Let's Fix This Country

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Trump

77%  of Republicans believe there was widespread fraud in the presidential election says a Quinnipiac poll. A Reuters poll says about half of all Republicans believe President Donald Trump “rightfully won” the election but that it was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud. Those percentages applied to the over 73 million who voted for Trump say that plus or minus 50 million Americans think — and will go on thinking — that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president. How did this happen?

Christopher Krebs, Trump's own appointee to run the unit of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees elections, had worked with election officials in all 50 states. He concluded that the 2020 election "was the most secure in American history" with no “evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised”. Trump fired him for saying that.

The New York Times canvassed election officials in all 50 states. They reported the election went smoothly beyond expectations. In interviews and statements the officials said the process had been a remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of the pandemic. None could name any instances of fraud or irregularities that would have affected the outcome of the race.

And yet tens of millions of Americans think the election was somehow stolen. Again, how did this happen?

The answer is Donald Trump and only Donald Trump. Every claim of fraud, of a rigged election, of hundreds of thousands of phony ballots infiltrating the system, of millions of ballots "deleted" nationwide, of…


Supreme Court Ranks Religion Above Public Health

Just before midnight on Thanksgiving Eve, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction that nullified New York's limits on how many could gather in public places. The restrictions are meant to control the spread of the coronavirus. The Court was responding to two lawsuits by
A bewildered Roberts eyes the majority.     Ann Telnaes, Washington Post
two religious organizations asking for emergency relief, one Catholic and one Jewish.

The Court issued its rulings out of its evident agreement that impairment of the right to congregate for worship constitutes an "emergency"…

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The Electoral College Has Got to Go.
But We’ll Never Get Rid of It

Consider this: Donald Trump's insistence that the election was rigged, his claim of millions of fraudulent ballots, his re-election campaign filing some 60 lawsuits to overturn the election in key states, his suborning of state legislators to choose a slate of electors voting the opposite of how the people of their state voted, his attempt to lure Electoral College appointees to do the same,

his tweeting "Big project in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!", The Washington Post reporting that "The Proud Boys, members of armed right-wing groups, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists all have pledged to attend" and "far-right demonstrators workshopping ways to smuggle guns into the District", and now asking Georgia's secretary of state "to find 11,780 votes" somewhere to flip that state's Biden win.

Consider all this and realize that all of it — every last bit of it — owes to a freakish 18th Century constitutional anachronism, the Electoral College.

Sound exaggerated? If we instead had chosen the president and vice president by the national vote count, we'd have known the election's outcome by midnight November 3rd when Biden had already taken the lead. That would have been the end of it. We would have had none of the Kabuki ritual of the Electoral College — commissioners certifying county votes, legislators choosing slates of electors to send to Congress, Congress anointing the state submissions — that gave Trump the opportunity to attempt his coup by disrupting at every turn. It was the obsession with state votes, irrelevant in the national count, and the small margins of a few that gave Trump the… Read More »


But Doesn’t Religion Always Win Out at the Court?

The ruling against New York and California are of a piece with the Supreme Court's showing marked deference in past cases to those bringing religious complaints. Both before and after the turnover brought about by the retirement of Anthony Kennedy and the deaths of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, five of the conservative justices were and still are Catholic, with the sixth conservative — Neil Gorsuch — a Protestant educated in Catholic schools. Andrew Cuomo, New York's third-term Democratic governor and himself a Catholic, said after the Court struck…

the coup

Court Cases Failed, Trump Allies Try Overthrow

Donald Trump's campaign to reverse his loss to Joe Biden is without precedent in U.S. history.

The president had been working all summer to implant in the minds of his followers that voting machines were programmed to switch votes to Biden, that mail-in ballots were susceptible of fraud, that because of "the new and unprecedented massive amounts of unsolicited ballots" election results "may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED". On Fox News he said, supplying no particulars, "There are reports that, when…

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