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To audit or not to audit OR what did you do for GOTV?

I saw a lot of tweets last night from people who were desperate for Hillary’s campaign to do something before it was too late and get voters to ask for a recount in WI, MI, PA. I don’t know how many people urged me to demand a recount in PA. And I would be glad to except that I live in Allegheny County and Hillary won Allegheny County rather decisively. It wasn’t a California blowout but there is no question that the tech savvy, educated, diverse population that Pittsburgh is now attracting gave her a substantial win. 

That doesn’t mean I’m happy that she lost PA or that we couldn’t have eked out more votes in the Pittsburgh area. But PA mirrors the country as a whole. We have two “coastal” areas, some large college towns and then a sea of red in between where time runs backwards, science is ridiculed and people are glued to Fox News. That’s going to get you a whole lotta Trump voters. They didn’t like Hillary. It doesn’t matter that many of us did. They didn’t and there wasn’t anything you could say or any evidence you could point to in order to change their minds. 

It didn’t matter that she was the target of a 22 year smear campaign specifically designed to make her look shifty and Unlikeable. 

It didn’t matter that the media wrote more negative stories about her, more than any other candidate. 

It doesn’t matter if Comey doomed her campaign 11 days out from the election. 

You could dissect all of the reasons why Hillary was treated badly, unfairly and her reputation smeared. People who react emotionally to news are very difficult to reason with. They can’t overcome the visceral reaction they’ve been conditioned to have. 

That’s not to say we in PA couldn’t have pushed her over the edge with GOTV activities. My house was used as a staging location for the last 4 weeks of the campaign. We called in as many volunteers as we could. But it’s a large territory where I live. We knocked on as many doors as we could. I walked many streets, some of them on curvy roads without a sidewalk at dusk looking for addresses, one house behind the planned parenthood canvasser. I don’t see well after dark but I was knocking on doors in the dark until I couldn’t see the house numbers anymore and it made me feel guilty that I couldn’t do anymore. 

The last weekend, we had volunteers from all over Pittsburgh canvassing from my house. We had volunteers from NY and CA. It got so busy that we had trouble keeping the turfs organized and my downstairs toilet overflowed and while I was assigning canvassers and answering calls from my organizers and training volunteers, I was mopping up the bathroom floor. 

In one way or another, I had phone banked, registered voters and canvassed since July. Almost every weekend I was out there doing something. 

So, all I have to ask of the people who are frantic for a recount is, what did YOU do for this most consequential election of our lifetimes?  

I was afraid that the Democrats had used fear once too often in 2006, 2008, 2012 to motivate constituents. 

Maybe they cried wolf once too often. Maybe Democratic voters thought she was just so obviously better that voters would see the light at the end of the campaign. Maybe they thought they could be passive or cynical and go along with their friends condemning Hillary for being too much something or not enough something else. 

That was the complacency that we were trying to overcome in our GOTV efforts and we could have used your help. 

So she lost PA, MI and WI. It’s not like we didn’t try to tell you PA was going to be close. You all knew. And if the Clinton campaign is not pulling out all of the stops now to get recounts it’s because they know that there’s probably no point. Where they lost, they lost decisively. It’s where they won but not in a blowout like here in Allegheny County, where an extra 200 canvassers might have made the difference. 

We all need to save ourselves now. 


13 Responses

  1. You did more than your share to elect Hillary!
    I just voted, but my activist days may be behind me.
    Again, thanks for all that you did.

    • I’m not looking for thanks. I’m looking for a commitment to in 2018. We can never let this happen again. It’s inexcusable.
      I had canvassers who had canes and had babies strapped to themselves. I trained first time canvassers who were scared silly of running into trump supporters. I had phone bankers who had a hard time getting around. There is no excuse for not doing anything. None.
      If you have a phone, use it.
      If you can sit at a table outside on a summer day, you can register voters.
      If you can walk from a car to a door, you can canvass.
      I will no longer accept someone passing their responsibility onto the volunteers. Thanks is nice but it doesn’t mean squat when we have a dangerously unstable spoiled brat in the White House with access to all our personal information and his finger on the nuclear football.
      Now it’s important. Now we have to recount. But if everyone had done their share, there would be no need for the panic and desperation.

      • Actually, your posts got me off my Asheville ass and out into one of the counties hardest hit by the Republican vote blocking tsunami here in NC: Guilford (home and alma mater to Carolyn Maloney) where the Rethug board of elections closed most early voting places with, to quote the 4th circuit decision overruling most trickery but not that, surgical precision.

        It’s still hard to believe such faith and effort resulted in almost nothing at all. Your counterparts there, a professional couple in an amazing house in an upscale part of town, were hosts to waves of volunteers that washed in and out of their basement suite. The small town I had asked to be placed in to the south of there had so many volunteers, so much energy, so much faith. I do have to say that of the paid staff, the one young woman, who had just discovered she was pregnant and was dealing with morning sickness, worked enough hours and with enough energy for two full time people, while the young man from Chicago slacked off, talked on his phone and posed a lot for the volunteers. That pattern was continued in the more local work I did in a neighbouring mountain county. The women worked their asses off, the men (with one Asheville exception) not so much.

        Long story short, I and they did our parts, and we’re still reeling from the phantom memory of our amputated futures. Calling for an audit feels somewhat like sending an electrical impulse down that dendrite.

        • Just realized I’d posted here under a former nym. WordPress fscked that one up, thanks to my creating a one-off rant, so I went back to the earlier one. It’s a pun no one gets.

      • If we could go back would I have done more? Yes. However I disagree that this happened because everyone didn’t do their share. I think she had a ton of support and I believe her coalition was possibly broader this election cycle than any others. She had huge pop stars doing concerts for her around the country, she had the most loyal and passionate ground team I have seen (sorry Bernie) the support was there, if the system continues to fail us and if 2.5 million votes and counting isn’t definitive enough, then what is?

        • Seagrl,

          But you and I are not the ones whining.

          I think RD’s post addressed the hand-wringers who had not heeded the wake-up call when they could still have made a difference.

  2. Maybe they cried wolf once too often.

    They are still crying wolf.

  3. I agree that a full recount would not be at all likely to change the result. I do think that if there were not “Operation Crosscheck,” which may well have illegitimately disenfranchised a million for so people in PA, WI and MI, Hillary would have won all those states. That is the real criminal activity, but there is apparently no mechanism by which this can be rectified; which is why the Republicans did it.

    Your comments about PA in general are of course concerning. I have read anecdotal evidence about how the population and attitudes have changed for the worse in your state, and in WI and IA, among others. I should have known better about the trends when horrible people like the WI and MI governors were elected and keptt on. From my spot in CA, I don’t know what is going on. I guess a combination of things. One has to hope that this is not a developing demographic problem, because if Republicans continue to win these states, Democrats might as well give up or move to a faraway country. That someone as consistently liberal and classy as Hillary could be the first Democrat to lose PA since…1984?, is very upsetting. She won that state against Obama and Sanders, both times easily. How could a state like PA actually vote for someone like Trump? For a lark? A bunch of stupid Sanders supporters wanted to prove how discriminating they were (like choosing an obscure wine) and voted for the third parties? The angry and bitter people Obama once condemned, now turning against a long-time and loyal Democrat? Racism? Misogyny? Anti-intellectualism and ignorance? And how does this get fixed any time soon? People don’t suddenly become more educated and discerning, it usually gets worse. It’s possible that America has simply become dumber, and less intellectually curious, so the heartland voted for a completely ignorant and very dangerous crook, over a brilliant, hard-working, and completely decent and capable candidate.

    • William, this may not be the best place to post this, but I don’t know where else to.

      If you want to see where this country took this turn, you have to look at what was done to women, the majority of its citizens, over the past 20 years. There were two things I vehemently opposed President Clinton on: bombing Iraq for political gain after Bush I had done that to such lucrative effect, and “welfare reform”.

      Women had so few paths out of dependence on a wage-receiving male, but that average time of two years they spent being degraded for receiving welfare was a life saver. When NPR was broadcasting the benefits of orphanages, I knew that letting women raise their own children, without a man being the primary beneficiary, was not going anywhere nationally and began working on a local level for woman-headed households.

      Wisconsin was one of the first states to enact draconian laws forcing women with dependent children to accept any job at all under any conditions, in order to simply live. It was a wake-up call for me, in my Pacific Northwest enclave, of what would be done to women and children under a liberal banner in the rest of the U.S. It was also an indictment of Wisconsin, a state that up to that time had a “liberal” reputation.

      For the record, I don’t have children. My immediate clan has over 50 first cousins and we’ve done our part vis-a-vis overpopulation and global warming. I’m just a woman who has lived her life with her eyes open and know that what is done to women in the aggregate will inescapably affect the rest of us.

      I have also supported Hillary Clinton every step of the way. She was not responsible for “welfare reform” and in supporting full equality for women, charted the one path out of dependency on a male income for women and children in this country. She mitigated that dependence on male wages, more than any other politician has every done, in working for and achieving health care for children in this country. She worked for women’s full equality under the law until middle and upper-middle class men and their wives sold her out in 2008.

      When you look at Wisconsin and Michigan, look at what men allowed to be done to women over the course of twenty years.

      • “It was also an indictment of Wisconsin, a state that up to that time had a “liberal” reputation.”

        When Yankees start talking as if bigotry is a purely Southern vice, I like to remind them that r@ce-baiter George Wallace won the 1972 Democratic primary in that kudzu-strangled cradle of the Confederacy, the state of Wisconsin.

        As the late Hunter S. Thompson said, that proved that there are just as many mean, stupid bigots in the North as in the South. Pumpkinhead’s victories (honest or not) in Rust Belt states prove it again.

      • Pat is correct. Pumpkinhead won (or got close enough to cheat) only because so many women, mostly white women, sold out their sisters.

        Human psychology usually works to put ethnic solidarity above gender solidarity–or class solidarity, so Marx didn’t know Shinola, either.

  4. also worth noting, with Hillary’s early vote lead in FL, he would’ve had to win 68% of the remaining vote. Call me crazy but that doesn’t just happen

  5. The non-elite white male conservative is a man who shoots himself in both feet–then blames women, minorities, and “librulz” because his feet hurt. 😛

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