Election Day Ethics Warm-Up, 11/8/2022: Joys Of Democracy Edition

That’s a screen shot from the video of a fight that broke out last week at a rally for New York Governor Kathy Hochul when some supporters of Republican Lee Zeldin showed up. That’s a white male Democrat with his hand on the neck of a black female Republican, but for some reason, the mainstream media has chosen to publicize it as they carry forward the message of Republicans being a threat to democracy….

Nevertheless, the flagship of the pro-Democratic Party bolstering media is apparently strictly heeding the talking points memos and going all the way with this narrative. Here was the New York Times’ editorial board’s explanation yesterday about “What’s at Stake in These Elections”:

Eight Republican senators and 139 Republican representatives sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election on the basis of spurious allegations of voter fraud and other irregularities. Many of them are likely to win re-election, and they may be joined by new members who also have expressed baseless doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election. Their presence in Congress poses a danger to democracy, one that should be on the mind of every voter casting a ballot this Election Day.

It will also be the first time that the U.S. electoral machinery will be tested in a national election after two years of lawsuits, conspiracy theories, election “audits” and all manner of interference by believers in Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

No, eight GOP Senators and 139 Representatives in fact voted to withhold certification of the 2020 Presidential election in a largely symbolic vote expressing doubts about the integrity of the vote and seeking further investigation, just as Democratic Senators and Representatives did so in 2000, 2004 and 2016. They did not “seek to overturn” the results—that’s not reporting or even honest punditry. It’s misleading spin from the Times editors, just like so much of their paper’s news reporting since 2015.

What voters really have an opportunity to do today is demonstrate the genius and vigor of the American system by signalling their bi-partisan disgust at the arrogance, ineptitude and undemocratic ways of Democratic governors and lawmakers, in their dictatorial pandemic response, their rejection of the rule of law, their embrace of race-based preferences, their climate change madness, and their attempt to demonize and criminalize political opposition. Not since the Great Depression has a political party so deserved to be shamed and ejected from power. (In fact, the Democrats deserve such a fate more than the post-’29 crash Republicans did, but that’s a discussion for another day.) One market research authority predicts the midterm loss for the Democrats will be 75 seats in the House of Representatives and 11 seats in the Senate, which would be glorious, and the stinging message the party has earned. Others prognosticators (like the Times) are being far more optimistic about the likely fate today of their allies. Either prediction could be the product of confirmation bias, wishful thinking, or missed signals.

We shall see. But up in Founding Father Heaven, I’m pretty sure who Tom, George, James, John (Abigail) and Ben are rooting for this time.

1. Integrity! The campaign of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for the US Senate and poster boy for brain-damaged politicians, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday claiming that mail-in ballots with an incorrect or missing date should be counted despite the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling against them being included in the vote count, since doing so violates state law. The claim is that not counting the votes on the grounds of an issue with the date violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that election officials cannot deny someone the right to vote based on an error on the ballot that is “not material” to determining whether the individual is qualified to vote under state election law. Of course, there was very limited use of mail-in ballots in 1964; this is literally an effort to exploits a loophole in order to allow dubious votes to determine a close election.

The media has cast the GOP lawsuit that resulted in the ruling as an effort to infringe on voting rights. Yes, requiring voters to follow the minimal requirements of legal voting is so, so unreasonable—that’s the argument. It reminds me of the Democratic claim during the 2000 Florida recount that the pathetic voting attempt of an idiot who couldn’t figure out how to punch out a chad and wrote “I vote for Gore!” on the ballot should be counted. As I wrote at the time, “Why not just shouting out his choice near the polling place? How about tying a note to a rock and throwing it through a window?”

2. Besides, why would anyone think either party’s minions would cheat to win an election? In Phoenix, Arizona and neighboring cities, citizens received copies of the “Arizona Catholic Tribune” in their mailboxes, with the paper’s motto, “Real data. Real value. Real news.” The paper was fake, created and mailed by a conservative group with content critical of local Democratic candidates. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix quickly disavowed it. The Associated Press stated that the paper’s motto didn’t match its content, but to be fair, neither do the mottos of the NY Times (“All the news that’s fit to print”) or the Washington Post (“Democracy dies in darkness.”)

3. From “American Thinker”:

“…Moreover, as happened on election night in 2020, Biden again seemed to hint that delayed, partisan vote counting is all part of the new process. Not knowing by Tuesday night who won should be expected.

“We know that many states don’t start counting those ballots until after the polls close on November 8th. That means in some cases we won’t know the winner of the election for a few days – until a few days after the election,” he warned. “It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner. It’s always been important for citizens in the democracy to be informed and engaged. Now it’s important for a citizen to be patient as well. That’s how this is supposed to work.”

Be patient, he says. “This is how it is supposed to work.” Really?

With all due respect, Mr. President, no it is not. Americans should know their winners on election night.

If people go to bed Tuesday night with recovering stroke victim John Fetterman trailing Dr. Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race or Lee Zeldin crushing the installed Kathy Hochul for New York Governor, only to wake up to a Democrat “miracle come from behind victory,” there will be more questions Mr. President, not fewer.

Not just questions, either, as Ethics Alarms predicted here.

4. Ethics estoppel alert! From Politico:, which has no shame, or principles either, apparently:

 

The midterms face a bevy of digital threats, from stolen Twitter accounts to hacked election websites, that could spark chaos, confusion and unrest that last long after the polls close.The 2020 presidential election was rife with allegations of voting machine hacks that were later debunked. Yet there are real risks that hackers could tunnel into voting equipment and other election infrastructure to try to undermine Tuesday’s vote.

Up until it appeared certain that Democrats were headed for a defeat, Politico claimed for two years that GOP claims of election irregularities and vote manipulation were “baseless” and part of a partisan attack on democracy. We are supposed to believe the same equipment was not vulnerable in 2020 but is this year the party projected to win. Conservative columnist Stacy Lennox writes, “[A]fter the triumph of a safe and reliable election that included $400 million in Zuck Bucks to local election offices, unprecedented mail-in balloting, widespread ballot drop-boxes, and changes to election laws nationwide, elections have become less secure….So, the Biden administration broke a system that was operating perfectly?”

5. Speaking of no shame or principles, here’s the “rising Democratic Party star,” Stacey Abrams, again looking into the abyss of a defeat in her quest to be Georgia governor, as she explained to MSNBC that her lack of support was because of “misinformation”:

“Unfortunately, this year, black men have been a very targeted population for misinformation. Not misinformation about what they want but about why they want what they deserve.”

6. And speaking of denial, here is the closest thing to useful pre-election analysis by a typical mainstream media pundit who has been made stupid by bias. Catherine Rampell, a standard issue Washington Post op-ed page progressive hack, at least reaches one valid conclusion in her column today, “Democrats are drowning in denial.”

It contains this section nicely explaining how confirmation bias leads to unethical—incompetent, irresponsible—conduct:

For nearly two years, Democratic leadership has often pushed aside politically inconvenient developments rather than facing them head-on. They have often told themselves stories they want to believe instead of stories that are true — and that might motivate them to change their messaging or policy direction.

Bingo. She also correctly identifies the “Fox News fallacy”: if Fox News criticizes the Democrats for X then there must be absolutely nothing to X and “the job of Democrats is to assert that loudly and often.”

Then Rampell goes on to snark that critics aren’t wrong to blame media for “both-sides-ing” (that is, not being outright advocates for Democratic candidates and policies, which tare obviously “good”), not slapping down “misinformation” (you know, like Hunter Biden’s laptop) and Republicans playing dirty, using racist dog-whistles and engaging in voter intimidation. And, of course, Republican have “offered no solutions of their own, of course.” Yes, she’s borrowing Hillary Clinton’s dishonest line about crime in New York.

Nonetheless, she’s right about denial: her obvious bias hasn’t made her completely inert. Here, for example, was White House adviser Keisha Lance Bottoms echoed Abrams’ point in a Sunday interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” two days ago, as she insisted that President Biden’s policies had been a great success, but that the public just didn’t realize it:

“Well it’s been a very difficult couple of years. We’ve been in the midst of a pandemic, there’s been a lot of misinformation flooding the airwaves. We see it in ways not just on television but we’re seeing it through YouTube. We’re seeing it on other social media platforms. So it is more difficult to get the message out.”

Interviewer Margaret Brennan didn’t think it was necessary to mention that the President had two prime time national addresses to “get the message out”, and instead devoted them entirely to calling Republicans a threat to democracy. Denial can be a psychological defense mechanism: that’s the kind of denial Rampell wrote about.

The White House’s denial, however, is called lying.

18 thoughts on “Election Day Ethics Warm-Up, 11/8/2022: Joys Of Democracy Edition

  1. I just came back from voting.

    I wrote this in my September 30th blog…

    I’ve been an independent my entire adult life always doing my best to vote FOR something and not AGAINST something. I’ve voted for Democrats and Republicans across the board in all levels of political offices from President to Congress to State & Local all the way down to School Boards but after what I’ve witnessed over the last 15 years I can no longer justify voting for any Democrat for any office. Democrats are totalitarian wolves in faux Democracy clothing.

    I dislike Donald Trump right down to the bone and I won’t support him to be the 2024 Presidential nominee for the Republican Party. That said; there’s no freaking way I’m going to support any of the LIARS, HYPOCRITES, DOUBLE STANDARD MORONS, ANTI-AMERICANS, ANTI-LIBERTY FOOLS, ANTI-CIVILITY INTIMIDATORS & INSTIGATORS, ANTI-CONSTITUTION INDOCTRINATED IMBECILES AND HIVE MINDED TOTALITARIANS of the Democratic Party cult for any elected office at any level of government.

    The Democratic Party, their totalitarian shifting ideology and their immoral tactics have driven me away and I’m quite likely irretrievably broken with all things related to the Democratic Party. I will vote AGAINST Democrats in all future elections until they pull their collective heads out of their immoral totalitarian asses.

    What Happens When Americans Openly Ignore Their Own Blatant Self-Evident Hypocrisy?

    I just voted in a way that I have never done before, I voted straight Republican and AGAINST all Democratic Party candidates and anything that the Democratic Party supports. That’s my version of pure political rejection of the Democratic Party.

    Even though I just voted straight Republican Party I still consider myself an independent making a choice but right now I’m pure anti-Democratic Party and it will stay that way until they pull their collective heads out of their immoral totalitarian asses.

    My hope for the 2024 election is that if the Democrats haven’t pulled their collective heads out of their immoral totalitarian asses yet that the Republican Party picks someone other than Donald Trump as their candidate for President because I will likely, and I mean this very literally, have to perform a post vote purge* if I have to vote for Donald Trump to keep a Democrat out of the White House.

    Post Vote Purge: is when voting for the candidates on the ballot makes you so damn sick that you have to run out the door of the polling station to release the uncontrollable projectile vomit into the bushes.

    • After I voted in 2016, I cried all the way to work.

      I voted straight ticket Republican this morning, with the exception of one candidate who was simply unacceptable so I voted for the Libertarian, sparing myself from voting for a single Democrat.

      • A M Golden,
        I chose not to vote for the Libertarian, Independent, Constitution, or Wisconsin Green Party candidates on the ballot to insure that my vote will help push the Republican Party candidates (which have far, far greater support numerically) to victory over the Democratic Party candidates. When choosing to vote AGAINST the Democratic Party to completely reject them I had to vote for what could likely defeat them. It’s my opinion that in this particular election any votes cast for Libertarian, Independent, Constitution, or Wisconsin Green Party candidates would help the chances of a Democrat being elected. That was my logic this time around.

        Everyone has to make their own choices.

        • As an example of why I did what I did, in Wisconsin we had an Independent Conservative candidate for Governor that dropped out of the race and Democrats started a campaign targeting potential Republican voters to telling them that the Republican candidate wasn’t conservative enough and they should vote for the Independent candidate, thus taking votes away from the Republican candidate and lowering the threshold of votes needed for the Democrat candidate to win. I wasn’t going to play their game.

          This is the message I’m sending the Democratic Party…

  2. I also just returned from voting and can relate to Steve above. In the past I have voted for some democrats but will no longer vote for a democrat unless there is a drastic change in party direction (and it would still be unlikely).

    3) “…or Lee Zeldin crushing the installed Kathy Hochul for New York Governor, only to wake up to a Democrat “miracle come from behind victory,…”
    I live in NY (Chemung Co) and if this kind of scenario plays out it would be a nightmare to say the least. Personally, I doubt Zeldin has any chance but I also said that about Trump in 2016. Of course, this race is limited to NY and the NY city area alone will probably carry Hochul to victory even though Zeldin could carry most of the vote in upstate NY.

  3. Agreed. In every election from 1988 (when I gained eligibility) to the 2018 midterms I have split the ticket between both parties. I’m not hopeful that I will be able to do that today.

    • Where’s Martha Stewart, Mr. Dogg?

      Actually, I’ll give him credit for doing a very moderate message. As do all “Get out the Vote” ads, this one really means, “Vote Democrat.” But at least he’s not playing hide the ball. I’ll give Snoop points for that, as well as for creating a really hilarious character and making a living by doing so.

  4. I simply don’t trust anyone anymore, the longest serving congresswoman Marcy Kaptur whose opponent is a douchebag but absolutely is not woke or a RINO has lost the backing of the GOP and EVERY TV/Radio station has been running her ads nonstop for months but yard signs for Majewski from one end of the district to the other, even in downtown are everywhere with virtually none for her so I am very curious how this turns out as her district is very different this year.

  5. Many of them are likely to win re-election, and they may be joined by new members who also have expressed baseless doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election. Their presence in Congress poses a danger to democracy, one that should be on the mind of every voter casting a ballot this Election Day.

    Did these people complain about baseless doubts regarding the 2016 election?

    The campaign of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for the US Senate and poster boy for brain-damaged politicians, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday claiming that mail-in ballots with an incorrect or missing date should be counted despite the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling against them being included in the vote count, since doing so violates state law.

    This lawsuit could be estopped, if the Fetterman campaign is a successor-in-interest of a party in the previous litigation that ended up before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

    We’ve been in the midst of a pandemic, there’s been a lot of misinformation flooding the airwaves.

    The FJB administration is ethically estopped from complaining about misinformation.

  6. 1. I just love me the Democratic Party’s “big tent” coalition. Remember when Terry McAuliffe wanted to get felons able to vote? The obvious assumption is: felons vote Democrat! Good to know. As it turns out, people who can’t follow one or two simple instructions also vote Democrat! Well, I guess at least these voters aren’t deplorable.

  7. 2. Not defending their tactic, but way back in elementary school I learned that the word ‘catholic’ means “of broad scope; comprehensive.” Personally, I certainly wouldn’t invoke the name of the pedophile-enabling Roman Catholic Church to lend credibility to any publication, but neither do I think they have a copyright on the word. Does the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette have to get clearance from the DNC for every edition?
    I would be more interested in whether the information they published was true, than under what banner it appeared.

    • For edification only. Obviously if used as a proper noun it would be relating to the religious faith. It is unclear if the word is capitalized as an adjective because it is part of the publication’s name or an attempt to confuse the reader as to its religious origins. Because most people associate Catholic with the religious faith and not its adjectival denotation, I have to assume the usage was meant as a proper noun so as to associate the paper with the church.

      cath·o·lic
      [ˈkaTH(ə)lik]
      ADJECTIVE
      including a wide variety of things; all-embracing:
      “her tastes are pretty catholic”
      synonyms:
      diverse · diversified · wide · broad · broad-based · eclectic · indiscriminate · open-minded · broad-minded · liberal · tolerant · undogmatic · flexible · unbigoted · unprejudiced · unsectarian · ecumenical · general · universal · widespread · global · worldwide · comprehensive · all-encompassing all-embracing · all-inclusive · unlimited

  8. I don’t know what to think at this point. All of the latest information points toward a victory for the Republicans, although how big of a victory is up in the air. However, we all know what happened two years ago, and I don’t think I am far off the mark if I say that I believe that one party has learned some additional dirty tricks to the ones used then, and will not hesitate to use them. A lot of races here are close and looking like they might break one way, and it’s been a pattern in the past that if things are going to go one party’s way they tend to go that way at the end of the race. However, we all saw what happened last time. Biden has already sown the seed by saying some of these elections might not be over until several days after today when all the ballots are counted. It’s pretty obvious what the plan is. When you look at this objectively, the Democratic Party may be playing defense, but all they have to do is play defense. The Democratic party does not need this to be a blue wave to win. Most of them seem to have written off the House, but, when all is said and done, all that does is create another situation like 2010 onward, where the majority leader of the Senate ran interference for the president and could pressure the house into passing continuing resolutions keep the government running, lest we have a government shutdown, which we all know who gets the blame for. It’s a slightly worse position than they’re in now, but it’s also one they are familiar with and know how to work, having been there not too long ago. Sure, the legislative agenda of the president grinds to a halt, but it was pretty much already there, end of this past summer aside. It’s at that point that the president starts using his pen and his phone and keeps on going. The real key to a win is holding the line or picking up a seat or two in the Senate. Holding the line is a win, since they remain in control of the Senate, and will continue to be able to confirm judges, justices, and other appointees. Right now it is looking like 49 seats in the Senate are either Republican held and not up for election this year or safe. There are 47 like that on the other side. The Senate boils down to 4 races, and the Republicans must win two of them minimum to win control. It does look like the race in Wisconsin will ultimately go against Mandela Barnes…maybe. The others are all still very much up in the air – Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia. All of them are in states divided between red rural areas and deep blue cities, then again, that is probably why they are on the knife’s edge. All of the safely red and safely blue races are already decided. The thing is, this by nature gives the Democratic party the advantage of holding back the results from the cities until all the rest of the state has reported in, then manufac…sorry, counting enough votes to put their candidate over the top. Biden all but telegraphed that this is a situation in which the cities will report late and most likely locked boxes of uncounted ballots will suddenly be found, every last one of them going for the Democrat of course. He almost dared the Republican party to do anything about it, which last time out showed they really can’t, since the courts just don’t want to get involved in elections and will dismiss anything on procedural grounds before a record can be developed. The Pennsylvania state courts have possibly just thrown a monkey wrench in the works, requiring balance that fall short of the relatively easy requirements not to be counted. John Fetterman’s campaign has of course brought a suit in federal court to make certain these ballots do get counted, however, the courts’ reluctance to get involved that worked against Trump last time might work against him this time. Still, all of these state governments are in the hands of Democratic governors and other officials, who can make a tweak here and a tweak there just enough to make certain the Republicans only win one of these races at most, or that the breaking ball breaks the Democrats’ way in all of them. It might result in some saber rattling and groaning and complaining, but in the end, it’s all just noise. As long as they can plausibly say that they won by some number of votes, most likely just enough to prevent an automatic recount from being triggered, that’s the ball game. As for the gubernatorial races, I wonder if a lot of all that’s just noise as well, a red mirage with it looking hopeful that the Republican will win, but in the end falling short, especially in New York, where half the state is dominated by a city whose citizens will vote for a pile of crap if it has a D next to it.

    The fact is that far too many Americans will vote for anyone as long as the right letter is next to the name. Many Americans have been brainwashed or let themselves be brainwashed into believing that the other party is evil, and, although the party they’re voting for doesn’t seem to be getting a whole lot done or improving their lot much, it’s better than voting for a racist. That’s why almost all of America’s major cities are not only dominated by Democrats, but stuck in the mud of mediocrity, not really changing much for the better. The only major American city that I have seen improve much in my lifetime was New York City, which, in the ’70s and ’80s was a graffiti covered, drug infested slum, but revived in the 1990s under Republican mayor Giuliani and later Mayor Bloomberg. Bill de Blasio managed to undo two decades of improvement mostly in his final two years in office, when he really showed what a crypto communist he really was. I’d say it’s very unlikely that there will ever be another Republican mayor of New York, and, even if there were, why bother? Ultimately the city will flip, and whatever far left liberal follows will undo every improvement and applaud himself for tweaking the other party’s nose as Bill did by painting Black Lives Matter on the street before Trump Tower. There’s not a single other city that seems to have done even a little bit better in the last few decades. Yet they continue electing the same damn leadership with the same damn ideas and thinking things will get better. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the definitions of insanity doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result?

    I’ve really lost all respect for the Democratic Party. The JFKs, the Trumans, the Sam Nunns, the Scoop Jacksons, are all long gone. In a way, it’s become the party of Karens. Frankly I hate that term, it’s flat out sexist and racist, and designed as an insult that can be deployed quickly to stop the disfavored from asserting themselves, whether the assertion maybe justified or not. However, the idea and the pattern of behavior behind that insult does in fact exist and is in fact problematic and wrong. It is wrong to insist everyone else follow the rules to the letter, while you act like you are the great exception to the rules. It is wrong to weaponize every rule and principle that you can against those you disagree with. It is wrong, unethical, and un-American to insist on speaking your peace while you silence others from speaking theirs. And you know what else is wrong? It’s wrong to get so wrapped up in your own ideas, thoughts, and opinions as the only ones that matter that they are all you talk about. Today I heard someone boil this campaign down to one sentence: the Republicans ran on the issues that the people cared about, while the Democrats ran on the issues they cared about. That’s it. The Democratic Party leadership doesn’t give a damn about anything or anyone other than its pet issues. It seems like the rank and file of voters have started to figure this out, but that realization may have come too late to do much about it. I’m not saying this country is doomed, but I am saying that this country is not in a good place at this point, and it’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more effort to get back to a good place then it might have if this had been realized earlier.

    Well, I could say a lot more, but I think I’m done talking about this. We’re just going to have to see how things shake out tonight and see if enough people have learned the lessons they should have and just how unethical and ruthless the one party is going to be in an attempt to hang on to power that they have proven they do not deserve.

  9. Watching US politics as a foreigner seems like watching an inevitable very messy car crash in slow motion. Given you are all so bright surely you know you can’t continue like this? When are the adults coming back?

    • I dunno, when are the South Pacific nations going to come to their senses? I’m half joking, but it would be appreciated if foreigners concentrated on their own issues rather than looking down their noses at us.

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