American history is no stranger to heated election disputes. In 1824, Adams beat Jackson in a race thrown to the House of Representatives. In 1876, Hayes beat Tilden in a race that ended Reconstruction. In 1888, Harrison lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote, beating Grover Cleveland. In 1960, Kennedy beat Nixon, allegedly benefiting from vote fraud in Texas and Illinois. In 2000, Bush beat Gore in an election fought through Florida and up the Supreme Court.
In none of these cases, did the Republic fall. But today is different, if you believe the dire warnings from what's being billed as a "bipartisan group"
of government officials and election experts.
Today, the end is near. The Transition Integrity Project (TIP) warns of an "alarming"
election season marked by "illegal actions," defiance of the popular vote, "chaos and violence in the streets,"
federal seizure of mail-in ballots, "violent action,"
and attempts to "bribe and silence associates, declassify sensitive documents,"
and pillage the Treasury.
These paranoid polemics are featured in an ostensibly non-partisan report
, "Preventing a Disputed Presidential Election and Transition,"
circulating widely among the Left as Election Day nears. The villain of this set piece of course is Donald Trump.
The report can be read simply as an occasionally hilarious guide to the Left's id. After spending many pages trashing the president as a violent racist democracy-stealing criminal and worst-person-ever, TIP states that it "takes no position on how Americans should cast their votes."
But the document also provides some interesting clues about how the Left would handle a close contest.
TIP said it engaged over 100 participants in a series of electoral war games: four "2020 election crisis scenarios."
The four scenarios: a race too tight to call on election night; a Biden popular vote and Electoral College win by a big margin; a Trump win in the Electoral College but a loss of the popular vote; and a Biden popular and electoral win by a narrow margin.
The results of all four exercises were "alarming,"
the report says. President Trump is likely to "contest the result by both legal and extra-legal means, in an attempt to hold onto power."
Forget about the courts. Never mind that the legal system is the bulwark of our democratic process. TIP "intentionally did not game legal strategies in any detail,"
the reports says. That's telling.
The TIP conclusions are dire. "A close and contested election may be resolved through the exercise of power,"
the report says. Trump might call for recounts; launch investigations into disputed results; halt mail-in ballots; "take to the streets;"
and "rely on Fox News and right-wing social media"
to "facilitate the harassment and bullying of election officials to cause chaos and delay."
Election officials might be intimidated "into taking actions that benefited Team Trump."
Republican-controlled state legislatures might be coerced into installing Trump-friendly Electoral College electors.
To counter these evil plans-of which by the way there is not a shred of evidence outside the blusters of a famously blustery president-Team Biden and its supporters should "take seriously the notion that this may well be a street fight, not a legal battle; technocratic solutions, courts, and a reliance about elites observing norms are not the answer here."
Biden-friendly congressional leaders should "seek advance assurances from the military and agency heads about plans and conduct,"
the report says. "Military and law enforcement leaders need to be particularly attuned to the possibility that partisan actors will seek to manipulate or misuse their coercive powers for inappropriate political ends."
Civil servants "should be educated about their legal obligations to uphold the Constitution,"
comrade. The media should start preparing their Trump-steals-the-election stories in advance. "Journalists and independent watchdogs can begin to cultivate sources and research stories now so they are positioned to sound the alarm."
In summary — Trump bad, Biden good. Close election — stolen. Fight it in the streets, not in the courts. Military, media, law enforcement, civil servants-get on the right side, you have been warned.
The rest of us have been warned, too.