Tag Archives: Electoral College

Stars are aligning for a Trump election defeat, however …

As I look ahead to the upcoming presidential election, I am tempted to fill myself with hope that we well might change presidents when all the ballots are counted.

Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. He has to win a few more primary elections to corral enough convention delegates to win the nomination when the party convenes its convention, be it a virtual event or one with actual delegates meeting in Milwaukee.

Biden has garnered the endorsements of virtually all his former rivals in what once was a huge and diverse field of contenders. He also has scored the endorsement of the most popular Democrat in America, former President Barack Obama.

The economy has collapsed. Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been pathetic, feckless, confused, chaotic. He once downplayed the threat and then has been caught flat-footed as it has killed more than 20,000 Americans; the number is going up.

However, let’s remember that the stars aligned in 2016 for a Trump defeat. Then he won. He captured enough Electoral College votes to defeat a supremely more qualified candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Trump defeat shocked virtually every political observer on Earth.

That result gives me pause to suggest that former Vice President Biden is a shoo-in to defeat the former reality TV celebrity/carnival barker/con man/charlatan/conspiracy theorist/habitual liar.

My sincere hope is that Biden’s campaign brain trust learns from the fluke that produced a Trump election in 2016, studies how this travesty occurred and attacks with full force the record that Donald Trump has produced.

Trump’s team already knows what it has to do to win re-election. It has to retain its base and energize it. They’ll turn Trump loose and allow him to rail and rant in that incoherent fashion that seems to play well in front of those campaign rallies.

At this moment, the stars are lining up to defeat this fraudulent president. Oh, how I hope they remain aligned … and how I hope that Joe Biden can deliver on his pledge to “restore the nation’s soul.”

Time to ‘re-defeat’ Donald Trump?

A late friend of mine in Amarillo, William H. “Buddy” Seewald, once told me during the 2004 presidential election season that he was working to “re-defeat” President George W. Bush.

Seewald was appalled at the manner in which Bush was elected in 2000, losing the actual vote by roughly 500,000 ballots but winning the presidency in the Electoral College by a vote of 271-266; and that vote came after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to stop recounting the ballots cast in Florida, giving Bush a 537-vote margin out of more than 5 million ballots cast in that state.

Well, Bush won the 2004 election by a relatively comfortable margin.

Now comes the 2020 election and there well might be a revival of the “re-defeat” mantra, this time against Donald John Trump, the current president.

You see, Trump actually lost the vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who collected just short of 3 million more ballots than did the guy who “won” the election. Trump won the Electoral College by a 306-232 count; when the electors cast their ballots in December 2016, the final tally ended up at 304-227, with some electors voting for other candidates rather than the two major-party contestants.

What has gotten lost in all the hubbub surrounding that election is that Clinton actually finished where almost all the public opinion polls said she would. She finished with 48.02 percent of the vote, compared to Trump, who collected 45.93 percent.

All the pre-election polling pegged Clinton ahead by about the margin where she finished ahead of Trump. The difference came when Trump narrowly picked off those three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that Barack Obama had won in 2008 and2012; those stated provide Trump with the Electoral College majority he needed to win the election.

I don’t dispute that Trump was elected according to the U.S. Constitution. Nor do I dispute the notion to which I subscribe that he needs to be “re-defeated” in 2020.

Wherever he is, I am certain my friend Buddy Seewald would agree.

Rethinking how to refer to POTUS

I am giving thought to changing the manner in which I should refer to the president of the United States.

For many years prior to entering politics, Donald John Trump was known simply as The Donald. He cultivated that moniker. He thought it was cool, I reckon.

I cannot for the ever-lovin’ life of me attach the word “President” in front of his last name. Yes, he was elected under the rules of the U.S. Constitution. I do not dispute the Electoral College victory he scored over Hillary Rodham Clinton, despite his losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots.

It’s been his conduct as president that makes me shudder. It has been the hideous extemporaneous riffs into which he launches when he stands before his adoring fans. I happened to attend a Donald Trump rally in downtown Dallas this past summer. It was at the same time both fascinating and disgusting. I met some truly nice people wearing MAGA hats and t-shirts bearing “Trump 2020” lettering.

I sat through the rally for as long as I could inside the American Airlines Center. Then I left. I drove home. I can now say I attended a Donald Trump rally

However, he hasn’t earned the title of “President” before his name … at least on this blog.

I might revert to referring to him as The Donald. Hey, it worked for him when he was making all that money and living with that glitzy glam, while he was walking into beauty pageant contestants’ dressing rooms and while he was boasting how he could grab women by their pu*** because his celebrity status enabled him to act like a total boor.

Has this guy elevated his public profile while serving as president of the United States? Has he risen to the standards his high office demands? Hardly. He’s just The Donald.

Are we heading for a repeat of the great electoral fluke of 2016?

It pains me to the depths of my gut to acknowledge this, but my fear is growing that Americans are going to get Donald John Trump for another four years as president of the United States.

Yes, it looks to me at this moment that the Democratic Party is quite capable of squandering a golden opportunity to restore the presidency, to return it to a level of respectability and reverence that has been dismantled during the Trump Era.

That once-monstrous field of contenders has been culled to a more reasonable size. Who, though, is left standing? Who are the top contenders?

A zillionaire. A couple of “progressives,” including a “democratic socialist.” A former vice president who cannot stop tripping over his own tongue. A one-time mayor of a smallish Midwest city. A sitting U.S. senator who is trying to appeal to the center-left of her party. Another zillionaire who rose to prominence by funding an effort to impeach Donald Trump.

Joe Biden once was thought to be the unstoppable Democrat. At this moment his campaign is imploding. His so-called “firewall” in South Carolina is showing severe fracturing as African-American voters are now looking for an alternative to Barack Obama’s wing man.

Nominating a far-left socialist is the death knell for sure, in my view.

What is most maddening is that Donald Trump has spoon-fed the opposition all kinds of electoral grist to use against him. The House of Representatives impeached him; the Senate acquitted him, but the impeachment still stands.

Trump has angered millions of Americans with his hideous pronouncements, his foul mouth, his trashing of allies, his incoherent campaign-rally riffs, his pandering to religious groups with whom he has no actual alliance, his disparaging of the nation’s top military minds, his standing with hostile strongmen, his denigration of our intelligence analysts.

Oh, and then there’s the lying. It’s incessant. He cannot tell the truth about anything at any level. He gets caught lying and his political base blows it off.

On and on it goes.

Still, this most astonishing politician — the president — very well might win re-election because he is somehow, amazingly able to claim credit for an economic recovery that he inherited from his immediate predecessor.

This clown never should have gotten elected in the first place. He squeaked in by the narrowest of margins, losing the actual vote by nearly 3 million ballots but winning just enough Electoral College votes to win the election. I do not dismiss that he won according to the rules spelled out by the U.S. Constitution, a document of which he has zero understanding.

The 2016 election stands in my mind as the greatest political fluke in U.S. history. If he wins again in November, then we will have committed the next greatest fluke in history.

Voters are facing a ‘fool me twice’ challenge in 2020

I have been proud to proclaim for the past three years that I was among a plurality of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

I proclaim yet again. There. I said it.

However, the 2020 election is going to present Americans with another challenge. It deals with that saying you’ve likely heard: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

A minority of Americans got fooled in 2016 by the huckster posing as a presidential candidate. A quirk in the U.S. election system enabled Donald Trump to win the presidency on the strength of the Electoral College system; he won enough electoral votes to win.

So, what might this mean for the 2020 election? It well might mean that Trump is in a position to stage the same kind of victory he scored four years earlier.

Which compels me to invoke what I believe was arguably the nation’s most profound political mistake with Donald Trump’s fluke election in 2016.

A man with no public service experience, or the lack of any shred of public involvement in his entire adult life managed to win the only public office he ever sought. He tapped into some dark national mood to win enough votes in just the right states.

What’s more, he has governed the same way he campaigned. He has appealed to Americans’ anger at, let’s see, the media, something called “The Deep State,” socialists, political correctness, immigrants (legal and illegal).

Granted, the economy has continued to do well under Donald Trump’s time as president. However, he inherited an economy in good shape, so I’ll give him credit for not shredding it.

It’s all the other stuff that has me hoping that he gets the boot in 2020 that he avoided getting in 2016. He treats allies like enemies; he disparages our institutions; he trashes presidential tradition.

And of course he abuses the power of his office. The House of Representatives is likely to impeach the president. He’ll stand trial and is likely to avoid conviction on a constitutional “technicality.” Then he will get to campaign for re-election.

Is this nation really and truly ready to return this man — who is replete with his myriad idiotic pronouncements — to the Oval Office?

My goodness. Let us not get fooled again.

‘Impeach This’ projects false narrative

This emblem could be seen throughout the crowd of Donald Trump supporters milling about the American Airlines Center prior to the president’s “Keep America Great” rally inside the downtown Dallas arena.

Oh, it makes for a somewhat humorous response to efforts in the House of Representatives to impeach Trump on allegations that he has broken laws and violated his oath of office by soliciting foreign governments for political help.

The symbol it displays, though, misrepresents the 2016 presidential election result. I might not need to explain what it shows, but I’ll do so anyway.

The blue sections represent the counties that Hillary Rodham Clinton carried in 2016; the vast expanse of red on the map shows those counties that Donald Trump carried.

Impressive, yes? Well … not so fast!

You see, land mass doesn’t count in elections. What matters are the individuals who live on that land mass and how they cast their ballots.

My meaning is quite obvious. Clinton collected nearly 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016. Trump, though, was able to cobble together a narrow Electoral College victory — 304-227 — to win the presidency. He did so with a deft campaign strategy that focused on three Rust Belt states near the end of the campaign: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all three of which voted twice for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Clinton squandered those states’ electoral votes by essentially taking them for granted. Trump’s victory margin in all three states totaled roughly 77,000 votes; thus, he won their electoral votes and got himself elected president.

Trump didn’t win by a “landslide,” which he keeps saying while campaigning for re-election. It’s just another presidential lie that his followers have accepted as some form of truth.

No, Rep. Turner … impeachment is no ‘assault on electorate’

U.S. Rep. Michael Turner offered a preposterous assertion today while preparing to question acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on the matter involving Donald Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president.

The phone call has accelerated calls among congressional Democrats to impeach the president, citing allegations that he has solicited a political favor from a foreign head of state.

Rep. Turner, a Republican from Ohio, said that any impeachment of the president would be “an assault on the electorate” as well.

I heard it this morning. My jaw dropped.

Impeachment is no … such … thing. It is not an assault on the electorate.

Let’s back up a bit through history.

President Nixon got caught covering up a scandal involving the Watergate break-in. He was re-elected in a historic landslide in 1972, winning 49 states and rolling up about 62 percent of the vote.

Congress didn’t get around to investigating the scandal until 1973. Then in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against the president. He resigned shortly thereafter. Was that impeachment effort an assault against an electorate that voted overwhelmingly to re-elect him? No. It was an act of righteous anger by Congress over the president’s abuse of power.

President Clinton was summoned to testify before a federal grand jury in 1998. He took an oath to tell the truth, then he lied to the grand jury about a relationship he had with a White House intern. House Republicans declared that a president who perjured himself was unfit for the office. They impeached him after he had been re-elected by an Electoral College landslide and after he won a healthy plurality of the vote among Americans.

Was the Clinton impeachment an “assault on the electorate”? No. It was, according to the GOP, an effort to preserve the sanctity of the law that all Americans are obligated to obey.

Donald Trump’s troubles center on allegations that he has violated the Constitution by soliciting a political favor from a foreign head of state. According to the notes of a phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president, Trump well might have held up military aid funds in exchange for dirt on a potential political foe, former Vice President Joe Biden.

An “assault on the electorate”? Hardly. Let me remind y’all that Trump got fewer votes than his 2016 opponent, but managed to squeak out an Electoral College victory. Yes, he was elected according to the Constitution, but this impeachment effort does not constitute an assault on an electorate, a minority of whom voted for the president.

This effort needs to play out. Rep. Turner, furthermore, needs to focus on the issue before him and stop making dubious assertions about “assaults” on the American electorate.

POTUS lays out his re-election strategy in stark terms

Voters should have no doubt — none whatsoever — about the strategy Donald J. Trump will employ as he seeks re-election as president of the United States.

It will be to talk only to his base and to say to rest of the country — the roughly 60 percent of us who detest this individual — you all may go straight to hell!

Trump fired off those hideous tweets about the four congresswoman, all of whom are women of color. He told them if they don’t like it in this country they are welcome to return to where they came from. Oh, wait! Three of them were born in the United States; the fourth emigrated here when she was 12 from Somalia. They’re all U.S. citizens.

Their sin! They disagree with Trump’s policies, which makes ’em America haters, in POTUS’s view. Indeed, on Tuesday he acknowledged that, too, saying that because they disagree with him that they hate the United States.

Hmm. Ponder that for a moment. Did that mean when Trump campaigning for president and he was calling out President Obama’s policies and the individuals who crafted them as “stupid” that he, too, “hated America”?

Trump laid down all his cards, though, when asked whether he should be alarmed that white supremacists are in league with his statements about the four House members. He said he doesn’t care about that because “a lot of Americans agree with me.”

There … you … go!

He will seek to energize his base of supporters, seek to demonize his foes. Trump will continue his Divide and Conquer Strategy in 2020, just as he was able to do successfully in 2016.

He justifies the racist Twitter tirade because many Americans agree with him. With that statement, he all but acknowledges that he has decided against expanding his base, that he will not reach out to other Americans, that he will do nothing unify a divided nation.

He will enrage Democrats, pander to Republicans. Oh, and look for him to seek to eke out the same kind of victory he got in ’16: forgoing the actual vote in favor of an Electoral College squeaker.

This guy needs to be kicked out of office. Impeachment might not work. The only plausible strategy likely will have to involve ballots.

Could we have a 2016 election result repeat itself in 2020?

I was chatting with a friend this afternoon about the 2020 presidential election when a horrifying thought occurred to me.

It is that we well might see a repeat of the 2016 election in which the winner of the contest receives fewer votes than his foe but manages to win just enough Electoral College votes to be declared the winner.

Yep, I refer to Donald John Trump possibly being re-elected in that manner. Here’s what my friend and I didn’t discuss today: Trump and whoever he faces might have an even larger ballot differential than Trump had against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton garnered nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, but lost the election when the carnival barker corralled 304 electoral votes; he needed 270 to win.

Suppose for a minute that Trump is able to squeak out another Electoral College win in 2020. He could lose, say, Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin — maybe all three — and still eke out just enough electoral votes to win another four years in the White House. Trump won those Rust Belt states against Clinton, which was critical to his winning the presidency.

Such a result — the second consecutive such result and the third outcome in the past six presidential elections — could doom the Electoral College. That would produce the other poor consequence of an election result that might occur in November 2020.

However, a rising tide against the Electoral College would be a distant second to the notion of Donald Trump being re-elected.

I shudder at the thought.

‘No Decency’ Trump shames himself one more time

There are almost no words to describe the depths to which Donald Trump is capable of sinking.

He has posted a Twitter item that shows a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that appears to reveal her slurring her words, sounding as if she’s, shall we say, three sheets to the wind.

It is a shameful, disgusting, disgraceful, reprehensible display by the president of the United States of America.

To think that this individual who is so utterly lacking in human decency somehow managed to eke out an Electoral College victory in 2016 simply defies my cognitive ability.

I am utterly and completely ashamed of this individual. Then again, I reached that point long ago.

Check it out here, if you have the stomach.

This is not how you make America great again.