Could the Arizona Audit be a Means to an End?

What’s in it for Cyber Ninjas? Their credibility among the mainstream, non-Trumper audience is already shot. Releasing results that say “No irregularities found, case closed” is just going to kill whatever support they had from the loonie right-wingers as well, and isn’t going to gain them one iota of credibility elsewhere. All of their future clientele would dry up.

Far, far better to tease out their initial “findings” while asking for extensions to conduct more investigations (“this is only the tip of the iceberg!”) , and milk the Arizona legislature for as long as possible, then release a half-baked report at the end noting all the “irregularities” (real or imagined) with just enough cover to avoid any major legal exposure, while still drumming up support so that they can become the go-to “audit” team across the country for legislatures looking to restrict voting rights.

They’ve already left themselves open for lawsuits from individual voters by showing the voter names and how they voted on public record.

The fraudit is at the point where:

  1. They can’t just make shit up and say they “proved” the election results were fraudulent. If they do that, Dominion’s lawyers will rip out their spleens through their assholes.

  2. They can’t just admit that there’s no there there. If they do that, the Trumpanzees will tear them limb from limb.

That leaves only the third option of noodling along and saying they need more time until the problem somehow goes away by itself (like the Mango Messiah promised COVID would).

What you’re overlooking is how the political districts have been gerrymandered in such a way that they’ve ensured that the only way for someone to be a Republican in good standing with other Republicans is to be a White Christian Nationalist, or to play to those themes. There is dwindling space for moderates in the party.

I think you are mistaken. I think you fundamentally misunderstand how today’s Republican base thinks, what they want, and how they are going about it.

They are not pursuing their audits in search of evidence to support their stated hypotheses about election fraud. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation which is subject to proof or disproof. That, however, is not where the proponents of the fraud stories are coming from. They take the fraud as a given. The story is assumed to be true and the evidence will be found if they look long enough and hard enough. Failure to find any such evidence is not a disproof of the hypothesis, it’s a demonstration that the conspiracy to commit fraud is deeper and more powerful than previously believed.

And that gets them to their true objective, which is to corrupt the electoral process entirely.

There’s a much-quoted truism that has been going around for the last few years, which may be paraphrased thusly: Republicans are discovering that much of their ideology, and the governance platform emerging therefrom, is unpalatable to the majority of voters, and continued advocacy of the ideology and the platform will not lead to success in free democratic elections. Republicans are responding to this not by amending or abandoning the ideology or the platform which is leading to their marginalization. They are responding by abandoning democracy itself.

The purpose of the audits is not to frame an act of political theater which allows a renormalization of traditional Republicanism. The purpose is to fabricate a justification to reform electoral systems entirely, such that it’s impossible for the GOP to lose power at the national level.

I believe the purpose of the fraudit is to destroy confidence in the election process. This will give the Republicans the “heads I win tails you lose” system they dream of. If an election goes their way, no problem. But if it doesn’t, they get to claim foul and the legislatures are getting geared up to overturn any result they don’t like. Eventually this leads to a one party state and the death of democracy, but they don’t give two shits because they’ll be the one party in power.

Well, I have a hypothesis that someone believing in such a cockamamie theory is not really human after all, but one of those reptilian replicants. They’ve gotten better at it so those slit pupil slip-ups are thing of the past. The only way to tell nowadays is dissection. If nothing is found that means either they’ve gotten even better at it that we figured or that particular specimen was just dumber than a box of rocks. Either way, more dissection is needed.

That’s a possibility but I don’t think it’s likely,

The other, more likely possibility is that it never finishes, the bullshit will go on all summer. Maybe the next step in the audit is to announce a plan to go door to door and interrogate every Democratic voter about their ballot, or something equally audacious that will get them shut down by the courts.

Then the narrative will be “The Radical socialist left shut us down to keep us from getting to the truth!” Or else they’ll find some other opening to shut it down and blame the Democrats.

Slight possibility that they’ll just keep the audit going for 4 years.

The one thing that I don’t think will happen is an actual finding of fraud. It would be incredibly difficult to fabricate widespread fraud, probably as challenging as committing it.

This is where I think some people are giving Republican election officials way too much credit for integrity.

I think the GA election officials would’ve loved to “find” 12,000 votes for Trump. But how could they? They can’t just say ……”Hey, we happened to find 12,000 votes” and get the universal response of “OK, I guess Trump wins”. They’d have to say where they found them, reveal which precincts screwed up , answer questions as to how the votes were missed. And there are records that can’t be altered and faked as to the number of people that are registered and voted in each precinct or district - this is how the handful of real mistakes that were made were discovered.

This isn’t about finding fraud, it’s about pretending to find fraud. They’re using the same playbook they used when they spent 8 years hunting for proof that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US.

Well, one factor is that the entire state legislature, house and senate, will be facing reelection in 2022 and this fraudit is – of course – on the taxpayer’s dime. I can’t imagine any Democrat running against them resisting rubbing their noses in that little fact.

On the other board where I spend time, the some folks in the conservative fever swamp corner have started to once again non-ironically talk about “the Kenyan”.

I am constantly baffled as to why these obviously mentally ill people are allowed to have anything to do with ballots, or indeed with a national political party.

True. Arguably, their best outcome is to pay offshore hackers to “compromise” their findings &tc. and assert have no way to re-cover any time before 2023 - maybe longer. And then claim that it would irresponsible to release anything until their repair and recovery efforts were complete. Thereby not getting sued and giving the base a new target (“overseas hackers colluded with the evil Dems to re-steal the election!!!”)

First I want to thank everyone for the many replies.
It seems my fears of a rational GOP returning to mean is grossly optimistic, at least by STMB standards. Now my only hope is that they never win another election, never hold any additional power, and never have the authority to drag me into the streets and execute me like a dog – like the RINO I was before I changed affiliation (which was long after I changed my politics). Rick_K, I am one of those individual voters; if the GOP ever achieves the power they seek I am for the camps on the first train.

I do believe Trump is trending down recently and I don’t mean with the general public, I mean in the Republican Party which has to make a serious turn towards the midterms very soon. The clean and clear break I suggest would serve them better than any other option they have, but perhaps they will try to split the difference with a wink and a nod to both wings of the GOP remnant. Or rather than split the difference, appeal to both and imply both are ‘the core’- those other folks are only along for our benefit. The problem the Pubs have with Trump is however much he rallies the base – he also rallies the opposition to an even greater degree. Of course he is one hell of a fund raiser- he can separate a fool from his money better than any Republican in history.

At first yes! But if just a few Republican stalwarts (not moderates or those already designated as RINO’s) say it is true, and stick to it for more than a weekend, it will become true to the base. These are all or nothing individuals with no personal views at all-- they believe what they are told to believe. One reason they love Trump is he makes everything simple for them. There is no hand wringing, no moral dilemmas with Trump – just strongly stated affirmations. And he has tapped into their underlying fears and hopes. But someone else can get them to focus on other fears and hopes. In this case being tied to a loser who said he could prove fraud but was actually committing fraud.

One thing that is patently true here at least, is how much those who remain Republican NEED an echo chamber. These are people who will shop for a new church over the slightest difference of opinion. One Hundred Percent is the smallest number they know. Hell, forget about finding a new church- they will rip lifelong friendships and family ties to bits splitting a church that disagrees over the temperature of the water for baptisms. Everyone MUST agree or they are driven out! Fortunately they have churches that baptize solely in ten degree increments starting at fifty degrees and ranging up to a hundred degrees; but they only have one GOP. If their immediate circle starts to believe in say - - election integrity, or democracy (as a concept- not as an opposition party), the rest will join in and sing with the choir. They are sheep- they need to be herded, they need to be led. And whatever their leaders tell them is what they believe. I think it has been demonstrated the population of the Republican Party that remains will believe any bullshit they are told to believe. It will only take a very few shepherds to repeat the same story for ten days in a row to reverse the narrative of the entire remnant of the party.

Not that they would, but Hannity and Carlson could change the entire basis for Republican outrage in one week or less if they found a talking point they could both hammer over and over other than the ones they hammer now. If just those two guys flipped the script and said: “Like you I believed they had the evidence! But look how wrong we were! It was Trump! He is the evil man posing as a true blue American, but he is a loser - - he is THE loser!” The crowd would be super pissed the first day and maybe the second day, but by the third day half of them would be on the bandwagon. By the fifth day they would be a solid majority of the party. By the second week they would have hats and signs with their new reality on displayed for all to see. They are not quite fully formed people (assuming rational thought is a human trait) and they are not entirely sheep either; they are sheeple and they go to the pasture to which they are led.

It can’t be Romney, it cannot be any moderate. But if just a few of their fire breathing demigods tell the same story for a whole week-- it doesn’t matter what the story is. It will be gospel truth to these sheeple in no time at all. Look how outraged they were about Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss. In my observation Republicans must stand within the majority of those that are “their people”. Even if the point contradicts the previous point. I am just concerned they will wake up and realize they can throw the anchor that is Trump off the boat and sail to better waters in any direction. But if they wake up- they will be woke and that will never do! Guess you were right, my worries are unfounded.

But don’t you wonder what will happen with them? Will they just pass into history like the Soviet Union’s Communist Party? (Only to resurrected decades later as a Fascist regime under Putin.) Will they seize power like Hitler and destroy a once proud nation with an insane need to dominate? Will they seize power and turn the United States into an oligarchy where the rich sup on the fruits of the working poor and all who work eventually become poor? There surely is no bright future for the current Republican Party is there?

That is why I am not one any more.
The success of 2016 was based upon unifying the alt-right militias with the White Christian Nationalists. There is some overlap there but I suspect it is mostly lip service to the other side of the coin which is their currency. They both pay homage to bygone time that never existed; some revere the Christian morality that was sometime in the past and some revere the accepted racism of previous years, and some may worship both in equal measure. But the thing is they long for a time that never was- that their grandparents told them about and that they recall with tender affection even though they never experienced because it never truly existed. They only think they are united because they are both looking backward instead of forward. They could easily continue to look backward without Trump – but they would need someone or something to keep them united; a cause to rally around and an easily identifiable enemy to rally against.

We already have one party that denies reality, lives in a completely fabricated world and senselessly demonizes ALL members of the opposing party without any nuance or reflection. Must the progressives on this message board be the mirror opposite?

I presume this post was meant to mock the conspiracy theories put forth by Trumpers, but it would be much easier to continue to admire the left if they remain the sane, reasonable party that at least tries to work with the difficult (sometimes downright impossible) opposition.

what reality do you think I’m denying?

I truly do not see a good outcome for CyberNinjas if they produce a result - any result. They need to find a way to not give one.

I don’t think that any GOP pol or rightwing media star has the ability to pull the complete 180 that you are proposing here. It there is a shift from Trumpism it is going to be gradual. You won’t have anyone in the GOP publicly doing an about face, rather at first they will simply stop mentioning him and change the subject whenever his name comes up. Then they will shift to pretending they never supported him in the first place

The sort of things that would need to happen for this to occur would have to be extremely public an undeniable. The two that come to mind are

  1. dementia overtaking Trump in a very public way such that he makes it undeniable that there is something seriously wrong with him. I am talking coming in for a speech not knowing where he is and taking off his trousers on stage.
  2. a series of attacks/assassinations by right wing terrorists against federal government targets such that even the average housewife in Peoria starts feeling unsafe.

You’re wrong about this. Yes, Fox News exerts a tremendous amount of influence. But that influence can only be used to stoke rage and to a limited extent to channel it. Tucker and Hannity have influence only as long as they are telling people what they want to hear. They can’t fix the rot in the GOP base.

If they can’t get their bullshit from Fox News, they’ll go look for it on OAN or random conspiracy theorists on Facebook and Youtube.

The conservative movement had a fifty-year head start on Donald Trump. He’s a piker by comparison.

Ask Liz Cheney how well that works.

Yep. The Republican establishment has never been more helpless.

I assure I am not misunderstanding these people at all. I may give them too much credit upon occasion- but I understand them better than you do. For one thing I was one of them until recently. I live in the very neighborhood where I grew up at the same address that was my childhood home and I am surrounded by ruby red Republicans many of whom are related to me in one way or another and most I have known for decades. I am up to my armpits in very engaged Republicans in a quite red tinged purplish suburb on the east side of Maricopa County.

In addition, for the last several months I have been faithfully attending two different churches every weekend (even as an atheist) to give them a chance to win me over to their way of thought. One of those churches, the more conservative one as a matter of fact, has turned their back on Trump, the other supports him unabashedly (although certain leaders have contradicted their statements from the pulpit to explain to me how loathsome they consider Trump and how they have finally leaned their lesson and would never vote for him again). The amazing thing to me is that the whole church MUST be in lockstep. I know a year or two ago the now anti-Trump church was fully supportive of him (with the largest criticism being that he tweets too much). Somehow, it changed - - but absolutely everyone is on board hating Trump now. Have no idea how it happened, but it did. One family left and everyone else reversed course. Even the church that fully supports Trump in public- the senior pastor made a point of agreeing with me in private.

I am not claiming it would be a slam dunk, but I believe if given the cover they desire plenty of White Nationalist Christians would dump Trump if they could. (There are hundreds of true believers they could support instead.) And I agree they are doing everything they can to change and in some cases undermine the electoral process. But that is just because they do not have a fight fair view of things – they have an Old Testament view of killing all those who disagree with them.

What I am saying is that they are afraid of their overbearing party leader- but they are not about to abandon him until his teeth and claws are removed. Some Republicans are smart enough to realize Cyber Ninjas can pull those teeth and trim those claws. What serious person is afraid of MTG or Matt Gaetz? They are very loud empty suits- not serious politicians and most of the Republicans I know want nothing to do with them and their ilk.

To summarize- if the Republicans can win on technicalities like gerrymandering and voter suppression they are fine with that. But they do have issues they care about and they want to advance their regressive agenda. The worst thing about the ones around here is, again, their Old Testament mentality which informs them any compromise with those who disagree with the one true god (not Trump but his close personal friend Jesus) must be avoided in the strongest terms.

Without any doubt the original plan. Since it is a losing plan, I fear they may cleverly leverage it into something that saves them from becoming fully fascists.

Overseas hackers hit me as about as credible as Jewish Space Lasers.

After all the shit they have received from national news sources and all the extra expenses they have accrued, along with reelection looming in the near future, I am pretty sure Ken Bennett and the Arizona State Legislature would love a result that found nothing at all. That might limit the outlook for Cyber Ninjas to sell this dog and pony show to other jurisdictions, but Arizona lawmakers will be as pleased as punch (to coin a phrase).

Well I can show you video footage of Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy absolutely turning on Trump. The trouble was that once Trump reminded them that he has photos of each of them naked with a tethered goat they all swung back into line. (Not sure what opposition research trump has on those three- but I assume it is bullet proof.) The problem was they didn’t say it for long enough time-- it will take more than a long weekend to change people’s mind (but not longer than three weeks if that long).

Mostly I agree with you, but those two have enormous influence and if they BOTH do it, and they stick to it for a length of time (let’s say two full weeks), they will get the tide to shift and these people are joiners like you cannot imagine! Except for a few morons, rank and file Republicans hate Trump too. But he is their standard bearer; if someone else can carry the colors for them they will switch pretty quickly. It only takes a few bold ones to get the whole flock of sheep bleating.

Not all of it, no. But these are people whose deepest thoughts fit on a bumper sticker. As soon as someone they know in person says it is true- it will become true for entire communities. You canNOT take away their rage, but you can refocus it with a little effort and cooperation from influential voices.

Did you read the part of the sentence inside the parenthesis? It cannot be one lone individual and since when was Liz Cheney a trusted voice for Trump supporters???

It also hasn’t been this small since there were fewer states! At every turn they are losing ground, and to our benefit- every time they have an opportunity to make a smart policy play they instead drive the whole party toward “the base” which gets smaller and smaller. The base keeps moving right which allows them - - no MANDATES they will lose on the left which aren’t even centrists anymore.

The party is stark raving mad I will grant you. But they are also angry. They can blame the anger on the left only so far, sometime they will have to admit they are mad at themselves, mad at Trump, mad at fate and progress and everyone who just can’t see the truth as they see it. Eventually they will turn that wrath upon Trump; the sooner they do it the more likely their party will survive.

Sexual harassment charges filed against Cyber Ninjas.