Opinion

Creating A Recount-’em-Stein

Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Politics is often described as the “art of the possible” but for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her band of environmental activists, it’s the art of obfuscation.  You should have seen Tucker Carlson’s Wednesday interview with Stein’s campaign manager, David Cobb, on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”  It was like the pages of the satirical newspaper The Onion come to life.

Carlson was attempting to carry on a rational conversation with Cobb, who was in turn demonstrating a keen ability to remove himself from that dialogue, twisting and turning and generally reinterpreting every question the host had about this ridiculous ballot recount that has descended upon Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and probably Michigan.  Cobb panicked at the beginning of the attempted interview, insisting that he wasn’t some nut with conspiratorial notions about Russian cyber attacks violating election results.  No, just a guy with completely unfounded conspiracy theories about someone or something he can’t define.

Cobb proceeded to answer every question posed by Carlson like he first had to enter the query in a translation program that couldn’t quite comprehend English and his responses never quite seemed to correlate to what was being asked.

Cobb insisted that voting machines were connected to the internet and thus subject to the whims and machinations of some sinister force in cyberspace.  He spoke of “statistical anomalies” in the states affected, such as more of the rural vote going to the Republicans and urbanites going for the Democrats.

This “anomaly” might otherwise be called a well-known political fact or something identified as a “voting trend.”

Carlson, looking painfully perplexed and resembling a man attempting to communicate with a talking point robot, kept trying to get something resembling a response from Cobb, specifically about why this recount was necessary.

“All we’re doing is asking for a recount in order that we can have confidence in the integrity of the election results,” was Cobb’s best attempt at clarity.

“What is the core justification for putting the country through this? I don’t understand, “Carlson repeated.

Hey, guess what?  None of us do.  You could spend a lifetime listening to Cobb and not understand because he has taken that keen political skill of “bridging” an answer to undreamed of heights:  unfortunately for eager beaver Cobb it is a bridge to nowhere.

Ultimately, he had to admit that there was no evidence of voter fraud, no accusations of ballot irregularities and no suggestion that the election was anything but valid.

Why couldn’t Cobb just admit that Stein, who won about 30,000 votes in Wisconsin, is just doing this for Hillary Clinton?

Could Cobb at least pledge that all the “ton of money” that Stein has raised to empower this insane political experiment will at least be going to recount efforts?  No, he could not.

Cobb reserved the right to invest in future “election integrity efforts.”

As Carlson noted:  “whatever that means.”

Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump, after initially blasting off on Twitter about the recounts, seems to have moved on and just accepted that unhinged political activists will sometimes behave in a self-destructive manner.  Instead, he is back to his more expansive, combative persona and implementing policy like he was already president.  This week he saved 1,000 jobs in Indiana.  The Carrier company workers were genuinely touched that America has actually elected a president who seems intent upon delivering what he promised during the campaign.  What a concept.

You know, all this goodwill and happiness – especially at this Christmas time of year — between labor and management is like something out of a Frank Capra film.  The brilliant director who gave us such classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life imagined a sort of pan-ideological American society where people were motivated by humanitarian impulses and not political self-interest.

Saving those jobs in Indiana might be a trifle to the snobs in the Obama administration; but it’s vitally important if it’s your job.  Trump obviously needs to keep delivering but the Carrier coup was stunningly symbolic of an incoming president who demonstrated this week that he can find solutions that work for all Americans.

Follow David on Twitter @DavidKrayden