THE COLUMN: The Sting
If you knowingly sit down at a fixed poker game and lose your entire stash, would you also complain that some of the other players also cheated? If it was a friend who brought you into the game, would you then go to another one with him? And having lost all your money when you bet the farm, would you re-mortgage it and bet it all again on the chance that this time things would be different? If you're a Republican, the answer is: of course you would, because you just did and you're about to do it again.
If the national elections of 2018, 2020, and 2022 didn't teach the GOP a lesson or three, what will? From Donald Trump's surprise (though not a surprise to me) win in 2016, it's been mostly all downhill for the party of Lincoln, which has been thrice set back on its heels and sent to the power poorhouse. The day after Trump's election, the institutional Left launched its legal coup against Trump and as early as mid-February 2017 had claimed its first and most important scalp in Mike Flynn, the man who knew where all the bodies were buried during the Obama administration. Saddled with hostile incompetents such as Reince Priebus and Jeff Sessions, the Trump administration was kneecapped by its own naivete and betrayed by its two deadliest enemies, Jared and Ivanka Kushner, the twin vipers known around the West Wing as "the Democrats." By the time Trump was goaded by them and the media into firing Steve Bannon, the man who got him elected, MAGA was finished as a philosophical and governing force in the Oval Office. The rest, as they say, was commentary.
So from a position of power in January 2017, when the GOP under Trump held the White House and both branches of Congress; to the 2018 mid-terms, when Nancy D'Alesandro Pelosi, the pride of Baltimore, took over the House and unleashed not one but two impeachments against Trump; to the disaster of 2020, when the Trump forces refused to take the re-election campaign seriously and instead substituted supererogatory rallies in place of a brass-knuckles ground game; to the most recent congressional elections, in which the GOP barely recaptured the House but blew the Senate again, it's been one disaster after another. Why, it's almost been as if the fix has been in the whole time!
It's not like there was no warning. Once the Democrats miraculously cleaned out the GOP in formerly red Orange County, Calif., in 2018 it should have been clear even to such notable dummies as Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy that the game was no longer being played on Game Day, but weeks and even months before, plus a few days after the polls had "closed." Early voting, "harvested" voting, "absentee" voting was a Tammany wet dream come to life: who doesn't like their chances on Election Day when more than half the votes are already in the bag and you know to an absolute certainty where they went? Add to this the unconstitutional changes to the voting laws rammed through in blue states during the Covid hoax, and the Dems were in the catbird seat long before Nov. 8.
The old joke used to be that the dead vote was critical in Democratic precincts but now this could literally be true, since the votes of dead people could already be in the can, not to mention the candidates themselves, well before election day. This is why, in the final weeks before the vote, the Democrats were exuding (in Mark Twain's famous words) "the serene confidence which a Christian feels in four aces." Polls? We don't need no stinkin' polls! Besides, why have a traditional one-man, one-day election—a binding snapshot in time—when you can have a permanently floating crap game, one in which you're always ahead no matter when it stops?
"Cheating" scream the die-hards on the Right, playing right into the hands of those who fixed the game in the first place. "Stop the steal!" they shout, when the steal is now part of the game. The "2000 Mules" of non-dispositive red-meat fantasy, whose presence is deduced from the arcana of cell-phone triangulation and the laws of probability, may or may not have existed, but the point is: they didn't matter. They were simply the fat ladies and strong men of the sideshows, meant to distract the gullible and easily panicked into ignoring the fact that their pockets have already been picked, their cars stolen and on their way to chop shops in Tijuana, and their home repossessed.
Thus, as I mentioned last week, there's no need for "cheating." Thanks to Tammany Hall's centuries-long perfection of electoral chicanery and the Republicans' willful blindness, the system has become the steal. Typical con men, the Democrats preach the "sanctity" of the vote when what they really lust after is the roundheels of the ballot. There are no virgins in this whorehouse, just the soiled doves of the media who gussy them up for the traveling salesmen and visiting firemen, and then collect their pimp money in the back alley from the bankers and the lawyers who like the system just fine the way it is.
It's a great racket: if you play your cards right, you can deal yourself a whole new hand at the closing bell and walk away with all the chips while you opponent impotently sputters in frustration. And should the marks finally catch on and start adopting some of your tactics, it hardly matters. California has already shown the way to eliminating the two-party system in its state elections via the "jungle primary" system, and just now solidly red Alaska has "elected" a Democrat to fill its lone House seat thanks to an enormity called "ranked-choice" voting. The mouthpiece of the Democrat machine, the New York Times, explains it all for you:
Mary Peltola, whose victory in a special election on Wednesday makes her the first Democrat in nearly half a century to represent Alaska in the House, won the contest for the remainder of Representative Don Young’s term with an upbeat campaign that appealed to Alaskan interests and the electorate’s independent streak.
But Alaska’s new voting system also played a big role in Ms. Peltola’s three-percentage-point victory over former Gov. Sarah Palin, her Republican opponent. Ms. Peltola, who will become the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress and the first woman to hold the House seat, won at least in part because voters had more choices. While more voters initially picked a Republican candidate, that didn’t matter. Given a second choice, many Republican voters opted for a Democrat — Ms. Peltola — over Ms. Palin... When voters have more choices, they’re less likely to vote along strict party lines, reducing polarization and giving independent-minded or more centrist candidates a better shot.
Bet you didn't know that elections will soon no longer be binary; pretty soon we'll have as many "choices" as Facebook has genders. So step right up, suckers and try your luck. Remember, until the country returns to day-and-date elections, between limited hours, in person only, with ironclad identification, there will be no end to this mischief. The Democrats, who boast of being "the oldest voter-based political party in the world," are simply better at it than anybody else. And if nothing meaningful is done, when the GOP loses again in two years, the 2,000 donkeys of the DNC will look at their "friends" at the RNC and say like Henry Gondorff to Doyle Lonnegan: "Tough luck... but that's what you get for playing with your head up your ass!"