The Amazing Lack of Self-Awareness in The Washington Post

FILE- In this May 4, 2018, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin watches a race before the 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

This has got to be parody, right? How else can you explain the editors of The Washington Post being so un-self aware?

Can Republicans relearn how to accept political outcomes they don’t like?

By Paul Waldman | Opinion writer | November 7, 2019 | 5:03 p.m. EST

Many people were surprised when Democrat Andy Beshear beat incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky’s gubernatorial election this week by 5,000 votes, but the fact that Bevin isn’t ready to concede hasn’t shocked anyone. And that decision raises questions we ought to be prepared for in the eventuality that President Trump loses in 2020.

Citing “irregularities” but offering nothing in the way of evidence, Bevin has asked for a recanvass (in which vote totals from around the state are retabulated), which could be a prelude to a recount and ultimately to a “contest.” The most remarkable statement, however, came from the president of the Kentucky Senate, who noted that according to state law, the election could end up being decided by the state legislature, where Republicans have firm control of both houses. Which means that technically, they could just give the election to Bevin if they wanted. He also pointed out that the outcome could be called into doubt by the fact that there was a Libertarian candidate in the race, and had he not been on the ballot, many of his votes would have gone to Bevin.

To be clear, Bevin is perfectly within his rights to hold off on a concession; eventually he’ll have to either prove that something went seriously wrong or give up. And there are certainly cases where Democrats have protested that electoral outcomes were unfair; you might recall last year how Stacey Abrams ended her campaign for governor of Georgia but pointedly refused to call it a “concession” because, she said, it would grant the election, in which her opponent engaged in various forms of voter suppression, a legitimacy it did not deserve.

The author, Paul Waldman, then goes through a series of (improbable) scenarios on how President Trump might react if he loses his bid for re-election, before coming to this:

If he’s back at Mar-a-Lago furiously tweeting about how much he was wronged, will anyone care? Or will he succeed in leading his voters to refuse to accept that the election was proper simply because they didn’t like it? . . .

But the new president will take office whether they like it or not. They can take to the streets in their MAGA hats and shout that they’ll never concede that the Democrat is actually president, but that won’t stop the inauguration from taking place. And then what?

He suggests that there’s a “genuine potential” for violence, as the President’s supporters refuse to accept the election results. And:

If those (Republican officeholders) send a message that the election’s outcome was unfortunate but not cause for a revolution, things could calm down quickly. But I fear they may not have it in them, that the way they tried to delegitimize Barack Obama will be not half as bad as what they have in store for the next Democratic president. Trump might not have the attention span to lead a revolution, but Republicans know how to spend years sabotaging a president. As depressing as it is to say, that might be the best outcome we can hope for.

We had the unpleasant spectacle of some conservatives claiming Mr Obama couldn’t be President because, they claimed, he was born in Kenya, not Hawai’i, but I can’t seem to recall Republicans in the House of Representatives attempting to impeach him on that basis. We had the TEA Party marchers in 2010 protesting his programs, but their efforts were aimed at electing their own people to Congress and beating him in the 2012 election, but isn’t that what the Democrats are attempting to do to President Trump in 2020?

Though Mr Waldman mentioned Stacey Abrams pathetic response to her electoral defeat in Georgia — a race she lost by 54,723 votes, ten times the margin Matt Bevin is behind Andy Beshear — he somehow couldn’t bring himself to write a word about Hillary Clinton’s “I wuz robbed” tirades ever since November 9, 2016, blaming everyone from James Comey to Wilileaks to those evil Rooshuns to white women being “under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl,’” to sexism and misogyny, to, well to everything other than the fact she was a rotten and untrustworthy candidate. Mr Waldman failed to mention that the left were calling for Mr Trump’s impeachment the day after the election, before he was even inaugurated, something currently in the news and thus something of which Mr Waldman and his editors should be aware. Nor did he mention the Democrats long search for an impeachable offense, from the failed Mueller Report to an anonymous whistleblower about a phone call he did not hear, nor the violence of the “Antifa” protesters, nor the claims that the Electoral College is unfair, nor anything else that the Democrats have been trying to do, nor CNN’s virtual sellout into the impeachment meme. What will happen to the next Democratic president will be much worse than anything that happened to President Obama he said, ignoring the fact that President Trump’s political opponents have left Mr Obama’s in the dust.

Mr Waldman’s Post bio says that he is an opinion writer covering politics. No one who covers politics could possibly be unaware of the Democrats efforts to undermine Mr Trump’s presidency nor their efforts to remove him from office before his term is ended. Given that his recent articles include Gordon Sondland just gave us this scandal’s smoking quid pro quo and How Donald Trump sealed his fate with a single phone call and The GOP’s last-ditch argument to defend Trump from impeachment, no, he isn’t somehow ignorant of these things. That he could write what he did shows an amazing disregard for what has been happening ever since November 9, 2016, but that seems to be fairly typical of those who were disappointed with the previous day’s election results.
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