While Left Excoriates Trump for Warning of Voter Fraud, Here's Nadler Doing the Same in 2004


It’s absolutely shocking, a major politician talking about how paper ballots can engender voter fraud.

I know, right? Finally. I’m glad to see a conservative calling this out for what it is.

Well, I have to. It’s an explosive thing to say. Casting those kinds of aspersions on our electoral system is just, well, wow — and particularly during the first presidential election following a national tragedy of generational proportions.

Exactly. Thank you.

And to do it in such a public forum, too. Really, I’m surprised to find out Jerrold Nadler did this —

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Excuse me, wait — I think you mean Donald Trump.

No, I’m not mistaken. Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic representative from New York.

We’re … not talking about the same person, clearly.

I think we are. You remember him — the current House Judiciary Committee chairman who resembles a human version of Droopy Dog and who vulgarized the impeachment process against the president so that it could be fast-tracked before the Christmas holiday?

Is voting by mail less secure than voting in person?

I wouldn’t … quite refer to him in those terms, but yes, that’s him. That’s definitely not who we’re talking about here.

Oh, you’re talking about Trump’s tweets about the mail-in ballots, right? Yeah, I guess we could have a debate about that. Certainly, this would be the first time we would have a mass election in which — if Democrats had their way — every voter in every state would have the option to send their vote in via mail. Only a few states do this now. Even with absentee ballots, we’ve seen serious questions arise around ballot harvesting — including one instance where an entire congressional election had to be vacated because of almost certain malfeasance.

For this to work in November, we’d have to construct a system to ensure there isn’t voting fraud in a mail-in election in a matter of five months, something which is, um, problematic.

This says nothing about the fact that voter rolls are almost always outdated and, even assuming they could be updated entirely, the process would fall somewhere between Herculean and Sisyphean.

This is a moot point anyway since they won’t be entirely updated — which means a not-insignificant percentage of ballots will be in the hands of people who don’t legally have the right to cast that vote.

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But no, I’m talking about Jerrold Nadler.

Sixteen years ago, you may recall, Democrats couldn’t believe they lost the presidential election to George W. Bush — again. But then as always, if a Republican wins a close election, there’s always a conspiracy theory about how they didn’t really win it.

In 2000, it was butterfly ballots, hanging chads and the Supreme Court being in the tank for Dubya. In 2004, the first presidential election after the 9/11 attacks, the theory had to do with supposed voting irregularities in Ohio, a state that could have swung the election for (ugh) John Kerry.

For reasons that don’t deserve going into because they were as inane then as they are now, Dems were convinced that the numbers didn’t quite add up in the swing state and, because voting machine manufacturer Diebold had tenuous links with the Bushes or something (emphasis on the “or something”), the election was stolen.

This never got quite the traction the 2016 election conspiracy theories did, presumably because Bush wasn’t Trump and/or no one bothered to invoke the specter of the Kremlin. More’s the pity.

However, even though Democrats controlled neither house of Congress in 2004 and the vast majority of Americans who weren’t Air America Radio listeners  (which is to say the vast majority of Americans) didn’t care, the Democrats put together what C-SPAN described as “an ad hoc committee on voting irregularities.”

The full three-hour video of this meaningless event remains up on C-SPAN’s website to this day — proof that for a network whose studio sets look like they would collapse if you turned a desk fan up just a little bit higher, they certainly have enough server space to archive the most fatuous moments you’ll ever see on Capitol Hill.

I don’t recommend watching the entire three-hour hearing because I thought “The Irishman” was overlong at that level and that was directed by Scorcese. You have better things to do with your life. However, some of Nadler’s comments during the December 2004 hearing are worth noting given they’re coming back to bite him in the posterior.

For instance:

“Paper ballots are extremely susceptible to fraud,” Nadler said when one individual brought up using them instead of those perfidious voting machines. “And at least with the old clunky voting machines that we have in New York, the deliberate fraud is way down compared to paper.

“When the machines break down, they vote on paper — they’ve had real problems.”

The speaker then noted a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study that said “paper ballots are among the most reliable.”

“I want a paper trail, I want paper somewhere,” Nadler responded. “But pure paper with no machines? I can show you experience which would make your head spin.”

Come on. This is 2004, you MAGAbot. Show me the relevance to mail-in ballots in the 2020 election assuming the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated.

Sure. First, Nadler acknowledges voter fraud exists — which is interesting, because in the 16 intervening years since this hearing took place, Democrats have begun insisting that it doesn’t exist, period, and that claiming it does could be racist. But apparently, back then voter fraud could be bad enough that Nadler could “show you experience[s] which would make your head spin.”

Second, this kind of voter fraud is more prevalent in elections with paper ballots. What, pray tell, are voters going to be mailing in to their local Board of Elections this November? Are we going to FedEx every one of them Diebold voting machines? Is that how this works?

But I’m sure Nadler has acknowledged that, while there are kinks in the process, this is is something that could be worked out. He wouldn’t be so ideologically inconsistent as to attack the president and pretend he never had an issue with —

So no, that doesn’t fly. And how is that surprising? Trump could come out in favor of “Medicare for all” and Bernie Sanders would probably claim he never supported it. The left loves Jerrold Nadler — and yet, even though he made this argument not too long ago, they’ve forgotten it even exists.

Fine. I hope you realize you’re sentencing people to death by making them wait in lines to cast their presidential ballots, making it impossible to socially distance and keep themselves from getting COVID-19. You’ll have blood on your hands, the same as the rest of the Republicans. You happy about that, you monster?

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about the George Floyd riots?

[The rest of this fictional exchange could not be printed because the resulting “answer” — such as it was — consisted of mostly incoherent screeching and a fusillade of expletives, including several this writer didn’t even know existed. The author is still confident that a) national mail-in voting is nearly impossible to implement in a space of less than five months without risking mass voter fraud and b) Rep. Jerrold Nadler was, is and will remain an opportunist hypocrite.]

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture