By John Kass
I’m a big fan of Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at “The Federalist.”
We invited her as a guest on this week’s The Chicago Way podcast to talk about President Joe Biden’s repeated rants that all Americans who disagree with his plans of a federal takeover of elections are nothing but racist segregationists.
According to the Democrat view, if election rules aren’t changed to Biden’s liking before the 2022 midterm elections—even though he doesn’t have enough Democrat votes to make the change and federalize the elections in the Senate—then the legitimacy of that future election will be questioned.
And those of us who support Voter ID and support the Constitution, which leaves elections to the states? Oh, according to the president, then we’ll all be a bunch of racists. And corporate media will brand us as such. As Irredeemable.
Co-host Jeff Carlin and I also wanted to talk to Hemingway about her brave new book:
“Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.”
The idea of having Hemmingway on the podcast speaking in plain moderate tones, while imagining the heads of my hard-left Jacobin “hate listeners” and other Twitter trolls exploding from rage–oh, well let’s just say this:
It pleaseth me well.
Hemingway is a conservative. She’s an excellent writer, and something of a link freak, adding other outside news links to buttress her stories. In this she reminds me of my dear friend and great former editor at “the paper,” Kristen McQueary, another link freak.
I like links too. So I thought I’d link a story Hemingway posted on the day after Biden’s disastrous news conference, when we recorded the podcast. Her story involved the creepy CNN legal analyst Jefferey Toobin. The headline:
“No, Jeffrey Toobin, Biden Is Not Putting Kamala Harris On The Supreme Court” begins with the best lede I’ve read this year:
“CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin took a break from punishing his colleagues by toggling his joystick at work on a Zoom call to opine on who he thinks President Joe Biden might nominate to the Supreme Court in the event Associate Justice Stephen Breyer steps down at the end of the term.”
We started off talking about Biden’s news conference. I asked her to translate Biden’s mumblings, but she said, “I don’t speak Biden.”
Still, she had a point of view.
“That was amazing” Hemingway said. “He repeatedly said if they don’t federalize the elections and don’t change those rules to be in favor of democrats, that the legitimacy of (the 2022) elections are in doubt. What I find interesting about this is that it’s fairly typical rhetoric from Democrats. Since the ‘90s they don’t tend to accept election results that don’t go in their favor.”
Team Biden hit the talk shows to try and spin away his gobbledygook, but the damage was done. Democrats liked the 2020 election results just fine. From Biden on down, the Democrats are furiously attempting to de-legitimize the November mid-term elections, because they’ve got a feeling Americans will give them a well-deserved shellacking for yanking the nation so far to the left.
And of course, if they lose, then we’re all racists once again, no?
“It’s just infuriating and enraging and gaslighting that our corporate media say that when Democrats question the legitimacy of elections that’s totally fine, whether it’s Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, or Nancy Pelosi or any of the dozens upon dozens of prominent democrats that have done so, or Hillary Clinton saying the 2016 election was stolen from her.”
“When Republicans—after the craziest election any of us have ever witnessed– express concern about the integrity of the elections, supposedly that’s an assault on democracy, a threat to the republic and the full force of the law needs to be brought down on every single person who does it.”
Yes, that’s where we are.
That’s where corporate media are and that’s what the Jan. 6 inquisition is about. It’s all about force. The Republican establishment wants to go back to the old days, with their endless needless wars and Wall Street bailouts. But the way the Democrats have lurched, so far to the hard left, the GOP base isn’t interested in going back to the good old days of the Bush years. They’ve taken out the (rhetorical) tomahawks just like those used by the Democrats.
Former President Donald Trump has said the 2020 election was stolen. That is wrong. And the media and many Republicans have denounced him for it. But media doesn’t denounce Democrats applying the allegations of racism to de-legitimize an election that hasn’t happened yet. Is that really a mystery? No.
The 2020 elections weren’t stolen. That talk undermines elections just as much as do the Democrats shrieking that America is racist if voters are asked to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.
But rigged? That is another matter entirely. You might call this a semantic issue. But I’m from Chicago where rigging elections is an art form.
Through my career covering politics in the city of politics, I’ve seen media kill off candidacies and watched as politicians knife each other through their absurdly tortured remaps. They shout about morality and play their race-cards, though many of them are desperate to control the local election apparatus.
And after reading Hemingway’s fine book that makes a deep dive into how Big Tech touched local election offices, I’d say one thing is true: among politicians of all stripes there are insiders who try to rig elections. That’s what they do.
So, what about her book?
“I knew I had to research it because of the way people were talking about it November (2020). It was weird to me. You had these twin conspiracy theories popping up from the extremes. You had people on the right saying it was ‘Venezuela’ and voter systems. And people on the left, contrary to what we all knew, saying this was the fairest election we’ve ever had, there were no problems. And you weren’t allowed to talk about it. I thought that was creepy and indicative of major issues at play.”
I’ve written about some of those issues, from corporate media and Big Tech suppressing and de-platforming news organizations over the most important news story of the presidential campaign:
Presidential son Hunter Biden’s questionable foreign business dealings leveraging his father’s clout, (i.e., The Big Guy) in Ukraine and China among other places.
Don’t tell me that media didn’t suppress it. I was in corporate media then. Journos in woke newsrooms–and they’re all woke–rolled their eyes at the mention of Hunter Biden and the New York Post. But they salivated over the fake Russia Collusion narrative that was proved false. It was a Democrat propaganda attack on the administration. The New York Times and the Washington Post carried the Russia Collusion hoax and cashed in on Pulitzers. Those papers have yet to return their awards.
One way to rig an election is to control the narrative, even if it is a lie. And the corporate media still wonders why Americans abandon them?
Consider what National Public Radio’s managing editor said in an interview last year about why NPR “avoided” the Hunter Biden story.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” Samuel said. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically-driven event, and we decided to treat it that way.”
“Pure distractions?” “Waste the the listeners’ time?” Really?
And by their words, they reveal themselves.
But what I didn’t know before reading “Rigged” was the extent to which the Lords of Big Tech played in the nuts-and-bolts of the 2020 elections.
One was Mark Zuckerberg, lord of Facebook.
“The other thing I could not believe that I discovered was one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men, Mark Zuckerberg had financed the coordinated takeover of government election offices by left-wing activists.”
Hemingway says Zuckerberg spent more than $400 million on that, offering funds to both Republicans and Democrats. But oddly, (or perhaps by design) most of it went to Democratic groups in blue counties in key blue swing states.
“By focusing on Democrat areas on swing states, the funding would go to registering voters in those Democrat areas of swing states; communicating with those voters about how to vote, printing up ballots, designing ballots, translating ballots which is where you fix the ballot of Democrat voters in swing states but you don’t do it in the republican areas,” Hemingway said on “The Chicago Way.”
“Basically, every part of the process had a role for these liberal activists who were shipped into the system by this Zuckerberg funding. It was a brilliant strategy. It was completely unfair, completely unethical, which is why you’re now seeing so many states past laws to ban the private takeover of election offices. But it was an unbelievable effort,” she said.
And now all those states trying to ban the private takeover of election offices for 2022 are, in Biden’s watery unfocused eyes, guilty of racism and media echoes the Democratic talking points.
For the Democrats, their approach to the technical side of the 2020 elections demonstrate brilliant effort. Again, I’m not saying the elections was stolen. What was done was deft, and as far as I understand within the rules, well executed, loads of Big Tech cash applied in the blue counties of the key swing states at just the right time. Add that to the Big Tech suppression of stories and dissent. Was all that fair and moral? No.
And by the time Republicans realized they were the marks at the game, it was too late, because by then the game was over.
Remember the rule your father should have told you about playing cards with strangers? If you haven’t figured out who the sucker is, just look in the mirror and wave to yourself. Smile.
The late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington was fond of quoting the fictional Irish bartender, Mr. Dooley, a creation of Tribune writer Finley Peter Dunne.
“Politics ain’t beanbag” Mr. Dooley would say.
Washington usually quoted Mr. Dooley after he’d crush a political enemy. He’d laugh a great big belly laugh. His enemies and allies understood. They were pros. And the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, the real Mayor Daley, who was gone long before Washington was elected, understood it well.
Even in the fictional political Chicago, mobster Johnny Rocco understood, as did The Great McGinty and many others.
Politics ain’t beanbag.
And it’s not for amateurs.
I hope you listen this coming week–most likely on Monday–when “The Chicago Way podcast” drops, so you may can hear the Hemingway interview for yourself. As I said, I’m a big fan.
And “Rigged” by Mollie Hemingway is well worth the read.
Note: On Monday, Jan. 24, Mollie Hemingway was named Editor-in-Chief of The Federalist and will oversee all of its editorial operations. Well deserved.