To all those who are focused on the Electoral College — getting rid of it, or persuading electors not to vote for Dear Leader, or whatever — or on recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, The Laughing Chimps have a request: stop it. Now.
Look, we get that you’re pissed. We are, too. We’re pissed, and depressed, and anxious, and disappointed, and all the other things you are. We find it nearly incomprehensible that a classless, boorish, staggeringly ignorant, breathtakingly incompetent, malignantly narcissistic, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, jingoistic, juvenile, temperamental, ethically-compromised, buffoonish fear and hate monger, con artist, carnival barker and grifter like Kim Jung Don could be elected to the office of President of the United States. The thought of Donald Trump heading to the White House with truckloads of gaudy, trashy, fake gold-plated, velour-covered, faux-antique furniture that looks like he bought it out of a White Trash-R-Us catalog induces blood pressure spikes and fits of catatonia which we can only ascribe to trauma-induced brain seizures. For the first time in our lives, we fear for the future of our constitutional government and the country.
In short, we get it.
But really. Just fucking stop.
Let’s make a list of the positives and negatives that might follow from these endeavors, shall we?
On the positive side:
[Check back often as the Chimps update this list.]
Here’s a (partial) list of the negatives: (1) Donald Trump will still be President; (2) GOP leaders have another thing about Democrats to point and laugh at; (3) GOP voters have another thing about Democrats to point and laugh at; (4) GOP electors have another thing about Democrats to point and laugh at; (5) GOP hack journalists have another thing about Democrats to point and laugh at; (6) Donald Trump will still be President; (7) attention pointlessly gets diverted from critical issues needing every bit of focus that decent, sane people can muster, like (a) Trump’s racist, fascist, religiously-bigoted, misogynistic, lunatic-fringe appointees, policies, ideas, and statements; (b) Trump’s personal and family financial interests, which may be or are at odds with those of the United States, and which leave him, his appointees, and his advisers (even more) ethically compromised and conflicted; and (c) Trump’s unprecedented incompetence, his childish and intemperate character and behavior, and his patent inability to work for the best interests of most of the country and its people; (8) Donald Trump will still be President; (9) Jill Stein gets more undeserved attention, likely propelling her own narcissism to Trumpian levels; (10) Jill Stein gets your money, which you certainly need more than she does; (11) Donald Trump will still be President; and (12) the Green Party’s delusion that it plays any beneficial role in American politics, or does anything beyond taking votes away from viable candidates and helping to hand elections to venal, incompetent half-wits, will continue unabated.
Oh, and did we mention that Donald Trump will still be President? Because he will. You know it, but (understandably) can’t bring yourself to admit it. It’s one of those stages-of- grief things.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. “These assholes call themselves chimps for a reason. They don’t know what they’re talking about.” A fair point, and one with which we’re hard pressed to disagree. Allow us, then, to introduce someone who should have some credibility on this question. We quote Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton’s general counsel, and we do so using our patented and proprietary Laughing Chimps Politispeak Translator™.
Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves…
Laughing Chimps Politispeak Translator:
“Recounts? Really?? You think we haven’t already monitored every fucking vote confirmation and verification effort in every precinct in every swing state in the country? Add together all the money you’ll earn in your lifetime and multiply it by twenty. That’s half of what we’ve paid political consultants, field staff, and lawyers to be all over this, and countless other options you don’t even know exist, since roughly 8 PM EST on November 8. We’re seven steps ahead of you on all this shit. Nothing gives us any reason to think we can squeeze a meaningful number of votes out of a formal recount, so we made a decision not to waste our time or money on such a pointless exercise.”
[B]ut now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
Laughing Chimps Politispeak Translator:
“Now that Jill Stein has talked a bunch of desperate marks out of millions so she can focus the spotlight on herself, we, as the only competent adults in the room, are obliged to supervise. You can bet your ass that by ‘fair to all sides’ we don’t mean to suggest we give a shit about it being fair to Donald Trump. We have absolutely no hope that anything productive will come of this, but we feel compelled to make sure Stein doesn’t simply hold up some shiny trinkets and say “Look! Shiny Pretties!!” while she pockets the cash. Or even worse, that she somehow manages to scam enough votes to score federal matching election funds for a party that is partially responsible for electing such political idiot savants as George W. Bush and Donald Trump.”
If none of that’s enough, then you’re probably beyond persuasion. But consider this. Assume that recounts happen in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Assume further that those recounts result in one or both of the following outcomes: first, no meaningful change in any of the vote counts; or second, Trump actually picks up a non-trivial number of votes. With us?
Now, what’s the talking point that’s just been handed to President-elect Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the House Republican caucus, the Senate Republican caucus, the GOP, the GOP hack press, and every Trump supporter on the planet? The Laughing Chimps think it goes something like this:
SWING-STATE VOTE RECOUNTS CONFIRM TRUMP VICTORY IS LEGITIMATE!!!
That’s right, folks. The net result of all this nonsense will be to legitimize, to reaffirm, to validate, what may prove to be the most disastrous presidency in the nation’s history. Don’t bother with the argument that it’s all harmless, or just therapeutic navel gazing. It’s counterproductive. It’s like shooting ourselves in the foot to see how it feels, after having shot ourselves in the foot ten times. Or as the Laughing Chimps often put it, it’s letting the GOP control the political narrative. Again. More on that later.
There are lots of things you can do that will make a real difference. Donate to the ACLU. Show up at a county Democratic Party monthly meeting. Volunteer at Planned Parenthood. No, these things aren’t sexy. They won’t change the course of our national politics. But they’ll change your life, and maybe a few others, too.
Remember the adage: all politics are local. Make your corner of the world a better place, and you’ve made the world a better place.