A few things I wish we’d get straight

I just saw another of those headlines: “Here’s why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election!”  I’ve seen numerous articles on this subject, most slamming Clinton for running a bad campaign, or the Democrats for being out of touch, etc.

It’s bullshit, people.  Stop it.  Fact is, Clinton won big and would have won bigger if there hadn’t been so much tampering going on.

Also, it’s clear that the Trump campaign colluded (not a legal term, btw) with the Russians to get Trump elected (we’ve spent the past 3 days yammering about Donald Trump Jr., haven’t we?  and how about all the bombshells before that?), and some of this collusion involved the creation and promotion of fake news, as Trump loves to call it — although in his eternal projection state, he confuses “fake news” with legit news.  We’re talking about genuine fake news here — the right-wing kind.

In fact, it’s being surmised that the Russians would not have known where to target their fake news campaign without the help of the Trump campaign.  It’s easy to see proof of this: just observe Putin, who is obviously clueless on the subjects of U.S. government and society.

Yes, this collusion is illegal, immoral, treasonous, and from the looks of Trump, fattening.  BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT HILLARY CLINTON WON THE FUCKING ELECTION.

Since the general election there have been several local/Congressional elections in which the Republicans apparently used their election-eating machine to retain seats that they otherwise would have lost.  Yet I am still seeing articles about the Democrats being out of touch, rather than articles examining just how it is that unpopular/unsuitable/unqualified/downright grotesque Republican candidates keep winning elections — never by a landslide — that they were projected to lose.  And why, why are there always stories about weird shit happening at the polls at those elections?

So that’s it.  I want to know why are we not dealing with two basic problems that led us into this debacle: a corrupt and useless Electoral College, and a vast Republican voting fraud/intimidation/disenfranchisement machine which far outstrips anything put together in decades past by Chicago’s first Mayor Daley (who did, via vote fraud, help get Kennedy elected; otherwise Watergate would have happened a decade earlier).

And I want to see some investigative journalism done about this.  Now.

Comey’s Island

(Article updated late in the afternoon; see last paragraph)

Today James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would be “mildly nauseous” if it turned out he actually helped Trump to win, or rather, caused Clinton to lose.  Of course there was instant outrage on the Internet at this comment, and the formidable Representative Schiff blasted him for holding a double standard — having no scruples about casting shade on Clinton, but withholding any mention of the by-then at least 3 month old investigation into Trump-Russia.

I have no idea why Comey did what he did, but I do have some names to add concerning who affected the outcome of the election — that is, if you’re accepting that this leak, such as it was, caused Clinton to lose.  I don’t; more on that in following paragraphs.

I was sitting in an automobile dealer’s service waiting room the day Comey announced that the emails presented no new evidence of wrongdoing.  They had CNN on both of the TV sets, and ALL THE ANNOUNCERS ON CNN COULD TALK ABOUT WAS HILLARY’S EMAILS, and this went on and on and on for hours, even though Comey had basically said there was nothing to the story in the letter that Chaffetz had leaked.  (There’s a deep backstory here, too — one about Trump suddenly donating $10,000,000 to his own campaign after the letter became public, and so forth.)

Comey’s denial of anything amiss with Clinton came about one day before the election, as I recall.  Nice timing, Sherlock.

So in my mind Chaffetz also has something to answer for here, as do CNN and other news outlets.  It would have been different if the televisions at the dealership had been tuned to the right-wing mouthpiece Fox News, but this was CNN.  Very odd behavior for an outfit Trump has since declared to be “fake news,” but CNN had been acting as a Trump loudspeaker for the entire campaign.

But still I have to say that I don’t think this really affected the election that much, as the entire mechanism to steal the election was in place before Comey wrote his letter and the twit Chaffetz leaked it.

After all, Clinton won.  She won in spite of the Russian interference.  She won in spite of Chaffetz and Comey and numerous others.   She won by an almost-unheard-of margin.  This is why Trump continues to yammer about how big his win was: it wasn’t.  He didn’t actually win at all.  And it bothers him enough that he has chosen to believe if he keeps repeating that he won, perhaps someone outside of his relatively small cult of worshipers will eventually believe him.

The Electoral College, which handed Trump the presidency, only came into play through an elaborate scheme of voting machine failures, voter intimidation (remember those right-wing mouth breathers showing up at polling places and attempting to “guard” them with firearms?  remember the incredibly long lines?  remember people being told in droves that the polling place they were at was the wrong one? remember the voter-suppression schemes that involved people practically having to have their DNA traced in order to vote? remember…oh so many things).  And there were the uncounted ballots in several states, and the over-counted votes: at least a few counties in Wisconsin apparently counted more votes — for Trump — than they had voters.

And so we were stuck with the Electoral College once again, and of course the Electoral College is hopelessly corrupt and has been for a long time.  At least 50 of the electors were there illegally in 2016, possibly including our present U.N. Ambassador, and they were all Republicans.  Why this is not being investigated is something we do not know.  Or maybe we do, but no one wants to talk about it.  It definitely all goes back to one thing: longstanding Republican corruption, so ingrained that the Russians saw an opportunity and seized it.  No, the Russians did not build that elaborate system of election fraud.  It had already been in place for almost 20 years, and the Republicans built it, and the Russians greased the wheels with fake news, pilfered personal info, and probably voting-machine hacking as well.

So how does Comey’s tale of reluctance fit into all of this?  He didn’t lose Clinton the election, but he may have helped cost her an even bigger win, and in so doing he may have helped cause the election to be thrown to the corrupt Electoral College, thereby guaranteeing Trump the White House.  And he still hasn’t really given a solid explanation as to his motive.

Obama could have given Comey hell, and he did call him on the carpet.  But after that he stood by Comey.  Not happily, but he did it.  Trump, on the other hand, is now threatening to fire Comey, which tells me a lot.

There is, of course, the story that Comey could not say anything about the Trump-Russia investigation because it would have spooked too many people and hindered the investigation’s progress.  Again I do not know, and it still begs the question about why the twit Chaffetz blabbed the non-news about Clinton when they could have kept quiet about that too.  Should have, in fact.  See update below; it’s now all been laid on the twit Chaffetz’s wonky little tootsies.

Maybe Comey was trying to lure Trump into a false sense of security, who knows.  But if that was the case, it’s lost now.  So much is lost now.  And it’s partially down to Comey and that twit Chaffetz.  Both of them have got a lot explaining to do.  And no, claiming sick tummies and sore tootsies isn’t going to save them.

3:00 p.m. update: we now know why Chaffetz limped back to Congress on his sore tootsie, weeks before he was due to come back: Comey threw Chaffetz under the bus, claiming that his letter to the committee chairmen was never meant to be made public.  Ever the crafty little weasel, Chaffetz probably guessed that would happen.  Of course Chaffetz will not get in trouble for this (Republicans almost never do), but it’s apparent he’s afraid he will — so much so that he’s now talking starting an investigation into about taking away Obama’s pension because Obama accepted payment for a speech (which is absurd, but that never stopped Chaffetz before; he’s made a career of the absurd).  And here we were looking forward to seeing him retire soon.  Stay tuned.