Get Ready For The Post-Election Truthers

Will conservatives freak out if Romney loses? That's pretty much guaranteed.

Over at Slate Rick Hasen takes a look at the two week phenomenon we’ve witnessed of people on the right claiming that the polls which were showing President Obama pulling ahead of Mitt Romney prior to last week’s debate were purposely biased against Republicans (something you’re not hearing now that the polls are moving in Romney’s favor, by the way) and claiming that Friday’s jobs report was somehow manipulated for political purposes, and concludes that we’re likely to see something similar if Romney loses and the election is close:

All of these conspiracy theories—like the earlier birther controversies—indicate that if we are unlucky enough to have a very close election in November in which President Obama ekes out a victory, we can expect Republicans to question the election results, too. We’ll have the Fraudulent Fraud Squad telling us that Democrats used voter fraud to steal the election. Hucksters like John Fund will point to “bizarre” anomalies in vote totals from Democratic areas and tout new conspiracy theories. Social media will likely fan the flames.

Unfortunately, as I argue in The Voting Wars, we run our elections so badly that there will be plenty of things for Republicans to complain about: partisan election officials, broken voting machines, unclear rules and controversial court decisions, inconsistencies between voter registration totals, exit polls, and the final voting tally.

Now the cause of many election problems almost certainly will be incompetence and not malfeasance, but that’s a hard argument to sell to people on the wrong end of a close election. Since 2000, public opinion on the fairness of elections is volatile. In 1996, before the 2000 Florida meltdown ending with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, about 10 percent of people believed the way the election was run was somewhat or very unfair, with almost no difference in Republican views and Democratic views. By 2004, when George W. Bush won re-election over John Kerry, roughly 22 percent of Democrats thought the way the election was run was unfair compared with about 3 percent of Republicans. Yet in the contested Washington state election in 2004, when the courts handed the governorship to a Democrat after a Republican was first declared the winner, 68 percent of Republicans compared with only 27 percent of Democrats thought the way the election was run was unfair.

The lesson from these statistics is simple. If my guy won, the election was fair and square. If your guy won, there must have been some kind of chicanery.

(…)

[A]t this point I’m more concerned about Republicans not buying the final outcome than Democrats. If Obama wins a second term, polarization and partisanship will only get worse if Republicans do not believe Obama legitimately won re-election. It is reminiscent of pre-9/11 Democrats’ views of the legitimacy of George Bush’s presidency.

If you think politics is ugly now and that the truth has been a casualty in the campaign, just wait for November. If it is another squeaker, the election truthers will be front and center.

Ed Kilgore tends to agree and makes this observation:

[I]t sometimes seems these conspiracy theories are aimed less at the world outside the closed information feedback loop of the Right, and more at conservatives themselves: to fortify their belief that Obama and company are slowly extinguishing democracy and freedom, and must be resisted. It’s as though they are talking themselves into a revolutionary posture. The kindling is obviously already there in the form of the “constitutional conservative” conviction that there is a sole “American” governing ideology that no election should be allowed to modify, along with the “47% theory” that Democratic voters are either vicious parasites or helpless dupes of Godless Big Government.

There’s always some degree of charges by the losing side in an election that something was “fixed” or improper, especially given that fixing elections was once so commonplace in the cities that were home to the most powerful political machines. Back in 2004 after Ohio was narrowly decided for George W. Bush, thus giving him the Electoral Votes he needed to win re-election, there were some on the left who alleged that voting machines were somehow involved in giving the election to Bush. That election’s aftermath also saw many Obama supporters involved in the rather silly spectacle of “apologizing to the world” for Bush’s re-election by posting pictures of themselves online holding up handwritten apologies. In 2008, Obama’s election was dismissed by many on the right for a wide variety of reasons ranging from ridiculous theories about the President’s place of birth to the assertion that he won re-election because he was a good speaker, not because of his ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see something similar from whatever side ends up losing twenty seven days from now.

Hasen and Kilgore are talking about something different, though. They’re looking for the logic, such as it is, of the “unskewed poll” and “cooked jobs report” people to be applied post-election, whether its to the results in a particularly close state or something else. Given the unhinged nature of many of the most persuasive voice on the right, it’s certainly strikes me as a possibility that we’d see conservatives react to an election loss by simply refusing to accept the legitimacy of Obama’s victory. How that would manifest itself is something I’m not certain about. Most certainly, you’re likely to see considerable pressure on Republicans in Congress to not cooperate with President Obama in his second term any more than they did in his first term. In that regard, we may see a conflict develop between the Republican base and legislators, especially in House Leadership and the Senate, who likely would recognize the need to at least cooperate to some extent in order to deal with issues like the “fiscal cliff.” Beyond that, you’re likely to see the vitriol against the President become even worse than it has been in the past. The result of all of this, of course, will be to further polarize our political system at the precise time we need people to sit down and work out the problems that face us before it’s too late.

Hasan and Kilgore seem to suggest that they fear that there would be actual violence in the wake of an Obama victory. While I’m not going to dismiss the possibility of anything happening in the world we now live in, I find that rather improbable. Politically-motivated violence has been a rarity in the United States, which is why events like the Oklahoma City bombing stand out in such stark contrast. Also, while there has been a disturbing increase in threats of violence against people based on politics, there’s a large gap between the people who make threats based on politics and people who actually carry out politically motivated attacks. The second group almost never makes a threat, they just carry out the attack.

Nonetheless, I must admit I do share some of the same concerns that Hasan has regarding a post-election world where Obama wins re-election. If nothing else, it’s going to be a world where the political rhetoric is even more poisonous than it has been for the past four years, and that’s not good for any of us.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    What about a close Romney victory where it is perceived to have been won by voter suppression?

  2. Moosebreath says:

    “That election’s aftermath also saw many Obama supporters involved in the rather silly spectacle of “apologizing to the world” for Bush’s re-election by posting pictures of themselves online holding up handwritten apologies.”

    This presumably has something to do with a post about people claiming the results of an election were fudged. However, it reads more like reflexive hippie-punching than anything else. Can you explain?

  3. Moosebreath says:

    @J-Dub:

    Well, if the Republicans win a disputed election, anyone interested in looking into it are just whiners, right?

    /sarcasm.

  4. Geek, Esq. says:

    If Romney wins, we’ll have plenty of them on the left too. The idea that Kerry really won in 2004 and betrayed his supporters by not contesting Ohio was a shibboleth on the left for years.

  5. J-Dub says:

    @Moosebreath: It’s better for the country if we just put this behind us. Nothing to see here, folks, move along!

  6. C. Clavin says:

    “…If nothing else, it’s going to be a world where the political rhetoric is even more poisonous than it has been for the past four years, and that’s not good for any of us…”

    I’d rather listen to poisonous rhetoric than reward Republicans who put politics before Country.
    And before you go saying that’s just an example of poisonous rhetoric…I’m not the one who put getting rid of Obama above the economy and jobs on the list of priorities.

  7. Geek, Esq. says:

    I certainly hope Senate Democrats treat President Romney with the same level of respect and willingness to work together on a bipartisan basis as McConnell treated President Obama.

  8. cd6 says:

    I don’t think “complains about voter fraud” are the outcome we need to most worry about when Obama gets reelected

    I think the bigger issue is that republicans (including romney) will insist romeny won, even if he lost. “Look at the unskewed votes” or some other bullshit

    So in January, I’d be worrd about Romney like trying to move boxes and his family into the white house. He’s going to be like issuing executive orders from one of his 11 houses. Republicans are going to insist romeny is the real president and its 50-50 that Netanyahu might even come meet with president romney

    its crazy time here people

  9. CB says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    with nothing but respect and good faith, right?

    because thats exactly how it will be remembered the second president romney gets sworn in.

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Slate still is publishing stuff? That aside, exactly how many layers of irony and DSM-specified projection are present with liberal flakes on the Internet concerned-trolling about the right freaking out about an Obama victory? Were these people trapped frozen in stasis from 11/00 through 01/09? Were they under rocks during the Gingrich-Armey-DeLay years? Were they in comas during the Reagan years? Were they even alive for Nixon ’72? Geez.

    Speaking of which, one of the amazing things about the Internet is that the ensuing cocoon can be so thick often times its participants don’t realize even the extent to which they’re cocooned. These Slate numbskulls are conflating a few of the right’s useful idiots with the large segment of the conservative body politic. They’re seeing things which really aren’t there, even hypothetically.

    The plural of anecdotes is not data and a few twitchy conservatives on the Internet are not in the slightest degree representative of tens of millions of conservatives in the general electorate much less in the general populace. There’s a whole other world out there beyond that newsroom, outside the four corners of the computer, beyond those campus walls, and outside of that AM-banded radio station. It would be nice if the micro demographics of Slate and its ilk on occasion tuned in.

  11. legion says:

    @cd6: I don’t think Romney himself actually has the intestinal fortitude to do that, but I can think of countless wingers who would rally ’round anyone even trying to set up a “government in exile”…

  12. C. Clavin says:

    I can only look back to Bush 43…
    Yeah, I did not like his policies and actions…the un-paid for tax cuts, the un-paid for entitlement expansion, the un-paid for and unfinished wars, the outing of a covert operative, torture, standing by during Enron, allowing the fossil fuel industry to write energy policy, etc, etc. But my differences were based on policies…I judged him by his actions. Bush’s policies were radical…not compassionately Conservative as he professed to be.
    Obama is passing, or trying to pass, Republican policies…the PPACA, the Dream Act, Cap-and-Trade. The withdrawal from Iraq was scheduled by Bush. He brought OBL to justice…and yet gets no credit for it from the right.
    Republicans, in response to this centrist President have gone off the rails and are way, way, to the right of the Nation.
    That’s the source of the venom. The only antidote for the poison is for Republicans to come back to the middle and begin to work together again. Boehner tried…and look what it got him.
    So who are we getting if Romney wins? Massachusetts Moderate Mitt? Or severely conservative Mitt? The Mitt from Wednesday’s debate? Or the Mitt from the last 293 weeks of campaigning?
    Which Mitt shows up to the White House on January 20th will tell you a lot about what the environment is going to be like.

  13. Jen says:

    @C. Clavin: I think the “Which Mitt Won?” bumper stickers will be big sellers.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Damn…I forgot to mention the record number of filibusters and anonymous holds and the necessity for a 2/3rds vote to pass anything…because of the radical Republicans.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @ Jen…
    I just copyrighted it.

  16. swbarnes2 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The only antidote for the poison is for Republicans to come back to the middle and begin to work together again. Boehner tried…and look what it got him.

    What policies would these magical middle Republicans propose? And would the candidates proposing these policies win Republican primaries? Would candidates proposing these policies get the votes of the crazy 27% in the general election, and if not, can they still win general elections?

  17. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    we’re likely to see something similar if Romney loses and the election is close

    No, it’s worse than that. We’ll “see something similar” even if Obama wins by a large margin. In 2008, Obama’s popular vote margin was 7.3% (7.4% if the minor candidates are excluded from the calculation). His popular vote count exceeded McCain’s by 9.5 million. Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote. Since 1952, only one non-incumbent has done better than that (GHWB did slightly better in 1988, with 53.1%).

    Nevertheless, the reaction was this:

    … Majority of GOP voters think ACORN stole election for Obama

    So we will see this again even if Obama wins by a large margin. Also, the House will probably be R, and I predict that within the first six months they will find a pretext to begin impeachment proceedings.

  18. bk says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I’ve read your post three times now, and I am still not sure what point you are trying to make. Are you trying to say that the vast majority of conservatives treat Obama with the respect that a President of the United States deserves? If so, talk about stasis/rocks/comas.

  19. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Excellent post, Doug.

    I keep hoping that if the GOP loses, their leadership will see the light, but they have been playing with fire in going so far to the right, so I’m not holding my breath. I have to say that I’m definitely concerned about violence against Obama, but I hope that I’m very wrong about that.

  20. Woody says:

    The real question regarding post-election trutherism is this:

    The GOP media will flog it ad nauseam because it will hold viewership and thus ad revenue. Fair enough, they will simply give their viewers what they wish to see.

    The GOP backbenchers will also flog it as it will raise their profile considerably (thanks to the GOP media and some less-openly partisan-media like Politico, Buzzfeed, and the Sunday gasbag shows. This too, is fair game as the bench players vie for prime time (see Bachmann, Michele).

    What will the so-called Responsible GOP Leadership do, though? Will McConnell and Boehner dare to certify the results of a close Obama win? After all, yond Cantor has a lean and hungry look . . .

  21. bill says:

    @J-Dub: nah, we’d just be “racists” again!

  22. bains says:

    Given the unhinged nature of many of the most persuasive voice on the right, it’s certainly strikes me as a possibility that we’d see conservatives react to an election loss by simply refusing to accept the legitimacy of Obama’s victory.

    Of course, the unhinged nature – one that is on prominent display within the MSM and their political masters – of the left will only be slightly be noticed by this site.

    Using Slate as the foundation for your argument is as much as a confirmation for my supposition. I suspect that Romney will win by a large margin, and further, that Congress, Senate, and State Houses will follow the 2010 trend, but not by those margins.

    Though, I am wondering Doug, as a left of center neo-libertarian, will you be as hard upon your ideological brethren – and the party that I suspect you will vote for – after the fact as you are in conjecture against the right?

  23. Eric Florack says:

    Oh, please. We’re already seeing violence against Romney supporters.
    Funny how that part doesn’t get mentioned.

  24. Ben says:

    We’re told in this post: 1. Our country runs shabby elections. 2. Fixing elections is nothing new. 3. If you question election results, you’re not a Serious Person.

    Huh?

  25. Uma Spankhurst says:

    @J-Dub:

    You can’t expect Obamacrats to seriously entertain thoughtful reflection on their own flaws. It’s simply outside the realm of their experience, or capabilities. It’ll be fun, nonetheless, when The Once loses.

  26. PogueMahone says:

    I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s worth a laugh…

    @Eric Florack: Oh, please. We’re already seeing violence against Romney supporters.
    Funny how that part doesn’t get mentioned.

    What the hell are you talking about, Bithead?

    You really need to lay off the pipe. Take a break, man. Go outside, or something.

  27. Unsympathetic says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Post a link or it didn’t happen.

    While you’re looking for your link: Romney’s voter registration fraud scheme in Florida is far, far worse than anything ACORN ever did in 2008. Here’s a link and another and another.

  28. Fiona says:

    I think the whole unskewed phenomenon and trashing of BLS numbers is laying the groundwork to question the legitimacy of any Obama victory. The right have never accepted the legitimacy of his first victory, nor would they have accepted the legitimacy of a Hillary Clinton victory had she won the Democratic nomination in 2008. Heck, they never accepted Bill’s two wins.

    On the other hand, I suspect that at least some of the rabid right commentariat are secretly rooting for another Obama victory because it’s good for business. Far easier to peddle anger and outrage when your guy isn’t in charge. Lots of money to be made on all those books outlining how Obama and the MSM stole the election and how we’ll all be enslaved in a socialist society by 2016 because victory will enable the true Marxist Obama to emerge.

    Sigh.

  29. Buzz Buzz says:

    Back in 2004, when the MoveOn post-election truthers were trying to delegitimize Bush’s re-election, jukeboxgrad was there to chime in his support:

    Electoral integrity isn’t a joke. It’s a disgrace that people like Tim Blair and Glen Reynolds (not to mention their fans) can’t figure that out. Right now Americans are dying so Iraqis can have a fair chance to vote. If we’re unable or unwilling to prove to Americans that our own recent election was legitimate, how do we expect to convince skeptical Iraqis that they should trust an American-run election?

    Later in that thread, jukeboxgrad engages in a little “BUSH IS GONNA DRAFT US ALL FOR HIS CRUSADES!” conspiracy-mongering

    Likewise, I’ll sleep better at night when someone explains how a draft is not inevitable, given our current obsession with the idea that the proper way to spread democracy is by force.
    By the way, if we really are sure there’s no draft coming, why do we still operate the Selective Service System? Getting rid of it would be a nice way for Bush to prove he means what he says. I don’t see him doing that, although he’s been gutting lots of other federal programs.
    Bush saying “there won’t be a draft” is kind of like “read my lips.” Remember that one? Runs in the family.

    And at the end of the thread, jukeboxgrad gets caught by the moderator using two more of his sockpuppet accounts:

    By the way, based on their IP addresses, “wingtowing,” “jukeboxgrad,” and “firstmate” are all the same person. Lame n00b trolls.

  30. jukeboxgrad says:

    Back in 2004

    I stand by what I said.

    Also, you should ask Andrea Harris why she didn’t block my IP address when she supposedly banned me.

  31. Buzz Buzz says:

    Also, you should ask Andrea Harris why she didn’t block my IP address when she supposedly banned me.

    But you already asked her here, using yet another one of your sockpuppet accounts (“SDSU”).

    It looks like she answered you here.

  32. jukeboxgrad says:

    No, that wasn’t me asking her, it was someone else asking her. You should notice that this accusation you’re making is an accusation she didn’t even make. And you should also notice that she didn’t actually answer the question. She mumbled something about “dynamic IPs,” but that’s nonsense, because if it was “dynamic IPs” the IP wouldn’t be the same, which is what she claimed.

    But I’m glad you’re such a fan. It’s a shame that Power Line took down their old forum, because for several years I did most of my posting there. Maybe you can convince them to put it back up.

  33. Buzz Buzz says:

    No, that wasn’t me asking her, it was someone else asking her.

    Right. Someone who wasn’t you, and who had never posted on that blog before, and has never posted there or anywhere else since, just happened to show up to immediately demand on your behalf that the blog hostess answer questions about an incident that didn’t involve them and which occurred two days earlier on a different blog.

    And then that person, who definitely wasn’t you, just happened to get angry at the answer they were given, and began arguing that your IP address wasn’t really blocked after you were supposed to have been banned (which just happened to be the same argument that you offered in this thread before I linked to your SDSU sockpuppet).

    I wonder how “SDSU” — who totally wasn’t you — just happened to know which of your IP addresses was blocked from posting on that other blog? And why did “SDSU” — who totally wasn’t you — care so much?

    Do you live in Brazil? Maybe you can blame it all on your IP being stolen by your cabana boy.

    But I’m glad you’re such a fan.

    I’m not a fan, I just don’t want to be part of your dishonesty problem by looking the other way.

    Changing his name to run away from his own posting record is a pretty important form of dishonesty, and he seems to have done that twice. When I react to dishonesty by looking the other way then I’m part of the problem.

  34. jukeboxgrad says:

    which just happened to be the same argument

    Because it’s an obvious problem, and she didn’t address it, and neither have you.

    I wonder how “SDSU” — who totally wasn’t you — just happened to know which of your IP addresses was blocked from posting on that other blog?

    Because he observed that one name stopped appearing while the other two continued to appear. Duh.

    And she said it was all one address, and now you’re saying “which of your IP addresses.” Here’s an idea: pick one story and stick with it.

  35. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukeboxgrad / “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slowslimslider” / “firstmate” / “SDSU” / “wingtowing” / etc. :

    And she said it was all one address, and now you’re saying “which of your IP addresses.” Here’s an idea: pick one story and stick with it.

    It’s not my story, so I don’t have anything to pick or stick with. These are the adventures of you and your sockpuppets that we’re discussing.

    What the moderator actually said was “By the way, based on their IP addresses, “wingtowing,” “jukeboxgrad,” and “firstmate” are all the same person.”

    That statement is entirely consistent with the explanation that your sockpuppet comments came from different dynamic IP addresses, all of which might have fallen within the range assigned to a single ISP, company, or school.

    Because he observed that one name stopped appearing while the other two continued to appear. Duh.

    In fact the other two names did not continue to appear in the thread after they were identified as your sockpuppets. “SDSU” could not have known which of your IP addresses were banned without being you.

  36. jukeboxgrad says:

    the explanation that your sockpuppet comments came from different dynamic IP addresses, all of which might have fallen within the range assigned to a single ISP, company, or school

    If that’s what she meant, that’s what she should have said to begin with. But she didn’t, because she knows that she’s not in a position to claim it’s the same person if it’s not the same number.

    the other two names did not continue to appear in the thread after they were identified as your sockpuppets

    You’re missing the point. That’s not what I said. They appeared after she banned me.

  37. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukeboxgrad / “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slowslimslider” / “firstmate” / “SDSU” / “wingtowing” / etc. :

    You’re missing the point.

    I’m not missing the point at all.

    The point is that you’re a serial sockpuppeter and a chronic liar.

    You rely on the Chewbacca defense when your big lies are exposed, trying to divert discussions into arguments over irrelevant minutiae as if that somehow excuses and exonerates you from your serial lies and dishonesty. It doesn’t.

    You really made a stupid mistake by trying to involve me in your psychodrama with Erick Florack by falsely accusing me of being a sockpuppet.

    All you managed to accomplish was to get me to spend a little spare time doing some research into your history of sockpuppeting and other bad behavior.

    And now that I’m aware of that history, I’ll feel obligated to make sure everyone else is aware of it too whenever I see your name come up, because

    I think a big part of the problem has to do with enablers. Imagine the following scenario. There are people in a room, and they know that a certain person is a liar, but they treat that person as something other than a known liar. An uninformed observer is going to be misled, and is going to think that the known liar is something other than a liar. And the people in the room, who know better, are participating in a kind of fraud, and are enabling the liar.

    In a healthy community, liars are simply not welcome. Ending the normalization of dishonesty means that liars need to be treated like liars, and all honest people have a responsibility to help make sure this happens.

  38. jukeboxgrad says:

    you’re a serial sockpuppeter and a chronic liar

    What you’ve shown is that you share a trait with Andrea Harris: you both think that if someone annoys you, they must be a sockpuppet of someone else who annoys you.

    You’re also missing the point of what I said originally about someone changing their name: that it’s a problem when someone stops using the prior name and is doing so in order to avoid responsibility for what was said under that name. You obviously haven’t found any instance of anyone even claiming that I ever did that, and you don’t understand why the distinction matters.

  39. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukeboxgrad / “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slowslimslider” / “firstmate” / “SDSU” / “wingtowing” / etc. :

    What you’ve shown is that you share a trait with Andrea Harris: you both think that if someone annoys you, they must be a sockpuppet of someone else who annoys you.

    On the contrary. as I show in the comment URL linked under my name, I have proven (according to your own convoluted criteria) that you use sockpuppets to advance your own arguments under different names.

    If you had any integrity, you’d acknowledge that. But you don’t have any integrity, so you again resort to the Chewbacca defense.

    You’re also missing the point of what I said originally about someone changing their name: that it’s a problem when someone stops using the prior name and is doing so in order to avoid responsibility for what was said under that name. You obviously haven’t found any instance of anyone even claiming that I ever did that, and you don’t understand why the distinction matters.

    Again, that is exactly why you’ve switched to sockpuppets in the examples I’ve shown – to bolster and continue your arguments under different names than the ones you started them under.

    To summarize: You are a known and proven liar.

    In a healthy community, liars are simply not welcome. Ending the normalization of dishonesty means that liars need to be treated like liars, and all honest people have a responsibility to help make sure this happens.

  40. jukeboxgrad says:

    I have proven (according to your own convoluted criteria) that you use sockpuppets

    What you should have noticed before you did all that work is that the two sites are quite different in size. This means the statistics of the comparison don’t work the way you need them to.

    I also don’t understand what you claim to be proving. If your analysis proves I’m TomJ, then my analysis proves you’re Florack. So are you admitting you’re Florack?

    the Chewbacca defense

    It would be good if you learned what that term means, because the way you’re using the term has nothing to do with what it means.

    that is exactly why you’ve switched to sockpuppets in the examples I’ve shown

    As far as I can tell, Florack stopped using ‘bithead.’ That’s the point. The comparison you’re drawing would work if had stopped using jukeboxgrad. Trouble is, I haven’t.

  41. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukeboxgrad / “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slowslimslider” / “firstmate” / “SDSU” / “wingtowing” / etc. :
    From your wikipedia link –

    In the satire’s original defense, the fictional Cochran started by stating that Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. After stating that this statement “does not make sense”, Cochran continues to connect the senselessness of his own statement to the actual case, implying that it is equally senseless. His closing argument “If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit” is lampooning the actual Cochran’s original “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”.

    From my earlier comment –

    You rely on the Chewbacca defense when your big lies are exposed, trying to divert discussions into arguments over irrelevant minutiae as if that somehow excuses and exonerates you from your serial lies and dishonesty. It doesn’t.

    To summarize: I understand your Chewbacca defense perfectly.

    And you are a known and proven liar.

    In a healthy community, liars are simply not welcome. Ending the normalization of dishonesty means that liars need to be treated like liars, and all honest people have a responsibility to help make sure this happens.

  42. jukeboxgrad says:

    I understand your Chewbacca defense

    It’s not a “Chewbacca defense,” because I described a simple and important distinction that you’re either too dumb to understand or pretending to be too dumb to understand.