have transparency and safeguards for any future elections. This is a bigger issue than Trump.  It is about whether or not we want to give up the right to elect our leaders and let a few key cities vote without oversight.  Even the chairman of the Federal Election Commission has concerns.  I do not want to ignore those concerns regardless of who ends up being the next president.  I am also very concerned about those who are willing to to ignore violations of the election law and do not want any reforms to protect the integrity of our elections.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Yesterday, as I drove through the small, rural WA town where I live, I came upon several crazed individuals gathered at a main intersection, at each corner. They waved signs about stolen elections. They even went so far as to claim the GOP challenger for Governor was defrauded out of an election win. The challenger lost by 13 points, and was the hapless Chief of a one man police department (he being the only officer) in rural WA. The city fired him a day or so after the election. 

There is a special kind of lunacy animating these folks on street corners. It's not far off from Giuliani's crazed presser during which hair dye melted in rivulets down his face, giving him a passing resemblance to a mis-gendered Tammy Bakker.

I watched Candice Owens attempt to defend this madness under questioning from British journalist Andrew Neil just this past Thursday. It was pitiful. You can see the gleam in her eyes; that sheen that marks a true believer. She couldn't answer Neil's questions, and her stock rantings against "the mainstream media" had little punch while speaking to an amused British journalist who conducted the interview from his home in France ...  

I've read it suggested that Trump's defeat will become a latter day "lost cause;" a hagiographic myth that inspires those who seek inspiration and soothes the consciences of those who want convenient explanations for their own misguided loyalties. I suspect this is correct. 

And, to conclude, I remind everyone Trump lost.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Yes, there are loonies on the Right, and loonies on the Left.  But we still need to investigate all reasonable claims of voter fraud.  They don't look very likely just now, but let's wait until they all play out.  I'm intrigued by the Nevada claim posted earlier in SI.  If true, that should be easily investigated.  Either there were, or were not more votes cast for President in Nevada than total votes cast.  Does anyone know the answer to this one?

G. N. Barkman

G. N. Barkman's picture

Just saw the update on a different thread.  The original claim proves to be untrue.  There were Not more votes cast for President in Nevada than total votes cast.  Another claim laid to rest.  That's what must be done.  Deal with them one by one until they are either substantiated or falsified.  When the claims have all been properly investigated, we can all breath a sigh of relief, and get on with life after the election.

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Yes, there are loonies on the Right, and loonies on the Left.  But we still need to investigate all reasonable claims of voter fraud.  They don't look very likely just now, but let's wait until they all play out.  I'm intrigued by the Nevada claim posted earlier in SI.  If true, that should be easily investigated.  Either there were, or were not more votes cast for President in Nevada than total votes cast.  Does anyone know the answer to this one?

I updated that post. The claim made by that source was not valid.

JD Miller's picture

I mean no disrespect,  but did you watch the whole Giuliani press conference or are you just reporting what you have heard about it?  It noticed that it was really long and the link we had to it was really glitchy and broken up.  I am wondering if anyone has a link to the whole thing that is not so glitchy.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Watched Rudy's whole thing. Turned it off when Powell's turn came. Saw Jenna "JMac" Ellis smirking behind him all the while.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

JD Miller's picture

Watched Rudy's whole thing. Turned it off when Powell's turn came. Saw Jenna "JMac" Ellis smirking behind him all the while.

What is the "JMac" comment about and how does your repeated mocking of people build your credibility?  I hope you don't do that to people in your congregation.  Let us deal with the substance of the statements  rather than name calling and making fun of peoples appearances.  

TylerR's picture

Editor

The JMac comment is because JMac retained her (and others) to defend him in his lawsuit. Trump's absurd arguments do not deserve respect. He is attempting to influence States to appoint electors who will do his bidding. His actions are beyond the pale, and he must go. He is a cancer on this country, and it's a shame so much of the American Church has married itself to him.

I suspect the "lost cause" explanation will indeed take effect, and it will be a false rallying cry for many people for a very long time. I've no doubt Trump himself will trumpet this to the heavens regularly once he eventually leaves office. That is quite sad. What's perhaps sadder is the number of evangelicals who will continue to follow him with stars in their eyes.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Why are people who hate Trump so resistant to look into these matters?  

I haven't seen reluctance to look into specifics. The way the law works, you make specific charges and back them with evidence. This has been happening every day since election day.

Similarly, where there are irregularities short of illegality, there are officials with the job of examining them, figuring out what happened, maybe auditing, maybe recounting, based on legal requirements.

This has also been going on pretty much every day since election day.

So we have the real things going on and we have various versions of a Big Story being told. The Big Story is the absurdity. "Reluctance" is more than it deserves.

Meanwhile, some real stuff going on in Wis... From state Senator Kathy Bernier (11/20 update email).

Since my last Update, President Donald Trump’s Campaign has requested a recount of all ballots cast in both Dane and Milwaukee Counties. Those efforts are getting underway today and will continue until completed, likely pausing only on Thanksgiving Day. The deadline for completion is noon on December 1st. The President’s Campaign has indicated that a number of lawsuits could result from this partial recount.

The Dane County recount will run daily from 8:00am to 8:30pm and can be viewed online here. The Milwaukee County recount will run daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm and can be viewed online here.

Because of the ongoing recount and anticipated court cases to follow, we are postponing our Elections Committee Hearing until a later date. A dedicated inbox has been created for residents state-wide to report potential election-related issues or discrepancies. Before sending a report, please keep the following in mind:

  • The information regarding potential fraud or irregularities should be first-hand and specific. Hearsay, non-specific events and news reports are unlikely to be useful.
  • Include as many details of the incident in your report as possible (who, what, where and when).
  • Include available supporting materials that would be helpful in supporting the allegation. This could include photos or names of witnesses.
  • Include personal contact information when possible. Anonymous submissions will be accepted, but it may limit the value of the provided information.

Please submit information to: election.complaints@legis.wi.gov.

"Unlikely to be useful" and "limit the value" are very gracious ways to say "a complete and total waste of time." Biggrin

Mostly election officials and workers take their work very seriously and have done their jobs... Or are still doing their jobs. 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dgszweda's picture

So I watched a video the other day of the judge talking to the Trump campaign.  I will try to find out.  But here is what the judge said.

"So you brought me all of these affidavits as evidence.  Let me get it right.  You received a lot of affidavits through your website.  Some you were able to prove as false.  The other ones you could not definitely prove were false.  The ones that you could not definitively prove were false, you threw into this court case as the basis of this filing?"

Trump's lawyers said yes.

"The judge said that is not how this works.  You need to bring affidavits that are true."

This is just typical of all of the cases being brought forward.

G. N. Barkman's picture

The longer this goes on, the more it appears that Trump's team is unable to provide evidence of fraud, or even evidence that demands further investigation.  This is, in one sense, disappointing, given the many serious charges that have been made.  It is, on the other hand, encouraging, that apparently there has not been widespread fraud, and that the election was clean and fair.  That would not be clear if these charges were not allowed to be presented.  If Trump had simply conceded, suspicions aroused by these charges would not die.  Perhaps now, they can be laid to rest.  Although some will never believe the evidence, I'm confident a strong majority will.  That can only happen if the precess is allowed to run its course.

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's over generous to credit Trump for pursuing charges he mostly ginned up himself by telegraph ahead of time that if he didn't win it would be a defacto stolen election, that mailed ballots can't be trusted, that the system is rigged, etc.

And then immediately following not winning, he started encouraging his fan base to report any and all hints of irregularity, whether they were factual or not. He didn't care. If he did care, he didn't breathe the vaguest hint of caring and gave every indication that he wanted election officials to be flooded with reports.

Why this strategy? Lots of theories, but there's no way to be sure. Maybe he fundamentally misunderstands how the legal system works and thinks that if you have a huge enough pile of claims it doesn't matter if none of them are true. I've met plenty of people who think, in a debate, that a large quantity of bad arguments somehow adds up to a good case. So that wouldn't surprise me.

Maybe he just intends to shore up his Big Story that he was robbed of the election because he believes this narrative will make him more powerful in his post-presidential career: since he'll have a vast mob of conspiracy theorists adoring him.

So the piles of nonfactual allegations feed the conspiracy narrative.

Now, I know, I'm going to hear "your subjective judgment, Aaron." But it's not that easy. There's this thing called inductive reasoning, where accumulated evidence (not accumulated groundless claims) support a generalization with a high level of probability. (e.g. I've seen fire burn wood many times, ergo, wood is flammable.) The evidence that Trump is the sort of person to do just what I've described is mountainous.

The conclusion is not subjective. It's level of probability is debatable but it's an objective assessment of evidence.

So... no, I don't give him credit for all this silly legal nonsense.

Yes, I do give credit to local investigators who have looked into claims, being faithful in doing their jobs. I'm not against all the followup. I don't credit Trump for taking legal action on a deluge of unsupportable claims he greatly encouraged.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dgszweda's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Why this strategy? Lots of theories, but there's no way to be sure.

Aaron, 

For those who have never had a relationship with an extreme narcissist, they are trying to understand Trump's strategy.  The fact is, there isn't a strategy.  The way that a narcissist's brain functions is very different from a normal brain.  Much like how a serial killers brain operates very different from a normal persons brain (not to say Trump is a serial killer).  The brain has a number of significant fundamental flaws.  They don't look at things or see the world the way that other people see it.  This is how one clinical psychologist explains it, in regards to Trump and his electoral defeat:

https://www.insider.com/what-will-it-take-for-trump-concede-narcissism-e...

He controls the narrative around him, by putting people in place that feed this narrative.  This is why he loves Rudy, but gets rid of Chris Krebs.  The security that is in place around this election is his doing.  And in reality Trump did a pretty good job at securing the election.  His team at HomeLand Security, Cibersecurity and other agencies, have been praised it what they did.  The legal avenues have failed, because, frankly, it was a very secure election.  But Trump doesn't see it that way.  And that is the fundamental cognitive flaw that he has that he can't overcome and he won't admit.

The second piece that adds to this is Trump's adoption of Norman Peale's philosophical idea of "willing your success".  Trump has credited this as a bedrock of how he operates.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/27/not-lies-donald-tr...

People, especially Christians have been caught up in Trump and his narratives, without really understanding why he thinks and operates this way.  It is very textbook, but people miss it.  What has frustrated me the most about this whole experience, is that I feel that many Christians have lost discernment.  They have been clouded because of abortion or other issues, and have lost discernment and understanding around some this.  We are great in discerning when it comes to religious matters, but loose it when it comes to secular matters.  Scripture states, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."  While we have been willing to accept Trump's problems because we may not want Biden, the church should have been the first in line on calling out the significant moral flaws of Trump.  And we didn't.  And it is disheartening.

G. N. Barkman's picture

To evaluate Trump's character flaws against the standard of Scripture is mostly objective, with the exception of those that evaluate motives.  What is subjective is how one weighs the evidence.  To conclude, as dgszweda does, that Christians are getting hung up on issues like abortion, and therefore remiss in not defecting from supporting Trump is a judgment call.  It is a subjective weighing of issues, and subjectively deciding that lying, for instance, is more serious than murdering babies in the womb.  That is subjective opinion, and one that most Bible believing Christians are unwilling to endorse. To conclude that other previous candidates, with their own list of character flaws, did not "cross the line" for Christian support, whereas Trump's flaws do cross the line, is not an objective conclusion, but a subjective judgment call.  Some agree with that conclusion, others believe that, in spite of Trump's enormous flaws, he is preferred to Biden with his own set of character flaws. What is worse, Biden's Leftist agenda with its frontal attack on Christianity and Biblical morality or Trump's flawed character?  Neither choice is a good one.  The decision involves a high degree of subjective judgment. 

I don't have a problem with that, because that's the way it is.  What I object to is promoting subjective reasoning as objective logic that demands the agreement of every clear thinking person.  Not so.

G. N. Barkman

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Judge Matthew Brann ... a conservative who had been involved in the NRA, the Federalist Society, and the Pennsylvania GOP prior to being nominated to the bench in 2012—did not hold back in his ruling.

In dismissing the Trump campaign’s action, he noted that the plaintiffs were essentially asking the Court to “disenfranchise” seven million voters. “One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens,” Brann wrote. “That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”  

Unfortunately, the complete article at The Dispatch is subscription access.

I'm sure many are going to try to spin this as a victory for progressives and cheaters, but this is clearly a false narrative.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dgszweda's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

I don't have a problem with that, because that's the way it is.  What I object to is promoting subjective reasoning as objective logic that demands the agreement of every clear thinking person.  Not so.

I think you miss my point.  I am not making an either or comparison.  No reason why you cannot support Trump, while being extremely vocal about the individuals moral and character flaws.  I am not sure why something like lying is subjective.  We have been okay not saying anything about his serious moral flaws.  That is what I am getting at.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Did I say lying is subjective?  No way!  Obviously, you are the one who is missing the point.  What I said is that concluding that lying is worse than murdering babies is a subjective judgment.  Not lying itself, but weighing lying as more serious than abortion, an issue you specifically mentioned.  You have the right to make a subjective evaluation regarding the relative seriousness of Trump's character flaws compared to the Left's attacks upon Biblical morality, religious freedom, etc.  Don't be surprised, however, that most Bible believing Christians are going to weigh abortion as more evil than lying.  In your view, Christians have gotten hung up on things like abortion.  In my view, people who minimize the enormous evil of abortion are the ones making the wrong judgment.  It's a subjective decision, but one shared by millions of Christians.

G. N. Barkman

dgszweda's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I'm sure many are going to try to spin this as a victory for progressives and cheaters, but this is clearly a false narrative.

After having read most of the court case filings and decisions, I will sum it up as follows:

The Trump campaign gathered their information around fraud, primarily from their reporting website and their phone lines.  If they were unable to prove it was false, it went into the pile of evidence that they used to support fraud.  This is where practically all of the proof came from.  By the way an affidavit means nothing, really.  It is just someone signing a piece of paper under perjury that they attest to the statement they gave.  Most of the statements were vague, so there was limited impact around perjury.

The arguments that were used were based on the following types of evidence/approach:

  1. An allegation of fraud from an observer, which later was proven was the correct operating procedure with the correct checks and balances in place.  This happened in quite a few instances.  For example, in Detroit an official noted that a truck appeared at the back of the counting center that had food signage on the side.  The employees rushed over to the truck, expecting food and it was opened up to only reveal a lot of ballots.  The truck had an out of state license plate.  The employee assumed fraud, reported it to the Trump campaign and signed an affidavit.  It was shown in court with legal documents that this particular truck was contracted by the election agency and had sealed boxes inside of the truck that were traceable.  The renting of trucks, sometimes with out of state license plate was shown to be the accepted practice as most counties did not the capacity to move this number of ballots around on county owned equipment once a month.
  2. An allegation of fraud from an observer when they cited an irregularity, with no proof that the irregularity created fraud.  An example of this was when an observer one time saw a crinkled up ballot not fed through a ballot machine and was cast aside.  What happened was that, that specific ballot that was observed was laid on a pile for hand counting.
  3. An allegation of isolated elements of fraud, with the intention of the suit being to throw out all votes within a certain scope.  This was the case in the PA case that was just thrown out.  Two electors stated that they were not able to correct their ballot when missing information was present, even though some counties allowed it.  The counties cited that allowed it, were all Democratic.  What was later found out was that the campaign purposedly picked Democratic counties and didn't do a check across the state.  In addition, they were seeking relief of throwing out all 7 Million votes.  The judge said that the real remedy was to allow those two votes to count.  The problem with this for the Trump campaign was that an analysis has shown that in these cases, the impact was typically less than 10 votes in counties, not yielding enough votes to really change anything.
  4. Outright conspiracy theories.  This was related to things like the Dominion polling system, where all kinds of conspiracy theories were thrown about, but when in reality were shown all to be false.

What was a bit surprising is that while the campaign shouted fraud, I could barely find any arguments based on fraud.  Most likely because the burden of proof was quite high.  Chris Christie said it best when he said that this whole legal process was an embarrassment.  There is no doubt irregularities and elements of small localized fraud that should be investigated.  What became clear to me in reading these was not that the campaign was really going after correcting the irregularities or fraud, but in overturning the election, mostly in throwing out votes that were primarily Democratic.  It is some weird stuff reading these.  I think in the end this is why they all failed.

Some have said this will be laid to rest now, but my assumption is that Trump will still be claiming it, just as he did yesterday with lies, and a large number of people will believe that it was rigged.  This won't change.

JD Miller's picture

For those of you who are debating lying vs abortion- are some of you suggesting that Biden has not lied as much as Trump?  Are you also suggesting that he did not have an extramarital affair with Jill before they got married?  Are you implying that Biden is not rude to those who question him?  It looks like a lot of selective outrage.  If Biden becomes our President we must all pray for him as our leader, but we must not pretend that he does not have character flaws too.  I have noticed that Trump supporters on SI have been very clear about their concerns about Trump's character flaws.  I have not noticed the same about the Biden supporters.  I get the impression that they support him because they believe he is a man of impeccable character.  I hope I have misunderstood their perspective.

John E.'s picture

Are there vocal Biden supporters on SI? Maybe there are. I don't recall.

G. N. Barkman's picture

I haven't seen anyone on SI who openly supports Biden.  There are several who vehemently oppose Trump.  With our election system, failing to support Trump is indirectly supporting Biden.  There are only two possible winners.  Either Trump gets more votes and defeats Biden, or Biden gets more and defeats Trump.  By now, we all know that Biden beat Trump.  Obviously, anyone who voted for Biden helped to elect him.  Not quite so obviously, but just as surely, anyone who refused to vote for Trump indirectly helped Biden, since no one but Trump was capable to keeping Biden out of office.  It looks like Trump's support among Evangelicals eroded by 5% to 6% since 2016.  (I'm waiting for more carefully researched figures.)  That is probably enough to flip the election in closely contested States.  It is likely that Evangelicals handed the presidency to Biden by refusing to vote for Trump.   I can understand the strong visceral disgust for Trump.  I share a measure of this myself, but I have trouble understanding the preference of Biden over Trump.  There may be some sheepish Christians in two or three years who will wish they had held their noses and voted for Trump.  I pray God will be merciful and allow the GOP to hold the Senate.  If so, that will significantly check some of the worst designs of the Left.  If not, we may all be missing Trump before long.

G. N. Barkman

dgszweda's picture

JD Miller wrote:

For those of you who are debating lying vs abortion- are some of you suggesting that Biden has not lied as much as Trump?  Are you also suggesting that he did not have an extramarital affair with Jill before they got married?  

Nope.  What I am questioning is why the general evangelical community is so quiet in calling out Trump's misbehavior.  The latest one being the election fiasco.  Instead, you have them sitting by silent.  We praise Trump for when he does something right, and sit silent when he acts the way he does.  And these are slight indiscretions.   The conservative evangelicals are the ones that are driving conspiracy theories, and driving people to sites like Parler and MeWe, because leadership sits idlely by.  Should we do the same for Biden?  Sure.  But we roasted Obama for significantly less mundane things than what Trump is doing.  We focus so much on the abortion issue, when the president practically has no power to change anything related to it.  In fact, abortion dropped significantly more during Obama's tenure than it did during Trump's tenure.  I don't want to debate that it was Obama that did it, because we know it was declining birth rates.  But it shows it has less to do with the president and more with state legislatures and other activities.  Anyway, all I am saying is that we need to be consistent when we address sin from our leaders.  I feel that the church has given up its leadership position in this area and have instead enabled it more than anything else.

Jim's picture

GSA Sends Letter to Biden Making Resources Available for Transition - Agency had held up federal resources amid Trump’s legal challenges To election results

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House will formally begin after the administrator of a federal agency determined Monday that he legally qualified for the resources and services available to the winner of the presidential election, ending a delay that had come under increasing criticism from members of both parties. resources to transition to the White House, ending a delay that had come under increasing criticism from members of both parties. Mr. Trump said he had instructed aides to cooperate with the transition approved by General Services Administration head Emily Murphy, though he pledged to continue his long-shot legal efforts to overturn the election result. “I believe we will prevail!” he said. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same,” he said. The decision by the GSA comes as Michigan on Monday certified the results of the election and legal setbacks piled up for Mr. Trump and his allies. No evidence of significant voter fraud has been produced, and Republican allies in Congress had signaled growing impatience with Mr. Trump and his team, though party leaders haven’t publicly pushed him to concede. In a letter to Mr. Biden, Ms. Murphy, the GSA administrator, cited recent legal developments and certifications of state election results in explaining her decision to stop blocking the resources.

dgszweda's picture

It appears to be now over.  With that said, I hope that Trump begins to focus on what he can do for the party.  He has tremendous political power, whether he is in office or not in office.  No one, in my opinion, has had so much political power, yet can't get out of his own way.  Hopefully he can focus on Georgia so that we can keep the Senate.  If he was very smart, he would spend the next four years, trying to gain more control of the House, reinforce the Senate, energize the party and come back in 4 years.

Mark_Smith's picture

dgszweda wrote:

If he was very smart, he would spend the next four years, trying to gain more control of the House, reinforce the Senate, energize the party and come back in 4 years.

Nope. Retire Trump. I'm done. I will not vote for Trump if he runs again. New blood, please.

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