Threat to Our Democracy Reminder -- The Press Were Cheering for Electoral College Voters to Overturn a Trump Victory 4 Years Ago

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2013 file photo, clerks unseal the certificates of results from all fifty states during a meeting of the U.S. Electoral College in the House of Representatives on Capitol in Washington. The Electoral College was devised at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. It was a compromise meant to strike a balance between those who wanted popular elections for president and those who wanted no public input. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

 

 

Funny how their coverage of the last election result held no such drama like we see today.

Even with the election result unverified and a number of states with final vote counts which remain outstanding there are many in the press who are squealing that President Trump and the administration contesting the result to this point are threatening the fabric of our democracy. They pretend that the fact that he has not yet conceded is some sort of Constitutional violation and that calling into question the results in states with curious returns is an attack on the integrity of our nation.

This mewling screed from CNN’s Jake Tapper is a prime example of the current mood of most of the incurious journalists today.

Notably these same concerns were not heard when we were subjected to years of calling the last election invalid, claiming illegal foreign influence swung the result, or many declaring Trump was not their President. We have been enduring a years-long debate over the efficacy of the electoral college, and yet these arguments calling to transform the underpinnings of our democracy have not been regarded as a threat nearly as much as Trump not making a formality of an announcement.

And — about that electoral college. This same media complex, today squawking about the offense and threat for not yet acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory, was exploring ways to overturn the result of the election just four years ago. Following Donald Trump’s surprise election victory all manner of denial and contempt was witnessed, and many were looking for ways to literally overturn the result. One of those possibilities explored was focusing on those charged with voting in the electoral college.

As the Washington Post detailed it the electors were being targeted to see if they could be convinced to change their pledged vote for Donald Trump.

Pressure on members of the electoral college to select someone other than Donald Trump has grown dramatically — and noisily — in recent weeks, causing some to waver but yielding little evidence that Trump will fall short when electors convene in most state capitals Monday to cast their votes.

A variety of methods were being explored, from convincing GOP pledged voters to flip, to also planting seeds of doubt on the legitimacy of the vote with the growing conspiracy of Russian involvement. This involved a call to have all of the electors be given an intelligence briefing that would detail the possible collusion theory. One other plot involved having the Hillary electors switch to an alternate GOP name, giving the pledged Trump voters an option and possibly bringing his total down below the 270 vote threshold. 

The press dutifully detailed all of these accounts, but there was one thing missing from those reports. You cannot find any of the inflamed language about how these attempts to thwart the Trump election victory were not an imminent threat to our democracy.

Tellingly these efforts were given full coverage, often with a hopeful subtext in the reporting, but nowhere is it found that the stern lectures of accepting the result was forwarded. None of the pundits were declaring the Hillary camp or the Democrats were attempting a coup, or striving to silence the will of the American voters. Grave intonations about shaking the foundations of the Constitution and throwing the country into a crisis were nowhere to be found. Also absent were the calls to speed up the process for a smooth transition, as the electoral college vote influence was taking place in December 2016.

So keep this in mind in the coming days/weeks as we are spoon fed all of the soap opera-level melodramatics about how the Trump administration is causing damage to our democracy. When a far greater threat to our election integrity was being attempted the press was curiously not nearly as concerned. In fact they seemed rather hopeful the effort would be successful.