A Non-Zero Chance of a Tie; a 100% Chance A Tie can’t be Broken
At the moment, Hillary seems to be pulling away from The Orangutan. But there is so much uncertainty. What will we hear from Putin’s buddies at WikiLeaks? What true thing has Hillary still to say that she will be punished for? What bizarre moral equivalency will the Times wrap in shiny tinsel? When is Bill next set to speak?
Trump is calling on his white-supremacist supporters to invade every black- and brown-majority polling place in Pennsylvania, and probably throughout the south. Their ‘poll-watching’ will be pressed as far as possible; after all, why would a Klansman care about being arrested or starting fights if by his act he could bring voting to a halt in a Democratic precinct? He wouldn’t even have to stop all voting, or for very long; African-Americans have gotten used to the idea that voting takes them hours while voting in white areas takes little time or effort, but do you stay in line all day and all night if racists have slowed voting down even more than usual? If there’s gunfire?
Who do you call if you are being prevented from voting, if you know that Trump’s biggest supporter in your county is the Sheriff? Who’s to stop him if he drags you out of line because he says you have a warrant against you? If he holds you just long enough to miss being able to vote, would you have recourse? A county peace officer can hold you, and then release you next day after ‘deciding’ not to press charges; meantime you didn’t vote, and others couldn’t vote there either.
So imagine that scenario going forward; by clearly, openly suppressing the vote in enough Democratic precincts in enough cities and states by threats and actual violence, the Trascists create a tie out of their well-deserved loss. It would be an act of breathtaking boldness, a theft in plain view.
So far, speculation; Hillary wins the popular vote, but the Electoral College is stolen by obvious efforts, resulting in a tie, and the nation is convulsed. But that’s as far as the speculation need go. If we get to that point, the rest is assured. It’s a script written by the simple act of assuming that cowards will still be cowards, the self-interested will still behave out of their own interests, the Press will still be utterly dis-masted by the Big Lie and all the thousands of little lies that make it up. The revolution will be held in the open, on CNN, with major-corporation advertising. We only need assume people will continue to be themselves.
Despite the unchallengeable guilt of the vote-suppressors, the Press will continue to insist that both sides do it, that if Hillary was a better candidate, and on and on; so they will do nothing.
Most Republicans in the House will laugh at the suggestion they have a duty to anything other than Party, and will vote for Trump, while a minority will find their own self-interest requires they not be blamed for giving in to the threat, and while there’s someone they can hide behind, they will Stand Bravely Against ™. So the House will do nothing, decide nothing.
Eventually the Supreme Court will feel once again that it must interfere, that there’s a clear this-isn’t-a-precedent precedent that was sufficient to their doing another non-precedent-setting precedent. So right around Christmas, they decide – that they can’t decide. Complete party loyalty will once again hold sole command; they will do nothing.
Yes, there is a small chance the election goes into the house. Granted; but it seems self-evident to me that if it does, it will go no further, that this particular swamp of disease at this time will freeze into a deep immobility that no power will shift, neither the Lame Duck session nor the new Congress able to budge in either direction, the Supremes locked into futility, the National Guard in the streets of city after city.
The Republican Party has worked for this breakdown of order for years while they give their only important support base – the 1% – every tax break they could. The Democratic Party has helped by abandoning the constraints of liberalism for the Wheee! of intrusive progressivism, supplying the Right with storm troopers. All parts of our polity have worked for this momentum-less moment for decades.
I agree that there’s little chance this scenario comes true. But that unlikeliness only extends to an Electoral tie. If that does happen, all the rest becomes inevitable; the folks who can’t get things done because they don’t want to will still not want to and still not get anything done. Once the tie is reached, the rest is a foregone conclusion. People will be who they are, the demands of History be damned.
It’s January 19th. Nobody knows who the President will be on the morrow. How long, with gunshots in the streets around them, would it take the Congress and the Supreme Court to agree on setting aside the 22nd Amendment?
FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!