Cry Havoc

And, on the statistical side of things, see Philip Bump, Trump’s effort to steal the election comes down to some utterly ridiculous statistical claims. Spoiler alert on the statistical analysis: garbage in, garbage out. Also, figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

Before I go on, here are some fun facts. It is not technically true that 17 Republican attorneys general have “joined the case” brought by the Texas AG, as some headlines have declared. They have instead filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the case. The following map shows which 18 of the 26 Republican state attorneys general are urging the Supreme Court to overturn our constitutional democracy.

Here is my prognostication about how this will play out.

  1. The four defendant states, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, are ordered to file their response to the lawsuit by mid-afternoon today. I am sure they will do so.
  2. The Supreme Court will dismiss the case, and it will do so sometime between this evening and next Monday, December 14, the day when the electors will cast their ballots.
  3. Where a lawsuit is “messy”—apologies for using a technical legal term here—courts often show a tendency not to “reach the merits” by deciding on the truth or falsity of the proposition that the plaintiff advances, but instead to dismiss the case based on what we shysters call a “threshold issue” like jurisdiction or standing.

Here, I predict, the Court will indulge that tendency, and will probably say something to the effect that Texas has no constitutional right to tell other states how to conduct their elections.

Accordingly, I predict, there will be no Supreme Court decision saying Trump lost the election, and no Supreme Court decision saying Trump won the election.

  1. Even though the Supreme Court will probably not say, in so many words, that Trump lost the election, its ruling will drive the last nail into the coffin, as far as his chances of overturning the election through the courts. I do not know how his lizard brain will react. He may, at that point, be content to conduct a charade in Congress, as it meets on January 6 to count the electoral votes.
  2. But equally likely, in my view, he will cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. Certainly, many of his supporters are locked and loaded. A fair number of his supporters with purported claims to intellectual standing are prepared to justify violence. And lots of other fellow travelers will be content to hold the coats of their menfolk while they unleash fresh hell on the Republic. 

There will probably be martyrs.

Once again, the tree of liberty will be watered with the blood of patriots.