Hillary Clinton said Monday in an appearance on “The View” that we’re “in the midst of a concerted, well-funded effort to undermine American democracy.”
She’s half-right. There is indeed a concerted, well-funded effort to undermine American democracy, but it doesn’t come from Donald Trump, whom Clinton claims is responsible for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and ongoing efforts to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. (Clinton would know all about questioning the legitimacy of elections; as recently as 2019 she was still repeating the outrageous accusation that Trump was an “illegitimate president” who seized the office by colluding with Russia.)
The former secretary of state and 2016 Democrat presidential nominee is wrong that Trump and GOP leaders are undermining election integrity — they have nothing on her when it comes to that — but she’s right about efforts to seize elections and thwart the will of the voters. Those efforts aren’t coming from Trump but from her own Democratic Party, which colluded with corporate media and Big Tech to tip the scales in favor of Joe Biden and actually undermine the 2020 election.
.@HillaryClinton criticizes GOP leaders who she says “have willingly gone along as though they’re members of the cult” and “sown so much doubt” in election integrity.
“We’re still in the midst of a concerted, well-funded effort to undermine American democracy.” pic.twitter.com/LvP3KqRjxQ
— The View (@TheView) October 11, 2021
That’s the subject of an important new book out this week by my colleague, Mollie Hemingway. “Rigged: How The Media, Big Tech, And The Democrats Seized Our Election,” which grew in part from reporting we did at The Federalist in the months before and after the November 2020 election, which chronicled unprecedented changes to election laws in key swing states, as well as appalling abuses of power by local election officials in the days and weeks after Election Day.
“Rigged” doesn’t argue or allege that the election was stolen, but that it was corrupted by corporate media, Big Tech censorship, the courts, and Democratic activists. Taken together, it all amounted to heavy-handed election interference of a kind we have never seen before.
What happened, exactly? Hemingway doesn’t point to any one thing, because what happened was the combined efforts of the most powerful institutions in America.
Those efforts are too numerous to recount here (hence the book), but they include Big Tech controlling what kind of political reporting voters could see online, Facebook infiltrating the supposedly non-partisan offices that administer our elections, and Democratic Party operatives launching a fusillade of lawsuits to make outrageous changes to election laws in key swing states. Just to mention a few.
From Big Tech, there was unprecedented censorship by Twitter and Facebook of The New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, which chronicled not just Hunter’s drug problems but his influence-peddling operations trading on his father’s name to mint lucrative overseas business deals in places like China and Ukraine. The corporate press followed Big Tech’s lead, disparaging and dismissing the Post story as “Russian disinformation.” (Only last month did Politico admit what everyone knew was true at the time, that the emails at the center of the scandal were genuine.)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg poured an unprecedented $419 million into local government election offices through a pair of non-profit organizations called The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and The Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) in the form of grants that came with strings attached. As William Doyle recently explained in The Federalist, these funds
had nothing to do with traditional campaign finance, lobbying, or other expenses that are related to increasingly expensive modern elections. It had to do with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by left-wing activists, and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive outreach campaigns in areas heavy with Democratic voters.
From Democrats, there came a coordinated campaign of lawsuits to change election laws in ways that would benefit Democrats, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse. Writes Hemingway, “Democrats were able to convince legislatures, courts, and election officials to open elections up to ballot trafficking, voting without showing identification, voting without following state law or guidelines, and counting ballots without oversight from independent observers.” All of this, we were told, was necessary because COVID-19 made it unsafe to vote in person.
Some of these changes were seemingly technical or obscure, and went largely unnoticed (because they were ignored by leftist media) in the months leading up to the election. Often, GOP-controlled state governments simply capitulated to Democrat demands.
For example, Georgia settled a lawsuit in March 2020 brought by Democratic Party-affiliated groups that changed the rules for mail-in ballots. Instead of the signature on the ballot having to match the signature on the voter rolls, it only had to match the signature on the mail-in ballot application. You can see how that might invite mail-in ballot fraud, but Georgia went along with it.
Many other states made similar changes under pressure from Democrats. A dozen states temporarily expanded mail-in voting. Others took the incredible step of mailing ballots to everyone on the voter rolls. Still others extended their mail-in ballot deadline, set up ballot drop boxes, or allowed ballot harvesting on a mass scale.
During the election itself and in the days following, Republican election observers in swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania claimed they were harassed, lied to, and in some cases thrown out of ballot-counting rooms where they had a legal right to observe the proceedings. One election observer in Detroit told me that every time a GOP poll challenger questioned a ballot, he or she would be harassed by city workers, ballot-counters, and Democratic poll challengers for not social distancing. “It was very clear that they were targeting us and finding any reason to get us removed,” she said.
Taken together, Americans had — and have — good reasons not to trust the outcome of the 2020 election. As Hemingway said on The Federalist Radio Hour this week, 2020 was “the weirdest national election we’ve gone through in memory — it was, you know, massive changes to election laws, massive changes to the procedures by which we handled voting, massive propaganda, massive tech suppression.” And if you dared to notice these changes or complain about them, you were labeled a conspiracy theorist.
Democrats, Big Tech, and the corporate press would like very much for Americans to forget all of this ever happened. Certainly, they don’t want anyone digging into the details and revealing how, exactly, they interfered with the election, mainly because they plan to do it again in 2024.
That might be harder for them to pull off now, thanks in part to Hemingway’s timely and deeply disturbing book.