Saturday, November 21, 2020

Post-Election Cracker Patrol

At the Sunset Restaurant in Moorefield, West Virginia - a diner featuring omelettes, hotcakes and waitresses who remember your order - a mention of the election sparked a spirited discussion at one table. Gene See, a retired highway construction inspector, and Bob Hyson, a semi-retired insurance sales manager, said Trump had been cheated, that Biden had dementia and that Democrats planned all along to quickly replace Biden with his more liberal running mate for vice president, Kamala Harris.

“I think if they ever get to the bottom of it, they will find massive fraud,” said another of the diners, Larry Kessel, a 67-year-old farmer.

Kessel’s wife, Jane, patted him on the arm, trying to calm him, as he grew agitated while railing against anti-Trump media bias.
Reuters roots among the Trumptards. You can look at some of the cult members. None of them actively drooling, but ...
In Reuters interviews with 50 Trump voters, all said they believed the election was rigged or in some way illegitimate. Of those, 20 said they would consider accepting Biden as their president, but only in light of proof that the election was conducted fairly. Most repeated debunked conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, Republican officials and conservative media claiming that millions of votes were dishonestly switched to Biden in key states by biased poll workers and hacked voting machines. 

Many voters interviewed by Reuters said they formed their opinions by watching emergent right-wing media outlets such as Newsmax and One American News Network that have amplified Trump’s fraud claims. Some have boycotted Fox News out of anger that the network called Biden the election winner and that some of its news anchors - in contrast to its opinion show stars - have been skeptical of Trump’s fraud allegations.

“I just sent Fox News an email,” Fryar said, telling the network: “You’re the only news I’ve watched for the last six years, but I will not watch you anymore.”

The widespread rejection of the election result among Republicans reflects a new and dangerous dynamic in American politics: the normalization of false and increasingly extreme conspiracy theories among tens of millions of mainstream voters, according to government scholars, analysts and some lawmakers on both sides of the political divide. The trend has deeply troubling long-term implications for American political and civic institutions, said Paul Light, a veteran political scientist at New York University (NYU). 

“This is dystopian,” Light said. “America could fracture.”
You'd hate to see that. 

Anyhoo, here is not some toofless hick who lives in a rusted Airstream up on blocks, but ...
... Raymond Fontaine, a hardware store owner in Oakville, Connecticut, said Biden’s vote total - the highest of any presidential candidate in history - makes no sense because the 78-year-old Democrat made relatively few campaign appearances and seemed to be in mental decline. 

“You are going to tell me 77 million Americans voted for him? There is just no way,” said Fontaine, 50. 

The latest popular vote total for Biden has grown to about 79 million, compared to some 73 million for Trump.
a guy who owns a hardware store in Connecticut. Who doesn't realize that when one's opponent is wandering around the country rambling on about what hot shit he thinks he is & calling for the imprisonment of his political enemies (Remember "criminalization of politics"?*) while spreading the plague one needn't (indeed, probably shouldn't) campaign. 

Let alone "mental decline". The Stable Jenius has been holed up in the Executive Mansion, apparently barely able to function ever since "Sleepy" Joe beat him not unlike a rented mule red-headed stepson. (Still want to call Prez-elect J-Robin-Jr. Uncle Joe; were he a Stalinist we wouldn't have to worry about potential pardons or, indeed, that any Republicans would live long enough to cause any further problems, would we? [EVIL LAUGH]) 

We could go w/ "Killer" Joe. 
Above cut in Germany, 6 November 1996, below also in Germany, 14 March 2013. Lastly, more allegedly educated people (Well, a chiropractor.):
Now, Fryar says he would go to war for Trump. He has joined the newly formed South Plains Patriots, a group of a few hundred members that includes a “reactionary” force of about three dozen - including Fryar and his son, Caleb - who conduct firearms training.

Nothing will convince Fryar and many others here in Sundown - including the town’s mayor, another Patriots member - that Democrat Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 presidential election fairly. They believe Trump’s stream of election-fraud allegations and say they’re preparing for the possibility of a “civil war” with the American political left.

“If President Trump comes out and says: ‘Guys, I have irrefutable proof of fraud, the courts won’t listen, and I’m now calling on Americans to take up arms,’ we would go,” said Fryar, wearing a button-down shirt, pressed slacks and a paisley tie during a recent interview at his office. 

The unshakable trust in Trump in this town of about 1,400 residents reflects a national phenomenon among many Republicans, despite the absence of evidence in a barrage of post-election lawsuits by the president and his allies. About half of Republicans polled by Reuters/Ipsos said Trump “rightfully won” the election but had it stolen from him in systemic fraud favoring Biden, according to a survey conducted between Nov. 13 and 17. Just 29% of Republicans said Biden rightfully won. Other polls since the election have reported that an even higher proportion - up to 80% - of Republicans trust Trump’s baseless fraud narrative.
Suddenly of the greatest relevance. Not judging or anything; I understand they live in fear of The Other, Demon-rat Socialists & the Cuban ChiComs in Venezuela but this fanatical devotion to the Trump & his perception/expression of what's happening now is far beyond this reporter's admittedly post-empathetic comprehension. Did keep-it-cool centrist Obama's election (& reëlection) really make 73 million Americans freak out to this extent?

And what is to be done about (or w/) these people? If it's fight or flight, I'm not going anywhere.
*"Criminalization of politics" is a political buzzphrase used to defend elected government officials who have been indicted or have faced criminal or ethical investigations.

Most recently, the term has been applied to proceedings against President George W. Bush's advisers and Republican Congressional leadership, including Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and Karl Rove (see Plame affair). The position of their defenders, including Robert Novak, William Kristol and Rush Limbaugh, is that the accusations against these officials lack substance and Democratic partisans seek to weaken them for political reasons, perhaps to the point of retaking Congress in 2006.

The position of many Democrats is that the cause of the investigations is the Republican "culture of corruption" and that anyone who has broken laws or rules must face the consequences. They also point out that some of the politicians denouncing the current pursuit of alleged Republican misconduct have in the past called for vigorous pursuit of alleged Democratic misconduct.

The phrase was also used by supporters of President Clinton in reference to legal action against members of his administration, including Henry Cisneros. During the Watergate scandal, supporters of Richard Nixon claimed that he was guilty of nothing more than "hard-ball politics."

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