Now that all the controversial elections, recounts and re-recounts are over, allow us to overview a few of our classes realized.


Florida is the Jaguar of vote-counting, and I’m not referring to the animal or the Jacksonville NFL franchise. I imply the automobile. For many years, a part of the “allure” of getting a Jaguar was how typically it broke down. (That’s not the case.) It was the type of conspicuous consumption that economist Thorstein Veblen used to write down about, with homeowners bragging about how a lot they paid for repairs.


The spectacle of sweaty election officers poring over provisional ballots — 18 years after the state grew to become notorious for such issues — has now cemented election incompetence into the montage of photos we affiliate with the Sunshine State: seashores, rocket launches, Mickey Mouse and the human menagerie of freaks, weirdos, moperers, villains and perverts that fall underneath the omnibus web meme “Florida Man.”


We realized (relearned, truly) that lots of people are very, very tense about politics and fast to leap the gun. President Trump, little question a bit insecure that his “pink wave” didn’t materialize, instantly claimed that voter fraud was rampant and that elections in Arizona and Florida have been being “stolen.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott adopted Trump’s lead and made related allegations, as did a number of Republican pundits.


In the meantime, in Georgia, Democrats led by Stacey Abrams and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, in addition to a refrain of liberal pundits, insisted that the governor’s race there had been “stolen” by Georgia’s Republican secretary of state (and gubernatorial candidate), Brian Kemp.


We additionally realized that the precise proof for all of those allegations fell far in need of the rhetoric.


There have been certainly sketchy irregularities in Florida, however none that got here near robbing Scott of his 12,000-vote lead. Brenda Snipes, Broward County’s supervisor of elections, had a 15-year report of incompetence that at occasions appeared very tough to tell apart from partisan skulduggery. She lastly resigned from her submit this week.


However in Arizona, there is no such thing as a proof of wrongdoing, and the state GOP’s refusal to go together with Trump’s speaking factors was an admirable instance of Republican leaders, notably Gov. Doug Ducey, bucking the partisan tide.


Georgia is a extra controversial case, however because the Nationwide Assessment’s Wealthy Lowry paperwork, the proof of theft by voter suppression isn’t there both, irrespective of what number of Twitter memes say in any other case. Kemp’s determination to not resign from his job overseeing elections could have been unhealthy PR, however that’s the way in which the legislation works in Georgia.


Kemp had run for re-election twice earlier than with out stepping apart, with none improprieties — as had Democrats in that place prior to now. Allegations that he closed polling websites in black neighborhoods pass over that these selections have been made domestically. Likewise, claims that he purged black voters from the rolls hinge on a tendentious studying of a legislation — handed by a Democratic legislature and signed by a Democratic governor — requiring that the rolls be up to date. Kemp enforced the legislation, he didn’t undermine it.


The ultimate lesson: There’s a huge double customary within the nationwide dialog with regards to election outcomes and irregularities.


When Republicans recommend Democrats are as much as no good, it’s universally decried as a paranoid, craven or “overtly authoritarian” try to delegitimize an election. When Democrats recommend an election was stolen, it’s a grave warning of a disaster that ought to require “worldwide election screens,” within the phrases of Dan Relatively.


When Republicans graciously concede, as Rep. Martha McSally did in Arizona, it’s an instance of decency and civility. “I give McSally credit score for a swish concession. However let’s be clear: It solely stands out due to the ethical sludge of Trumpism during which any present of grace or honorable conduct is surprising,” tweeted Josh Marshall, the editor of the Speaking Factors Memo. “While you lose, you don’t lie about it or assault the voting course of. You concede & transfer on.”


However when Florida Sen. Invoice Nelson, a three-term Democrat, refused to concede and transfer on, insisting that Scott was attempting to steal victory, liberals didn’t name him a sore loser. And when Abrams refused to concede in Georgia and (nonetheless) refuses to say that Kemp is a official governor, it’s hailed as heroic talking fact to energy.


Such double requirements are toxic and contagious. Which is why you could be certain you’ll hear much more of this in 2020 — and never simply from Donald Trump.






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