Thursday, November 24, 2016

Where Is Waldo? Where Is Hillary?

Asked about prosecution of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump replied "It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about. I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”

That was interpreted by friends and enemies, supporters and critics, alike as nearly a rejection by the President-elect of prosection of his former rival.  It may, however, have been something more- brilliant political positioning in which the incoming President signals flexibility but avoids committing himself.

Election security expert J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, writes

Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.

The New York Times notes "Uniting around the social media hashtag #AuditTheVote, the campaign-after-the-campaign has picked up momentum among grass-roots activists still mourning Mr. Trump’s victory," though results would have to be reversed in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (in which the final vote is not in, but Trump is in the lead) for Clinton to claim victory.

Nevertheless, as Politico reports, a certain presidential candidate has set up a fundraising website to acquire the $2 million required to pay for filing fees and the recount for Wisconsin (deadline Friday), Pennsylvania (deadline Monday) and Michigan (deadline Wednesday).  Her statement reads "After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databaes and individal email accounts are causing many  Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable."

Presumably, the cash would be readily available- but the candidate is Jill Stein, not Hillary Clinton.

This is not out of a sense of guilt. If all of Stein's voters had instead opted for Clinton (extraordinarily unlikely, obviously), the Democrat still would have fallen short in Pennsylvania and therefore been unable to deny Trump the needed 270 electoral votes.

However, this has been a presidential election in the most powerful nation on earth. Although it is very unlikely a recount would overturn Trump's victory in each of the three states, Stein is doing the right thing,  and probably for the right reason. Hillary Clinton, though, is silent, which should give rise as to whether the possibility of  prosecution by Donald Trump's Justice Department trumps her interest in a final, definitive count in an election, in which, she said, she was "the last thing standing between you and the apocalypse."

Update: The Michigan Secretary of State has declared the state a win for Trump, by 10,704 votes.

                                                 HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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