Those on the right, still basking in relief and optimism over the electoral defeat of Hillary Clinton, have also been enjoying unexpected guffaws from Jim Stein's expensive and quixotic attempts at recounts in the Midwest.
After raising an avalanche of cash, mostly from sore-loser Democrats, and filing several legal challenges, Ms. Stein succeeded in getting a recount started in Wisconsin. This effort started by netting Hillary Clinton a grand total of one additional vote, which probably makes it the most expensive single vote in American history; the final total was hardly more.
Our natural instinct is not to think too highly of the brains of Green Party members, but apparently they are brighter than they look: they have all but disowned their erstwhile presidential candidate thanks to this expensive fiasco. As their own party website huffs:
The decision to pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).
So many millions, and all for nothing! Conservatives can be excused an ironic chuckle.
But that still leaves Michigan and possibly Pennsylvania, where Stein is still challenging the result with the help of Hillary's trolls. And in Michigan, the far-left British rag The Guardian has discovered something jaw-dropping.
Eighty-seven of Wayne County’s decade-old voting machines broke on election day, according to Detroit’s elections director, Daniel Baxter. He told the Detroit News, which first reported the story, that ballot scanners often jammed when polling place workers were trying to operate them. Every time a jammed ballot was removed and reinserted, he suspects the machine may have re-counted it. [emphasis added]
For years, Democrats have complained about poor urban districts having crummy voting machines, ignoring the fact that a) it's pretty much the definition of poverty to have substandard equipment and b) most poor urban districts are run exclusively by Democrats who could make their voting process fairer or easier if they wished.
One of the great moments in self-destructive Democrat election behavior was Indecision 2000, where hundreds of Palm Beach Democratic voters couldn't figure out an (admittedly confusing) ballot design and ended up voting by mistake for Ralph Nader instead of Al Gore, giving Mr. Bush the victory. Despite our media's best efforts, this can't be pinned on Republicans: Palm Beach was run by Democrats and had been for years.
You'd think the Dems would have learned the lesson by now, but with the ongoing and unchanged complaints, apparently not. The Guardian article, though, has revealed the reason why not.
Consider the chain of events described by Mr. Baxter. He is saying that when a ballot is put in the counting machine and it jams, naturally the election worker yanks it out and stuffs it back in again for another try.
A ballot counter is something like your office laser printer - it moves pieces of paper around through electronic gizmos using a clunky series of rubber rollers. Like your printer, they can jam, and like your printer, you un-jam them by removing the offending paper and trying again.
Unlike with your printer, though, you don't just throw away the jammed sheet - it's a ballot, it has to be counted! No, the election worker has to straighten it out carefully, say a prayer to St. Chad, and feed it back in again.
According to Mr. Baxter, when this happens, the machine may very well count it twice.
Thanks to this startling revelation, we now understand why Democrat-run communities continue to willfully use unreliable voting equipment: it allows extra Democrat votes to be created without anyone actively cheating!
Think about it. Hillary's whole strategy depended on poor, black, urban Detroit voting massively for her - which it duly did. 90+% of the ballots shoved through a machine in the poorest parts of Wayne County could be safely expected to be Democrat, if not quite 100% as in Philly.
So for every ballot that jammed, got re-fed, and was counted twice, almost certainly it was an extra Hillary vote. Talk about an incentive for maintenance negligence, as if unionized government workers didn't have enough already!
Perhaps that's why Hillary didn't jump to demand a recount - she knew that, with a proper count, her totals would go down instead of up.
Fortunately for Jill Stein's possibilities of future employment, even if the machines mechanically cheated for Hillary this way, a recount won't make any difference.
How's that, you ask? Take a look at Michigan electoral law:
State law rejects a recount in places where the two figures don’t match up: a precinct is ineligible to be recounted if the “number of ballots to be recounted and the number of ballots issued on election day as shown on the poll list or the computer printout do not match and the difference is not explained to the satisfaction of the board of canvassers.” [emphasis added]
Now, it's patently obvious that if jammed machines led to ballots being counted twice, the number of actual paper ballots in the bin can't possibly match the number on the computer printout. There may be 1000 votes "recorded" by the machine, but only 900 in the box because that's all there ever were in the first place.
What have the geniuses of Michigan's legislature decreed to be done in such a case? Simple: Stop counting, just stick with what you had originally, and sweep the whole mess under the rug.
Even by Democrat standards this is pretty rich; most states have a more conscientious policy, though Wisconsin has some even screwier laws if there are more votes counted than voters:
"If they cannot be reconciled, we do what's known as a random drawdown," Magney said. "If there were, for example, 800 voters and 803 ballots, they would essentially stack all the ballots up and randomly pick out three and recount the rest."
Thus, thanks to the wonder-working Jill Stein, we not only have the pleasing prospect of proving that Hillary Clinton lost even worse than it seemed at first.
We also have something on which every single American, regardless of political persuasion, can wholeheartedly agree: Mr. Trump is right in saying that there has been massive vote fraud, partly because of illegal voters and partly because our voting system is screwed up in every other way it's possible for it to be.
If only we could ever agree on how to fix it! Oh well, at least the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. Now it's up to Mr. Trump to find a way forward.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.