Election Day Reads


Good Morning!!

Election Day has finally arrived! At midnight last night Joe Biden won all 5 votes in Dixville Notch, NH. Is it a good omen? I hope so.

Biden spent the past week talking about how we can restore the soul of America and get the pandemic under control. Trump spent his time at superspreader rallies complaining about how mean everyone is to him, sounding like what he is–a crazy old man completely out of touch with reality.

This morning on Fox and Friends, he attacked Fox News for putting clips of Obama and Biden on the air and he told the hosts that the U.S. is harder for him to deal with than Russia or North Korea.

The New York Times: As Election Day Arrives, Trump Shifts Between Combativeness and Grievance.

President Trump arrives at Election Day on Tuesday toggling between confidence and exasperation, bravado and grievance, and marinating in frustration that he is trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr., whom he considers an unworthy opponent.

“Man, it’s going to be embarrassing if I lose to this guy,” Mr. Trump has told advisers, a lament he has aired publicly as well. But in the off-camera version, Mr. Trump frequently exclaims, “This guy!” in reference to Mr. Biden, with a salty adjective separating the words.

Trailing in most polls, Mr. Trump has careened through a marathon series of rallies in the last week, trying to tear down Mr. Biden and energize his supporters, but also fixated on crowd size and targeting perceived enemies like the news media and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s infectious disease expert whom he suggested on Sunday he might try to dismiss after the election.

cbr103120daprAt every turn, the president has railed that the voting system is rigged against him and has threatened to sue when the election is over, in an obvious bid to undermine an electoral process strained by the coronavirus pandemic. It is not clear, however, precisely what legal instruments Mr. Trump believes he has at his disposal.

He’s got nothing except his hopes that he can steal the election by suppressing votes or get his cronies on the Supreme Court to name him to winner. 

His mad dash to the finish is a distillation of his four tumultuous years in office, a mix of resentment, combativeness and a penchant for viewing events through a prism all his own — and perhaps the hope that everything will work out for him in the end, the way it did four years ago when he surprised himself, his advisers and the world by winning the White House.

But by enclosing himself in the thin bubble of his own worldview, Mr. Trump may have further severed himself from the political realities of a country in crisis. And that, in turn, has helped enable Mr. Trump to wage a campaign offering no central message, no clear agenda for a second term and no answer to the woes of the pandemic.

Read more insider stuff at the link.

At The Washington Post, Alexandra Petrii mocks Trump’s threat to prematurely declare himself the winner if he’s ahead tonight: I’d like to announce right now that I have won the 2024 Olympics.

Hello, everyone! As long as we are sharing our plans to announce that we’ve won things we haven’t won, I would like to announce now that I have won the entire 2024 Olympics. I was surprised, too, given that I do not do any sports, and the Olympics have not concluded — or even started — yet, but, well, there it is. You had better cover my announcement, because I think it is big news for one person to win the entire Olympics of 2024, the Summer Olympics, the better of the two Olympics!

jd110220daprIt’s especially impressive when you consider that I am not an athlete! I used to run, but only when late for a train, and I don’t do that anymore. And yet it did not matter: I won the 2024 Olympics! Incredible! I won the pole vault and I won the gymnastics (floor and balance beam) and I also won all the events that Katie Ledecky usually wins, which should be impossible, but I guess it was not, because I must have believed in myself. A pretty inspiring story, I think, and big news. I hope America will hasten to get behind me and acknowledge my victory with various parades and jet flyovers and things of that nature.

Please stop saying I haven’t won the 2024 Olympics and we won’t know who won the 2024 Olympics until 2024, at the very earliest. This partisan sniping tears America apart! We all know that the realest, most important part of the Olympics has already happened: the part where it was announced and I decided I would like to have won it.

All the indications are pretty clear, now, before the races have concluded or even begun, that I am the clear winner in all the Olympic events. My shot-put performance was especially impressive! This overwhelming show of strength by me speaks for itself. Please don’t be distracted by the calls of the so-called athletes to “wait for the Olympics to begin, transpire and conclude before we declare a winner.” That would be divisive, the last thing we need right now, when we should all be rallying around me, the clear winner of events which, were they to have been won by someone else, would be illegitimate and thievish.

Late last night, Trump posted an embarrassing video of himself “dancing” at his superspreader events. Here’s the response from MeidasTouch:

According to Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman at Politico, Republicans are secretly disgusted by Trump’s threats to interfere with voting: Republicans publicly silent, privately disgusted by Trump’s election threats.

At rallies across the Midwest and Sun Belt swing states, President Donald Trump has been openly discussing murky schemes to prevent legitimate ballots from being counted, escalating threats to disenfranchise millions of American as the weeks-long voting season ends tonight and his pathway to reelection becomes increasingly narrow.

“The Election should end on Nov. 3, not weeks later!” the president said on Friday. He repeated the claim at an event in Dubuque, Iowa on Sunday, adding falsely, “That’s the way it’s been, and that’s the way it should be.”

Democrats have been clear in their condemnations of the president’s comments, which they consider the most worrisome of Trump’s four years in office, which were often marked by anti-democratic rhetoric….

But most Republicans, from critics to allies of Trump, have remained publicly silent. It’s not new for Trump’s party brethren to duck and cover when he says something troubling. But after five years of perfecting the art of explaining how they “didn’t see the tweet” — the much parodied talking point to which Republicans on Capitol Hill often resort — it is shocking but not surprising that they aren’t speaking up now, even when the integrity of America’s electoral system is under attack by their party’s leader….

244970_rgb_768Many Republicans insist they are disgusted by Trump’s threats, they just aren’t willing to say so publicly. Dozens of quietly anti-Trump members on Capitol Hill, or who left the Trump administration, usually in disgust, are willing to torch the president — but only under the cloak of anonymity.

“It’s despicable and un-American but not surprising,” said one senior Senate GOP aide. “They have never had any respect for the institutions of democracy that don’t benefit them. The beauty of federalism is that we leave it to the states to make their own rules and the idea that a president would overturn a state official’s decision to benefit them in an election is just kind of the antithesis of what Republicans used to believe in.”

It’s way too late for Republicans to redeem themselves now. They should all be voted out. 

According to Axios, Biden has a plan to “assert control” if the networks declare him the mathematical winner:

If news organizations declare Joe Biden the mathematical president-elect, he plans to address the nation as its new leader, even if President Trump continues to fight in court, advisers tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden advisers learned the lesson of 2000, when Al Gore hung back while George W. Bush declared victory in that contested election, putting the Democrat on the defensive while Bush acted like the winner.

So if Biden is declared the winner, he’ll begin forming his government and looking presidential — and won’t yield to doubts Trump might try to sow.

  • Biden’s schedule for Tuesday includes a clue to this posture: He “will address the nation on Election Night in Wilmington, Delaware.”

sk102320daprBiden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters Monday that even if all the votes aren’t counted tonight, the campaign should have “a very good sense of where we’re headed”:

  • “We’re not really concerned about what Donald Trump says. … We’re going to use our data, our understanding of where this is headed, and make sure that the vice president is addressing the American people.”

To show momentum, Biden may begin transition announcements quickly, starting with senior staff appointments.

That way, core aides won’t have to worry about their own jobs, but will immediately be able to get to work.

At The New York Times, Peter Wehner writes that even if we can rid ourselves of Trump, we’ll be dealing with the people who bought into his insane conspiracy theories for a long time to come: Trump Lives in a Hall of Mirrors and He’s Got Plenty of Company.

If Donald Trump loses his re-election bid, there will be a lot of ruin to sort through. But his most damaging and enduring legacy may well turn out to be the promiscuous use of conspiracy theories that have defined both the man and his presidency.

The president’s cruelest policies, like intentionally separating children from their parents at the border, can at least be ended, although their devastating effects will reverberate for decades. It’s less clear what the half-life is for his conspiracy theorizing, which fundamentally distorts the way people think about politics, our country and reality itself.

wpnan201031There have been so many conspiracy theories it’s easy to forget some of them, and this list is hardly exhaustive, but it includes Mr. Trump claiming that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States and that Bill and Hillary Clinton were behind the death of their former aide Vince Foster; suggesting that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John Kennedy and that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of a staff member nearly 20 years ago; retweeting claims that SEAL Team 6 didn’t kill Osama bin Laden in 2011; insisting that Ukraine was hiding Hillary Clinton’s missing emails and that Mr. Obama wiretapped Mr. Trump’s phones; and promoting QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that believes, as Kevin Roose put it in The Times, that “the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring.”

There was a time when popularizing such crazed machinations would have caused one to be cast to the outer fringes of American politics; in the case of Mr. Trump, it helped elect him and has created a cultlike devotion among tens of millions of his supporters. And because of Mr. Trump, conspiracy theorizing is now a central feature of the Republican Party and American politics.

Read the rest at the NYT.

One more before I wrap this up from Jordan Weissmann at Slate: Do Not Lose Sight of the Fact That Every Aspect of This Is Absolutely Insane.

Maybe the polls are right, and Joe Biden is on course for a dominant 7 or 8 point win over Donald Trump. He could pick up a couple of decisive swing states that are supposed to finish counting votes on Tuesday night—North Carolina and Arizona, for instance—and short-circuit the president’s plan to first claim victorythen sue his way to a second term. There’s a chance that Democrats will eke out a Senate majority, too, so that they can actually govern come January, and deal properly with the deadly plague that’s reshaped our lives and crippled the economy. Perhaps there won’t be any violence at voting places, and people will be able to cast their ballots without getting hurt. Knock on wood.

But even if this election does bring an orderly end to the Trump era, do not for a second forget that absolutely everything about it, and the year that has led us to this point, has been utterly, incalculably insane, a 50-car pileup of reminders that we are a broken society with a broken political system that seems ever-more untenable, whether or not we are doomed to spend four more years with our addled president.

lk103020daprIt is insane, for starters, that he even has a shot of pulling this race out. Nobody, least of all Trump, believes that he will win the popular vote. It is not even a discussion at this point. But we’re all trapped in a mad house erected upon the Electoral College, an anti-majoritarian barbarism that, according to conventional wisdom, now requires Democrats to win by at least 3 percent to have a shot at the White House and drives otherwise sensible Americans to spend sleepless nights and precious emotional energy freaking out over early voting patterns in Miami-Dade.

Other countries—the ones we like to think of as our peers, even if they see us more like a tragic, strung-out uncle these days—don’t do this to themselves. In normal, advanced presidential democracies, the candidate who gets the most votes actually wins. We’re the only one where the person who comes in second can still somehow end up in charge. There is nogoodargument for it, in this year of our collective misery 2020. It is nuts.

It is also pure lunacy that after four years of family separations, tax cuts for the rich, transparent corruption, and deadly ineptitude, more than 4 in 10 Americans are apparently ready for another round of Trump. We are literally living through one of the worst-case scenarios experts anticipated when he was first elected: A pandemic that has killed 231,000 Americans, thanks in no small part to the White House’s botched response, and is set to ravage the country for months more, since Republican leaders seem to have mostly decided to let COVID rip and hope for the best. This a man who caught a deadly pathogen because he wanted to look tough and felt silly wearing a mask, turned a White House Rose Garden party into a superspreader event, and ended up dragging the country through a week of steroid-fueled psychodrama as doctors blasted him with experimental treatments to save his life, then somehow concluded that, hey, the disease wasn’t so bad after all. Since then, he’s moved on to talking openly about firing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most trusted disease expert in America, after the election as payback for criticizing the administration’s response.

So the day of decision is finally here. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not making any assumptions–not after what happened in 2016. If all goes well, we should have some idea who the winner late tonight. If Trump really does try to declare a premature victory or contest the results, I think the best response would be to mock him. He has been looking weak and whiny at his ridiculous rallies. He is clearly exhausted; maybe he’ll decide to take his ball and go home to one of his golf resorts and wallow in self-pity. I can only hope that’s how this ends.

How are you all doing? Please check in with us today. As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, we’ve been doing this together for a very long time now; we can help each other get through what’s coming–whatever it is. We’ll have a live blog up later tonight when the returns start coming in. Take care, I love you all!

24 Comments on “Election Day Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Sure hope he’s right. I’m worried. 2016 is still vivid, and our election system is far from protected from Rethug and Russians hacking.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      From the article above:

      Last week, just before I left my home to vote, I posted a satirical video. In it, I pretended to be a Trump supporter left stranded in the cold following his Omaha, Nebraska rally. “I’m having a great time — I can’t feel my body, but I don’t really need my body. This is about Trump’s body,” I said in the video. “I think he did this to teach us a lesson, I really do. What was that lesson? Well, that’s not really for me to know.”

      “I would walk 750 miles in below-zero temperatures, nip-nude, just to hear [Trump] speak,” I continued. I didn’t expect anyone who saw my comedic take on MAGA supporters seriously; after all, I’ve been posting satire about Donald Trump for a pretty long time.

      Little did I know that documentary filmmaker Michael Moore would soon share my video as an example of why Trump won the 2016 election — and why he just might win again. According to Moore, Trump’s victory was all due to the “commitment of his voters,” such as my comedic character who didn’t care about her body and learned lessons she couldn’t understand. Moore juxtaposed my fake Trump voter with Democrats who, he said, would never “walk 750 miles in below-zero temperatures, nip-nude” to hear Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden speak. He seemed to be implying that those of us vehemently against a Trump win in 2020 simply aren’t committed enough to the cause.

      As I watched the dancer twirl her flag in the heat of a Georgia afternoon and urge passersby to vote when I went to the ballot box; as the volunteer poll worker encouraged us to chin up, cheer up, and dance — over and over again — without ever losing a drop of her own enthusiasm; as I thought about the voters who stood in line for 10 hours during the first few days of early voting, adamant on defeating the blatant voter suppression which seeks to wear them down, I couldn’t help but think that Michael Moore is, well, wrong. If you ask Moore, people like us aren’t dedicated enough to ensuring and rebuilding a democracy that works for all. But then again, if you ask Moore, my video was from an actual news broadcast, so perhaps he isn’t the most reliable source of information, eh?

      • quixote says:

        “But then again, if you ask Moore, my video was from an actual news broadcast, so perhaps he isn’t the most reliable source of information”

        I love Blaire Erskine! So understated (yes, I’m being funny). So true (not being funny).

  5. Beata says:

    Absolutely gorgeous day here! Perfectly clear blue sky. No clouds whatsoever.

    I am feeling optimistic. Love you all! Stay strong!

  6. jslat says:

    Hi bb! I woke up so hopeful this morning! The lines at the polls in Delaware are the longest in anyone’s memory. A big turnout across the country bodes well for a Blue Tsunami and a Biden win. Hugs to all fellow skydancers. My favorite campaign slogan ” Make America America Again” is singing in this old lady’s heart.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Weird, but yesterday I had that feeling like I my sisters and I had as kids on Christmas Eve–just trying to find ways to pass the time until the big day. I was going to try to escape by reading a lightweight mystery, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the internet and Twitter. At least I left the TV off for most of the day.

  7. MsMass says:

    Went for a drive through downtown Northampton in my Biden-mobile ( stickers front and back) to see how things are going. No lines at polls, no protesters, only place with a bunch of people was the pot store.
    I was heartened by dixville notch votes. Saw the first voter speaking about his vote, he’s a R, interpreted him as saying shit no I don’t want to die yet from Covid and he’s interested in resurrecting the R brand. If that means a Biden vote today, then I’m happy about it.

  8. Enheduanna says:

    OT – there’s a cat 4 hurricane hitting Honduras right now:


    Too early to tell if this reforms in the Caribbean after landfall in Central America.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    • bostonboomer says:

  10. bostonboomer says:

    This article has come good info on when the poll close in important states and when we might know the outcomes.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If Mr. Biden wins Georgia, Florida or North Carolina, Mr. Trump has an even slimmer path to victory.

      Polls begin closing in Florida at 7 p.m. Eastern (polls in the Panhandle, which is on Central time, will close an hour later). Florida officials have already processed the state’s record-breaking early vote, which has been almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Watch for those to be announced shortly after 8 p.m.

      Unless the margin is razor thin — it’s been known to happen in Florida — there is a good chance that the state will be called before bedtime on the East Coast.

      Polls in Georgia also close at 7 p.m. Final results could be known within a few hours as well.

      North Carolina’s polls close at 7:30 p.m. Most of the early vote there has already been counted, so this is another state that is likely to be called Tuesday, unless it is very close.

      If Mr. Biden does not win any of those three states (or Texas, where most of the state polls close at 8 p.m.), that will ratchet up the importance of the so-called blue wall of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which Mr. Trump flipped from Democrats in 2016 and where polls show Mr. Biden ahead.

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. dakinikat says:

    First chance to check in all day. I voted this morning! The lines weren’t long but there were more people than I was used to seeing! I took a first time voter with me and although she registered Republican all she wanted to do was vote for Biden! I also got her to vote down our Amendment 1 which was to make all abortions in Louisiana unconstitutional if SCOTUS struck down Roe v. The clerks every one was really excited about the turn out. You could tell! When she was through voted every one clapped for her!!

    Anyway, I’m teaching right now but will get us a post up and read to go around supper time.

    Take care every one!

    This phenomenal turnout has me hopeful! Good weather and good turnout usually means Dems win things!

  13. NW Luna says:

    Thousands and thousands of women protesting in the streets have halted — for now — this extremist ban.

  14. NW Luna says: