4.50pm Quick programming note: I'll be joining Tucker live across America later this evening. Hope you'll tune in.
Right now on the telly, Rudy Giuliani (a man who, for all his qualities, speaks only to the diehards) is announcing litigation and raging against the Philadelphia machine: "Do you think we're stupid? Do you think we're fools?"
Meanwhile, the Dementia Kid has just been given Michigan. So he stands at 264 electoral votes. In the next couple of hours he'll be given Nevada and will hit 270, so I may be preempted tonight by the you-know-the-thing victory speech.
4.35pm Re the toughing vignette from the frontlines of Georgia, Sal Tessio writes:
How is it possible that the concept of 'closing up for the night' exists when you're counting ballots for any election, let alone a presidential election?
Because, election-wise, America is a dysfunctional craphole. The more respectable Third World dictators would regard the above as a little too obvious.
4.15pm Snapshots from the remnants of a fiasco. Georgia:
Fulton County told our [Republican] observers last night to go home because they were closing up and then continued to count ballots in secret.
In Michigan it's gone to the lawyers.
Biden is on TV giving what's not technically a victory speech but certainly is tonally, and fully of gaseous uplift: "We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies", etc. That's easy to say after you've stolen the election.
"There will be no red states or blue states..." That sounds half-right.
12.25pm Just a reminder: All the conventional wisdom from the months up to November 3rd was total bollocks, starting with the Big Blue Wave that turned into the weak trickle of a Delaware Old Folks' Home dementia patient's cystitis. From CNN's Kirsten Powers:
Remember the whole 'revolt of white women grossed out by Trump?'
In 2016 Trump won white women by nine points. Last night he won them by twelve.
"Suburban women, please like me."
11.20am What is real? What is not?
A GOP operative noticed a Michigan update showing the Trump vote staying exactly the same - 2,202,902 - while the Biden vote went up by 138,339. So just some late-breaking results from a remote thinly-populated rural county in the Upper Peninsula with not a single Republican voter.
Matt Walsh attempted to Tweet on the above, but got censored by ObertweetinfĂĽhrer Jack Dorsey:
Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.
You'll know the coup-makers have it in the bag when they close Trump's Twitter account.
10.50am In most spheres of activity, we are now well into what would be called "business hours". But shots of Philadelphia polling places still show row upon row of empty trestle tables with no counting going on. This is way worse than 2000: The chadlands have now spread from a corner of Florida to half-a-dozen states.
The trick now is to be the first candidate who can plausibly claim to have 270 electoral votes - and thus put the other fellow on the backfoot trying to reverse a state call (like Trump with Arizona). The Democrat/media strategy is the same as last night: Biden states get called early, Trump states get called only when 112.39 per cent of the vote is in. So, from hereon in, the media will be trying to ensure that Biden can claim to be the rightful president as soon as possible, leaving Trump looking like Ferdinand Marcos refusing to leave the palace.
For the record, the President has won Georgia and North Carolina and Maine's Second Congressional District. When the networks will give him those electoral votes is more doubtful. Tomorrow? Sunday afternoon?
10.10am Further to Eric Dale's question on Atlanta below, on yesterday's Mark Steyn Show, I discussed the 1920 GOP landslide. In mega-Democrat Atlanta a hundred years ago, seventy-five black women cast votes and the Dems threw them out. Those ladies got off lightly. In Ocoee, Florida, would-be black voters were massacred - lynched, castrated, burned alive. Their neighborhoods were razed by Democrats, and survivors forced to flee into the orange groves, never to return.
This is a party that has always been ruthless about power - to a degree unknown in any other anglophone democracy.
9.45am Mark Steyn Club member Eric Dale comments:
How the hell do we not have the results of Philadelphia and Atlanta twelve hours after the polls close and the rest of the state has reported?
That has the vague feeling of a rhetorical question, Eric, but the obvious answer is:
Because for a century-and-a-half America has exhibited a high degree of tolerance for brazen election corruption, almost all by Democrats (Tammany and its heirs), and once in a while - 1960, 2000, now - this has national consequences.
This is deeply weird by comparison with any other anglophone democracy. But, as a practical matter, it means the fate of Trump's presidency now rests on the proposition that there is some force out there that can impose election integrity on as inherently corrupt a jurisdiction as urban Pennsylvania.
As the President would say: Sad!
9am Eastern Okay, I've had two hours of sleep (and twenty minutes to load up the trunk and head to the bank to clear out my checking account) and we're back. Our Election Night live coverage ended when the election mysteriously ground to a halt in the early hours first in Pennsylvania and then everywhere else. On a grey morning after, our thought for the day comes from the late Zimbabwean president the Reverend Canaan Banana, with whom readers of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade will be familiar:
In 1997, Jefta Dube, a former bodyguard of Banana's, claimed that, at State House one night, the President had slipped a sleeping draught into his drink. Mr Dube came round to find himself on a duvet naked from the waist down, with a smiling Mr Banana hovering over his trouserless thighs.
"While you were sleeping," said the President, "we helped ourselves" - not the words a chap wants to wake up to.
While America was sleeping, the Dems helped themselves.
The Electoral College score remains: Biden 238, Trump 213.
That's a spectacular over-performance by the Republican candidate: For months the RealClearPolitics map has shown Trump stuck on 125 electoral-college votes, day in, week out.
But Joe's minders may be under-performing just good enough to save the day. A big bunch of Dem votes turned up in Michigan's Ingham County (Lansing) cutting Trump's statewide lead from 1.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent. In Wisconsin, a similar process is playing out.
In Washington, Judge Emmett Sullivan ...if that name rings a bell, he's the eminent jurist who decided to keep Michael Flynn's case going even though the prosecutor has thrown in the towel and checked out ...Judge Sullivan is now applying the same principle to the election. From yesterday's court order, appointing himself Postmaster-General-Election:
It is hereby ORDERED that, beginning no later than 12:30 PM EST today, Defendants shall send Postal Service inspectors or their designees, to processing facilities in the following Districts and direct them to sweep the facilities between 12:30 PM EST and 3:00 PM EST to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery: Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona.
From the very first entry in my election-night coverage at 7pm Eastern last night:
I'm reasonably confident that Trump will win - but not so confident that he won't have it stolen from him, as is already underway in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
That's where we are.
~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 eighteen 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 prospect of election fraud and attendant litigation without end, there's no better cure than 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 post-election goes south, you'll surely be grateful for a break from Kamala.
See you on the telly with Tucker.