The Republican National Convention has just ended this past week, and we’re hearing doom and gloom from some for some reason, notably HBO host Bill Maher, who told MSNBC’s Joy Reid, “I am feeling less confident about this. Maybe it’s just their convention bump got to me, but I’m feeling less confident than I was a month ago.”
Michael Moore is also feeling gloomy, as he indicated on his Facebook page recently: “The enthusiasm level for the 60 million in Trumpâ€™s base is OFF THE CHARTS! For Joe, not so much.”
CNN is reporting that, despite Biden out-polling Trump handily, “The result of the 2016 outcome for this cycle is that the general public doesn’t buy the polling showing Biden clearly ahead. They think Trump is going to win.”
Wow. Problematic. Maybe we need to understand a few things about 2016.
First, recall the numbers. As the Washington Post reported in December 2016: “But for 79,646 votes cast in those three states [Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin], [Hillary Clinton would] be the next president of the United States.” This is a razor-thin margin. From the same article:
Trump won those states by 0.2, 0.7 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively â€” and by 10,704, 46,765 and 22,177 votes. Those three wins gave him 46 electoral votes; if Clinton had done one point better in each state, she’d have won the electoral vote, too.
This was despite Clinton’s lead in total votes by three million. America on the whole wanted Hillary Clinton to be President. Trump’s victory turned on a dime. And there were several irregularities in 2016 that might have helped affect this result.
I think the most interesting thing about James Comey’s last-minute Oct. 28 notification to Congress is remembering where the issue originated.
Comey’s letter to Congress said: “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.â€
Those emails were only found because the FBI was investigating Anthony Weiner’s funny habit of sending dirty messages to a minor in North Carolina. From a laptop he shared with his wife, Huma Abedin. Who would also correspond with the Democratic candidate for President on that computer.
So if Weiner hadn’t been the perverted human being that he apparently was, we may not have had the Comey Surprise, and we might not have Impeached President Carnage McGee today.
Vanity Fair’s reporting on that little episode is priceless, by the way.
Of all the different issues swirling around regarding the 2016 election, the Comey letter is one that our friends at FiveThirtyEight can point to and say yep, that caused a dip for Clinton. I mean they can point to it like it’s on a map.
Comey later testified it made him feel “mildly nauseous” to think they might have swayed the election. I hope the former FBI director has gallons of Pepto on hand.
My point? This is not 2016.
There’s no Comey. There is no email “scandal.” We are nearly five years away from Hillary Clinton’s marathon Benghazi testimony. Bill Clinton can meet on the tarmac with Loretta Lynch all he wants to this year, and it will not affect the election. Anthony Weiner is sobbing in a cold room somewhere clutching a body pillow, tattooed forever as a sex offender.
I submit to you and will have further comment on this soon, that 2016 was a particularly egregious and difficult little tick. I am not saying that 2020 isn’t likely to provide us with some challenges, too. But it is a mistake to allow PTSD from 2016 to shade one’s enthusiasm and hope for the Biden/Harris ticket.