“A Republic, If You Can Keep It” — On Comedy, Tragedy And America’s 2020 Election Crisis
Isranet, Nov. 9, 2020The Elizabethans defined tragedy as a story that ended badly, and comedy as one that ended well. Marx, comparing the later, incompetent Emperor Napoleon III, Louis Napoleon, with his uncle, the real thing, Napoleon I Bonaparte, famously observed that “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce”. Reversing the aphorism, what began in 2016 as comedy, Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton, may end in 2020 as tragedy, if juridical flaws are proven yet Joe Biden’s disputed electoral victory is sustained.Donald J. Trump is certainly an imperfect leader, yet if he does definitively lose the knife-edge decision to Biden it will be due not to personal, but to impersonal factors. A concatenation of socio-political factors, driven by extreme partisanship and rancor, will bring him down.Clearly a principal element is the Covid-19 virus, causing the collapse of Trump’s “economic miracle”. Weaponized politically, fear of the virus was used to justify the unprecedented adoption of an electoral – Constitutional novelty, millions of readily available, irregularly distributed, and (critics claim) easily manipulable mailed write-in ballots.Secondly, in the print, electronic and social media and at large were motivated by a radical and in part oddly irrational hatred of the “orange man”, as a brusque, abrasive, and sometimes vulgar political upstart out to “drain the DC swamp”. This led —even before he was inaugurated — to various campaigns to delegitimize and destroy him politically.
These unending cabals, some led by the FBI and intelligence agencies, included the Russia collusion, Ukraine phone call, impeachment, ”tell-all” insider leaks, and books by “Resistance” figures (some even inside his Administration). And, came the accusation, as viral infections and deaths rose exponentially, that he was personally responsible for a kind of “genocide” through supposedly incompetent handling of Covid-19.
The major print and electronic backed up by Facebook, Twitter and other social media have, for four years, abandoned any pretense of objectivity and informed truth-telling. The most obvious rules of journalistic inquiry and public trust have been ignored and flouted. A no-holds-barred telescoping of reporting and indicting marked a media which baldly and repeatedly accused Trump of lying, while itself bombarded the public with shameless falsehoods, devoid of any opposing views or fact-checking. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Prof. Frederick Krantz, an historian, is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in Montreal, and Editor of Its Israfax Daily Briefing journal
The War of the Norm
Geopolitical Futures, Nov. 6, 2020
The primary reason about half the country voted for Joe Biden was that he wasn’t Donald Trump. Trump was seen by many as violating fundamental norms of the presidency and of personal dignity. Biden had not introduced any stunning policy initiatives, nor did his supporters necessarily want him to. What they wanted was a return to the norm, as represented by Barack Obama, George W. Bush and others. They wanted a return to what they saw as moral rectitude and propriety, a country united rather than divided.
On the other hand, just under half the country voted for Trump because they saw the norm as unbearable. On the surface, it seemed to represent civility. Underneath, for them, it was a ruthless attempt to enhance the power of the elite and assault the values of the country. Put differently, the norm was seen as a way to manipulate society for the benefit of the elite, who covered their actions with mock civility. In the view of Trump supporters, the norm divided the country deeply, against the Trump voters’ interests and values.
For Biden voters, supporting Trump was inconceivable, since he was in it for himself and stood for the lowest values possible. For Trump supporters, not voting for Trump was inconceivable, since he represented resistance against hypocrisy and the ruthlessness of the elite as they accumulated power. Trump’s supporters knew that he lied. They argued that all politicians lied, but that their lies were subtle and hidden. Trump’s were open. Given a choice between the two, they voted for Trump. Trump’s enemies thought this attitude abnormal, seeing open and self-serving lies as destructive and denying that the American norm had become systematic but subtle dishonesty.
At the time of writing, the election is a virtual tie: Biden has about 50 percent of the national vote, and Trump one to two points less. For Biden supporters, this is a disappointment, though not a fatal one. The polls showed Biden with a substantial lead over Trump. For Trump voters, these polls were not only in error but deliberately so, seeking to portray America as in revolt against the Trump presidency. For them, the polls were simply another lie of the norm. What for Biden voters was a statistical anomaly was for Trump voters another case in a long line of deception. And so too, according to them, was the voting system put in place because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Biden voters argue that these conspiracy theories are lies destroying national unity. Trump voters argue that they are simply a representation of what is going on in the country. The voting rules and polls were what would normally be expected under the circumstances. But Trump voters viewed these rules and polls as being justified by a norm that concocts rules that benefit the powers that be. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Jonathan Turley: America Should Welcome Review For Close Counts
The Hill, Nov. 7, 2020
Just when you thought the 2020 election could not be more bizarre, a hearing in Las Vegas on challenges by the Trump campaign went full Monty Python. After days of charges of fraud, we are finally at that “bring out your dead” moment from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Trump campaign has been claiming that ballots have been “cast on behalf of deceased voters” as well as thousands of ineligible voters in Nevada, and federal judge Andrew Gordon demanded the names. When no evidence was given, Gordon refused to intervene last night.
In the movie, two men try to toss a protesting old man on a death cart during the Black Plague. When the driver objects that the man is not dead, the thugs insist “he will be soon” and ask the driver to “hang around a couple of minutes.” After trying to convince the driver to wait, they just club him and throw him on the pile. As shown by Gordon, when it comes to elections, judges do not “hang around” for a bit. In federal court, you bring out your dead or your case is dead.
If the Trump campaign is premature in claiming a deceased electorate, the Biden campaign is premature in claiming Donald Trump is deceased in the race. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to him in the past tense and Joe Biden as president elect. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called on the president to “put his big boy pants on” and concede like Al Gore even after officials said they were still counting votes.
Kenney appeared to have blocked out any memory of the 2000 election, when Gore challenged the results and fueled an intense battle. Trump is simply doing what Gore did. With George Bush leading in Florida by under 1,800 votes, his campaign sent him to claim victory and create the image of president elect. When Democrats challenged the results and filed lawsuits demanding recounts, they were viewed as fighting the will of the people. A meticulous recount led to a change of around 900 votes before the election was sent to a close with the Supreme Court ruling.
What came next is often overlooked. Several studies found Gore likely won Florida, but Bush was already sworn in as president. Democrats claimed that Bush was “illegitimate” and that the Supreme Court should not have ended the recount. As is often the case in our politics, the parties are now on different sides of the same issue. The consistent element is that the parties support the process to the extent that it is demonstrably in their favor. Trump appears to trust it when he is ahead but views any deficiency of votes as fraudulent, and Democrats want every vote included but not recounted. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Israel, the Sunnis and the Return of a Pro-Iran White House
JNS, Nov. 9, 2020
Donald Trump is the most pro-Israel president in history. Barack Obama was the most anti-Israel president in history.
And now, the likeliest outcome of last week’s presidential election is that Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated on Jan. 20 and Trump will depart the White House.
Trump is rightly exercising his right to cause a vote recount in Wisconsin and Georgia and suing to fight alleged voter fraud in Michigan and Pennsylvania. But to win the race at this point, Trump will need to win in Arizona and Georgia and either reverse the vote count in Wisconsin or Michigan or win the election in Pennsylvania. Trump owes it to his 71 million voters to ensure that the election results reflect the will of the voters, and so, he will exhaust all legal avenues. But the probability his efforts will win him the election is low.
The Israeli media grotesquely cheers the apparent defeat of Israel’s best friend ever in the Oval Office and his replacement by the vice president of the most hostile U.S. leader in history. While doing so the commentators soothingly insist Biden is a great friend to Israel.
While comforting, this claim is untrue, particularly in relation to Iran.
Biden is not known for his strong principles. Long a weathervane for popular opinion, Biden has changed his positions on everything from the politics of race to international trade to criminal justice to social security and Medicare. But while he has been quick to align his position on nearly all issues with the prevailing political winds, Biden has maintained allegiance to one, deeply controversial position throughout the years. That position is sympathy and support for the theocratic regime in Iran.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Biden advocated giving $200 million to Iran to show America’s good intentions to the Islamic world. During the Iraq War, Biden was one of the most powerful voices calling for the United States to cut a deal with Iran which would essentially transform post-Saddam Iraq into an Iranian satrapy.
Biden was one of the chief advocates of nuclear appeasement towards Iran, both in the years preceding his ascendance to the vice presidency under Obama and throughout Obama’s nuclear talks with Iran. Those talks, of course, led to the conclusion of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that gave Iran an open path to a nuclear arsenal within a decade. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK– Ed.]
For Further Reference:
Victor Davis Hanson | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 106, Nov. 8, 2020— In the wake of the 2020 election, many Americans are left searching for answers, and for any kind of sign as to what the future holds.
WATCH: Anti-Israel BDS-Backers in US Congress Increased by 50%: United With Israel, Nov. 8, 2020 — The number of BDS supporters in the U.S. Congress increased by 50% after the 2020 elections, commented Ron Kampeas, the Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
After Hours Of Silence, Netanyahu Congratulates Biden, But Doesn’t Say What For: Raphael Aren, Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2020 — After a conspicuously long hiatus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin issued statements early Sunday morning congratulating Joe Biden after his US election win.
Georgia Senate Race Between David Perdue And Jon Ossoff Heads To A Runoff: Elena Moore and Claudia Grisales, NPR, Nov. 6, 2020 — The second of two Georgia Senate races advancing to a runoff, according to The Associated Press, likely pushing Democrats’ hopes of a possible majority in the U.S. Senate back to January.
Election Outcome Unclear Amid Pending Recounts and Legal Challenges: Epoch Times, Nov. 8, 2020 — On Nov. 3, Americans voted to elect their next leader. As of Nov. 8, no results have been certified and legal challenges and recounts are pending in key swing states.
Rudy Giuliani: 450,000 Pennsylvania Mail-in-Ballots Were Processed While Republican Observers Were Illegally Kept Away: RealClearPolitics, Nov. 8, 2020 — Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, blasted the DOJ during an interview Sunday with FOX News host Maria Bartiromo.