Putting Cam­paign ’16 to bed at last

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - BY WES­LEY PRU­DEN Wes­ley Pru­den is ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

Well, now what? Sore­head losers, who have thrived in such grace­less abun­dance since Nov. 8, had been telling any­one who would lis­ten, for more than a year, that Don­ald Trump could never, ever be elected pres­i­dent of the United States.

Once the elec­tion re­turns were in, the sore­heads con­tin­ued to cam­paign as if Nov. 8 had never dawned. One by one, the flimsy ob­sta­cles erected in the Don­ald’s path fell. The Elec­toral Col­lege was the last ob­sta­cle stand­ing, and a learned law pro­fes­sor at Har­vard — how in­fal­li­ble can you get? — had con­fi­dently as­sured one and all that there was re­volt stir­ring in the Elec­toral Col­lege.

If only 37 elec­tors could have been per­suaded to an­swer to a higher moral call­ing, to dis­avow duty and sit on their hands and bal­lots, they could have de­prived the

Don­ald of his right­ful re­ward. Such a de­fec­tion would have dropped the elec­toral thresh­old be­low the 270 votes re­quired to elect the pres­i­dent, and have thrown the elec­tion into the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, where each state would get one vote.

It was not clear in this scheme how that would have changed very much, since the Don­ald won 30 states and the Repub­li­cans hold a com­fort­able ma­jor­ity in the House, but if you’re a Har­vard pro­fes­sor you don’t have to work things out to a log­i­cal for­mula. The dis­tin­guished law pro­fes­sor, Lawrence Les­sig, held on to his fan­tasy to the end. He claimed on the eve of the Elec­toral Col­lege vote that 20 elec­tors were pre­pared to go rogue, and “some tell me the num­ber is higher than that. It should be more like 30, but I feel con­fi­dent say­ing there’s at least 20.”

If an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at the North­east Alabama Col­lege of Bar­ber­ing and Beauty had said all that he would have been laughed out of the fac­ulty lounge. But Har­vard pro­fes­sors are held to a lower stan­dard. If Prof. Les­sig is as pro­fi­cient in the law as he is in pol­i­tics, Har­vard owes his stu­dents a re­fund in their tu­ition for this se­mes­ter.

Our in­tel­lec­tual class, so called, has been sup­ping on stuff like this since the Don­ald and his peo­ple in fly­over coun­try as­ton­ished the world. Only yes­ter­day an­other pro­fes­sor, Todd Cort, a pro­fes­sor of “sus­tain­abil­ity” at Yale’s School of Man­age­ment, dis­closed his lat­est find­ing, that the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump was caused by global warm­ing. It’s a con­vo­luted ar­gu­ment, sal­able and de­ci­pher­able only where dou­ble-domed wise men gather, but it has some­thing to do with Al Gore and how he could have pre­vented all this.

The vote in the Elec­toral Col­lege ac­tu­ally rubbed de­feat in the faces of Hil­lary and her dead-en­ders. Three elec­tors in the state of Washington voted for Colin Pow­ell, the for­mer sec­re­tary of State, and one cast his vote for Faith Spot­ted Eagle, an Amer­i­can In­dian el­der in South Dakota.

The four un­faith­ful elec­tors splin­tered even farther from Tim Kaine in the bal­lot­ing for vice pres­i­dent. Eight of the 12 du­ti­fully voted for Mr. Kaine as in­structed by vot­ers, but there were elec­toral votes for Wi­nona LaDuke, an “en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist,” and U.S. Sen­a­tors Elizabeth War­ren of Mas­sachusetts, Su­san Collins of Maine and Maria Cantwell of Washington. It was a big day, sort of, for the In­di­ans in the state of Washington, with Faith Spot­ted Eagle and Sen. War­ren, aka Poc­a­hon­tas, lead­ing the pro­fes­sor’s aborted groundswell, get­ting one vote each.

Sev­eral other elec­tors tried to vote for some­one other than Hil­lary, but were ei­ther re­placed or ruled out of or­der. It was not Hil­lary’s best in a suc­ces­sion of bad hair days.

It’s dif­fi­cult to see where the dead-en­ders go from here. There’s no more vot­ing to be done, and the mind re­treats from think­ing about the lu­nacy they could be plan­ning next. No one doubts there will be some­thing. Rarely have we seen such lu­nacy thrive in the af­ter­math of an elec­tion, which John Podesta, the chair­man of the Clin­ton cam­paign, still won’t say was “free and fair.”

Mr. Podesta’s de­mur­ral was of­fered two months to the day that Hil­lary Clin­ton ac­cused the “hor­ri­fy­ing” Don­ald of “talk­ing down our democ­racy” when he hinted in their fi­nal de­bate that he might not ac­cept the out­come of the elec­tion. He later said he would. So did Hil­lary, but now it’s the lady who has in­voked the woman’s priv­i­lege of chang­ing her mind.

Don­ald Trump thanked every­one at the end of the day for his “land­slide.” It was hardly that, but it was enough. Set­tling for the pres­i­dency short of a land­slide is not a bad year’s work. And now the cam­paign of ’16 is his­tory, though there’s no guar­an­tee that fur­ther schemes by the sore­heads are not afoot.


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