Michelle Goldberg is about as far left as so-called “mainstream journalists” get. Therefore she, of course, has a welcome mat out for her on the New York Times’ op-ed page.
Here, from Ms. Goldberg’s latest screed, is a fascinating paragraph, describing, as she defines them, one of the two big lies about President Trump and the 2016 election (no, these people cannot get past the fact that Trump won):
The first big lie is that “the people” elected Trump, and that the constitutional provision of impeachment would invalidate their choice. In fact, Trump is president only because a constitutional provision invalidated the choice of the American people. Trump lost the popular vote and might have lost the Electoral College without Russian interference, and yet many Democrats and pundits have been bullied into accepting the fiction that he has democratic, and not just constitutional, legitimacy.
Where to begin?
How about with Michelle Goldberg’s claim that the electoral system – which has been in place for centuries, renders Trump’s election invalid, because it subverts “the choice of the American people”.
Here’s some news for Ms. Goldberg: the reason President Trump won an electoral landslide (god how that word “landslide” must rankle her), is that “the people” in each state voted, and the majority of “the people” in each state is what creates the electoral college totals. “The people”, therefore, did, in fact, elect President Trump.
And, for the record, Trump did not lose the popular vote, he got fewer votes than Hillary Clinton did.
The distinction between those two results is very real: neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton could “win” the popular vote, because neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton tried to get a popular vote majority. They both tried to win enough individual states to get an electoral majority. The resulting national popular vote, therefore, was incidental. An artifact of no meaning to either of them.
The reason Hillary Clinton got more total votes than Donald Trump is that, knowing there was virtually no chance of his winning a majority in our two most populous states – California and New York – Trump did almost no campaigning in either of them.
How did this affect the national popular vote?
In California, for example, Hillary Clinton won about 2.6 million more votes than Donald Trump did. If Trump had campaigned very hard there, he might have reduced Clinton’s majority by about half. That would have been a turnaround of 2.6 million votes (1.3 million more for Trump, 1.3 million fewer for Clinton), which, by itself, would have almost completely obliterated Clinton’s entire national-vote margin. If Trump had done the same in New York, where he got 1.5 million fewer votes than Clinton, he would have “won” the national popular vote.
But Trump didn’t to that because he was seeking electoral votes, not a national popular vote – just as Hillary Clinton was.
Ironically, if we elected presidents on a national popular vote basis, Trump would have done the heavy campaigning in California and New York and, quite possibly, would have won the popular vote right there.
Now let’s talk about Russian interference.
When Michelle Goldberg mentions this, she only does so in regard to claims about Trump being helped.
Tell us, Michelle, how much did the “Steele Dossier” – put together by foreign national (British), Trump-hating Christopher Steele, and relying almost entirely on Russian sourcing – which quite possibly was planted there by the Russian government – play in the 2016 election? As much as what Mueller alluded in that report? More???
Here’s a thought for you to ponder: maybe Russia – which, I’m sure we will agree, has a history of trying to interfere in our elections (an activity we are certainly guilty of as well) – was involved in this activity for both candidates, because it would mean whomever won the election, Clinton or Trump, might be deferential toward Putin & Co.
And there’s more.
If Ms. Goldberg truly wants to look at Russian interference in the election, maybe she’d like to grace us with a word or two about the $145 million or so dollars Russia pumped into the Clinton Foundation…as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on a deal that gave a Russian-owned company control over something like 20% of our uranium resources. Or does that not qualify as interference/the purchase of influence in her world?
It is crap like this that causes me to have little regard for the Michelle Goldbergs of the world….and just as little for the new york times – a newspaper I subscribed to for over 50 years that has degenerated into a propaganda rag with bigger words than most of the other propaganda rags.