Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has increased now to 2.1 million votes and counting. She has received more votes than any other white or female candidate in the history of the United States. Indeed, Donald Trump may have garnered more votes than any other Republican in history, but he’s getting trounced in the popular vote. By the time counting has finished, Clinton’s 2+ million vote lead over Donald Trump will be a bigger vote lead than 28 eventual Presidents had over their opponents.
It’s not exactly a landslide (Obama beat McCain by 9 million votes, and Romney by 5 million), but it’s sizable enough that it should erase any question about Donald Trump having a mandate. He does not, and as infighting among his own administration continues and eventually carries over into infighting with the GOP-led Congress (which is inevitable), that will become clear.
What is also clear is this: Donald Trump won the Electoral College. Fair or not, that’s what matters, but now there are attempts being made to cast doubt on even that after Jill Stein decided — after playing spoiler in the general election — to use her standing to challenge the vote counts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
It’s a Hail Mary, but it’s my fear that it might be the kind of Hail Mary pass that’s picked off in the end zone and ran back for a touchdown. The thing is: I don’t trust Jill Stein. She did not seem to have the best interests of the country in mind during the general election, and I’m not so sure she does now. As much as I’d like to see the election overturned somehow over a recount, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is not about ensuring a fair election, or attempting to sneak Hillary in the back door, but about Jill Stein.
Stein has so far raised $4.5 million in her efforts to force a recount in those three states, although her original goal was only $2.1 million, and then it was $4.5 million, and now it is $7 million, ostensibly to cover legal costs. My guess is that she will get the $7 million, because those of us on the left are desperate for some hope, moreso after each and every cabinet appointment is announced. The $4.5 million that Jill Stein has raised so far, as I understand it, is more than her entire general election campaign raised.
My fear, however, is that it won’t matter. Maybe — maybe — it results in a win for Hillary in Michigan, where the margin is only 10,000 votes. However, short of unearthing a discovery that might undermine our entire Democratic electoral process in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, it’s not likely to tilt the election back in Clinton’s favor. And when it doesn’t, we have to suffer that humiliating defeat all over again, notwithstanding the popular vote lead we are clinging to as though it can slow the march toward what will surely be the most corrupt Presidential administration in the history of the United States.
Do we really want to be taunted again by Trump and Kellyanne Conway?
Look who "can't accept the election results" Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States https://t.co/D4t6HbPUXG— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 24, 2016
Besides, what would actually happen if the electoral college swung back in favor of Clinton? I mean, I really don’t know. Does she get to take back her concession? Would she even want to? Will the election get tied up for months in legal challenges? Will it fall to the Supreme Court again to decide the election, where it is tied 4-4, which would likely mean the lower court vote stands? Not to mention what might happen with the angry, gun-toting Trump supporters fueled by fake news who might go absolutely apocalyptic in the event that Clinton somehow takes back the White House.
Why does this all feel like a really bad season of Scandal?
We might be better off pinning our hopes (and money) on Foster Campbell, a Democrat set to face off in a run-off election for a Senate seat on December 10th in Louisiana. His hopes of winning are slim (he’s down by 15+ points in one poll), but if Democrats could somehow get a massive turn-out-the-vote effort for an election that probably would have an otherwise low turnout, we could at least narrow the Senate lead to 51-49, which might give us some more hope in weeding out Trump’s hardline, inexperienced cabinet appointments (and preventing Trump from pushing through a wholly incompetent Supreme Court justice).