- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 11/8/20
Happy Sunday! IT'S OVER!!!!!!
It is a great day for our republic I couldn't be more delighted that we have stopped our slide into autocracy. I am hopeful that we will have a chance to address the myriad problems that we face, with mindfulness of the value of science and facts, and a respect for the institutions of our democracy. The years ahead will be challenging.
And what a great day it is for women and girls across America to witness the first woman elected to national office in our nation's history. That she is married to a Jewish man makes it just a tiny bit even more special...!
IN HIS OWN WORDS
It's all over but for the lawsuits, the recounts and the vitriol. More about that tomorrow...
For the past several months, this space has been reserved for "in his own words." I will diverge a bit but first, a few of the most notable statements by our esteemed leader this week:
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!
"STOP THE COUNT!"
"Philadelpiha [sic] has got a rotten history on election integrity."
"I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide."
Twitter labeled the above as "disputed and might be misleading about an election..." No kidding. He didn't win (easily or otherwise). The votes being counted are legal. There has been no credible evidence of fraud. When he speaks of "votes within this period", I'm not sure what period he's talking about...the period mandated by law? Observers absolutely were at at all the places were counted nationwide. He's just a liar. What he says is dangerous because so many people appear to get their "news" from him.
MY FAVORITE MEME
"Donald Trump has been bullying science for the last seven months. Well he's about to get his ass handed to him by science's older brother: math."
Thanks Blythe Maling, for sharing.
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER ON THE "HORSE RACE"
In following Trump supporters' comments on line, I am amazed with the narrative that "they're finding votes all over the place" and "they're slowly eating away at the President's victory." Let's remember that votes are never instantaneously counted on election day. For years we have had absentee voting (since, I believe, the Civil War). For years we have been counting ballots over a period of days and weeks. For years certifications of final tallies aren't delivered for days or weeks. Here is from FiveThirtyEight":
"The fact that ballots are counted sequentially lends the process of vote counting important transparency. But it can also lead us to apply inappropriate mental frames. For instance, we may resort to horse-race language that suggests that Biden is pulling ahead at the last second, but in fact these votes were all cast on or before Election Day. The illusion of a dramatic horse race is simply a product of the order in which we count votes."
Who knows what comes next? My suspicion is that the lawsuits will amount to nothing. The most troubling suit, about which I (since it has far-reaching implications), is in Pennsylvania. The claim is that the election officials had no right to "legislate" a longer period in which ballots postmarked before Election Day could be received. It won't affect the outcome. I'll write about this tomorrow.
There will be recounts. There will be a legally mandated recount in Georgia. Trump has requested a recount in Wisconsin. A recount in Arizona is likely. They represent 16, 10 and 11 electoral votes, respectively. If the current leads hold, Biden will have 306 electoral votes. If all three recounts went the President's way (which is extraordinarily unlikely), the election would be a 269-269 tie.
THE FINAL WORD
In the words of a friend, "may peace, decency and sanity reign." Amen.
Have a peaceful and safe Sunday,