There are two elections taking place in America - one on the quaintly named "Election Day", the other in the weeks (and possibly months) before and after. Having access to what he calls some "deep-in-the-weeds" data, Powerline's Steve Hayward writes:
Early votes cast already supposedly favor Biden (assuming respondents are being truthful with surveyors that they have in fact cast their ballots), but of people saying they intend to vote in person on election day, Trump is ahead almost 3 to 1 in some states. My conclusion: Trump is going to win a landslide among votes cast on election day. But with more than 50 million votes or more being cast by mail, even a small lead may disappear in the week after, depending on how the vote count goes.
Maybe. I would have thought a three-to-one GOP lead on Election Day would be hard to overcome, even for the wiliest Dem operatives. But, if Steve's prediction of a starkly bifurcated election result is correct, it guarantees that, whoever prevails, the result will not be accepted by the other side. Which is great news for those who think the biggest problem in America is its placid social tranquility.
~I noted a day or two back that Biden's hostility to traditional energy sources because "they pollute" must surely hurt him in swing states like Pennsylvania. New York councilman Joe Borelli puts it in a nutshell:
Why is it ok for a Biden to make 80k a month from a foreign gas company, but not ok for a Pennsylvania man to make 80k per year from an American gas company?
That's brilliant: It's not just that the Bidens are on the take but that they're on the take from exactly the businesses the left profess to abhor.
I wish Trump had some people around him who could distill the issues into punchy lines like that. Thursday's face-off with Biden was the lowest-rated presidential debate since the final Obama/Romney round in 2012, and I worry that, even for those who tuned in, the references to the Bidens' ethical issues were all but incomprehensible unless you listen to Rush and watch Fox all day every day.
~Joe, meanwhile, has finally come up with a campaign platform, and gone on Twitter live from his basement to preview the coming utopia:
Imagine a day in the not too distant future when you can enjoy a dinner out with your friends, a night at the movies, or when you can celebrate your birthday, wedding, or graduation surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
We can get there — together.
Gee, vote for Big Government and you'll get to go to dinner. Read my lips: Happy birthday to you. This would be thin gruel at almost any time in human history other than total war. There'll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover tomorrow - just you wait and see:
The shepherd will tend his sheep
The valley will bloom again
And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again...
The problem is, at least for Democrat states and the non-Swedish parts of the rest of the west, this war will never end. Both Fauci and Imperial College's Professor Pantsdown appear to share the conveniently unachievable goal advanced in The Lancet:
The argument is strong for countries adopting a so-called zero-COVID strategy.
They cite the example of New Zealand, but the Kiwis have certain advantages: a) they have no so-called "world cities" like Paris, Madrid and New York to act as contagion hubs; b) they have a small population dispersed over large-ish islands with no land borders; and c) unlike the US, UK, Canada, etc, they have one of the lowest levels of public debt on the planet. In most of the west, there is no money for multi-year bailouts of every industry from restaurants to airlines to Broadway and Hollywood, and borrowing it externally only means that, when China yanks the rug out, our plummet is going to be not from the fourth floor but from the 137th-floor penthouse.
Nevertheless we are enjoined to "follow the science" - which means Fauci and Pantsdown and the like. Owen Morgan makes the point in our comments section that he now knows the names of Chief Medical Officers in countries he barely knew the names of prime ministers of. If they're now in charge of everything, what polling station do we go to to vote them in or out?
~Also from our comments section, Denyse O'Leary:
In the age of Antifa, BLM, and Cancel Culture, why would anyone admit that they were going to vote for Trump if it could be traced back to them? And how do they know it can't? That's the best way to regard polls just now. Like the legacy media, they don't really matter; they just make a lot of progressive noise.
The big worry should be, if Trump survives Big Tech's assault, another four years will be wasted without pulverizing Big Tech back into the utility service providers they should be. Neither the United States nor any other country can afford four more years of rule by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with China looming over their shoulders.
Indeed. Too much of the last four years was wasted, and there needs to be a serious reckoning with the woke dictators of Big Tech. Among the many consequences of lockdown has been a massive transfer from small business to global monopolies such as Amazon. So Jeff Bezos is much richer and far more powerful than he was a year back. Amazon is the company store of Covidland: for an increasing number of products, there's nowhere else to go.
As Spider-Man was cautioned long ago, "With great power comes great responsibility." So how is Bezos exercising his power and responsibility? Well, my old friend Scott Johnson, went to Amazon Prime, bought a documentary called The Plot Against the President, and then thought that, as a paying customer of Mr Bezos, he'd like to comment on it:
This is a documentary based on one of the best books written about the Russia hoax. It does a good job telling the story and giving it dramatic shape. It may be the closest we come to the administration of justice in the biggest scandal in American political history by far. Unlike just about everything that comes out of Hollywood, including documentaries, the story it tells is true.
That's about as calmly and inoffensively put as possible. Yet Mr Bezos declined to publish it:
We apologize but Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account.
If Trump loses, there will be a dizzying acceleration of the Bezos/Zuckerberg/Dorsey clampdown. If Trump wins, there will be a more discreet trending in the same dark direction. There will be no time for huzzahs and jubilations or even mere sighs of relief. Action of the kind Denyse prescribes will need to be taken immediately, because, in Orwell terms, it's 1983.
~We opened The Mark Steyn Club over three years ago, and I'm thrilled by all those SteynOnline supporters across the globe - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Surrey to the Solomon Islands - who've signed up to be a part of it. My only regret is that we didn't launch it seventeen years ago, but better late than never. You can find more information about the Club here - and, if you've a pal who might be partial to this sort of thing, don't forget our special Gift Membership.
Oh, and if you're seriously chafing under the lockdown and looting, there's no better way to cock a snook at the lockdown than by booking a berth on our Third Annual Steyn Cruise sailing the Med next year - and with Conrad Black, Michele Bachmann, John O'Sullivan and Douglas Murray among our shipmates. We'll be attempting some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. If you're minded to give it a go, don't leave it too late: as with most travel and accommodations, the price is more favorable the earlier you book - and, if the lockdown ever does gets totally lifted, why use your newfound freedom of movement just to visit the county fair or see X-Men 47 at the multiplex when you can bestride the world like a cruising colossus?
I'll be back this evening with our Song of the Week and later this week with a brand new Tale for Our Time.