A Depressing Headline

A sign of the times.

Via NBC News: Sen. Tim Scott vows not to overturn the election if he loses.

That such a question was asked in the interview, and that it was deemed headline-worthy, is an exceedingly depressing sign of the times.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. 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


  1. Kylopod says:

    It’s a meaningless statement anyway. Trump himself has said he’d honor the results of an election if he lost. He just claims he didn’t lose. Of course he’s also made statements suggesting it’s impossible for him to lose unless the election is rigged against him–but that just further highlights how Scott’s “admission” is in fact an admission of nothing, and NBC should be ashamed of itself for implying Scott is forging a contrast between himself and Trump in making this toothless remark. He hasn’t admitted Trump lost the 2020 election (at least not in this interview).

  2. MarkedMan says:


    Trump himself has said he’d honor the results of an election if he lost.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think he did make that promise. My recollection was that he hedged it substantially.

  3. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: Let me try again to see if this comment goes through.

    “If I lost, I would be a very gracious loser,” Trump stated. “If I lost, I would say ‘I lost,’ and I would go to Florida, and I would take it easy, and I would go around, and I would say I did a good job.”


  4. CSK says:


    It’s hard to recall, because he phrases things the way a mob boss does, but I think you’re right.

  5. CSK says:


    Trump’s never been gracious about anything. And of course, he claims he didn’t lose.

  6. @Kylopod:

    Trump himself has said he’d honor the results of an election if he lost.

    While I take your basic point, I don’t think Trump ever actually made that promise.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    Scott was asked if he’d try to overturn an election he lost. Scott said he wouldn’t. Trump wouldn’t either. The kicker is that word “lost”.

    Trump claimed he didn’t lose. Scott is running for veep and in the event he’d go along with whatever his prez nominee parter, presumably Trump, did. NBC asked a meaningless question and got a meaningless answer. And now it’s a meaningless headline.

  8. @Kylopod: I poseted before I saw that, but even that quote isn’t a promise to respect the process. It has to be taken into account within his broader rhetoric on the subject going back to his third debate performance with Clinton.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Steven L. Taylor: The point is, there is absolutely zero difference–none, nada, zip–between Scott’s statement that he won’t overturn an election that he loses and Trump’s statement that he’d be gracious if he lost. It’s utterly meaningless because it allows the interlocuter to define the terms, no matter how absurd, like a school bully who says “I never beat up anyone who didn’t deserve it.” Yet the article acts like Scott is setting himself apart from Trump with this statement.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    One can be persnickety and say Scott’s statement is the equivalent of trump’s, but then the question that needs to answered, is, what in Scott’s past indicates that he is devious enough to tell a lie here.

    I’ll take Scott at his word, but I would expect that any state the gets close to automatic recount margins, that he was losing, he’d ask for a recount and I expect that Biden would do the same. Also I would expect both to exploit a Florida 2000 like F-up.

  11. CSK says:


    I’m not here to argue (it’s too early), but I think Scott intended to do just that.

  12. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Comical because it is never going to be an issue for Scott.

  13. @Kylopod: But, of course, the veracity of the claim is not the point. The point is that it shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion, let alone a headline.

  14. Kathy says:

    Well, it’s a bit as if I promised I won’t set up a competing space program if Starship blows up again.

    Scott lacks the means to overturn an election, even one for dog catcher in Tar Heel or wherever.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    So, are we pretending this guy is serious? A Black man in a White supremacist party? We’re going to pretend this is not a man with a serious personality disorder? A morally-depraved man who sides with the enemies of his own people? For what? Power?

    Trump has made politics safe for the worst sorts of people. There’s no one so dishonest, corrupt, mentally unhinged or stupid they can’t see themselves as POTUS. Trump set the bar so low that even snakes can clear it.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    I registered and now my comment goes to moderation.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Scott is running for veep on the theory he’d cancel Harris appeal to Black voters. The cynical Herschel Walker set up. It’s the prez nominee who picks the veep, not the primary voters or the party. I don’t know if Trump would buy it, but it’s not unreasonable to go for it. And if Trump goes away, Scott can try it on whoever does emerge.And why not? It’s not like Scott’s spending his own money.

  18. steve says:

    Let’s say Trump dies, we find out DeSantis is molesting young boys and Nikki Haley grooms kids to have sex with her husband. On policy Scott wouldn’t be much different than any other Republican plus it would let Republicans use him to prove they are never racist. Not going to happen but there is logic for it. Makes him a viable VP candidate also.


  19. CSK says:


    Can you imagine what would happen if Trump died of indisputably natural causes while under the care of the best doctors and nurses in the best hospital on the Eastern Seaboard? Oh my God. The MAGAs would go into a screaming frenzy about Deep State Liberal Globalist Assassins, and might actually grab their guns and start firing.

  20. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: A couple years ago an anti-vaxxer in Israel died of Covid, but just before he did, he claimed the Israeli government had poisoned him. Naturally, that’s what all his followers now claim happened.

    I imagine that after Trump dies, the MAGA movement will splinter into Sunni and Shia and other factions, each with its own beliefs about the Prophet, and I’d be willing to bet we’d see at least a few people claiming to be contacting His Orangeness from beyond the grave.

  21. CSK says:


    Any time a young, middle-aged, or even older person dies, the MAGAs blame the death on what they call “the clot shot.”

    The MAGAs seem more like Wahabis to me.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @steve: “… we find out DeSantis is molesting young boys and Nikki Haley grooms kids to have sex with her husband.”

    You make it sound like those discoveries would make Republican voters not support them. We’ve already seen evangelicals back a cat house owner in Nevada. Why would these revelations not get the same treatment given that the alternative will be voting “D?”

  23. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Here’s an explanation for the popularity of the brothel owner with evangelicals: He doesn’t have evil in his heart like other politicians.


  24. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Yeah. Whatever.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: And why should you be special? At least you got out of moderation. I registered too. Or I think I may have. I never got the email. I feel sympathy for James. He’s trying to fix a problem and running into the second rule of project management – nothing simple is ever easy.

  26. steve says:

    just nutha- Sigh. You are probably right that they would find some way to justify the bad behavior and vote for them anyway.