Columnist Paul Krugman, respected economist turned Hillary acolyte, leaned into his conspiratorial tendencies in his Monday column, “How to Rig an Election.” Plus the Times lashed out at Trump-Pence’s “brand of right-wing nationalism” on the front page, portrayed Trump as Neidermeyer in “Animal House,” and celebrated Hillary dancing joyfully in the rain.
It’s almost over. Will we heave a sigh of relief, or shriek in horror? Nobody knows for sure, although early indications clearly lean Clinton. Whatever happens, however, let’s be clear: this was, in fact, a rigged election.
The election was rigged by state governments that did all they could to prevent nonwhite Americans from voting: The spirit of Jim Crow is very much alive -- or maybe translate that to Diego Cuervo, now that Latinos have joined African-Americans as targets. Voter ID laws, rationalized by demonstrably fake concerns about election fraud, were used to disenfranchise thousands; others were discouraged by a systematic effort to make voting hard, by closing polling places in areas with large minority populations.
The election was rigged by James Comey, the director of the F.B.I. His job is to police crime -- but instead he used his position to spread innuendo and influence the election. Was he deliberately putting a thumb on the electoral scales, or was he simply bullied by Republican operatives? It doesn’t matter: He abused his office, shamefully.
The election was also rigged by people within the F.B.I. -- people who clearly felt that under Mr. Comey they had a free hand to indulge their political preferences. In the final days of the campaign, pro-Trump agents have clearly been talking nonstop to Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and right-wing media, putting claims and allegations that may or may not have anything to do with reality into the air. The agency clearly needs a major housecleaning: Having an important part of our national security apparatus trying to subvert an election is deeply scary. Unfortunately, Mr. Comey is just the man not to do it.
The election was rigged by the media obsession with Hillary Clinton’s emails. She shouldn’t have used her own server, but there is no evidence at all that she did anything unethical, let alone illegal. The whole thing is orders of magnitude less important than multiple scandals involving her opponent -- remember, Donald Trump never released his tax returns. Yet those networks that found only 32 minutes for all policy issues combined found 100 minutes to talk about Clinton emails.
He wasn’t done, even pre-bashing his colleagues in the press:
If she does, you know what will happen. Republicans will, of course, deny her legitimacy from day one, just as they did for the last two Democratic presidents. But there will also -- you can count on it -- be a lot of deprecation and sneering from mainstream pundits and many in the media, lots of denial that she has a “mandate” (whatever that means), because some other Republican would supposedly have beaten her, she should have won by more, or something.
Alexander Burns characterized the Trump-Pence campaign as “right-wing nationalism” on Monday’s front page: “Scrambling across the electoral map, Donald J. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, addressed supporters in darker and even graver terms, with Mr. Trump casting the election as a now-or-never moment for his brand of right-wing nationalism.” That unflattering depiction was supported in a report by Jonathan Mahler and Julie Turkewitz, “Even if Trump Loses, His Candidacy Has Emboldened Extremist Supporters.”
Mahler also filed a think-piece on Baby Boomers containing this novel cultural reference: ‘Think of Mr. Trump -- thin-skinned, red-faced, schooled in uniform -- as the R.O.T.C. commander Douglas C. Neidermeyer in “Animal House.”)
Finally, a flattering vignette from a Hillary Clinton rally in Florida Saturday, drawn by the reliable Democrat fawner and Republican basher Michael Barbaro celebrated a footloose Hillary Clinton dancing in the rain, “In 1 Unscripted Moment, Hillary Clinton Finds Joy in the Rain.”
The moment lasts about 45 seconds.
But in it, so much of the cautious stagecraft that surrounds and inhibits Hillary Clinton appears to break away.
Mrs. Clinton, pelted by a driving rain and seemingly overcome by exhaustion, exhilaration and a swirling wind, lets loose with her hands and relinquishes her script.
Her arms thrust skyward, one after the other, in what starts to feel like a dance.
As the rain gets heavier she leaves the stage: “But just before doing so, she turns and raises both arms, giving herself up to the storm and the moment -- and the looming end of this adventure.”