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February 24, 2021

Michael Anton: Why Do Those Who Claim The Election Wasn't Rigged Require Us to Confirm That Claim For Them?

Why, if this is so obviously a "fact," are some people so insecure about it?

Why Do the Electionís Defenders Require My Agreement?

The purpose of voting today is to give a democratic veneer to an undemocratic regime--not to give the people a say in the direction of their government.

By Michael Anton

February 23, 2021

Recently, I appeared as a guest on Andrew Sullivan's podcast. Sullivan is vociferously anti-Trump, so I expected us to disagree--which, naturally, we did. But I was surprised by the extent to which he insisted I assent to his assertion that the 2020 election was totally on the level. That is to say, I wasn't surprised that Sullivan thinks it was; I was surprised by his evident yearning to hear me say so, too.

Which I could not do.

Sullivan badgered me on this at length before finally accusing me of being fixated on the topic, to which I responded, truthfully, that I was only talking about it because he asked. As far as Iím concerned, the 2020 election is well and truly over. I have, I said, "moved on."

So I thought. Then I received two emails from a friendly acquaintance who is a recognized Republican expert on elections that suggested he, too, is troubled by my lack of belief. Then came two other data points, which I noticed only after the first draft this essay had been completed. Ramesh Ponnuru snarked (snark seems to be the go-to, indeed the only, device his in literary quiver) that one of the anomalies I cited in my most recent article in the Claremont Review of Books had been "debunked" by the partisan left-wing FactCheck.org. While I appreciate the insight into the sources from which National Review editors get their "facts" these days, the quote provided admits that the statistic I cited is, well, accurate. Ponurru naturally ignores all of the other points raised in my earlier article.

Jonathan Chait wrote yet another (his 12th?) article denouncing me, for this same sin of disbelief. Why did he bother? Is there even a remote chance that a single one of his New York magazine readers either read my article or encountered its argument? Or is he worried that the "narrative" of the election is so fragile that it needs to be shored up?

I wanted to move on, I really did. But when Left (Chait), center (Sullivan), faux-right anti-conservative ankle-biter (Ponnuru), and genuine, if establishment, Right (my correspondent) all agree that my lack of belief is a problem, I wondered why this should be so, and the following observations came to mind.

This gets at it:

Or is he worried that the "narrative" of the election is so fragile that it needs to be shored up?

A correspondent who listened to the Andrew Sullivan podcast tells me that Sullivan is so frothingly committed to his fantasies that he sounds legitimately mentally ill.

Andrew Sullivan Freakout Advisory level: Elevated

Remember, this is the same guy that claimed that Sarah Palin was wearing a fake pregnancy suit to cover up the real pregnancy in the family.

But now he's very, very worried about Conspiracy Theories taking root!


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posted by Ace at 12:17 PM

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