Trump is sowing the seeds of doubt
If Joe Biden is elected president, this might be the concession speech from the incumbent president: “Hell, no. I won’t go.”
Raise your hand if you think President Donald Trump will B.A.M.N. the election results — that is, do everything within his power, By Any Means Necessary, to remain in the Oval Office.
For those of you with your hands in your lap, go to your room and please stay there till you come to your senses.
What follows in not a condemnation of or an endorsement of what Mr. Trump might do, but, given all the chatter out there, it is worthy of a review of same.
You don’t have to be a political wizard to correctly read the tea leaves in the president’s tea cup that point to a historic confrontation between a President-elect Biden and the should-be former president, if those are the results.
Tea Leaf 1: It starts with his pronouncement to Chris Wallace that, if he loses, he may or may not accept the outcome.
Tea Leaf 2: Like a diligent farmer, he is planting the seeds of doubt in the electoral field, preparing the public to agree with him that the election was fixed, if he loses. The New Yorker magazine reports 91 such “fixed” references since the first of the year.
Tea Leaf 3: George W. Bush edged out Al Gore for president with the help of the hanging chads in Florida. Mr. Trump has replaced the chad with his own weapon, the mail-in ballot.
If you believe his patter, the millions of mail-in votes for him will somehow, in the counting room, be a.) lost, b.) burned, c.) flushed down the toilet, or, d.) sent back to Russia.
That chorus began months ago and has roots in Michigan, where Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson mailed out 7 million applications for absentee ballots. The Trump Twitter account went ballistic as he blasted her for opening the door to election fraud.
His friend, Laura Cox, who runs the state GOP, joined in, suggesting lots of those applications went to addresses where that person no longer resides and, to cash in on the conspiracy theory, someone else, namely Biden liberals, will take the documents and vote for Joe, she told everyone.
Even though election officials nationwide reject the theory, all you have to do is keep repeating stuff like that and many citizens will start to wonder, and that’s exactly what the Trump strategy is: Create the doubt now and say, “I told you so” later, when the votes are counted.
The only problem is the material Secretary Benson mailed were not absentee ballots. They were a request to get one, and you had to sign it to get a ballot back by return mail. Ms. Benson explains that the signature on the app can easily be compared to the person’s signature in the clerk’s file, thus supposedly preventing any shenanigans.
Tea Leaf 4: Election officials are already reporting that not only the Russians but China and others are making plans to hack the vote. Mr. Trump, who never believed the Russians did that last time, has not said he will beef up security to address this issue.
The Biden team is reading those tea leaves, too, and has reportedly cued up some 600 election-savvy lawyers to bird-dog any funny business in every state that the Trump folks might allegedly pull to make sure their guy wins.
And one final possibility that feeds beautifully into the notion that Mr. Trump won’t go down without a bitter fight: It could be two or three days after the election before we will know the Michigan results because of the mountain of absentee ballots that can’t be counted before the election.
Ms. Benson worries that, in the vacuum, “various bad actors (read you know who) will try to attempt to spread false information about the integrity and security of our system. These are intended to mislead voters about their rights and sow seeds of doubt among the electorate about the accuracy of the results …”
Could all this really happen?
Raise your other hand if you buy that, too.