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Moore Seeks Court Action to Stop Certification of Vote

Roy Moore GunToday the state of Alabama is scheduled to certify the results of the December 12th special election.  This action would confirm that Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, will be officially declared the winner of the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions and currently held by appointee Luther Strange.

Roy Moore, his opponent, has other plans.  According the NYTRoy Moore Sues to Block Certification of Alabama Senate Election Results.

In a complaint filed in the circuit court here in Alabama’s capital, Mr. Moore’s campaign argued that such fraud had tainted the Dec. 12 special election, which Mr. Moore lost to Doug Jones by fewer than 22,000 votes, and that the Alabama authorities had inadequately investigated claims of misconduct.

If the election is prematurely certified, Mr. Moore’s lawyers wrote, he will “suffer irreparable harm” and be “denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election.”

John H. Merrill, the Alabama secretary of state, has dismissed complaints, from Democratic and Republican critics, of election fraud. In an interview on Dec. 15, Mr. Merrill, a Republican who voted for Mr. Moore, flatly declared: “I have not seen any irregularities or any inconsistencies that are outside the norm.”

In a text message early Thursday, Mr. Merrill said he did not intend to postpone the certification proceedings that would ultimately allow Mr. Jones to take office.

In fact, Moore is asking for a new election.

What his evidence might be is unclear, although NPR stated this morning that part of the argument is predicated on the notion that there was higher than expected turnout. WaPo also notes:

In the complaint, Moore’s attorneys noted the higher than expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County, and said that Moore’s numbers were suspiciously low in about 20 Jefferson County precincts.

All of which is consistent with the dynamics of the race, created by Moore’s candidacy:  some Republicans stayed home because they couldn’t vote for Moore and a lot of other voters turned out to vote to make sure Moore did not win.  Also, competitive races increase turnout.  None of this is strange.

Keep in mind, this is a race in which the sitting Republican Senator, Richard Shelby, went on national television and stated he wrote-in another Republican and that he could not vote for Moore.

Back to the NYT piece:

It was not immediately clear when a judge would consider Mr. Moore’s complaint or the affidavits from several people his campaign described as experts in elections; one has claimed to have “mathematically proved a conspiracy to assassinate” President John F. Kennedy.

Given the quality of some of Moore’s campaign advisers, one suspects that these experts will be both colorful and, well, not especially expert.

That Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court because his unwillingness to follow federal edicts, would assume that normal institutional functioning does not apply to him is not a surprise.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    I suppose he’s betting that on a repeat, the Democrats won’t be able to bring out the vote again.

    His best, and thus far more realistic, strategy would be to go back in time and not molest young women and girls.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  2. James Pearce says:

    How many ways must God tell Roy Moore to spend more time with his family before Roy Moore will hear it?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  3. Guarneri says:

    Can’t you guys over there make this guy go away…………..?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. KM says:

    In fact, Moore is asking for a new election.

    Yeah friggin right. The election that’s tied is going to be decided by drawing lots from a bowl but *you* get a new election despite being behind by 20K+ votes? Snowflake alert!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Pete S says:

    @James Pearce: Maybe his family is pushing him to keep fighting on this. I can’t imagine they want to spend more time with him any more than the rest of us do….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  6. Slugger says:

    Yeah, what about the real scandal, Auburn 26 Tide 14. This needs to be replayed! No way that ‘Bama only scores 14 on Auburn without monkey business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. KM says:

    @Pete S:
    No this is 1000% Roy “I’ve been Chosen by God” Moore’s ego in play. He lost a safe seat in red conservative Alabama to a Democrat in the Year of the Trumpkin. The blow to his self-esteem has to be immense. Now, Jones isn’t really all that liberal, just has the dreaded (D) after his name so this was a referendum on Moore and what he represents.

    He’s taking it personally and it shows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. inhumans99 says:

    The Politico story says that Jones will still be certified today as the new Senator of Alabama and sworn in by VP Mike Pence on the 3rd…I am guessing the dude who voted for Moore (at least the guy who will certify the election results today admits he chose Party over over Country/State, and I have to admit to grudgingly appreciating his honesty) now sees Moore as the Tin Foil hat wearing snowflake that he is and a critter who should have been expunged from Alabama politics decades ago even by by a constituency that loathes anyone with a D by their name.

    I do also love that he wants a new election, precisely the thing that Democrats say when our side (I am a liberal independent) gets smacked around by the electorate that causes everyone (lib/right wing/libertarians) to roll their eyes at how dumb it sounds when the losing side whines that there should be a new election to prove that folks actually wanted to vote for the loser in the race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Gustopher says:

    Perhaps God told Roy Moore to run because He wanted to humiliate the child molesting racist freak. God might be slipping a little to his Old Testament anger, and given the type of people who claim to represent Him on Earth, who can blame Him?

    Also, if only white male property owners were allowed to vote, like our Founding Fathers intended, Roy Moore would have won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. CSK says:

    Test

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. al-Alameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Can’t you guys over there make this guy go away…………..?

    Trump can. All he has to do is fire AG Sessions, and nominate Moore to be Attorney General. That would eliminate the need for a recount in Alabama, and put Moore in a position to fire Mueller and all ‘Democratic partisans’ in the Justice Department.

    If we’re going all in on bad government, this is the way to go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. Mister Bluster says:

    Come on Roy Boy, a lawsuit?
    Why don’t you get creative like your boyfriend Trump and hire a
    Big Box Truck to drive around the State Capitol to block the windows so no one can see the election results!

    Truck blocks cameras from filming Trump on golf course
    Zoom Zoom

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mister Bluster: OT, but could newsmedia use a camera mounted in a satellite (or microwave) boom? How about a drone (but just vertically above the news vehicle)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    Or they could tunnel in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. James Pearce says:

    @Mister Bluster: I get a lot of flak for arguing against lefty superficiality and this is a great illustration of what I’m talking about. From your link:

    “Photo and video crews were stymied in their attempts to film President Trump on a golf course Wednesday, an apparent response to CNN’s recent footage of the commander-in-chief on the links.”

    How many big-butt pictures of Golfing Trump do we really need? Maybe CNN shouldn’t try and cover Trump like TMZ would.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  16. teve tory says:

    one of moore’s law school professors said he was simply incapable of understanding and/or admitting when he was wrong about something and would never stop arguing the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. Tony W says:

    And a judge has now ruled against Moore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  18. Guarneri says:

    @al-Alameda:

    I’ll take that insightful and actionable comment under advisement. (snicker)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  19. Guarneri says:

    @teve tory:

    Heh. He would have been right at home here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  20. Guarneri says:

    “….Alabama, you’ve got the rest of the Union, to help you along. What’s going wrong?..”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  21. JohnMcC says:

    @James Pearce: Well, it’s not war and peace but as an issue it’s worth noting that the owner of the big butt which you cited (and apparently are well acquainted with, BTW) claimed that he would not be golfing while trusted with…uh…war and peace and stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  22. JohnMcC says:

    There’s no mystery here. In Judge Roy’s world anytime that many black voters show up at the polls there is bound to be fraud. Period. Next question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  23. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Isn’t there some way the judge could find him in contempt of court for filing a frivolous lawsuit? That might be a real measure of justice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Hal_10000 says:

    The best quip I saw on this was that Moore has always had trouble taking no for an answer.

    said that Moore’s numbers were suspiciously low in about 20 Jefferson County precincts

    This is a standard tactic of “stolen election BSery” (although, TBF, the first time I saw it was from Democrats in a Virginia election). If you compare the votes in precincts from year to year, you will get a distribution — some lower, some higher. This distribution follows a bell curve with most district being close to the same level and some having way higher or way lower numbers of votes. This is just statistics. What Moore is doing is picking out the most outlying districts on the bell curve and claiming they prove … something. This is like going through a crowd of thousands of people and declaring that everyone over 6′ 4″ is “suspiciously tall”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. CSK says:

    Well, now that Alabama has dismissed Moore’s complaint and certified Jones as the winner, someone might want to take that little gun away from Roy Boy before he does some damage with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. teve tory says:

    Isn’t there some way the judge could find him in contempt of court for filing a frivolous lawsuit? That might be a real measure of justice.

    IDK, but the judge dismissed it with prejudice, so it can’t be refiled. Dismissing a motion==”You’re wrong”. Dismissing a motion with prejudice==”You’re wrong, and fuck off.”

    Just as a curiosity, can one of the lawyers here tell me why names are always capitalized in lawsuits? When i google search that I get a bunch of crazy doofus Sovereign Citizen bullshit links.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. James Pearce says:

    @JohnMcC:

    claimed that he would not be golfing while trusted with…uh…war and peace and stuff.

    Yeah, I took that to mean that he’d be golfing a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @KM:

    No this is 1000% Roy “I’ve been Chosen by God” Moore’s ego in play.

    A bunch, but not 100%. Moore’s fundraising off this stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Mister Bluster says:

    How many big-butt pictures of Golfing Trump do we really need?

    As many as we can get. And I’m not leaving it up to you or Kim Jong Trump to make that decision for the rest of us.
    I don’t trust either one of you.

    Trump Threatens NBC License, Blasts ‘Disgusting’ Free Press
    Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!
    Bloomberg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. James Pearce says:

    @Mister Bluster: Trump threatened –on Twitter– to do something he has no authority or ability to do….and you allowed yourself to think that was an actual thing that happened?

    Remember when he threatened to “send in the feds” to Chicago?

    Just because he’s living in fantasyland doesn’t mean we have to as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @James Pearce:...and you allowed yourself to think that was an actual thing that happened?

    No. I do not think that was an actual thing that happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. MarkedMan says:

    I agree that Trump himself made his golfing predilection newsworthy. He made such a big deal out of Obama golfing and then when he shows up he golfs constantly. And has his minions lie about it. At least 2 or 3 times, maybe more, his staff has explicitly stated Trump was not golfing and then some Joe Rando who happened to be on the course posts a picture of him and old President Tighty-White-Shorts.

    It’s also interesting because Trump is well known as a tremendous golf cheat. You can find dozens of stories about him cheating that pre-date his political career. One example: according to the then managing editor of Sports Illustrated, he was playing a foursome with Trump when it started to thunder and lighting.

    One morning in the mid-1990s, Mark Mulvoy was on the sixth hole of Long Island’s Garden City Golf Club with Donald Trump when the skies opened, and they ducked for cover under a nearby awning. The rain let up a few moments later, and Mulvoy, then the managing editor of Sports Illustrated, returned to the green. When he got there, he found a ball 10 feet from the pin that he didn’t remember seeing before the storm.

    “Who the hell’s ball is this?” he said.

    “That’s me,” the real estate mogul said, according to Mulvoy.

    “Donald, give me a f—ing break,” Mulvoy recalls telling him. “You’ve been hacking away in the . . . weeds all day. You do not lie there.”

    “Ahh, the guys I play with cheat all the time,” he recalls Trump replying. “I have to cheat just to keep up with them.”

    It’s a story that the current Republican front-runner hotly denies. “I don’t even know who he is,” Trump said when asked about Mulvoy’s account.“I don’t drop balls, I don’t move balls. I don’t need to.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  33. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Good question, why can’t you guys make this guy go away. Why can’t you guys find better candidates to begin with? Why can’t you guys run the government effectively now that you have total control? Why can’t you guy circle your own wagons on Obamacare and other issues? Why can’t you guys create a bill regarding Obamacare that you can all agree to? Why were you guys only able to kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a few months?

    Wow, so many questions, so few answers. The story of modern Conservatism as exemplified by the modern GOP. “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. KM says:

    @James Pearce:
    While I understand the point you are making in ignoring a specific pointless and toothless threat, I would note that Trump himself is far from harmless when it comes to causing issues for the press. He is the President of the United States, leader of the party that currently holds all 3 branches of government, has a rabid fanbase and allies that’s not above dirty tricks and shown a strong willingness to skirt the law to suit his own whims. It’s a mistake to dismiss him as “old man yelling at cloud”. The Administration has tried to get unconstitutional things passed before – why wouldn’t they try again?

    It’s rather like how the world ignored NK’s raving leaders until they started firing off missiles that, oops, can actually hit places and nukes that really work. Now there’s a growing segment of the population asking why nothing was done before and a large part of it was the false belief the nuttery was being “contained”. Or how we ask in the aftermath of a mass shooting how numerous signs kept getting missed. It’s this mindset – a constantly dismissive “pfft yeah right” at the impotent angry person until they finally decide to do something about it.

    Yes, he can’t do that and we all know it – there are laws and the Constitution to stop him. But past presidents have gone right ahead and violated other constitutional rights before – Trail of Tears and the interment camps come to mind. If they hold onto power through 2018, don’t expect the GOP to do a damn thing if Trump decides to lean on the press or the SC to save the day. We got the Patriot Act power grab because of Bush harping on “terrorism”, do you really want to see what “fake news” gets us?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  35. CSK says:

    Moore is still refusing to concede, apparently because his panel of “experts” has “proven” there was election fraud.

    One of Moore’s “experts” is the crackpot who launched the conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and John Podesta running a child sex slave ring out of the DC pizza parlor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    It’s a mistake to dismiss him as “old man yelling at cloud”

    I stopped “dismissing” him the second week of November last year. That’s why I keep trying to pull the conversation away from the trivial and superficial, which is Trump Territory. He knows every inch of it, where the tunnels go, where the mines are buried.

    Have you ever tweeted something? It’s takes about a whole minute and costs nothing. Sending out a tweet is just about the laziest thing a person could do, which is why Trump loves tweeting so much. He can spend about 30 seconds and zero calories during the commercial break for Fox and Friends and he get millions of people in America to spin their wheels.

    Enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  37. JohnMcC says:

    @James Pearce: James, I was mentally composing a comment (devastating and witty of course) to the effect that thinking of Pres Trump as a toothless resident of fantasyland is panglossian. Shame what happened to Dr Pangloss, eh? And that there is cautionary book called ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ which pretty accurately describes America and makes it pretty clear the it CAN indeed happen here. But KM seems to have done much better. And it’s an old book.

    Now I see you wish to engage Pres Trump on substantial grounds by which I guess you mean policy by god. Problem there is that Pres Trump actually has no policy. His ‘agenda’ is written for him somewhere between FoxNC and Paul Ryan. A narrow spread. Target rich, as they say. So I wait for your insightful thoughts on…something.

    During the interval I will suggest that one fights an enemy where he actually can be found not where one wishes to find him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. Gustopher says:

    @JohnMcC: I’m pretty sure that the entire focus on Obama’s golf was that he was being “uppity.”

    A man like Trump though, he just drags golf down to his own level by playing it. No one accuses him of putting on airs no matter how much he tries to, because he has so little class to begin with. So his golf is a nonissue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    test

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    golf is a nonissue.

    Bring back the good old days!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. James Pearce says:

    @JohnMcC:

    the effect that thinking of Pres Trump as a toothless resident of fantasyland is panglossian.

    Let me be clear: Take President Trump seriously, very seriously. His twitter feed? Not so much…..

    Why is that so hard to grok? What is so offensive about that? Why is it so difficult NOT to play into this dude’s BS?

    Say you see some video from Vanity Fair that you thought was a little sexist towards Hillary Clinton? Will you:

    A) Go “Huh, that’s dumb” and move on with your life
    B) Focus energy on forcing Vanity Fair to apologize and take down the video
    C) Sit back, watch the Tweeple eat themselves, have yourself a good laugh, then tweet out some crap about “Crooked Hillary.”

    I pick A, the left picks B, and Trump picks C. And my point is: What if the left picked A? What if, by some miracle, they didn’t send their bare foot plunging onto the punji stick?

    Recommended reading.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  42. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: I’d agree with you, James, but for one (unfortunate) fact: Donald Trump is President of the United States, and no President’s statements are ever inconsequential. We must take even his Twitter feed seriously, because every statement a President makes has repercussions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Guarneri says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Feel better now, you poor pathetic soul?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Having played (read: been forced to play) with him exactly once, allow me to testify that he’s among the five worst golfers I’ve ever met in my life. It’s literally comical how bad he is at the game. Zero coordination, zero read, zero club sense. Just abysmally abysmal. It was like playing with a teenager who’d just picked up the game.

    And he cheats. Doesn’t even try to hide it. We’d been told to avoid embarrassing him, but once that crap started, we righteously, mercilessly slaughtered him. He never mentioned golf to us ever again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  45. Tyrell says:

    Think about it: a judge way down south in Alabama would most of the time not even make it on the local cable access news, yet manages to stay at the front of national news for so long. There is a lesson here somewhere. Probably on how to get free publicity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  46. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    Donald Trump is President of the United States, and no President’s statements are ever inconsequential.

    Isn’t that what President Trump is banking on, though? To move the world with his tweets?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  47. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: I honestly think he doesn’t quite grasp this. He hasn’t moved past the petty bullying he engaged in before he was elected. Nearly every day he tweets something far beneath the dignity and responsibility of the office he holds.

    Yet at the same time a lot of what he tweets indicates a hard authoritarian desire and we can’t simply decide to ignore that.

    So we stand on the horns of a dilemma: he makes statements that, if made by a regular private citizen, would best be ignored, but because they are made by the President, we cannot safely ignore them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  48. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory:

    one of moore’s law school professors said he was simply incapable of understanding and/or admitting when he was wrong about something and would never stop arguing the point.

    That doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been thinking about it, and the political figure whom Moore reminds me the most of is Alan Keyes. The difference is that Keyes is actually smart, even though he’s a lunatic, whereas Moore does not strike me as being all that bright. But both men have this absolute, unshakable belief in their own opinion and a habit of viewing everyone who opposes them as completely and irrevocably evil. It’s that mindset that leads to the idea that the end justifies the means and which smothers the possibility of ever using empathy or common sense as a guide to their behavior. Keyes is the one who threw his daughter out of the house after discovering she was a lesbian and who refused to congratulate Barack Obama after being defeated by him in a Senate race. Moore is the one who violated a court order to remove the Ten Commandments, because God’s word supersedes the word of any human court. His refusal to concede the Senate race is entirely predictable based on this type of personality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  49. george says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Don’t forget communists – anyone who votes against him is obviously a communist, and so automatically not a legal voter. Clearly they are all plants from the old Soviet Union who were pre-programmed long in the past just for this critical vote on which the future of America was at stake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    Think about it: a judge way down south in Alabama would most of the time not even make it on the local cable access news, yet manages to stay at the front of national news for so long. There is a lesson here somewhere. Probably on how to get free publicity.

    The lesson is, The South continues to win the Civil War.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  51. @James Pearce:

    Isn’t that what President Trump is banking on, though? To move the world with his tweets?

    I think you are allowing the obviously absurd medium for these statements to color your views.

    If he stepped up to a microphone in front of camera everyday and said the things he tweets, I am guessing that you would take him more seriously, And, that really is what he is doing on twitter,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  52. @Tyrell:

    Think about it: a judge way down south in Alabama would most of the time not even make it on the local cable access news, yet manages to stay at the front of national news for so long. There is a lesson here somewhere. Probably on how to get free publicity.

    No, a major party nominee who almost won a Senate seat way down south in Alabama is getting the attention such a situation dictates, given the context (a special election in which a red state first threatened, and then actually elected, a Democrat).

    And the lesson is: if you are credibility accused of child abuse, clearly dated teenagers, while at the same time being twice kicked out of office and then refusing the concede a clearly lost election (while making appeals both to God and the courts), you will get media attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  53. rachel says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And the media will be saying, “Get a load of this jerk.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  54. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: No answers? Buehler? Anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  55. An Interested Party says:

    It’s also interesting because Trump is well known as a tremendous golf cheat.

    Oh great…perhaps we have a president who thinks he’s Auric Goldfinger…this should end well…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  56. Barry says:

    @James Pearce: “How many ways must God tell Roy Moore to spend more time with his family before Roy Moore will hear it?”

    I don’t think that Moore listens to God.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    There are some interesting lessons to be learned from this race.

    1) No matter how much one party might seem to have any given race sewn up, if a really bad candidate gets the nomination, they can lose.

    2) Some candidates just can’t accept losing, and will construct the most preposterous conspiracy theories to rationalize why they don’t have the office.

    3) Some supporters of candidates just can’t accept losing, and will propagate those very same conspiracy theories to rationalize why they lost and do everything they can to undermine the winner.

    4) If you come up with a suitably toxic accusation that reinforces the stereotypes the candidate’s detractors hold against the candidate, you can hang that around their neck and sink them without having to ever prove beyond a reasonable doubt the truth of the accusation.

    So, in short, Roy Moore is kind of a mirror-image Hillary Clinton. Just substitute “the Russians did it” for “voter fraud,” and “repeatedly and deliberately mishandled classified documents” for “pedophile.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  58. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    Yet at the same time a lot of what he tweets indicates a hard authoritarian desire and we can’t simply decide to ignore that.

    I don’t know, man…..

    Say you’re a president with authoritarian desires and the power of the state at your fingertips. Do you tweet a lot?

    Say you’re a president who wants people to think you have authoritarian desires but you’re actually kind of a lazy, unethical know-nothing intent on looting the country? Do you tweet a lot?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  59. @James Pearce:

    Say you’re a president with authoritarian desires and the power of the state at your fingertips. Do you tweet a lot?

    You could ask Hugo Chavez, except he is dead. Nonetheless, he pioneered using twitter in office.

    Or, you could ask Fidel Castro why he made all those ridiculously long, and frequent speeches.

    The notion that politicians with bad intention are the shy, quiet types doesn’t really comport with reality.

    I think you are being dismissive of the significance of Trump’s tweets because you are dismissive of Twitter. You are conflating the medium with the message.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  60. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The notion that politicians with bad intention are the shy, quiet types doesn’t really comport with reality.

    That’s what you thought I was trying to say?

    I think you are being dismissive of the significance of Trump’s tweets because you are dismissive of Twitter.

    I am dismissive of Twitter and you should be too. It’s a website where people can post character-limited sentences. “The street” has found it’s own Gibsonian use –tweet storms and hash tags and such– and celebrities like Trump and Chrissy Teigen (as well as the random nobody) have found it’s also a useful fame-application device, but it remains a boon for trolls and abusers and people who want to cultivate their own perfect information bubble or market their own brand.

    With apologies to TNC, Trump may be our first “Twitter President”….or he could be our last.

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  61. James Pearce says:

    Edit: “Fame-application device” should read “fame amplification device.”

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  62. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    Say you’re a president with authoritarian desires and the power of the state at your fingertips. Do you tweet a lot?

    Say you’re a president who wants people to think you have authoritarian desires but you’re actually kind of a lazy, unethical know-nothing intent on looting the country? Do you tweet a lot?

    And this is my point:

    When the person doing the tweeting is the POTUS, we don’t have the luxury of assuming it’s the latter. We may hope it is, but we can’t sit back and believe it is.

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  63. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    When the person doing the tweeting is the POTUS, we don’t have the luxury of assuming it’s the latter.

    I reserve the right/luxury to ignore any and all tweets. And I bet if you thought about it, you would agree.

    I mean, block @realdonaldtrump and it would be like he didn’t tweet at all.

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  64. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    I reserve the right/luxury to ignore any and all tweets.

    Which brings me back to my original point: we cannot simply ignore the POTUS. Every statement he makes has repercussions, because he is POTUS.

    We already know his tweets have emboldened and enabled the worst elements of American society. And beyond that, I guarantee you policy is being made in foreign governments, and direction given to foreign intel services, based on his tweets.

    And I bet if you thought about it, you would agree.

    I have thought about it, and I could not disagree more.

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  65. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    we cannot simply ignore the POTUS. Every statement he makes has repercussions, because he is POTUS

    I’m not ignoring the POTUS. I’m ignoring his tweets, which are not official statements from the White House, legally enforceable, or even all that interesting or noteworthy.

    This task is made easier by the fact that the content of those tweets is low brow alt-right whinging, which remains perpetually in the “unimportant/non-urgent” quadrant of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

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  66. Mister Bluster says:

    Pearce v United States of America
    (This will be a landmark case.)

    I’m ignoring his tweets, which are not official statements from the White House,..

    The question of whether Trump’s tweets count as official statements is one that’s been on the minds of lawyers and legal scholars since the tweet-happy president took office. In a lawsuit pending in federal court in New York alleging Trump illegally blocks people on Twitter, the government has maintained Trump uses Twitter as a private platform. But in a filing on November 13 in federal court in Washington, DC, DOJ lawyers wrote that Trump’s tweets are “official statements of the president of the United States.”
    Law Journal Newsletters

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  67. James Pearce says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    But in a filing on November 13 in federal court in Washington, DC, DOJ lawyers wrote that Trump’s tweets are “official statements of the president of the United States.

    Maybe you should put a little daylight between yourself and Trump’s lawyers.

    Remember that time he “hereby” announced no transgendered troops. How’d that work out for him?

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  68. Mister Bluster says:

    Maybe you should put a little daylight between yourself and Trump’s lawyers.

    Mueller Probe Expected to Last Through 2018, Despite What Trump’s Lawyers Say

    You should send your advise to Trump.
    I wouldn’t let any of them represent me in traffic court.

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  69. @James Pearce: Trump’s tweets have been relevant to the way the courts have interpreted his travel ban.

    I am just not getting your notion that statements from a sitting president are irrelevant because of the medium through which they are published.

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  70. An Interested Party says:

    Just substitute “the Russians did it” for “voter fraud,” and “repeatedly and deliberately mishandled classified documents” for “pedophile.”

    Uh huh…another thing they have in common is that they both probably speak the truth…Roy Moore is a pervert and the Russians did meddle in the 2016 presidential election…

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  71. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Trump’s tweets have been relevant to the way the courts have interpreted his travel ban.

    There’s no shortage of quotes that would have hurt Trump’s “Muslim” ban in court. Not sure the tweets were “relevant” so much as they were…available.

    I’m glad you used the word “medium,” though. It got me thinking back to McLuhan and how he always insisted “the medium is the message.” I’m told that Trump’s tweets are important because they contain “Messages From the President.” But Trump’s twitter feed is the message, it’s not the message delivery system.

    Which leaves us the question of what, exactly, is the message? This is what I think it is: “You’re the puppet and I’m the puppet master.” Same message to both left and right. We’re the puppets, and he’s the one with the string. Watch us dance.

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  72. Mister Bluster says:

    Marshall McLuhan scene Annie Hall
    featuring Pearce’s evil twin “Skippy”

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  73. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’m not ignoring the POTUS. I’m ignoring his tweets

    This is a distinction without a difference.

    which are not official statements from the White House,

    They actually are.

    legally enforceable,

    Depends. And they have already proven legally relevant.

    or even all that interesting or noteworthy.

    It’s true they’re often not interesting. But they are by default noteworthy, because they come from the President.

    That’s the all-important distinction. If they came from anyone else, I’d agree with you. But the President is unique in position, in power, in influence. Unfortunately, we have elected a person who is manifestly unsuited to those roles, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore anything he says, no matter the medium through which he says it.

    Believe me, I’d love it if the American people could just look at his Twitter stream and say “screw you, buddy, I’m not dancing to your silly tune.” But his position makes that entirely impossible, and the fact he understands that far better than he understands his actual responsibilities as President is incredibly frustrating (to say the least).

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  74. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    Which leaves us the question of what, exactly, is the message? This is what I think it is: “You’re the puppet and I’m the puppet master.” Same message to both left and right. We’re the puppets, and he’s the one with the string. Watch us dance.

    I think you’re letting the inherently trollish nature of the medium color your perceptions. Twitter is a young medium and it’s populated by the young and the stupid being, well, young and stupid. Things get said on it and get a pass for “being Twitter” that absolutely would get you in trouble if said out loud or the airwaves. It’s usually older folks who act like Twitter /FB / Snapchat doesn’t matter because it’s kids stuff – only to be horrified when something bad happens and the signs were all over media they choose to dismiss.

    Trump picked Twitter as his chosen communications path for a *reason* – he can easily invoke the “j/k don’t be so serious” excuse if needed and folks like you will roll your eyes at how hysterical the left is over a “joke” or pointless statement. It’s a typical bully tactic and it *works* because it relies on dismissals like yours. The person trying to confront the bully is now somehow in the wrong and “too sensitive over nothing”. If he is a puppet master, you’re the one who’s strings are being pulled and letting him normalize behavior that would have been absolutely unacceptable a scant year ago because your knee-jerk reaction is to criticize the complainer.

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