Forty-six and Two Ahead of Me

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

Related Post Roulette

43 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    This is a commentReport

  2. InMD says:

    Is that a Tool reference in the title? That’s awesome.Report

  3. George Turner says:

    I remember when GW Bush was President elect, and Democrats said we had to wait on the recounts and court cases, and all we heard about was chads. Good times.

    Thankfully, the BBC wrote a 2016 article called Vote Rigging: How to Spot the Tell Tale Signs.

    Too many voters
    Watch the turnout figures ‒ they can be a big giveaway.
    You never get a 98% or 99% turnout in an honest election. You just don’t.


    A high turnout in specific areas
    Even where the turnout is within the bounds of possibility, if the figure is wildly different from the turnout elsewhere, it serves as a warning.


    Results that don’t match
    Mobile phones have made elections much more transparent.
    It is now standard practice to allow party agents, observers and sometimes even voters to watch the counting process and take photographs of the results sheet with their phones.

    I wish we could do that here. Check.

    Delay in announcing results
    Finally something that is not necessarily a sign of rigging, but it is often assumed to be so.


    You think Democrats would at least be more subtle about rigging an election than Gabon, but sadly, that is not the case.Report

    • LTL FTC in reply to George Turner says:

      Must be a pretty neat trick For Democrats to do in all those places where Republicans control the election apparatus. With that kind of omnipotence, one wonders why they even bother seeking control of government.Report

      • George Turner in reply to LTL FTC says:

        And where would those places be? The fraud occurs in Blue cities. Wisconsin and Michigan have been eaten up with it for years, all coming from Detroit, Milwaukee, and Madison. And Philly and Atlanta are likewise always trouble.

        Wisconsin’s Secretary of State is a Democrat who can’t be removed. He’s been in that office continuously since 1983. Wisconsin’s AG is a Democrat. Wisconsin’s Governor is a Democrat.

        Michigan’s Secretary of State is a Democrat. Michigan’s AG is a Democrat. Michigan’s governor is a totalitarian Democrat.

        Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State is a hyper-partisan Democrat. Pennsylvania’s AG is a Democrat. Pennsylvania’s governor is a Democrat.

        Arizona’s Secretary of State is a Democrat. They do have Republicans in the other two positions, who may have to step if they can.

        In Georgia, the problems are in a few counties that make up Atlanta. Atlanta’s last Republican mayor was born during the War of 1812.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to LTL FTC says:

        I mean, why hold the election cheating to just the places that somehow happened to wait until the very end? Shit, I’d have cheated in Texas, New York, Ohio, Iowa! All those states along the Mississippi and Missouri, plenty of electors in there and plenty of tiny towns that still vote by stapling their ballots to cows, easy to knock over the vote truck and turn the county blue.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    I’m more than happy enough to give Biden a chance. Good luck, Prez!

    But I couldn’t help but notice how many criticisms of Trump over the last 4 years were aesthetic in nature.

    And most of the praise I’m seeing Biden get seems to be aesthetic in nature.

    Good luck, Prez.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

      Jaybird complaining about aesthically-based political criticism? Jaybird?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      Replacing independent IGs with lackeys.
      Replacing the FBI head for not being a lackey.
      A plan to reintroduce the spoils system.
      Politicizing the CVC to interfere with anti- COVID measures.
      Pardoning miscreants like Arpaio and Gallagher.
      Running a trillion-dollar deficit at full employment.

      But he gets a pass on all of this if people also note that he’s boorish.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        There’s certainly no shortage of bad things that this obese orange buffoon did! The fatty was corrupt as hell! His disgusting face was plastered on the anti-Covid thing and his tiny hands signed the papers that politicized a freaking GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

        I’m pleased as punch that we can go out into the streets and dance and cheer with the crowd that this Nazi is finally gone. Drink up!Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      “But I couldn’t help but notice how many criticisms of Trump over the last 4 years were aesthetic in nature.”

      Obama was criticized by conservatives – here at this very site! – for how often he used the word “I” in his speeches (I noticed).Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

        Those criticisms struck me as less damning than, say, criticisms for appealing to the AUMF every time we bombed a new country.

        But, yes. There were a lot of aesthetic criticisms of Obama too. Terrorist fist bumps! Tan suits!Report

      • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

        Anti anti T’s talked about the aesthetic criticisms to ignore the substantive complaints.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

          “I can’t believe that Trump is putting *CHILDREN* in *CAGES*!!!” (holds up picture from 2015)Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

            “I can’t believe the Trump administration kidnapped thousands of kids from legal asylum seeking parents for the express purpose of permanently separating them!”Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

              Yep, an awful horrible practice that could have been ended with a phone call on his part.

              I look forward to seeing what happens when Biden reverses the policy and puts his back into family reintegration. Heck, they can make a big deal out of tearing down the wall! “There wasn’t more for us to tear down. He didn’t build much.” There, that’s a soundbite for ya.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                “Yep, an awful horrible practice that could have been ended with a phone call on his part.”

                Why would he end a policy he wanted implemented?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                True enough. It was *HIS* policy that the DHS was enforcing and neither judges nor legislation could keep them from enforcing it.

                There was a small grassroots movement to try to get github to stop working with the DHS. It didn’t go anywhere.

                I’m honestly curious as to what will happen now that Trump is gone.

                Maybe we can go back to how we did things under Obama.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

      I see the President as occupying a place of profound cultural influence and it seems like some of the things you identify as “aesthetic criticism” of Trump (or Obama before him or Biden after him) are more profound than that, in my estimation.

      Criticizing Obama’s tan suit or Trump’s obesity is surely aestheic. Their responses to national tragedies like mass shootings or violence at political protests goes beyond that. It’s not insignificant thst Trump declined to attend the Kennedy Center Honors, for instance, or that he chose to stand in commemoration of Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she lay in state. I disapprove of the first and approve of the second, but these were cultural rather than governmental acts by him.

      The extent of comment should be understood as “the line between an aestetic preference and a cultural cue is blurry but also important.” I don’t purport to know how to define that boundary, only that the President’s role as cultural leader is important.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      As someone on Twitter pointed out, though…if you go back and listen to all the old liberal protest-song stuff about GWB, it actually lands even more squarely on Trump, who really does act like that. Like you could re-release “American Idiot” today and not change a note and it would work even better than it did back then…Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    What we don’t know is how much Trump was sui generis. I think he was a unique force. I’ve said it before but he does have the kind of dark charisma that I would associate with an especially nefarious carnival barker and he is a good salesmen in many ways. If he wasn’t born into a real estate empire, he would have been the best used car salesmen somewhere (well probably Long Island). I think a lot of Trump’s appeal was not what he said but how he presented and packaged. Mitt Romney tried to be hardline on immigration but no one really believed him because Mitt Romney is the central casting version of County Club patrician Republican.

    On the other hand, no one would ever confuse Trump as a moral scold and despite the fact that Evangelicals glomped onto him, I think he also attracted a lot of guys with right-wing politics who are turned off by the primness of the Evangelicals. These are guys who are right-wing and also like to party hard and loud. They liked that Trump was a brash vulgar “rich guy” “billionaire” who was on the cover of Playboy, on Reality TV, and wrestling. These are guys who watch the version of Scarface with Al Pacino and take away all the wrong lessons.

    I don’t know who else is in the wings to take over this position. Tom Cotton? He is an dweeb without charisma. Josh Hawley? Same. Plus both come across as moral scolds and not really party hard kind of guys. I don’t see the Bugaloo Boys getting excited about either. Or voters who liked Trump because of the machismo.

    The Evangelicals are still part of a long and maybe not so slow anymore decline in power and prestige. Ther are still tens of millions of them but a lot of people under 40 are not going back to religion, even when they have kids. Plus glomping onto Trump caused them to lose whatever remaining shreds of good faith, the broader left was willing to give them. I don’t see how they recover.

    On my side, it is unclear whether people will remain animated without Trump around. We also need to deal with the damn Senate and Electoral College which gives a good advantage to the GOP. States like Ohio and Iowa are getting older, whiter, and redder. There are more states like this than Democratic firewalls.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I really see Dan Crenshaw as the best bet for the Republican in 2024. He is yonng, a veteran, the eye patch comes him a certain mystique, and isn’t a moral scold from what I know. People on LGM says he comes across as a villain in a direct to video sequel of a summer blockbuster but I’m not seeing it. His SNL appearance shows he plays will to a normal crowd to me. Another guess would be to go for Ivanka because she has a certain amount of glamour and is a Trump.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      It’s been said by others that the Republican Party is a cult looking for a leader, and I think that’s accurate.

      They are organized primarily around cultural identity and grievances which can never be satisfied, much less negotiated with.

      Its tempting to say that they are the party opposed to science and reason, but that sort of misses the mark.
      A good comparison would be that they are similar in spirit to the Islamic fundamentalists.

      American often think the Islamists are simply backwards primitives living in caves, but that is entirely wrong. They embrace science and rational thought, and are perfectly comfortable with modern technology .
      But their view on human relationships, or how society ought to operate, rejects the Enlightenment entirely.

      For the fundamentalists, there is a naturally occurring Rightful Order to the universe and any order that doesn’t comport with that is flawed and illegitimate.

      Racism and misogyny are examples of this thinking. They are the poor man’s aristocracy, where any person no matter how mediocre or lacking in accomplishment, is granted superiority by virtue of their pink penis.

      There are millions of Americans hungry for such a societal order, and even if this leader falls, they will find, or even just construct, another.Report

  6. I sort of feel like I got Christmas early. Trump is gone. But the GOP Senate will keep Biden from getting too crazy. but the majority is slim enough that he can probably pick off the occasional RINO to get some stuff done. Drugs legalized in Oregon. Pot legalized elsewhere.

    What is this strange thing I’m feeling? Is that what happy is like?Report

  7. Pinky says:

    We may have 50 years of Biden’s record to judge by, but it’s worth noting that nearly everything he did in that time was toeing the party line. You can’t really call him an idea man. Maybe his first independent move was choosing a VP nominee, and he followed the racism and sexism of his party. He even speaks of himself as a transitional figure. Now, I’m sure there’s bound to be a rush of power the first time he realizes that everyone in the room has to say “yes, Mr. President”, but even so, I don’t see him being a leader.

    Democrats see the world in three categories: the progressive Democrats, the moderate Democrats, and the reactionaries. They see the first group as where the world will be in 20 years, the second as where it is now, and the third group as representing caveman times through the 1950’s. Biden is likely to try to balance the AOC’s and Pelosi’s. That’ll mean pivoting between the left and the hardcore left, because thanks to the Big Sort, there aren’t many Democratic centrists.Report

  1. January 18, 2021

    […] the aftermath of recent events I usually took to writing — the election, the attempts by some to talk civil war/secession, the assault on the capitol, the impeachment […]Report