MARLBORO MUSINGS:  Stein Throws a Challenge Flag


Oops…we called it too early, folks.

Seems we weren’t quite as lucky as we thought, and the presidential election is not quite over after all, with recounts pending in Wisconsin, and possibly Michigan and Pennsylvania, too.


Long story; short version:

It seems that Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who garnered approximately 1% of the national vote during the presidential election held November 8, has formally petitioned for a recount of votes in Wisconsin, and indicated that she will do likewise in Michigan and Pennsylvania, an effort that election runner-up Hillary Clinton has since joined.

These three are states that Donald Trump narrowly won over Clinton on his way to an Electoral College victory and, presumably, a term as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Again, presumably.

First off, understand that Trump hasn’t actually won the election until it has been certified by the electors of the Electoral College when they meet in the their respective state capitals on December 19 to formalize their state’s election results for forwarding to Washington.

But that process may be in jeopardy if some of the recount efforts are not completed by that date, with the absolute most extreme instance resulting in the election being determined by Congress.

Talk about a scary thought. That one can keep you up nights.

But back to this vote recount issue currently at hand. Something just doesn’t add up here; this doesn’t pass the smell test.

It just seems awful odd to me that Ms. Stein, who was only able to raise a total of $3.5 million for her entire campaign was capable of almost overnight raising first $2.2 million, then $5 million, and is now targeting $6-$7 million for her effort to address concerns about “vote totals not matching exit poll data,” even though lawyers for all involved say that they don’t expect the recounts to yield any significant changes to the outcomes.

That said, would someone explain to me why a candidate who received less than 1% of the national vote in a four-person race – which was outstanding, actually, given that she only received .35% in her 2012 presidential campaign – would want a recount in those states?

And why would people rush to contribute their dollars?

It just doesn’t make sense. Unless, (1) Stein truly feels, and others strongly agree, that something nefarious took place on election day – and Wisconsin represents a microcosm of the possibility of similar shenanigans in other states, thereby throwing the entire election in doubt — and that the Badger State is the prime spot in which to reveal it – a long shot, at best, or (2) adhering to the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, she is striking while the iron is hot and keeping her name in the papers, or (3) Stein is just hoping to draw some more “sucker” money in, as her fund solicitation website does include fine print indicating that all funds may not be used toward a 2016 recount, but instead may be held back “to ensure future voter integrity,” or (4) Stein has become a pawn of what’s left of Team Clinton, a “front woman” to do the dirty work necessary to grasp at any last-chance straw to either derail or debase a Trump presidency since Clinton cannot, given her election night concession to Trump.

What a mess.

At this point, I suppose there are three things I need to be clear about.

Foremost, candidate Stein is well within her rights to ask for a recount of votes, at her expense, if she feels that any portion of an election has been compromised in some fashion, in any state she so chooses.

Secondly, Madam Clinton has every right to change her mind about any issue she so wishes, over and over and over again, as history has shown she has a tenancy to do, presuming her words are to be believed, that is.

And, third, that I also have rights, in this case to state that, in my opinion, Hillary Rodham Clinton is clearly the most dishonest, disingenuous, diabolical, dishonorable, and borderline-demonic politician of the modern era, and the American public would be well-served by a complete and total examination of her tenure as secretary of state, in particular with regard to maintaining the security of our nation’s highest-level secrets, by an independent special prosecutor. And now that we’re learning that a good many of its foreign donors are either vaporizing or greatly reducing their contributions – interestingly enough, just as Mrs. Clinton has lost her access to power – let’s go ahead and get to the bottom of the “pay to play” allegations related to to the Clinton Foundation rabbit hole while we’re digging.

And let’s add a fourth declaration, since I’m making a list: I’m sick of damn politicians, particularly the insincere and self-centered ones, and the games they are continually playing with the American public, all the while claiming our best interest is their only concern.

The irony of all this is almost comical.

First, Clinton rakes Trump over the coals for days for his insistence during the third debate to flatly refuse to say that he would blindly accept the election results, categorizing such a stance as “disgusting, horrifying, and unpatriotic,” when she herself was reluctant to ever answer the very same question, ducking it when posed at every opportunity her media lapdogs got near enough to shout it, claiming only that accepting results of elections is a cornerstone of democracy.

And Wisconsin is the state where she chooses to join a vote challenge? Wisconsin, Hillary? The same Wisconsin where you never ONCE made a campaign stop during the general election, you now feel you should have WON? A state you NEVER even visited?

How arrogant can you get?

Look, it’s my column, so here’s my take, straight up. You got a different version, great; write it up, sign it, and send it in for Editor Dan McNiel to consider for publication; personally, I value the perspective of others, and I’d love to read it.

But the bottom line as far as I’m concerned is you played the American public for suckers, Mrs. Clinton, and it came back to bite you. You felt you had done the time in Washington, paid the dues, danced the dance and the office was yours, literally your entitlement, payment for by all those years blindly supporting husband Bill and his wandering eye and philandering ways, swallowing your pride and working in the trenches, impatiently awaiting your time to crash thru the glass ceiling and revel in the international spotlight. The voters seemed almost an afterthought.

This was not just an election to “Team Hillary.” Oh no, this was to be a long-awaited, Obama-delayed, coronation. The whole voting thing was all just a process to get out the way in order to reach the given expected result: The first female U.S. President – with a heaping, hot, helping of “Obama 2.0 – now on steroids!” all planned out and ready to be served.

But there was just a little problem: The American public wasn’t exactly in the market for more of the same; people are hurting out in Middle Class America, and we don’t see help on the horizon. We don’t see the calvary riding in to save the day. And we, for certain, weren’t in the mood to be insulted.

And yet we were. Almost daily. You made yourself unavailable for press conferences for almost 300 straight days, and spent as many days sequestered somewhere off the campaign trail as out on it making appearances, frequently with high-dollar supporters raising more campign funding. Then we found out thru WikiLeaks that the mainstream media were basically in your pocket, and even assisted you in helping cheat Bernie Sanders out of a fair shot at the Democratic Party nomination.

You called half of the American public deplorables and irredeemables and all but held us in contempt, and we learned that you and your cohorts laughed and mocked us for our ethnic, religious, and regional backgrounds, or sexual orientation.

You tried to sell yourself as the champion of the working class and the long-awaited deliverer of equality and rights for women and children. Then we found out that women working for the Clinton Foundation made less than men doing comparable work – women working for you, Hillary! – and that children only had rights outside the womb, not even the day before birth.

And perhaps even more telling, we discovered, again thru WikiLeaks, that your own staff had very serious doubts about your ability to make quality decisions about supremely important matters, concerns that they seemed to freely and mockingly share amongst themselves behind your back. Your own people.

We tried to give you the benefit of a doubt, and then we found out you’d told a room full of rich bankers one thing – for $200,000, no less – and then would tell a high school gym full of hard working men and women the exact opposite. That may be called having public versus private “policy positions” in Washington, DC, but in the real world, that’s what’s known as being two-faced in polite circles, and being a straight-up liar among the coarser crowd.

In short, Hillary, we found out that what we saw had no relation to what you really were. And in the end, we really didn’t have any idea what you were, except apparently toxic, as everywhere you popped up, trouble seemed to soon follow.

None of that was exactly confidence inspiring, ya know.

And given that she is now joining, indeed supporting, Ms. Stein in the recount effort, even her concession that “We must accept this result. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” is turning out to be a mistruth.

It’s beginning to seem as if it weren’t for double standards, some folks wouldn’t have any standards at all.

I was proud to vote for Barack Obama back in 2008, excited to be part of the electorate that put the first man of color in the Oval Office. And only a tad bit more hesitantly, I voted for him again in 2012, figuring he deserved a chance to fully implement his plans.

I’m not a Republican, nor a Democrat. I’m a pragmatist, a realist. Whatever works, works for me. I couldn’t care less about the letter following a legislator’s name.

But to be honest, at this point the Democrats would be far better served examining why their message failed to resonate with voters this year to the point that a thin-skinned and boastful billionaire with a 747 full of personal baggage and zero political experience was able to beat or outmaneuver them and their near-billion dollar budget and much-ballyhooed ground game at almost every critical juncture.

The last thing they need to do is lengthen an election season that is better left to the history books, and further extend the embarrassing and growing perception of a failed and flailing politician unable to accept defeat.

America is as much about losing with grace as it is about winning with dignity. Clinton and Stein should have the courtesy and respect to let the voters ballots speak, and allow our country to begin to heal and move forward.

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