Election season in America is like football season in Texas — you live and die with your team and any win’s a good one. So you expect partisans to support their candidate even when they don’t agree with what he’s done — which is why many rightbloggers who, I assume, are not in favor of sexual harassment still backed Trump through his recent groping charges.
But it was something else last week when, as his polls sank, Trump started raving about how the election was “rigged” — or rather revived his ravings about it — and said he might not accept the results. That’s a new one, and many establishment figures who expect to remain in public life after Trump’s gone (including a few Republican office-holders) denounced his statement as unsuitable to a republic.
Rightbloggers defended Trump — not, as they had with the groping, just because that’s how you play the game, but enthusiastically, as if this were not only a legitimate gripe but also a reflection of their core values.
As we have come to expect from the Party of Personal Responsibility, many claimed it was actually the Democrats’ fault.
For one thing, rightbloggers reasoned, Al Gore disputed the results of the 2000 election — for example, GOP Rep. Renee Elmers said, “Let’s remember that the 2000 election, we are still hearing Al Gore say that he really won that election and that George W. Bush stole it from him” — so, rubber-glue.
(For our younger readers: Gore disputed a fishy loss in Florida but, when SCOTUS ruled against him, dropped his challenge; he did not say three weeks before the election — nor at any point thereafter, despite much provocation — that the whole thing was a scam.)
“The Democrats never accepted the result of the 2000 election,” claimed National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, and “there were serious consequences.” Such as? “When the going got tough in Iraq, the illegitimate presidency was inflated into the illegitimate war.” If only Democrats hadn’t made such a stink about Florida in 2000, Iraq would be the 51st state, “Mission Accomplished” would be engraved on Mount Rushmore, and George W. Bush would have been invited to at least one of the past three Republican National Conventions.
At the Federalist, Bre Payton promised “8 Times Liberals Claimed An Election Was Stolen Or Rigged.” For one, she cited a claim by Ezra Klein that “once in office, candidates often get to have a say in where the electoral lines are drawn — which means they can gerrymander their way into staying in office.” See? Liberals believe in some sort of imaginary creature called a “Gerrymander,” while conservatives believe liberals are preventing People’s Choice Trump from his rightful Presidency — who’s to say one makes more sense than the other?
“It’s fair to argue that Trump’s harping on a rigged election is corrosive of our civic institutions,” said John Sexton at Hot Air. “But it’s also fair to say that Democrats constantly saying our economy is a rigged system designed solely to benefit billionaires is just as corrosive of civic trust in important institutions.” That is, believing America is on the verge of a coup d’etat is crazy, and so is believing there’s systemic income inequality.
While they insisted Gore was just paranoid to think Palm Beach wasn’t really Buchanan country, rightbloggers found it reasonable to assume that Democrats planned to steal an election Trump had otherwise securely won by sending paper-bag-test-losers around in buses to vote umpteen times for Hitlery. Well, the Indiana Secretary of State and rightbloggers weren’t going to let that happen!
At WorldNetDaily, Bob Unruh unveiled a big reveal from video ratfucker James O’Keefe’s latest sting: A Democratic operative saying, “We’ve been busing people in to deal with you fucking assholes for 50 years, and we’re not going to stop now.” Headline: “DEMOCRAT CONFESSES TO RIGGING ELECTIONS ‘FOR 50 YEARS.’ ” Only problem is, the guy looks too young! Now all they need is some elderly black guys to admit they went multi-voting in the 1960s, and they’re in business. (Come to think of it, a lot of politically aware black people did go around the country in buses back then.)
As-yet-unwalled-off Mexicans were also a problem. “Of course, I’m not sure where I might have gotten the idea that illegal immigrants might be motivated to vote against Donald Trump,” said Patterico’s Pontifications — and then he posted pictures of protesters (legal status undetermined) waving a Mexican flag. Ah-HA! It’s those La Raza bastardos who elected El Obama! “No wonder Democrats want the Republican candidate to declare fraud is not a problem before we even hold the election,” said PP. You know what to do, mis hermanos de cuellos rojos!
At Power Line, Scott Johnson quoted one William Campenni, a Bush defender from the days of Rathergate: “Donald Trump’s valid complaint that he can’t make any acceptance of election results when the threat of fraud has never been greater.” What? And also, how so? “Even in your own Minnesota you have a sitting senator placed there by voting fraud.” Umm, if you say so, guy, but —
“Recent studies have shown thousands of illegal alien registrations in Virginia,” Campenni went on — referring, it would appear, to reports in conservative journals based on unverified claims by conservative groups (and in such reports, they’re usually only “hundreds”). “My own identity (SS No.) was stolen last year and used to get a fraudulent tax refund and voting,” Campenni continued. “I have written in the past about the massive fraud here with illegal alien voting…” On the internet, unfortunately, no one can see you slowly backing away.
The funny part — well, if you have a suitably expansive sense of humor it’s funny — is that voter suppression, at which Republicans excel, isn’t on their radar: It’s just “paring the state voter rolls,” per McCarthy, “of those who have died or moved away…”
My very favorite conspiracy theory came from John Ellis at PJ Media: “Voter Fraud Accusations May Be Donald Trump’s Gift to Hillary Clinton.” And he wasn’t kidding! “With the constant drumbeat of ‘voter fraud’ staccatoing off the lips of Trump and his sycophants, conservatives are being hoodwinked into believing that their presence at the polls will be a waste of time,” said Ellis. “Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential race at the behest of his good buddy Bill Clinton. If that’s true, Trump is serving his friends the Clintons well because almost everything that he does seems to be in order to help Hillary get elected…”
Actually that’s my second favorite— my real favorite is Matt Kibbe’s video at Conservative Review. (Be sure not to miss Kibbe’s own opening ad for Patriot Mobile: “It’s time to beat the radical left at its own game,” he tells viewers, with a mobile network that’s about good reception and “defending your values.”)
“It’s pretty clear to anyone who’s paying attention,” Kibbe said, “that there’s an entire apparatus, not just the Democratic National Committee, not just the Democratic Party at large, not even just mainstream media, but even rock musicians and — go down the checklist, there’s a huge machine that’s trying to take Donald Trump out.” They built him up (“Is it an accident that CNN ran entire Trump speeches again and again and again?”) just to tear him down, apparently. “Yes, the system is rigged,” concluded Kibbe, “but more fundamentally than even Donald Trump appreciates.” Sadly he didn’t tell us where the rock musicians fit in this conspiracy, not to mention why they went to all that trouble.
It’s a terrifying way to look at the world, isn’t it? And in a few weeks it’ll get even more terrifying, one way or the other.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 24, 2016