I have no doubt Donald Trump did everything he could to steal this election. Which was, of course, not much. Stealing an election of this size and complexity is not some simple snatch-and-grab. It would require the sort of villain you see in a James Bond film — brilliant, diabolical, ruling his mercenary army with an iron hand. Does that sound like Trump?
As we wait for the Republican caucus to reacquaint itself with reality — which might take a while — I thought I’d collect a few thoughts about this election which, by the way, Democrats don’t have the skill set to steal, either.
Mailing it in
In a recent Twitter post, @Shoq pointed out that Covid has finally done something positive, and no, I’m not talking about Zoom concerts. Thanks to Covid, mail-in ballots are now a thing. More than that, they just might be the best thing that ever happened to Democrats, who have too often failed to vote in sufficient numbers to save democracy — which now seems to need saving at least every two years.
Mail-in voting is perfect, something Republican voters knew for years until Trump spoiled it for them. But Democrats have now taken to it bigtime, in staggeringly large numbers. And that genie won’t be going back in the bottle.
Take it from Lindsey Graham. Just the other day he speculated that if they don’t “do something” about mail-in voting, "we are going to lose the ability to elect a Republican in this country." Like that’s a bad thing.
Graham knows that with mail-in ballots, voting will finally become the one thing Republicans don’t ever want it to be: convenient.
Finally, we won’t be at the mercy of a nutjob boss who makes us take a vacation day to vote. Finally, even the most apolitical among us will be able to vote from our couches. And if we can’t bring ourselves to do even that much, then we deserve whatever Trump-ish buffoon the Republicans heave up next.
The S-Word — Again
It’s time to retire the word “socialism.” It doesn’t do anyone any good — not even socialists. Those on the right beat us over the head with it. Those on the left hold it up as some utopian vision that’s as intellectually vapid as it is vague.
It’s a stupid word that never should have escaped the nineteenth century. But instead it cost us Florida.
Republicans knew exactly how the Cuban, Colombian, and Venezuelan communities in Miami-Dade would receive that word, and they made it the centerpiece of their anti-Biden messaging. Never mind that what it means to those communities is vastly different from what it means to most of us. Never mind that they equate socialism with dictatorship, torture, property seizure, and death — things not generally associated with Joe Biden.
But there it was again, and it took Democrats by surprise again — just like when Richard Nixon smeared it all over Helen Gahagan Douglas to win his first Senate seat in 1950. We didn’t learn then. We haven’t learned now.
Wouldn’t we be better off talking about “hybrid economies” or something that sounds closer to what people who call themselves socialists actually mean, whether they know it or not? It really sucks to lose elections over a word.
Until this year, I’m not sure I ever knew the name of my postmaster general. Or, for that matter, the name of my General Services Administration administrator (a redundantly repetitious title). But note the name Emily Murphy — a name as ripe for besmirchment as Louis DeJoy.
Emily is the GOP tool who has inexplicably decided to immolate her own still-promising career, just to help Trump deny reality for a few more days. Whatever she’s thinking, it can’t be that he’ll show gratitude.
In refusing to grant the incoming Biden people access to the government, she's managed to trash her country and her reputation at the same time. I suspect she’s been promised a slot in some think tank, or maybe some backwater Sinclair TV station, where she can live out her days as a wingnut welfare queen.
Irony in Georgia
Many states, many of them bright red, have for decades invested much time and money into making their states “business friendly.” They’ve been wantonly sucking up to major corporations, especially in the technology sectors. They pimp their universities, especially the ones with famous football teams. They promote the “cultural diversity” of their downtowns and the “livability” of their suburbs. They promise lavish tax breaks, legislative concessions, and all manner of civic incentives.
Georgia is one such state, and it has largely succeeded in selling tech-forward companies on the Atlanta metro area, attracting a talented workforce while expanding the tax base and creating new opportunities for grift and political chicanery.
Unfortunately for the Republicans who’ve been running things forever, those highly educated workers moving in are not the gullible rubes they’re used to. If you’re a company working on, say, a Covid vaccine, you’re not about to hire a diploma-challenged goober who thinks QAnon holds the key to the universe.
So whether those two Georgia Senate seats flip or not, it’s only a matter of time before the goobers are outnumbered and the Republicans outflanked. And I’m guessing they won’t get the irony.
Speaking of which, I’m starting to think of this election as one big steaming pile of ironies — ironies that seventy million people will never get.