A Fine Whine
Monday December 19, 2016
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This is the day that the 538 duly appointed members of the Electoral College will meet and cast their ballots for President and Vice President.
Before you buy into the quadrennial breathlessness about whether the Electors will change the course of the election, this from a November 8, 2016 article in the New York Times quoting the National Archives:
"Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of electors have voted as pledged."
Presidential Electors are the same types of people - maybe the exact same people - who are chosen by state parties to go to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions every four years.
Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton blamed everyone and everything not named "Clinton" for her embarrassing loss last month. She blamed the press (the media can't catch a break), FBI Director James Comey, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the fact that Jupiter didn't align with Mars in time to allow her to win:
Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, joined the "Woe to Me" chorus on NBC's "Meet the Press" when host Chuck Todd asked him if he thought this had been a "free and fair election?"
- North Carolina
"I think it was distorted by Russian Intervention," Podesta answered after having been pressed by Todd. "A foreign adversary directly intervened in our democratic institution, and tried to tilt the election to Donald Trump. I think that if you look back and see what happened over the past few weeks, you'll see the way that votes broke."
The Clinton campaign had assured us that its digital operation, its data mining, its turn-out plan, and the built-in advantages of the way the electoral college breaks in favor of Democrats, all but guaranteed success.
I don't remember anyone on the Clinton campaign qualifying their prediction by saying, "As long as Huma Abedin doesn't allow thousands of State Department emails to mysteriously show up on her husband Anthony Weiner's laptop."
If Weiner hadn't been caught - again - sending sexually explicit texts and photos to underage women, the FBI wouldn't have seized that laptop and we wouldn't have been any the wiser.
But he was, and we are.
If John Podesta hadn't responded to a phishing email saying he should change his Gmail password by clicking on the link instead of going directly to Gmail, his account might not have been hacked and we Washington Insiders wouldn't have spent the last month (or so) of the campaign giggling at the size 12 Feet of Clay that he exhibited in email after email, day after day.
In truth, that giggling was furtive. Most of the political/pundit class in Our Nation's Capital could trade clay-encrusted shoes with nary a misstep if our emails were trotted out in public on a daily basis.
Hillary also complained that Putin has a "personal beef" with her because she had pointed out the failings in a Russian election while she was Secretary of State.
If so, why didn't the Clinton campaign use that to draw a clear distinction between her courage in taking on Putin and Donald Trump's too-cozy relationship with him. I know she did that in a debate, when she called Trump a "puppet" of Putin's but it should have been a central theme of the last month.
There was one person she didn't blame, and really should have: President Barack Obama.
The President said at what probably will have been his final press conference that at a Summit in September he personally told Vladimir Putin to "cut it out." The President also said that the U.S. would respond "at a time and place of our own choosing."
It has not been reported whether Putin just smiled and walked away, or laughed out loud and walked away.
If the President knew as far back as September - maybe two months before election day - that the Russkies were intent on throwing the election to Trump, and the voters in swing states were really delaying making their final decisions, why didn't Hillary Clinton go directly to the President and ask him to go public?
Or did she and he refused?
Either way, it's time for the Democrats to thank the Clintons for their decades of service and usher them off the national stage.
If not, every curtain call will be another embarrassing whine about the unfairness of it all.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Electoral College Primer from the NY Times, to the Podesta/Russia business via RealClearPolitics.com, and to the NYT's coverage of Clinton's whining to her major donors.
The Mullfoto is of the Japanese Maple outside Mullings Central bidding farewell to Autumn several weeks ago.
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