WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020
And why didn't anyone ask?: Is it possible that President Donald J. Trump just lost that one electoral college vote?
We refer to the EC vote the commander hopes to retain from Nebraska's second congressional district (Omaha and environs). Trump won that vote in 2016, but he could conceivably lose it this year.
Nebraska awards three of its five electoral college votes to the winner of each of its three congressional districts. Nebraska's other two EC votes go to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote.
(Obama won that one vote in 2008. For background, just click here.)
Last night, the commander-in-chief held a rally in Omaha, chasing that one EC vote. Did he possibly manage to lose that vote in the way the Washington Post now describes?
ELFRINK (10/28/20): By the time President Trump finished speaking to thousands of supporters at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield on Tuesday night and jetted away on Air Force One, the temperature had plunged to nearly freezing.
But as long lines of MAGA-clad attendees queued up for buses to take them to distant parking lots, it quickly became clear that something was wrong.
The buses, the huge crowd soon learned, couldn’t navigate the jammed airport roads. For hours, attendees—including many elderly Trump supporters—stood in the cold, as police scrambled to help those most at-risk get to warmth.
At least seven people were taken to hospitals, according to Omaha Scanner, which monitors official radio traffic.
The buses in question were being provided by the Trump campaign. The buses showed up so late that some people didn't clear the freezing cold site until after midnight.
According to the Trump campaign, the breakdown resulted from unforeseeable circumstances. That said, a local Democratic pol quickly tweeted this:
HUNT (10/28/20): Supporters of the President were brought in, but buses weren’t able to get back to transport people out. It’s freezing and snowy in Omaha tonight,
What people will do for this con man, what people have sacrificed, is so sad to me. He truly does not care about you.
"He truly doesn't care about you," state senator Megan Hunt said.
This incident will come and go on the national stage, but it will constitute major news in the congressional district in question. Imaginably, fairly or otherwise, what happened last night could cost Commander Trump that one EC vote.
Meanwhile, how about it? Does this candidate care about his voters? Does he care about anyone else? If he's afflicted with sociopathy, it may be that he (more or less) literally doesn't!
Colorblind people can't distinguish certain colors. In a way which is vastly more significant, sociopaths aren't equipped to care about others, not even in the imperfect way the rest of us humans do.
Is Donald J. Trump a sociopath? The press has agreed to avoid that discussion. At least in part for that reason, we the people may not understand who our commander is.
Who, or what, is Donald J. Trump? Perhaps for understandable reasons, the press corps agreed not to ask.
That said, a related question came to mind midway through last week. Who is Amy Coney Barrett? And why didn't anyone ask?
Barrett, of course, is now an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. She'll be on the Court for the next thirty years—but who was Amy Coney Barrett in the 48 years before that?
The question arises because of an AP news report which only broke last week. As it appeared in the Washington Post, the AP report started like this, headline included:
SMITH AND BIESECKER (10/21/20): Barrett was trustee at private school with anti-gay policies
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.
The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.
The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members. At least three of the couple’s seven children have attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.
The AP spoke with more than two dozen people who attended or worked at Trinity Schools, or former members of People of Praise. They said the community’s teachings have been consistent for decades: Homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
The AP report continued from there. We remain puzzled by the (extremely) late emergence of this information.
Barrett testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 13 and 14. She was never asked about this matter, possibly because no one knew about it.
Borrowing from President Nixon, let us say this about that:
In one of the many ways the American public has widened the embrace of public inclusion in recent decades, it's no longer popular to have been a trustee (or a parent) at "a school with anti-gay policies."
It's no longer popular to teach that "homosexuality is an abomination against God."
Arguably, it was an abomination against democratic procedure when Barrett received a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court without this matter being reported or discussed. One wonders where Democrats were in recent years, but also the national press.
Has opposition research suddenly ceased to exist? Barrett was known to (possibly) be "next in line" for at least the past three years. It's hard to know how a matter like this could come to light only after it was too late to make any conceivable difference in any conceivable way.
The AP report on this matter came and went last week. Perhaps understandably at this juncture, it provoked very little discussion.
That said, the chronology of this revelation remains a mystery to us. Who is Associate Justice Barrett? And why was no one able to ask her about this part of her personal history?
As we mentioned in real time, we spent two full days watching Barrett testify. As we mentioned, we were struck by how amazingly little we knew about her by the time the two days were done.
Democrats insisted on asking the types of questions they knew she wouldn't answer. A week later, we learned that no one had asked her about this part of her past.
Today, warnings are emerging across the press about the ways the Supreme Court could intervene in the aftermath of an apparent win by Candidate Biden. Was Barrett a "Manchurian nominee," one who might tip the balance toward a judicial assault on the electoral process?
We don't know how the Court might handle legal challenges to an apparent Biden win. But who is Amy Coney Barrett, and why didn't anyone ask?
We had two major reactions to Barrett's two days of testimony:
First, we noted the fact that Barrett was amazingly telegenic. Also, Democratic questioning struck us as amazingly pointless and daft.
One week later, up jumped the AP report. In our view, the fire trucks had arrived at the scene puzzlingly late.
What the heck ever happened to oppo? We can't answer that question.
But this is one of the ways our discourse works as our tribalized nation continues to slide toward the sea. Ayt any rate, our puzzled analysts have finally reached their own decision:
They've ruled that this episode might be called a "snapshot from the edge."
Tomorrow: More snapshots from the edge!