Roots of stolen-election claims and other commentary
13th November 2020

From the right: Roots of Stolen-Election Claims

Wherever would President Trump’s supporters get the idea that Joe Biden “hasn’t been legitimately elected?” The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn asks sarcastically. “Maybe from those who spent the past four years undermining” Trump’s legitimacy. Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter called Trump “illegitimate.” Biden agreed. Rep. Jerry Nadler (and a third of House Democrats) boycotted Trump’s inauguration because he wasn’t ­“legitimate,” while Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president tried to “corrupt” the 2016 election. Nor are Trump’s backers different from the 33 percent of Clinton voters who denied that Trump was legitimately elected. As for demands Trump provide evidence, they’re from “the same people who spent years” accusing him of “being a Russian agent without any evidence whatsoever.”

Election desk: America Thumped Far Left

The Democratic Party’s left wing “predicted that only the likes of Bernie Sanders could mobilize enough voters to achieve victory,” observes Mark Gettleson at Spectator USA. Whoops: The man at the top of the party’s ticket, Joe Biden, won on a relatively “centrist platform” and scorned the “more extreme parts of the progressive agenda.” The hard left’s repudiation in House races was still more decisive. Yes, many “strong progressives” did well — but they “are almost always in dense, urban, heavily Democratic districts.” In key suburban districts, “many Republicans voted . . . to remove Trump, but couldn’t stomach voting Democratic down the ballot.” And that’s “highly inconvenient for many on the far left.”

Culture Critic: ‘Safe’ Borat Bombs

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new “Borat” sequel falls flat, fumes Leil Leibovitz at Tablet, because it targets “a gaggle of poor, working-class dudes whose livelihoods were lost to the pandemic. A Hollywood millionaire razzing on guys earning $36,000 a year and struggling to survive: This is what passes for subversive comedy these days.” Strange: An “astute satirist, wishing nothing more than telling truth to power” about “the ways America has changed” since the first film, might zing “the unfettered growth of an oligopoly made up by five companies that now govern everything from the way we buy shoes to the news we receive” or “safe spaces and trigger warnings and all the rest of the inanities that have turned our higher education into a simpering morass of weak minds and bad faith.” Nope: Cohen merely “repeated the dogma of his class, which is the class that pays him: orange man bad, poor man racist.”

From the left: The Flynn-Biden Double Standard

“It is customary for post-election transition officials to work with their counterparts in foreign governments to lay the groundwork for relations with the new administration,” notes blogger Glenn Greenwald. Any “doubts about how customary” were “unintentionally obliterated on Monday night by former Obama national-security official Ben Rhodes,” who revealed on MSNBC that “foreign leaders are already having phone calls with Joe Biden talking about the agenda they’re going to pursue Jan. 20.” Yet “the FBI investigated Gen. Michael Flynn when he was” a Trump transition official “for the possible ‘crime’ of talking to Russia about foreign policy.” It’s obvious the FBI’s “blatantly improper attempt to convert a normal conversation by a transition official into a form of treason” served as a “pretext for further abuse” of its powers as it sought “to interfere in the 2016 election and then sabotage the Trump administration before it even began.”

Libertarian: Biden’s Mandate Malarkey

At Reason, law professor Ilya Somin questions Joe Biden’s claim that he has “a mandate for action.” Exit polls show 30 percent of Biden voters backed him primarily to oppose President Trump. The Democratic Party “seems likely to fall short of a majority in the Senate” and actually lost seats in the House. “This doesn’t seem like an election where the Democrats succeeded in gaining a broad consensus in support of their agenda.” Besides, even when a president does have a mandate, it’s “far from clear” putting it into action is wise. “Majority public opinion,” after all, “is often badly wrong.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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