My, I’ve been neglecting you folks since my return, no? I plead…jet lag. I always thought it was easier to travel west than east, but my experience is the opposite. I’ve been flattened with fatigue by 8 p.m., wide awake at 3 a.m., and these are not conditions ripe for productivity. My brain was so confused that for the first couple days, I’d doze off, then wake up and think, for a few seconds, “Man, this room in Paris looks a lot like my own back home.” That’s how tired I was.
Add to that the other chores that go with returning from a month away — sorting a pile of mail, paying bills, restocking the fridge, telling 1,000 people “yeah, we had a great time, it was just great, really great,” etc. and you can maybe see why I’m a little discombobulated at the moment.
Oh, and going back to work, and having to hit the ground running because I deprived my colleagues of 20 percent of the workforce for a month.
But I seem to have handled most of that stuff now, so. Back to the grind here.
Confession: I’ve been doomscrolling again. Talk me down.
It starts with this message from you-know-who. It’s really astonishing, in that it is almost entirely untrue. I mean, all the words, except for “rally in Michigan yesterday.” It wasn’t even that big of a rally. And then he says:
Detroit, considered for many years to be one of the most corrupt places in the United States for elections (and many other things!), had large-scale irregularities so much so that two officials, at great risk to themselves and their families, refused to certify the results, and were sadly threatened.
Nope. There were no large-scale irregularities. Much hot air was puffed over “unbalanced precincts,” but in truth, all were out of balance by fewer than five votes, which totaled fewer than 500 out of more than 200K cast in the November election. (We’ve been over it and over it here, so I won’t belabor the point.) But what kills me is the fixation on Detroit, which isn’t even where Trump lost Michigan. He actually outperformed his 2016 totals in the city, by a narrow margin. But he was slaughtered in the suburbs, in Metro Detroit but also in Grand Rapids. White people, especially white women, stampeded out of the GOP in 2020, at least at the top of the ticket. You don’t hear him talking about Oakland County, because he can beat the BLACK Detroit BLACK corruption BLACK bass drum and the message comes through loud and clear.
Again, though, we know all this. And yet, to this day, I see emails and comments on stories and elsewhere, echoing this bullshit:
Wasn’t it a fact that aside from other things, there were far more votes than voters? Even the RINOs on the Senate Committee found 289,866 absentee ballots that were sent to people who never requested them, “something that would be illegal.”
Nope, it’s not a fact. None of it. But as our own Jeff Gill mentioned when I tweeted about this last week, this is how the Trumpian rhetoric is going — simply unhitched from reality.
All of which would be easier to ignore if it weren’t driving policy. In Michigan, the GOP is replacing troublesome canvassers on the county boards, with “troublesome” indicating “able to read numbers and interpret their meaning.” The canvasser in Wayne County who first refused to certify was bounced just last week for one who flatly said he wouldn’t have certified the 2020 vote count. Because, that’s why.
I wish I could find a quote from Hillary Clinton, something she said after the August 2020 primary here, when there was, again, a hoo-hah raised over unbalanced precincts. It’s true that too many were unbalanced, but again, most were by very small numbers, attributable to human error, and didn’t affect any races. Having worked the polls now for three elections, I can tell you the procedures are filled with fiddly bits and little details and detours and side roads to cover every conceivable voting situation, and when the people working the precinct are doing it once, maybe twice a year, it’s a miracle that any of them come out balanced. In August, I caught two or three errors in my own precinct that were caused by nothing more than confusion or assumptions made in error. We easily corrected them, but still. It happens.
And Hillary said something to the effect of, “You watch, this unbalanced-precincts thing was a test run. They’re going to try it again.” And what do you know, they did. I have Googled and Googled, and can’t find the source, but I clearly remember her talking about it.
So bottom line: I’m waiting on 2022 with some trepidation. The talking-down I’m giving myself is that this is a very loud minority who will not succeed. I hope. Fingers crossed. Check me after next year. I may be selling my worldly goods and investigating expat life in a pleasant climate.
But for now: Back to work! Glad to give you all a new thread.