Monday, December 19, 2016

No "December Surprise"

Today is the day a "December Surprise" is supposed to happen. As Harvey Wasserman explains,
. . . Donald Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes but is apparently leading in the Electoral College with official victories in five states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida) where he lost in the exit polls.  Those vote counts were not contested by Hillary Clinton, and green recount attempts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were stymied.
Those wanting someone other than Donald Trump to become president must now persuade some 37 electors from states officially won by Trump to not vote for him.  They must either switch those votes to Hillary Clinton or produce at least one electoral vote for a third candidate who would then be selected in the House of Representatives by a majority of the state delegations.
Such a “December Surprise” has never happened in US history.  It would appear to be a Constitutional possibility.  But the only certainty at this point seems to be that the clock is ticking. 
Stay tuned.
There is a December 19 movement which is mobilizing people to come to state capitols "to call on the Electors of the Electoral College to listen to the voice of the people and refuse to cast their ballots for Donald Trump."

Howard Dean's Democracy for America appears to be one of the main groups behind the effort. Turnout very likely will be robust, particularly if unions like SEIU participate.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is no evidence of a revolt:
But Republicans have said they may lose just one pledged elector, giving Trump more than enough votes to secure the presidency. AP reported Thursday that, based on interviews with more than 330 electors of both parties, there was little evidence of a revolt. Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff, said Sunday on Fox News: "We expect everything to fall in line. Everything is going to be very smooth."
December 19 will come and go with Trump officially triumphant. The real chance to take Trump down was lost when the Stein failed recount. Greg Palast argues convincingly, "The Republican Sabotage of the Vote Recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin," that by blocking hand recounts in Milwaukee, Detroit and Flint state GOP officials prevented thousands of votes from being counted and likely saved both states for Trump. Philadelphia also declined to conduct a hand recount. Ballots were just fed back through the optical scan machines a second time. So anyone who marked an 'X' across the bubble on his/her ballot likely went uncounted again.

Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes; Michigan, 10,000; Pennsylvania, 34,000. Jill Stein claimed victory because she was able to show the flaws in the way we vote. But this was just spin. Stein's effort was blocked at every step by Republican elected officials and the courts. In this turbulent news environment when everyone is being inundated with Russian hackers and dead babies in Aleppo, few paid attention to the recount.

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