As famed baseball player and manager Yogi Berra would say “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” Listening to the news, one cannot help but hear the echoes of 2017, the year after the last presidential election.
After that election, Hillary Clinton went on speaking tour and spent a year or more telling us how the election had been stolen and that she should have been President. Congressional Democrats launched various investigations to find out exactly how the election had been stolen because it simply was beyond their comprehension that Hillary could lose to someone like Trump.
After the 2020 elections, Donald Trump takes every speaking opportunity telling us how the election was stolen and he should be President. As recently as this past weekend, Trump went off on fellow Republican and Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, for not giving enough support to efforts to find votes during a recount and voter fraud (three months after a new President took office). A smaller group of Congressional Republicans and Republicans in various state legislatures have launched investigations to find out exactly how the election was stolen because it was simply beyond their comprehension that Trump could lose to someone like Biden.
In 2016, Hillary and Democrats claimed that the Russians had helped Trump. This in spite of the fact that Hillary’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee admitted paying Michael Steele, a former British intelligence officer, for a dossier of negative information on Trump, most of which came from Russian sources.
In 2020, Trump claims that the election was stolen in spite of the fact that Republicans made election gains at every other level and the states where he claims fraud occurred, the legislatures or governors or both are controlled by Republicans and so, by implication, he claims that literally hundreds of Republicans have joined the Democratic conspiracy.
Much like Trump in 2021, Hillary remained extremely popular within her party despite her defeat and a large bloc of party loyalists took claims of a stolen election almost as a given.
Both claims are absurdly ridiculous on their face. We will not take the time to debate the arguments from 2016 and 2020 except to say that multiple recounts and courts and judges have ruled in both cases and the matters are settled.
Unfortunately, the claims were also predictable. Two weeks before the election, conservative columnist and former Reagan campaign official George Will predicted Trump’s loss and his reaction when he wrote “Trump will end his presidency as he began it: whining.” Hillary and Trump both have the same character trait, in that their egos simply will not allow them to believe that the American people would reject them and when that happens, they have to make up something to explain it. Unfortunately, that means we have to listen to the seemingly endless rambling.
Oh, and one other thing Trump and Hillary have in common, and you can remember you heard it here first. They both keep talking and hint at running again in order to keep the spotlight and try to stay relevant. Hillary did not, and Trump won’t, for fear of having to face another loss.