Fake News, Fake Ads: Both Are Fit To Print In The New York Times

Fake News, Fake Ads: Both Are Fit To Print In The New York Times

RepresentUs's claim that mail-in voting is not fraudulent or insecure is not just baseless or absurd, but disingenuous.
Daniel Oliver
By

For a good laugh, don’t miss the August 9, 2020 edition of The New York Times in which there is a full-page ad on page five, placed by an outfit called “RepresentUs.” It calls on Trump to resign because “in your 3 ½ years in office, you have:

    • Rebuffed conclusive and deeply troubling evidence of foreign meddling in U.S. elections and to this date have taken virtually no action.
    • On July 19, 2020, you refused to assure the American people that you would accept the results of a free and fair election, win or lose.
    • And on July 30, 2020, you moved with wanton disregard for the U.S. Constitution to delay the election.
    • Made dozens of baseless assertions that mail-in voting is fraudulent or insecure—it is not and never has been.”

The reader’s first thought is, “This must be a George Conway operation.” Conway is the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to President Trump. George Conway is the director of an organization called The Lincoln Project, which puts out particularly smarmy anti-Trump ads—see here. But of course, RepresentUs doesn’t have to be a Conway operation: there can be more than one bad apple in a barrel.

The ad is an insult to sentient Americans.

Point one: Probably a majority of Trump supporters do not believe the “deeply troubling evidence of foreign meddling in U.S. elections” that the intelligence agencies have produced. The intelligence agencies are part of the deep state that has (since two minutes after Trump’s election) been trying to oust him—to overturn the 2016 election. (The first two minutes they spent in shock and tears.) The Mueller investigation dragged on for two and a half years and in the end, produced absolutely nothing except embarrassment for Mueller and everyone else who touched it—always assuming they are capable of being embarrassed.

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress. He was asked under oath if the U.S. government was collecting “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper replied: “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” We know now from the documents that Snowden leaked that the National Security Agency was collecting domestic call records and other various internet communications on millions of Americans.

According to the House Intelligence Committee: “Clapper flatly denied ‘discussing[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.’” That was a lie.

Clapper told the Washington Post, “The first time I had any interaction with Jake Tapper was on May 14.” In fact, we know he spoke with Tapper in January.

In testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May 2017, former CIA Director John Brennan said: “I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to Congressional leadership—specifically Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Diane Feinstein, and Richard Burr, and Representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes, and Adam Schiff—between 11 August and 6 September.” Rep. Devin Nunes (R–CA) says neither he nor Paul Ryan was ever briefed.

Given those lies, why should the American people put any faith in the “conclusive and deeply troubling evidence of foreign meddling in U.S. elections” that so concerns RepresentUs?

So, point two: Since it is entirely likely that the Democrats and the deep state will try harder, and earlier, to see that Trump is not reelected, it would make no sense for Trump at this stage to say he will automatically accept the result of such an election.

Point three: Trump did not “move to delay” the election: he posed it as a hypothetical question, probably just to rile the Democrats—in which case he succeeded beyond his dreams.

Point four: As for his assertions that mail voting is rife with fraud and error—anyone paying attention knows it to be true. Not that long ago, before they became woke, rabid anti-Trumpers, even the media were mostly against voting by mail because they understood the opportunity it presented for fraud.

Just last week, half a million inaccurate applications for absentee ballots were sent out to Virginians, prompting the Center for Voter Information that sent them to say: “Approximately half a million applications sent to eligible voters in Virginia included incorrect information, and we are working diligently to address the issues. Mistakes in our programming are very rare, but we take them seriously, and our methods overall are extraordinarily effective.” Ooooh. Extraordinarily effective.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by 22,748 votes. Mistakes in the Center for Voter Information’s programming may be “very rare” but last week’s half a million applications mistake (more than twenty times Trump’s Wisconsin margin) is clearly enough to change the outcome of an election.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation reviewed 1.3 million mail-in ballots sent out in June. More than 223,000, 17 percent of all ballots mailed to registered voters in Nevada’s largest county, were sent to outdated addresses.

And according to the New York City Board of Elections, more than 84,000 mail-in ballots cast in June in the presidential primary were disqualified.

All of which makes the claim of RepresentUs, that mail-in voting is not fraudulent or insecure, not just baseless, or absurd, but disingenuous.

What is, or who are, RepresentUs anyway? They certainly don’t represent the millions of Trump voters. Probably very few people who cling to their guns and religion read the Times anyway, and most of the Times readers are probably already against Trump. The ad must be just virtue signaling. That must be it.

Spend away, guys. We need a good laugh every now and then.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email Daniel Oliver at [email protected]

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