As I see this slow-motion trainwreck unfolding from afar, it occurred to me that there are numerous losers — and no, Donald Trump isn’t even among the top handful.
(1) The biggest single loser is the American people. Whoever will sit in the Oval Office come January 21 will be considered illegitimate by half the nation — whether it is Biden, or whether it is Trump after a successful court challenge of what are looking like increasingly bizarre vote counting shenanigans.[*] This is a dream scenario for the rivals and enemies of the United States, and of the West more broadly (including my own country despite its Eastern location). CCP Chairman Xi must be rubbing his hands with glee now.
(2) Another major loser are the big-name pollsters. They systematically underestimated the Trump or Republican vote by 6 to 12 percent, depending on the race. This does not surprise me one bit, considering all the stories I hear from friends (and about friends of friends) living in urban or suburban areas, who are afraid to state even the slightest approval of Trump or the GOP lest they be ostracized in their community or at work. This goes on top of the large percentage of Americans, of all political persuasions, who simply will not answer a phone unless they recognize the caller ID. Even the most objective pollster would have a major sampling bias to overcome.
(3) Believe it or not, another big loser is the Democratic Party [“democratic” as in the “German Democratic Republic” DDR of old]. “Dude, where’s my landslide?” (h/t: masgramondou) They were counting on big “blue wave” coattails to a Trojan Joe Biden victory; instead, as Instapundit quipped, “Trump has coattails like a winner”. The GOP is all but certain to retain the Senate, and in the House, actually gained five seats and is likely to win several more of the House races that haven’t been called yet. There is even an outside chance that the GOP might have a razor-thin majority in the House. (I don’t believe this will happen, to be clear.) On the gubernatorial front, the GOP actually gained one governor, and, e.g., the New Hampshire state senate actually flipped to GOP control.
Gone now are the pipe dreams of packing the US Supreme Court (to undo the 6-3 ideological balance, Amy Coney Barrett being the ‘insurance’ vote against Roberts going wobbly or being blackmailed). Such a packing scheme (akin to what FDR attempted to overcome SCOTUS rulings that thwarted his ‘New Deal’ agenda) would never pass the Senate now.
Ann Althouse quotes an anonymous D insider who speaks of “a dumpster fire” downticket, with veteran politicos losing what they thought to be safe House seats. And in fact, the nearly unthinkable may happen (h/t: masgramondou) “Stung by their party’s dispiriting showing at the polls Tuesday, two moderate House Democrats say they and other centrists are privately discussing a plan that was unthinkable just 24 hours earlier: throwing their support behind a challenger to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).”
(4) Speaking of races: the side that used to bemoan the influence of big money in politics blew about $250 million on longshot challengers to three veteran GOP senators — and got a big goose egg for its money. Does this look like “winning” to you? Not to me either.
(5) The mainstream media. I thought in 2008 that they were so far in the tank for 0bama they were hitting gravel, but they were positively demure then compared to 2020, when they (and Big Social) reached levels of presstitution [sic] and news manipulation that would have embarrassed even the Pravda.[*] Fortunately, more and more people are wisening up to this, and tuning the MSM out. But the experience with the MSM-“Big Social” complex “Covering the important stories… with a pillow, until they stop moving” (Iowahawk) has taught us we have to move to a more distributed ecosystem. Call it the “Blogosphere 2.0” if you like. Throttling a news story on a complicit Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube is one thing: doing the same when it’s locally hosted on hundreds of blogs becomes a rather more difficult preposition.
(6) Toxic identity politics. The GOP (not just Trump) polled their highest share of the non-white vote in 60 years. (This is one of the things that had the D party so hopping mad at Trump: governing as a populist rather than a classic conservative or Chamber of Commerce type, he made substantial inroads in the black and Latino voter demographics. Some predominantly Latino districts in Texas actually flipped to the GOP!)
Closer to home: an exit poll revealed that Trump pulled a historic high water mark of the Jewish vote. “[…] Of the 600 Jewish voters polled, it found that 30.5% cast their ballots for the Republican president, compared to 60.6% who cast ballots for Biden. The poll had a margin of error of 4%.[…] While the survey only included 80 voters who identify as Orthodox, it nominally confirmed a trend that has seen more religious Jews shifting heavily toward the GOP, with 79% of them voting for Trump.”
(7) And now for Trump. He has some experience at unexpected “reversals of fortune” in business — and may yet experience one in this election, with successful court challenges. But as Instapundit explains (my paraphrase) if he concedes and goes home, he has a giant megaphone now, and nothing stops him from using it incessantly and giving the D party hell every inch of the way. And what is indeed to stop him from running again in 2024, and possibly becoming the second president in US history (after Grover Cleveland) to serve two non-consecutive terms?
I can barely believe I am saying it — I likely would not have voted for the man four years ago, and instead have written in Zeeba the Syphilitic Camel — but Trump has substantial achievements to look back on after four years in office. Some (such as his efforts at deregulation and banishing toxic indoctrination programs from government service) may prove ephemeral, but others — like assuring a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court — will outlast him by many years. Closer to home, skipping for the moment the symbolic value of the embassy move, the Abraham Accords are likely to outlast him, as they built on a fundamental change of the regiopolitical map as well as long-standing back-channel contacts between Israel and those Arab nations — without detracting from the man, Trump was merely an ‘obstetrician’ here, not a peace trailblazer.
But the one sin the Brahmandarin gentry — with twice the sense of entitlement as the old noblesse, and none of the oblige — will never forgive the populist Trump is that he punctured their delusions of competence, or even mere adequacy.
[*] Stories about massive and at times improbably transparent fraud are cropping up all over my newsfeeds, despite the MSM’s best efforts to run interference: this is just a few:
And no, Trump is not taking this lying down: he learned his lesson from, e.g., Dino Rossi and Norm Coleman, and others who got flipped from winning to losing close gubernatorial (WA) and senatorial (MN) races, respectively, after trunks of ballots were “found”.
I normally am a firm believer in Hanlon’s Razor (actually Heinlein’s Razor): “do not attribute to malice what you can adequately explain by incompetence”. And sure, to err is human. But honest human error, or incompetence, would favor the GOP side at least some of the time. So why is it that whenever missing votes are “found” in car trunks in the US, they always massively favor the D party, and often in amounts enough to flip a close race?
UPDATE: my friend Tom Knighton on his new Substack site: there’s a reason people suspect fraud. https://tomknighton.substack.com/p/theres-a-reason-people-suspect-fraud
UPDATE 2: David Burkhead: A matter of probabilities.
UPDATE 3: Larry Correia, who was a CPA before the success of the “Monster Hunter Nation” series allowed him to become a full-time writer, goes forensic on the election numbers, and boy, is he miffed. “I am more offended by how ham fisted, clumsy, and audacious the fraud to elect him is than the idea of Joe Biden being president. I think Joe Biden is a corrupt idiot, however, I think America would survive him like we’ve survived previous idiot administrations. However, what is potentially fatal for America is half the populace believing that their elections are hopelessly rigged and they’re eternally [bleep]ed. […] Before I became a novelist I was an accountant. In auditing you look for red flags. That’s weird bits in the data that suggest something shifty is going on. You flag those weird things so you can delve into them further. One flag doesn’t necessarily mean there’s fraud. Weird things happen. A few flags mean stupidity or dishonesty. But a giant pile of red flags means that there’s bad sh[*]t going on and people should be in jail.” He explains in great detail why. Read the whole thing.
UPDATE4 : Bethany Mandel , hardly an extremist, on Twitter [assembled from the thread]:
“I’m not saying there is [voter fraud], but you can’t pretend four years of lie after lie after lie meant to subvert the POTUS at every.single.turn will not be result with people believing you’re capable of anything when it comes to keeping a second term away from him.
Breaking the trust of the American people shamelessly and repeatedly has consequences. And it would’ve been nice for Democrats and the media to realize that in the lead up to an election that was already going to be razor thin.
Yes the President is going to fight every single close race and get his lawyers in to double check results. As he damn well should. I trust nobody. That trust was stolen. This is the result. Four years of denying Donald Trump won the 2016 election fair and square and now these same people are demanding Republicans accept results in multiple states despite clear irregularities and funny business. Nope. That’s not how this works. Donald Trump didn’t radicalize me. Democrats did. Reap what you sow.”