September 19th, 2021


Putting Campaign '16 to bed at last

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Dec. 20, 2016

Putting Campaign '16 to bed at last

Well, now what?

Sorehead losers, who have thrived in such graceless abundance since Nov. 8, had been telling anyone who would listen, for more than a year, that Donald Trump could never, ever be elected president of the United States.

Once the election returns were in, the soreheads continued to campaign as if Nov. 8 had never dawned. One by one, the flimsy obstacles erected in the Donald's path fell. The Electoral College was the last obstacle standing, and a learned law professor at Harvard - how infallible can you get? - had confidently assured one and all that there was revolt stirring in the Electoral College.

If only 37 electors could have been persuaded to answer to a higher moral calling, to disavow duty and sit on their hands and ballots, they could have deprived the Donald of his rightful reward. Such a defection would have dropped the electoral threshold below the 270 votes required to elect the president, and have thrown the election into the House of Representatives, where each state would get one vote.

It was not clear in this scheme how that would have changed very much, since the Donald won 30 states and the Republicans hold a comfortable majority in the House, but if you're a Harvard professor you don't have to work things out to a logical formula. The distinguished law professor, Lawrence Lessig, held on to his fantasy to the end. He claimed on the eve of the Electoral College vote that 20 electors were prepared to go rogue, and "some tell me the number is higher than that. It should be more like 30, but I feel confident saying there's at least 20."

If an adjunct professor at the Northeast Alabama College of Barbering and Beauty had said all that he would have been laughed out of the faculty lounge. But Harvard professors are held to a lower standard. If Prof. Lessig is as proficient in the law as he is in politics, Harvard owes his students a refund in their tuition for this semester.

Our intellectual class, so called, has been supping on stuff like this since the Donald and his people in flyover country astonished the world. Only yesterday another professor, Todd Cort, a professor of "sustainability" at Yale's School of Management, disclosed his latest finding, that the election of Donald Trump was caused by global warming. It's a convoluted argument, salable and decipherable only where double-domed wise men gather, but it has something to do with Al Gore and how he could have prevented all this.

The vote in the Electoral College actually rubbed defeat in the faces of Hillary and her dead-enders. Three electors in the state of Washington voted for Colin Powell, the former secretary of State, and one cast his vote for Faith Spotted Eagle, an American Indian elder in South Dakota.

The four unfaithful electors splintered even farther from Tim Kaine in the balloting for vice president. Eight of the 12 dutifully voted for Mr. Kaine as instructed by voters, but there were electoral votes for Winona LaDuke, an "environmentalist," and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Susan Collins of Maine and Maria Cantwell of Washington. It was a big day, sort of, for the Indians in the state of Washington, with Faith Spotted Eagle and Sen. Warren, aka Pocahontas, leading the professor's aborted groundswell, getting one vote each.

Several other electors tried to vote for someone other than Hillary, but were either replaced or ruled out of order. It was not Hillary's best in a succession of bad hair days.

It's difficult to see where the dead-enders go from here. There's no more voting to be done, and the mind retreats from thinking about the lunacy they could be planning next. No one doubts there will be something. Rarely have we seen such lunacy thrive in the aftermath of an election, which John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, still won't say was "free and fair."

Mr. Podesta's demurral was offered two months to the day that Hillary Clinton accused the "horrifying" Donald of "talking down our democracy" when he hinted in their final debate that he might not accept the outcome of the election. He later said he would. So did Hillary, but now it's the lady who has invoked the woman's privilege of changing her mind.

Donald Trump thanked everyone at the end of the day for his "landslide." It was hardly that, but it was enough. Settling for the presidency short of a landslide is not a bad year's work. And now the campaign of '16 is history, though there's no guarantee that further schemes by the soreheads are not afoot.  

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.