After a brief trip out of the country, I return to find America's elites playing some sort of Chinese Whispers drinking game with a vat of anti-freeze. Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, has doubled down on his accusation that Donald Trump was in on Putin's "hacking" of the election.
In fact, the only presidential nominee who knew of it was Barack Obama, who had it brought to his attention over a year ago, back when the experts were assuring us that Trump wouldn't make it to Iowa and New Hampshire. Obama kept the news of Putin's alleged hacking to himself. So Mr Earnest is now accusing Trump of doing exactly as his boss did. Except that (take another slug of anti-freeze) Earnest's evidence that Trump was in on the shadowy "conspiracy" is that a few months back Trump publicly invited Putin to release Hillary's unseen emails. So Trump and Putin's secret plan to subvert American democracy was so sophisticated they announced it to the world. That's how cunning they are. We're gonna need more anti-freeze.
By contrast, Obama knew that American democracy was being subverted but uttered not a peep - and, indeed, assured us all that subverting US elections was impossible. "There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America's elections," he said all the way back on October 18th. Less than two months later, we learn that every serious person in Washington spent October advising the President that the elections were being rigged.
Is Democrat Whiplash covered by Obamacare? There's more of it in the latest video from activist celebrities. Okay, "celebrities". Ever since the popular-vote totals started heading upwards on November 9th, the Democrat line has been that the electoral college is an obsolete, illegitimate attempt to thwart the democratic process. But that was yesterday. Today they say: Thwart away!
Our Founding Fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is to an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.
New Democrat line: How prudent of "our Founding Fathers" to have foreseen the need to "safeguard the American people" from the guy who won the election. That's from constitutional scholar Martin Sheen. As the CNS headline puts it:
Martin Sheen, Other Celebrities Appear in Video Urging Electors Not to Vote for Trump
"Other celebrities" is a bit coy, don't you think? On the one hand, it takes these "celebrities" at their own estimation. On the other, it suggests that no one in the office has a clue who any of these "celebrities" are. I downloaded some expensive facial-recognition technology that restores their features to 45 years ago, back when their faces were briefly recognizable. So I was delighted to find among the "other celebrities" was Freda Payne, who got to Number Three in 1970 with "Band Of Gold". If you're wondering what she's been doing since, well, she's now part of "Unite For America", the new grassroots movement which unites Americans from diverse backgrounds: for example, Mike Farrell and Loretta Swit were both in the sitcom "M*A*S*H", but Miss Swit was there from Season One, whereas Mr Farrell didn't join until Season Four. Yet here they are uniting for America in the cause of urging electors to repudiate Trump! It's like Constitutional Tap-Dancing With The Stars.
This is a brilliant evolution in the Democrat-celebricat nexus. As you know, Hillary's mistake in the closing days of the campaign was to surround herself with Katy Perry, Amy Schumer and Lady Gaga, and thus reveal herself as elitist and out-of-touch: after all, few Rust Belt voters can relate to these pampered, cossetted A-list celebrities. Whereas Rust Belt voters find it far easier to relate to Z-list celebrities who haven't had steady work since the early Seventies.
To return to the President's October 18th remarks, they make more sense than his recent revisions. As he saw it, rigging an American election is impossible "because they are so decentralized" - that's to say, they're "run by state and local officials". So to "hack" an American election Putin would have to get into a zillion different county and municipal voting systems.
So instead they've changed the definition of "hacking". As it happens, this website has been hacked - and by sinister foreigners, too. When SteynOnline went briefly dark not so long ago, it was because we were under a cyber-assault eventually traced to somewhere in Iran. That's what hacking means. In an electoral context, it would involve getting into voting machines and making them produce a result different from the actual votes. You don't need Putin for that, because the Dems have it all covered:
The recount problems were the worst in Detroit, where discrepancies meant officials couldn't recount votes in 392 of the city's 662 precincts, or nearly 60 percent. State law that bars recounts for unbalanced precincts or ones with broken seals.
Democrat Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly prevailed in Detroit and Wayne County.
Including one ballot box that contained only 50 ballots, yet somehow produced 306 votes.
Unlike the poll workers in Wayne County, Putin didn't change any vote tallies. All he did, supposedly, was bust into the DNC and reveal a bunch of Democrat emails, all of which happen to be genuine. So "hacking the election" now means: selectively revealing information in order to damage a candidate with voters.
That's not hacking, that's business as usual in American politics. See, e.g., Pussygate.
Democrats are understandably upset that for once someone stuck it to them. But were, say, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "President" of "Europe", to be revealed to be behind the Pussygrabber leak, that wouldn't constitute election "hacking" either. As for foreign interference in US elections, that's part of a venerable tradition, too: for example, if you want to discover anything interesting or revealing about Bill or Hillary Clinton, you have to read The Daily Mail. So take it from the Department of Homeland Security:
WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said there is "no evidence" that any "bad actor" actually changed the ballot count in the presidential election.
Let's wait to see if any "bad actor" manages to change the count in the electoral college. My money's on Mike Farrell.