With each day that goes by, the rubric of a military campaign becomes more and more the best analogy by which to analyze what’s going on with the aftermath of the election.
In the kabuki theater of politics, we have become accustomed to set-pieces in which attitudes are struck and keyword-laden speeches are declaimed, but nothing much ever really happens. This perception has served us well for so many years that people are finding it hard to recognize something else going on.
But what swirls around us now is not the linear, one-dimensional sequence of predictable events we are used to. Rather, it’s akin to a military campaign, in which one or more of the following is always underway: preparing for action; reacting; and executing action, all on multiple vectors. The difference is that it’s the movement that matters, not the recognizable order captured in static display in the set-pieces.
Neither the Left, pushing the campaign to railroad the electoral results, nor the Trump administration, looking into electoral irregularities, is driving for the set-pieces of the kabuki theater our minds are used to. They’re not trying to make things look familiar to us. They’re not trying to make things stand still. They’re trying to make them move.
The Left – the consortium of forces behind the nominal “Biden-Harris” campaign – is trying to move Trump out of office on a wave of feeling and social pressure, regardless of anything that actually happened at the balloting locations across America on 3 November. The Trump administration is trying not merely to deflect that effort, but to defeat it, so that the battle won represents an absolute gain, and not just an avoidance of loss.
That introduction should help put the brief sketch here in perspective. It will of necessity be brief (well, comparatively so, given the subject), but that’s a feature, not a bug. Movement shouldn’t bog down to make time for explanations.
So, herewith, a series of observations from Monday.
The most recent, late on Monday, is that RealClearPolitics moved Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes out of the “called for Biden” column.
**After cueing from our reader Mike Lu, a review of archived RCP pages indicates RCP never called Pennsylvania for Biden. So that point is no longer a point, as originally framed. (I’m sure Jay Valentine would be high-fiving himself if the status had been changed: [Original] Something author Jay Valentine at American Thinker must be high-fiving himself over.)
Sean Spicer issued a correction as well:
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) November 10, 2020
Breaking: @RealClearNews moves Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes back into the too close to call category meaning neither @JoeBiden nor @realDonaldTrump is at the 270 needed to become President #Elections2020 #CountEveryVote pic.twitter.com/SaBMsU9S0v
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) November 10, 2020
That would put Biden south of 270 again. Keep in mind, this is a media decision, and doesn’t reflect any official statement (i.e., from Pennsylvania) about the outcome. But so are all the other media decisions, including the original decisions of AP, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox to call the state for Biden.
Just think about it for a few seconds. RCP can up and make this adjustment because [Orig] media calls are not official. They don’t govern what happens in actual fact to the electoral outcome.
They can be altered just because someone’s opinion changed. They are made in the first place on the same principle.
Biden doesn’t officially have 279 electoral votes. The number he (or Trump) has will inevitably change, because all the votes haven’t been counted yet, nor have all complaints about irregularities in the counting been resolved. And Biden’s (or Trump’s) number could decline as well as increase. The RCP move is a reminder of that.
shortly before RCP shifted Pennsylvania to the “uncalled” column midday on Monday?
It was announced that Attorney General William Barr had authorized the Department of Justice to investigate “substantial allegations” of vote fraud across the country, including Pennsylvania.
And the Trump campaign announced lawsuits it is bringing over allegations of vote fraud. Incident to the court filings are a number of sworn affidavits outlining the alleged vote fraud.
These were real, material actions, not merely themes touted on TV and computer screens. They will provoke reactions. My estimate is that they are a soft lead-in, and what’s to come will be more eye-opening and reaction-provoking.
Next: immediately after the Barr announcement, DOJ official Richard Pilger resigned his position. Pilger has been director of DOJ’s Election Crimes Branch since 2010, and that year, he “reached out to then IRS tax-exempt chief Lois Lerner about prosecuting nonprofits that engaged in political activity for making false statements on their tax returns. In an October 2010 email exchange,” says Breitbart, “Ms. Lerner and Mr. Pilger discussed the transfer of data on 501(c) organizations. The Justice Department ended up with a database of 1.1 million documents, including protected taxpayer information.”
Harmeet Dhillon reminds us that during the congressional probe of Lerner’s malfeasance several years later, Pilger stonewalled a House committee on his collaboration with her. “Pilger, when subpoenaed to Capitol Hill by House Oversight, Darrell Issa in 2014, refused to answer over three dozen questions under oath on the advice of DOJ attorneys.”
Here you go: https://t.co/2eZQekjp77
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) November 10, 2020
(Click through for the 7 November thread. H/t: Gateway Pundit)
The New York Times, as Breitbart notes, naturally framed this departure as a rebuke to a very silly gambit being attempted by Barr with the DOJ (i.e., to investigate allegations of vote fraud).
But that’s not what’s going on. Pilger isn’t the only one who left the administration on Monday. Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
…Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Interestingly, the standard reporting on this event included a reference to the likely additional firings of CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
These aren’t random developments at the end of a presidency. They are preparations for action. Esper was an untrustworthy deputy earlier this year when Trump was reviewing his options for federal response to the horrendously destructive mass rioting in America’s major cities. The situation was very much a national security crisis, and one for which there was no reason to refuse, categorically, to consider the use of the military.
It makes me sad to say this about Esper, against whom I have nothing personal. But instead of keeping his counsel and making the boss as smart as possible, in what was an extraordinary and unprecedented situation, Esper allowed himself and his department to become the focus of a briefly flaring, media-led effort to sabotage the administration’s policy on the riots.
Trump is preparing for action, and he’s unloading the weak and the untrustworthy. So it may well be a good call that Haspel and Wray will be next out the door.
As for Pilger, we can’t know if he’s been told to resign, or made the choice on his own. But he too is leaving at a time when he would be a source of internal weakness and sabotage if he stayed.
Pilger is an especially interesting case because of the job he’s been in. Conservatives keep wondering why all these disappointing people have been left in their jobs – Esper, Haspel, Wray – and Pilger is certainly a subject for that question. It’s obvious why the Obama administration would leave him where he was, in charge of the Election Crimes Branch, but with his Lerner-involved history, why did the Trump administration leave him there too?
The best answer to that question is another question. I don’t pretend to know the answer (I’ve seen that some others do, and I’m just steering clear of their claims; they don’t drive my analysis). But the question is this: why, when the “glitch” in the voting system software that faultily awarded thousands of Trump votes to Biden in Michigan has been known about for years, was this software left in operation, with nothing done about it?
Why was this the case not just in the Bush and Obama administrations, but the Trump administration as well?
I was aware of the “glitch” back in 2016, when I came across the excellent article series by Black Box Voting about it and posted a piece during the election campaign. But awareness of the problem goes back to 2004, and it was being treated with concern in Congress by 2008 and 2010. Recent news articles clarify that in 2018, the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), at that point part of the Trump administration, was aware of it. (To, ah, enrich our analysis, we can consider that Congress sought in 2017 to terminate the EAC, which they thought had outlived its usefulness, besides exceeding its charter. The Trump administration, however, had set up a Presidential Commission on Election Integrity in May 2017, which in hindsight begins to look like a parallel structure set up to, let us say, review and consider some of the same things being looked at by the EAC. Which Trump ultimately showed no disposition to support Congress in terminating, and which remains in place today.)
Throughout that stretch of years, from 2004 to today, nothing was done about taking the “glitch” out of service as a factor in U.S. elections.
Add to this the related information Sidney Powell has discussed with a couple of the hosts on Fox News – notably with Lou Dobbs on Saturday – and a picture begins to emerge.
Sidney Powell is not only smart, she’s no-nonsense, someone who has to be convinced of things and whose professional career is about arguing strong points and defensible positions. (She also happens to have, in her most famous client, one of a handful of people in the best position on the planet to give her an expert read on claims about the CIA vote-hijacking software she spoke of to Mr. Dobbs.)
So I take her claims seriously. Michael Flynn wouldn’t let her make a fool of herself on this matter. (He also knows that the Obama-era surveillance mechanism Powell alludes to, used to spy on the Trump campaign, is not only feasible but exactly what the earliest signs of the spying pointed to from the very beginning, back in March 2017 – or before, for those who knew about it before the public learned of it from Devin Nunes.)
Powell spoke with Maria Bartiromo again on Sunday, although she limited her discussion then to the commercial voting system provided by Dominion Voting Systems.
It is inconceivable that the Trump administration didn’t know about all of this. And assuming the administration knows, the fact that Sidney Powell is talking about it publicly is informative. It’s not the Trump administration that will have things revealed about it through exposure of this reported CIA tool.
At the same time, federal officials who also know about it would include Gina Haspel, Christopher Wray, and probably Richard Pilger.
You decide where you want to go with that. To enrich our analysis further, it occurs to me that China has been awfully quiet in the last week. If outside intruders can exploit the “glitch” vulnerability built into the voting system software as readily as suggested in the Black Box Voting treatment and the HBO documentary (see the Forbes link above), one thing we can bet any U.S. -based vote saboteurs would want is such outside help.
And if this all means what it sounds like, we’re in for something much bigger in the coming days than some reports on election irregularities in a few states in 2020.
We probably are anyway, given the other supporting efforts underway in the campaign to save America. This is the final observation. John Durham has been at work since at least April 2019, and probably a couple of months earlier. The DOJ and FBI have had the Hunter Biden laptop since December 2019. No, the FBI apparently didn’t do anything narrow-scoped with it at the time.
But that’s why the most probable reality is that John Durham did do something with it. Everything in it about Ukraine and China was germane to Durham’s overall charter – which was much bigger. There’s a lot of knowledge parsed out and stored up now about what Washington has been doing, probably going back even further than the Obama administration.
Consider just one point, as we ponder the conundrum of why some officials have been left in their jobs. (I’ve raised this a number of times before.) All their communications on government systems are subject to monitoring. They have no expectation of privacy on those systems.
What was Trump doing this past weekend, the darkest of his presidency if we go by media opinion? Playing golf.