May 6, 2021

Democrats Reaping What They Sow

“My sense is that if Trump wins, Hillary supporters will be sad,” left-wing writer Sally Kohn tweeted the day of the 2016 election. “If Hillary wins, Trump supporters will be angry. Important difference.” Kohn turned out to be wrong about her own side that year, which angrily set about delegitimizing Donald Trump’s victory. She was wrong, too, in her apparent assumption — shared by shop owners who boarded up their windows — that Trump supporters would react as violently to his defeat as the Black Lives Matter movement reacted to a death in Minneapolis.

Which is not to say that Trump and many of his supporters are responding gracefully to their candidate’s failure to repeat his 2016 feat of winning the presidency by a margin of 77,736 votes in three crucial states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania). They are not consoled that Joe Biden’s margin of victory in this year’s three crucial states (Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin) was an even smaller 43,809 votes.

While accepting, grudgingly, that he must yield the White House on Inauguration Day, Trump has not discouraged efforts by his lawyers and others to, somehow, overturn the result. None have come anywhere close to identifying errors that would justify overturning the result in one state, much less the three needed to reverse the result.

This should not be surprising. When one state whose electoral votes are decisive has a very narrow popular-vote margin, the results will be fiercely contested, as Florida’s were in 2000. The final official margin was just 537 votes.

That’s a lot less than 77,736 or 43,809, or the 118,601 by which George W. Bush carried the crucial electoral votes of Ohio in 2004. Overturning earlier narrow electoral-vote majorities would have required successful challenges of popular-vote margins of 18,488 in two states in 1976, of 317,742 votes in seven states in 1968 and of 33,538 votes in four states in 1960. That’s one reason losing candidates didn’t challenge the results.

Another reason is that we have — or had — a norm against delegitimizing election results. In 1960, Richard Nixon chose to observe that norm and not challenge results in multiple states. In 2000, Al Gore contested the results in Florida but conceded after the final court ruling and segued from electoral politics to issue advocacy.

Not so in 2016.

In violation of longstanding norms, Obama administration intelligence and law enforcement agencies spied on the opposition party campaign. Officials proffered the dodgy Steele dossier before the FISA court without revealing it was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

In violation of longstanding norms, Democrats refused to accept the result as legitimate. “I will not accede to this. I will resist,” tweeted liberal think tank head Neera Tanden (President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget) five days after the election. Democrats took to calling themselves “the Resistance,” suggesting the Trump administration was morally equivalent to the pro-Hitler Vichy regime in France.

Again and again, leading Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the late Rep. John Lewis, Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter — called Trump an “illegitimate” president. For three years, Democrats advanced the Russia-collusion hoax without finding or producing any evidence except for the discredited Steele dossier.

Joe McCarthy had the limp excuse that at some point, there were some communists in the State Department. Democrats and their many allies in the news media lacked a similar excuse for propagating the Russia-collusion hoax.

So, you can find polls that say most Democrats believe Trump is an “illegitimate” president and that Russians hacked election websites and polls that say most Republicans believe Biden stole the election with the connivance of election officials in multiple states.

High-minded commentators who paid relentless and respectful attention to what were obviously absurd and concocted charges of Russian collusion lament this state of affairs. They urge everyone to heed Joe Biden’s call to “unify” the nation.

They have a point. Democrats have misbehaved for four years in trying to delegitimize Donald Trump’s 77,736-vote victory. Donald Trump and many Republicans have been misbehaving for four weeks in trying to delegitimize Joe Biden’s 43,809-vote victory.

The conservative National Review is right to denounce Trump’s “disgraceful endgame.” But its liberal counterparts have done little or nothing to denounce Democrats’ disgraceful flouting of longstanding norms. The few left writers- — Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi — have taken flak and separated themselves from institutional affiliations.

Democrats who are dismayed that many Americans aren’t meekly accepting the legitimacy of the Biden presidency are in the process of learning a lesson taught a very long time ago. You reap what you sow.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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34 Responses

  1. President Trump must not concede. He won the election and the demonrats will be taken down and out for cheating!

  2. A NEW ELECTION SHOULD BE DONE THIS MONTH AND THE POLICE SHOULD BE AT EVERY POLL TO MAKE SURE IT IS DONE RIGHT, VOTER ID AND CITIZENSHIP SHOULD BE MANADATORY. QUIT MESSING AROUND, IT CAN BE DONE IN A WEEK.

    1. I totally agree with you but it will never happen. Our wimpy Republicans will not step up and do what is necessary. I don’t know about anybody else but I am having a really difficult time being a Christian.

  3. President Trump should remain our president! He has fought long & hard for the American ppl! He is truly the people’s choice!

  4. If you trust your own eyes and have seen the videos that “prove” illegal cheating, beyond a shadow of a doubt; if you believe the sworn affidavits of actual eye-witnesses, who “saw” all this activity take place, then you and I, BOTH KNOW, President Trump did win re-election and the democommies, including slo-joe, thought they could get away with their illegal activity. Do NOT give up, do NOT back down and, above all, do NOT let this criminal cult get away with this. If we relent, this beautiful Republic our Founders worked so hard to protect and create, will crash and burn, never to return.

  5. D[D TRUMP APPOINT UNDER COVER COMMUNIST TO THE SUPREME CT? ARE WE ALREADY SURROUNDED & INFILTRATED WITH THEM? CAN WE OVER COME THIS MESS?PATRIOTIST MUST BOLDLY STAND UP. THE MARXIST ARE NO LONGER AFRAID OF PRISON OR HANGING!!!!!HOW HAS TRUMP HELPED TO GET MORE PEOPLE ELECTED TO CONGRESS &HELPING THE SENATORS, THEN LOSE THE ELECTION? THE VACCINE DONE BY PRESIDENT IS OF SEISMEC IMPORTANCE& WORLD BREAKING NEWS!!! ALL AMERICANS IS NOT OVERTURNING THE VOTE BUT GET RID OF THE CROOKED BALLOTS GOD HELP ALL AMERICANS WHEN BIDEN TAKES OVER ARE HE DOES NOT KNOW HIS WIFE FROM HIS SISTER OR IF HE IS PRESIDENT OR A SENATOR.THERE WILL BE MORE DEATHS BECAUSE OF BIDENS DEMENTIA& LACK OF LEADERSHIP. PRESIDENT TRUMP NEVER GIVE UP;WE THE PEOPLE ARE WITH YOU &GOD ISWITH YOU , WATCH CROOKED STACY ABRAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. PEOPLE WERE NEVER MADE AWARE OF ALL THE CRAP THE BIDEN FAMILY HAS BEEN UP TO FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS AS NO ONE BUT FOX GAVE OUT THE TRUTH AND YES JOE KNEW WHAT HIS SON WAS UP TO LIKE JOES BROTHER SAID PLAUSABLE DENIABILITY THE BIDEN FAMILY IS IN BED WITH SOME BAD PEOPLE AND WITH THE FRAUD THAT GOT JOE THE ELECTION HE OWES ALOT TO A LOT OF BAD CROOKED PEOPLE AND WE THE PEOPLE WILL BE MADE TO SUFFER THIS NEEDS STOPPED I WANT JUSTICE

    1. I hadn’t thought of that. Things aren’t going to be good under Biden or Harris if she takes over. Biden is someone’s pawn, China, Obama, the left, all bad to be beholden to.

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