They’re already laying the groundwork.
While the 2020 presidential campaign is still more than a year away, the outlines of at least one Democratic strategy for dealing with another crushing disappointment at the polls are already becoming clear.
If they lose, they’ll try to challenge the election itself.
That’s what Democrats, with overwhelming assistance from the establishment media, tried to do after President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory, of course.
But in the case of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, they hid behind the boogeyman of Russian “collusion,” as though social media ad buys in the Kremlin really made 63 million Americans reject the statist failure of the Obama administration.
They couldn’t accept defeat as 2016 turned to 2017, and they’re showing no signs of having changed any as 2019 turns to 2020.
In a speech Tuesday where she talked about a “crisis in democracy,” Clinton implicitly tried to subvert Trump’s win by explicitly blaming “voter suppression” for her own loss in the critical state of Wisconsin.
(“Voter suppression” is what Democrats call laws that protect the integrity of the voting process — laws requiring things like voter ID.)
“Officials [in Wisconsin] made every excuse in the books to prevent people from voting,” Clinton said in a speech at George Washington University, according to The Hill.
“You can run the best campaign and have the best plans and get the nomination and win the popular vote and you can lose the Electoral College and therefore the election.”
A more honest candidate might have avoided the topic of Wisconsin, since Clinton’s failure to even visit the Badger State during the 2016 campaign has become one of the conventionally accepted reasons for her upset loss there.
But since honesty has never been Mrs. Clinton’s forte, that didn’t stop her. She also didn’t let the fact that not even liberal-leaning websites like Vox and PolitiFact have been able to bring themselves to back up her claim that Wisconsin was somehow “stolen” from her on Nov. 8, 2016.
In the speech, Clinton also assailed the 2018 election for Georgia governor and had no problem declaring that Brian Kemp, the Republican chief executive of the nation’s eighth-largest state, had no business being in office.
Again, according to Clinton, the outcome was not the result of a legitimate American election, but of a rigged system based on “voter suppression.”
“We saw what happened in Georgia where Stacey Abrams should be governor of that state,” she said, according to Breitbart.
From complaining about the 2016 election, to outright declaring the results of Georgia’s 2018 election to have been fraudulent, to preparing to denounce the results of the 2020 vote well in advance might seem like a giant leap.
But Clinton made it herself.
In a slam at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Clinton called the current state of voting systems in the country too flawed for a safe vote.
“There is no way we can have the kind of secure election that we need without changing our laws and following it up with real investments,” she said, The Washington Post reported.
“We have a fundamental set of threats to the bedrock of our democracy, and anyone who stands in the way of confronting those threats — from Mitch McConnell and his allies to the president himself — is abdicating their responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution.”
It’s dangerous material for the former presidential nominee of a major party to be undercutting a presidential election in advance, but unfortunately not surprising.
When Democrats declared themselves part of the “resistance” to the Trump administration, they also declared themselves opposed to the democratic process that brought it into being.
Unless it produces a victory for the Democratic candidate — whoever that might be — the “resistance” isn’t going to end.
On Tuesday, the generally liberal website Quartz published an essay by an American history fellow at the University of Toronto with the headline, “Will Trump concede if he loses in 2020?”
The article included a reference to a May report in The New York Times that claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is worried about the possibility Trump could contest any election he doesn’t win — and actually refuse to leave the White House.
But the reality is, it’s Democrats who have not respected the democratic process. It was Democrats who rioted in the streets of Washington for Trump’s inauguration, and it’s Democrats who haven’t accepted the results of the Georgia governor’s race.
And in all likelihood, it’s going to be Democrats who lose in 2020 but do indelible damage to the nation’s democracy by refusing — again — to accept the result.
Hillary’s speech on Tuesday was just another indication — they’re already laying the groundwork.
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