I have already vented my spleen over last night’s debate. My spleen, my bladder, my pancreas, my kidneys, and my left nut. The whole thing was an insult to democracy. But in the middle of it, at a point where Trump was taking a deep breath, and trying to find a way to link the Obama-Biden administration to the Johnstown flood, Biden had about 45 seconds of blessed silence, and he used it to ram home the most important point of the entire election cycle.
While Trump was busy panting like me if I had to climb a third flight of stairs, Biden let loose the kill shot. Biden looked into the camera, and I paraphrase, said directly to the American people, Just remember the most important thing here. You have to vote! You will have the final say in this election, not him. If you can vote early, vote early. If you can safely vote in person, vote in person. Mail in your ballots if that’s what is the safest. But vote! If you vote, your vote will be counted. And if Trump loses, so be it, and if I lose, so be it. But if it is the will of the people, and I win, then he will leave. Because the American people will not tolerate it, and our system of government will not tolerate it.
I cannot tell you what an incredible pressure pitch that Biden threw in that spot. That was like throwing a 3-2 change up in the bottom of the ninth in the World Series. Because it brings all of the massive chaos and mad scramble and distraction from Trump about this election back to it’s purest core. If the majority of the people in the country are against Trump, and if they come out and vote. Trump will lose. And he will have to go. It’s just that simple. All the rest is hyperventilating.
Right now, Nate Silver at 538.com shows Biden leading Trump 50.4-42.6 in the aggregate polling average. And Biden is leading in every battlefield state, including the three critical states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which alone would give Biden 270 by wide margins, most with him polling over 50%. This is important because if Biden is over 50%, then Trump can no longer win just by picking up undecided voters, he must peel voters away from Biden, and good luck with that.
But it isn’t just the three critical rust belt states. Biden is tied in Iowa, ahead in Colorado, ahead in Arizona, tied in Texas, tied in Georgia, leading in North Carolina, leading in Florida, and only -1 in freakin’ South Carolina! Remember what I said a day or so ago, historically late voters almost always sewing against the incumbent. Depending on how the breaks go, we are looking at the possibility of a blowout of almost biblical proportions.
Which is exactly what we need. Because Trump has already tipped his mitts. He isn’t even seriously trying to contest the actual election anymore, he knows he’s toast. What he’s trying to do now is to sow enough discord, confusion, and uncertainty in the actual election results to force the whole mess into the courts, where he expects to prevail. But there are a couple of problems with this.
First of all is what is beginning to look like it might be the most likely result to the election. Trump gets blown out in an absolute Wookie stomp. If Biden ends up with 407 electoral votes, how do you even present a case that you can find enough irregularities in individual states to overturn the result? You can’t. But let’s just say Biden has a respectable victory, but one that leaves Trump with wiggle room.
Next in the batters box is the actual mechanics of the election itself. As much as it is often bemoaned as antique, archaic, and moribund, the saving grace for American democracy is that elections, even Presidential elections, are administered by the states, not the federal government. Which means that there are 50 different sets of rules and laws for 50 different states. That meant that the Russians had 50 different systems to navigate through in 2016, and in 2020 it means that Trump lawyers will have 50 different sets of rules and laws to navigate.
I’m not at all surprised that His Lowness has amassed an army of more than 1000 ambulance chasers and DUI specialists to go to court in the days after the election. Because he’s going to need them. In order to make a case and go to court, Trump’s legal beagles will have to prove either massive fraud, or a violation of the state’s existing rules and laws for administering the election. Even Republicans acknowledge that massive voter fraud doesn’t exist, unless they’re committing it in North Carolina, and one could only hope that career state lawyers would be better advised with, and familiar with state election laws that Trump’s Perry Mason wanna be’s.
But the real problem is Trump’s own record in the courts. Trump’s batting average in court wouldn’t ever get him out of AA ball. He has lost almost every lawsuit he either ever filed, or defended himself against. He lost his multi million dollar lawsuit against Journalist Tim O’Brien over the publication of Trump Nation. He lost the Trump U suit. He lost his battle with Stormy Daniels. He went to court in Nevada to get rid of blanket mail in ballot distribution, and got laughed out of court.
Even worse, if possible, is his record in federal courts when represented by the Department of Justice. Trump lost his Muslim ban twice. He lost multiple battles in trying to rip off previously congressionally distributed funds to build his wall. He lost on his taxes to the state of New York. Executive order after executive order has been overturned by the courts, as well as regulatory rollbacks in his cabinet departments. He has lost over family separation, as well as his attempts to strip funding from Democratic led cities that displeased him. And in many of these cases, it was Trump appointed judges who dropped the hammer on his ass.
And it gets even worse. I’ve been following politics for a long time, and court battles are a part of politics. And the DOJ doesn’t always come out on the long end of the stick, hey!, you win some and you lose some. But normally the judge writes out his finding from the bench, concise and to the point, and reads it from the bench. But I have never seen anything like Trump DOJ court rulings. Most court rulings run 20-40 pages. Not with Trump. We’re talking 75, 80, 90 pages here. And then the judge wants to sit on the bench and gleefully read his ruling, whacking the DOJ lawyers around like a tetherball at recess time. The most obvious one being Judge Emmett Sullivan angrily asking DOJ prosecutors why they never even considered bringing charges of actual treason against Michael Flynn. Trump’s DOJ lawsuits are so obnoxious that federal judges just can’t stop themselves from piling on.
So, there it is. In one 45 second retort last night, Biden managed to nail the most critical aspect of the election without being interrupted. That being that if everybody shows up to vote, and the votes are properly counted in accordance with state law, Trump can’t stay if he loses. It just won’t happen. And I was gratified to see Biden repeat that ethos on multiple stops on his Amtrak tour today. He needs to do that every goddamn day. Hammer home the importance of the vote. If we show up, we win. It’s just that simple.