What does the current occupant of the White House have in common with John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush? They all were elected president after having lost the popular vote. In the 2000 election, Al Gore received over a half-million more votes than Bush. In 2016, nearly three-million more votes were cast for Hillary Clinton than the winner. As we all know, the only votes that count are those cast by the Electoral College.
Fun fact: According to the Brookings Institute, the fewer-than-five-hundred counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate sixty-four percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-twenty-six-hundred counties that Trump won combined to generate thirty-six percent of the country’s economic activity last year.
Gore lost the Electoral College vote when the Supreme Court stopped vote counting in Florida, giving the state’s decisive electoral votes to George W. Bush.
The ongoing societal upheaval has become so desperate the state of Oregon has lifted the ban against motorists pumping their own gas. (Oregon is one of only two states prohibiting self serve. New Jersey is the other.) The easing of the restriction is temporary, until — for now — April 11, the day before Easter. “During this unprecedented time of state emergency, we need to ensure that critical supply lines for fuels and other basic services remain uninterrupted,” said the State Fire Marshal in a press release. Naturally, this has set off a new panic. “We were the only ones touching the pumps. Now if you let everybody touch the pumps, that’s a higher breeding ground to spread the virus,” said an attendant at a Chevron station near Portland.
An anti-gay activist and three Houston-area pastors have filed a petition to the Texas Supreme Court arguing that Harris County’s stay-at-home order violates the Constitution by ordering the closure of churches and failing to define gun shops as “essential” businesses. Because that’s what Jesus says.
And in politics…
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed Democrats for the spread of the coronavirus. “And it came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.”
In a rare moment of candor, the current occupant of the White House explained his opposition to vote-by-mail and other proposals for the 2020 election in response to the pandemic. He fears “…levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”