We live in a bizarre and dangerous time when arguments presented without evidence can prevail — particularly in the algorithm-driven Court of Public Opinion. This court is not presided over by particularly sophisticated judicial minds. Any assertion that sounds legally plausible will do to support a claim already endorsed by partisans. Doctrines like Presidential Privilege, or Sovereign Immunity sound pretty impressive, and pretty darned absolute and unassailable. Case closed!
Blanket Unlimited Protective Presidential Immunity (for the president and anyone who has ever talked to him): BINGO! Sounds like a winner, unless you look at every previous Supreme Court ruling on less audacious claims of presidential immunity.
Fortunately for our democracy, laws and legal precedents govern when legal doctrines may be applied – and when they may not be applied. The final word on what is lawful is given to the courts of our country. These cases are won or lost based on who has the superior evidence for their claim. If powerful sounding legal doctrines are misused by the government, as Bill Barr routinely does, simply as stumbling blocks to delay the court’s final determination of a claim the AG (and every other legal scholar) knows will fall — that’s fatal for our democracy and the delicate system of checks and balances that upholds it.
Trump’s only hope for an outright, or at least arguable, electoral victory is chaos, confusion, fear, rage, violence and the suppression of millions of votes from people he’s alienated by his divisiveness and incompetence.
He’s favored in this hope by the winds of the highly infectious pandemic he decried and denied for months, a rampaging, deadly, airborne disease that creates chaos, fear, confusion. 39% of Americans couldn’t care less that he deliberately lied to the nation about the severity of the virus, as he revealed for posterity during his many recorded talks with Bob Woodward.
He’s favored by the discord he sows every day, the fear, rage and violence he inspires as he publicly strives to keep everyone calm. Those who follow him will insist he is the Law and Order candidate striving to keep everyone calm. They will faithfully repeat what the president himself has said, defending his decision to lie about the deadliness of the novel coronavirus.
He is NOT favored by the evidence for virtually any of his claims.
He’s not the brilliant dealmaker and great businessman he boasts about being; he’s a fraud and a snake-oil salesman, a serial failure saved from bankruptcy by vast family wealth over and over. Just before his election he settled a case to shut down his fraudulent university, as president his charitable family foundation has been shuttered for illegal activity.
Trump is well-known to be a compulsive liar. It is a compulsion, he literally has to lie. He is in jeopardy of prosecution for multiple crimes once he is no longer president. He’s been kept in office so far, in the face of massive evidence of his obstruction, abuse of office and other wrongdoing, only by fervent true believer AG Barr and soul-dead Senate leader McConnell. Trump is wounded and dangerous.
Please look at and memorize this number to trot out at your next virtual cocktail party: 44/millionths of one percent:
44/millionths of one percent
Rate of voter fraud in the United States 2000-2016: 0.0000044%
The president’s repeated claims about massive vote-by-mail fraud are not supported by any evidence. Voter fraud is a brazen lie told to help suppress the numbers who will be allowed to vote. You can read about the lack of evidence of voter fraud he and the RNC submitted in a federal suit they recently brought to limit mail-in voting during a pandemic .
Trump’s presidential commission on Election Fraud, created soon after his razor thin 78,000 vote Electoral College victory in 2016, tasked with finding the three million fraudulent Hillary voters that gave her a wide margin in the popular vote (many of these voters were dead Mexicans, as I recall Trump saying) found zero evidence. Headed by voting rights zealots Mike Pence and Chris Kobach, the commission shut down after two meetings, having turned up no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
By now, everyone should know Trump’s election rigging voter-fraud claim is false, a lie, 100% bullshit. The rate of demonstrated voter fraud is, let’s repeat it, to help remember the nano-percentage of cases of actual voter fraud, to drop into conversation:
44/millionths of one percent
Rate of voter fraud in the United States. 2000-2016: 0.0000044%
Yet the media continues to report on claims of widespread voter fraud like it is a real issue.
I read one in the NY Times the other day, grotesquely contorted to appear fair and balanced, that made me hate them anew. All they needed to do in that article was somewhere provide the number of actual, documented voting fraud cases from 2000-2016: 0.0000044% (or use the equally descriptive “statistically insignificant”). They dared not cite that damning fact, for whatever accursed reason, in assessing the truth or falsity of Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud and a rigged election.
You read the NY Times article and emerge with the idea that some very smart lawyers believe that mail-in fraud is much more widespread than in-person fraud. Perhaps as much as 200% more prevalent: 97/millionths of one percent, one imagines. Even if it is 1000% more prevalent, that’s 44/100,000ths of one percent. Come on, Grey Skank… sheesh, what is in it for you?
Trump has been pushing this load of crap since he announced that he was running for president in 2016. Check out this report from the Public Broadcasting System, October 2016, completely debunking this ignorant blowhard talking point.
As for American votes actively suppressed, recently, votes already legally cast and yet actually not counted, keep reading. This exchange is from the latest interview by national treasure Bill Moyers, about a federal lawsuit this Republican election lawyer is bringing to trump the multiple frivolous Trump lawsuits arguing for the need to curb unsubstantiated, widespread voter fraud [and also to throw a wrench into Trump’s ongoing conspiracy with mega-donor Postmaster General DeJoy to slow the delivery of mail]:
DAVID BERG: We have to prove imminent harm. In order to get any kind of injunctive relief from any court in the country, you have to prove that you are in imminent danger of losing, in this case, a valuable right, for which no money can compensate you. This is at the heart of this democracy: a free, unfettered right to vote. In this case, we were able to show, this is what we think is the harm. This is what we think we can say to the court. “Look, your Honor– ” I wouldn’t say, “Look, your Honor.” But I would say, “Your Honor– we have four people here. Their experience, from all published reports, is no different from millions of Americans. Their right to vote was unconstitutionally burdened, as the test goes.”
BILL MOYERS: In their primaries.
DAVID BERG: In their primaries. Yes, exactly. And in the runoffs. So, we say to the court, “That’s not something that a voter should have to confront.” And we can’t be certain, given everything that’s happened with the United States Postal Service, that this is not going to happen again. “This” being the failure to deliver the ballots in response to applications. And then, and this is also critical, because this is unknown to the voter. There were tens of thousands of votes that arrived too late at election officials’ offices during the primary season, and in the runoffs, Bill. And they weren’t counted. Used to be that, you know, you postmarked your mail-in ballot on the last day before the election, and it’ll get counted. We don’t have that assurance anymore.
BILL MOYERS: So what are you asking the court to do?
DAVID BERG: The court can look to the causes. There are four causes of the slowdown, probably more that we don’t know about. But there are four that widely publicize. The most serious of the causes, you’ve probably heard DeJoy and other of his cohorts at USPS–
BILL MOYERS: Postmaster DeJoy, President Trump’s appointment to be postmaster general.
DAVID BERG: Yes, exactly. He’s bragged about the fact in an email to all of the 600,000 employees of the United States Postal Service that the rate of delivery has really improved. On-time delivery has gone from 83% to 94% in just a month. That’s just about as trustworthy as when he, DeJoy, said he would suspend all the changes. Which was just a head fake, was just three card Monty with our election. When he said he’d suspend the changes that he was making at the post office claiming it just to be for cost-cutting, what he really meant to say was, I’m not going to reverse the changes I’ve already made, which has created slowdowns in mail delivery, failure to deliver mail all over the country. Especially more pronounced in some parts than others. So what we’re asking the court to do is lift the hiring freeze. Thousands of postal workers have been sidelined by the Coronavirus. And the fallacy of this business about delivering on time, Bill, if your trucks all leave on time, that’s one thing. But they leave on time without the mail. They are no longer allowed to do late deliveries or special deliveries to customers. So the mail stacks up, and that makes the delay even worse. So yes, he’s telling us the trains are running on time. But they’re empty.
 Trump’s claim in the case — that mail-in voting:
… denies any procedural visibility to candidates, political parties, and the public in general, thereby jeopardizing the free and fair public elections guaranteed by the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. The most recent election conducted in this Commonwealth and the public reaction to it demonstrate the harm caused by Defendants’ unconstitutional infringements of Plaintiffs’ rights. The continued enforcement of arbitrary and disparate policies and procedures regarding poll watcher access and ballot return and counting poses a severe threat to the credibility and integrity of, and public confidence in, Pennsylvania’s elections.
is not only unsupported by evidence (in apparent contempt of a judge’s order) but these claims are identical to Kremlin talking points about the upcoming US election. How a federal lawsuit is allowed to go forward, unsupported by evidence of any kind, in spite of the unambiguous order of the federal judge that Plaintiff’s submit evidence or STATE THAT THEY HAVE NO EVIDENCE, is a modern American judicial mystery. The failure of the news media to report on it is a modern American media mystery.