California recall election a replay of Donald Trump’s ‘rigged’ tactic

Donald Trump

This should sound familiar:

The top Republican seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in Tuesday’s recall declined before the election to say whether he could accept the results. A website affiliated with his campaign invites visitors to “sign a petition to stop the fraud of the California recall election.” And a previous version of the site — published before the election took place — blamed voter fraud for Newsom being “reinstated” as governor.[1]

Even Donald Trump must understand, despite his protestations of a “rigged election,”[2] that is, after the first allegedly “rigged election,” that Gavin Newsom’s overwhelming landslide victory in California’s recall election demonstrates that a significant portion of the U.S. population finds him repulsive. Because it was Trump, and the positions that Trump’s supporters have staked out on a number of issues, but especially the pandemic, really, that Newsom successfully ran against.[3]

I sincerely doubt Trump cares. The narcissist in him will surely drive him to run in 2024, even if Tina Nguyen’s skillful (and cautious) analysis fails to persuade you he might not.[4] If he cared about being divisive, he showed no evidence whatsoever of it in the four years he was in office and surely shows no evidence now as he sets up a campaign rhetoric that will pit his ‘patriotic’ supporters against ‘treasonous’ Democrats.[5] And even if you don’t buy that he’s a narcissist (actually a raging one[6]), there’s that a successful win would help to further stall against the myriad financial and legal problems he faces.[7]

So, yeah, even if Nguyen refuses to say it, barring some catastrophe that takes Trump out of the running, I absolutely think he will run in 2024. Which kinda makes his prediction that “we are not gonna have a country left in three years”[8] interesting. Because something else the pandemic demonstrates beyond doubt, as if the long saga of Trump’s refusal and his supporters’ refusal to admit defeat in 2020 did not already persuade you, is that the epistemological and ethical realms that Trump’s supporters and opponents occupy, cast in the form of a Venn diagram, have the barest if any sliver of overlap.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar, “Trump predicts America will cease to exist in three years in rambling Newsmax interview,” Independent, September 15, 2021, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-sean-spicer-newsmax-america-b1920400.html


Elections

Elise Viebeck and Tom Hamburger, “Trump, Elder’s campaign falsely claimed fraud before California votes were counted — a growing GOP tactic,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/15/trump-elder-california-recall-fraud-newsom/


Pandemic

National

In a previous update, I warned of a massive loophole if religious exemptions were allowed to vaccine mandates.[9] Well, here it is:

A pastor is encouraging people to donate to his Tulsa church so they can become an online member and get his signature on a religious exemption from coronavirus vaccine mandates. The pastor, Jackson Lahmeyer, is a 29-year-old small-business owner running in the Republican primary challenge to Sen. James Lankford in 2022.[10]

Pennsylvania

We’ve had reason to worry about fake vaccination certificates for a while now,[11] and apparently Paula Aceves’ experience in New York City[12] is being replicated in Beaver, northwest of Pittsburgh.[13] A readily verifiable digital vaccine passport is really the only answer.

Julia Felton, “Pa. officials: 94% of covid cases were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 14, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-officials-94-of-covid-cases-were-in-unvaccinated-or-not-fully-vaccinated-people/

Julia Felton, “Breakthrough covid cases jump in Allegheny County,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 15, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/breakthrough-covid-cases-jump-in-allegheny-county/

Julia Felton, “Feds seize 2 shipments of fake covid vaccination cards in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 15, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/officers-seize-2-shipments-of-fake-covid-vaccination-cards-in-pittsburgh/


Infrastructure

Mike DeBonis, “Joe Manchin gets all the attention. But Kyrsten Sinema could be an even bigger obstacle for Democrats’ spending plans,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sinema-reconciliation-manchin/2021/09/15/8c583f96-162d-11ec-9589-31ac3173c2e5_story.html


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doubling down on her “tax the rich” hypocrisy, in which she went to a $30,000 (the New York Times says $35,000) per ticket gala wearing a designer dress emblazoned with the words, “tax the rich,”[14] while ignoring a Black Lives Matter protest outside,[15] after having told activists they should “organize,”[16] by selling—you guessed it—clothing with the same message.[17]

What’s next? How far can she sink?

Joe Dwinell, “AOC launches ‘Tax the Rich’ political merchandise off Met Gala 2021 dress controversy,” Boston Herald, September 14, 2021, https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/09/14/aoc-launches-tax-the-rich-political-merchandise-off-dress-controversy/

Shore News Network, “Rebellious AOC Attends $30k Met Gala To Protest The Rich As BLM Protesters Clashed With Police Outside,” September 14, 2021, https://www.shorenewsnetwork.com/2021/09/14/rebellious-aoc-attends-30k-met-gala-to-protest-the-rich-as-blm-protesters-clashed-with-police-outside/

Annie Karni, “A.O.C.’s Met Gala Dress Triggered Strong Reactions,” New York Times, September 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/style/aoc-met-gala-dress.html

Alexandra Villarreal, “‘Medium is the message’: AOC defends ‘tax the rich’ dress worn to Met Gala,” Guardian, September 14, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/14/aoc-defends-tax-the-rich-dress-met-gala


  1. [1]Elise Viebeck and Tom Hamburger, “Trump, Elder’s campaign falsely claimed fraud before California votes were counted — a growing GOP tactic,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/15/trump-elder-california-recall-fraud-newsom/
  2. [2]Elise Viebeck and Tom Hamburger, “Trump, Elder’s campaign falsely claimed fraud before California votes were counted — a growing GOP tactic,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/15/trump-elder-california-recall-fraud-newsom/
  3. [3]Sophia Bollag, “Gavin Newsom used threat of COVID, Larry Elder to defeat recall,” Sacramento Bee, September 15, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article254216568.html
  4. [4]Tina Nguyen, “To Be or Not to Be: Trump’s Big 2024 Question,” Puck, September 13, 2021, https://puck.news/trumps-2024-question/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “20/20 hindsight on 9/11,” Not Housebroken, September 13, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/09/10/20-20-hindsight-on-9-11/
  6. [6]George Simon, “Understanding and Dealing with Narcissistic Rage,” Counselling Resource, July 24, 2017, https://counsellingresource.com/features/2017/07/24/understanding-narcissistic-rage/
  7. [7]Dan Alexander, “Trump Will Have $900 Million Of Loans Coming Due In His Second Term If He’s Reelected,” Forbes, October 19, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2020/10/19/trump-will-have-900-million-of-loans-coming-due-in-his-second-term-if-hes-reelected/; George T. Conway, III, “Donald Trump’s new reality,” Washington Post, January 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/22/trump-charges-george-conway/; Jane Mayer, “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose,” New Yorker, November 1, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/09/why-trump-cant-afford-to-lose; Andrew G. McCabe and David C. Williams, “Trump’s New Criminal Problem,” Politico, January 11, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/01/11/trumps-new-criminal-problem-457298
  8. [8]Donald Trump, quoted in Alisha Rahaman Sarkar, “Trump predicts America will cease to exist in three years in rambling Newsmax interview,” Independent, September 15, 2021, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-sean-spicer-newsmax-america-b1920400.html
  9. [9]David Benfell, “No more excuses. Mandate the vaccine now,” Not Housebroken, September 13, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/08/22/no-more-excuses-mandate-the-vaccine-now/
  10. [10]Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “This pastor will sign a religious exemption for vaccines if you donate to his church,” Washington Post, September 15, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/09/15/pastor-donate-vaccine-religious-exemption/
  11. [11]Jamie Grierson, “Fake Covid vaccine and test certificate market is growing, researchers say,” Guardian, May 16, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/16/fake-covid-vaccine-and-test-certificate-market-is-growing-researchers-say
  12. [12]Paula Aceves, “The Fake Vaxx Card Next to You,” New York, September 14, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/09/nyc-vaccine-mandate-fake-cards-are-booming.html
  13. [13]Julia Felton, “Feds seize 2 shipments of fake covid vaccination cards in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 15, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/officers-seize-2-shipments-of-fake-covid-vaccination-cards-in-pittsburgh/
  14. [14]Annie Karni, “A.O.C.’s Met Gala Dress Triggered Strong Reactions,” New York Times, September 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/style/aoc-met-gala-dress.html; Alexandra Villarreal, “‘Medium is the message’: AOC defends ‘tax the rich’ dress worn to Met Gala,” Guardian, September 14, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/14/aoc-defends-tax-the-rich-dress-met-gala
  15. [15]Shore News Network, “Rebellious AOC Attends $30k Met Gala To Protest The Rich As BLM Protesters Clashed With Police Outside,” September 14, 2021, https://www.shorenewsnetwork.com/2021/09/14/rebellious-aoc-attends-30k-met-gala-to-protest-the-rich-as-blm-protesters-clashed-with-police-outside/
  16. [16]Joel Brown, “Rising Democratic Star Ocasio-Cortez Urges Students to Become Activists,” Boston University Today, October 2, 2018, https://www.bu.edu/articles/2018/alexandria-ocasio-cortez/
  17. [17]Joe Dwinell, “AOC launches ‘Tax the Rich’ political merchandise off Met Gala 2021 dress controversy,” Boston Herald, September 14, 2021, https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/09/14/aoc-launches-tax-the-rich-political-merchandise-off-dress-controversy/

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