Hillary: Biden shouldn't concede if the election is close

One of the many reasons we need to get COVID under control as soon as possible is so that Canada will reopen its border and I can get out of this collapsing, third-world country before Election Day.

You maniacs can tear each other limb from limb for all I care. Just hold off until I get to Toronto.

Between this and Pelosi’s “domestic enemies” spiel last night, odds are fair that if the race tightens by October Democrats will be working as hard rhetorically to delegitimize the election as Trump will. “The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election,” he said yesterday at the convention, taking a dump on the integrity of yet another institution because his ego can’t tolerate the prospect of defeat. Is Hillary’s message here meaningfully different from “if we lose, the election was rigged”?

I suppose the difference between her and Trump is that in theory she might be satisfied that the other team won fair and square after the relevant court battles play out. In practice, though? Her party still insists that Stacey Abrams won the Georgia gubernatorial election two years ago despite all evidence to the contrary. The closest we’ll get to Democrats conceding that Trump is the rightful winner in November is them claiming that he used “soft” voter suppression, i.e. talking people out of voting, rather than chicanery or the blunt-force kind to form his winning margin.

Also, contra my headline, does she ever say that Biden should refrain from conceding only if the election is close? She says he should refrain from conceding, period. Maybe Clinton’s reached a point of such exasperation that she’s willing to cry fraud even if Trump wins by, say, five points. Although, realistically, there’s no chance that he’ll win comfortably. There’s a Biden landslide possibility and a strong chance of narrow victories by either candidate but a guy whose job approval has hovered around 43 percent for the past two years isn’t cruising to reelection this fall. Certainly not against an opponent as generic as Biden.

Note too what she says about “the force of intimidation that the Republicans and Trump are going to put outside polling places.” I take it that’s a reference to what he said last week about using sheriffs and/or federal law enforcement on Election Day to do … something. It’s not quite clear what. In any case, DHS officers won’t be involved, said Trump’s otherwise highly loyal acting secretary, Chad Wolf:

“We don’t have any authority to do that at the department,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Asked by Tapper if Trump had asked him to send law enforcement officers to polling centers, Wolf replied: “No, absolutely, he has not. Again, that’s not what we do at the Department of Homeland Security.”

“We have law enforcement authorities and law enforcement officers at the department, we have express authorities given to us by Congress and this is not one of them,” he said, adding, “This is not a mission for the Department of Homeland Security.”

Trump can’t force local police to watch polling places since they answer to state and local officials, not him. Is he planning to send DOJ officials? Or just talking out of his ass?

Here’s Tim Scott, who gave the most well-received speech on night one of the convention, countering the Trump message that mail-in ballots can’t be trusted. The president thinks the entire party will be behind him if he comes up short on Election Day and cries fraud. That’s not quite true, and the larger Biden’s lead is, the less true it’ll be. One last word on Hillary, though: To watch her in the clip above, you’d think that recent voting in Detroit had gone swimmingly and that Republican lawyers were up there flexing their muscles just to make trouble. In reality, in more than two-thirds of Wayne County absentee voting precincts, the number of ballots counted didn’t match the number of voters tracked in poll books. It’s enough of a mess that local officials are asking Michigan’s secretary of state to step in and make sure poll workers are better trained this fall. The best way to counter Trump’s message that if he loses he must have been cheated is to give voters confidence in voting by mail. Instead, in a number of elections this year, Democratic districts have done the opposite.

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