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Losing Candidates Don’t Have to ‘Accept the Results’

By Dan Calabrese — This whole business about Donald Trump “refusing to accept the results” of the election has got to be the biggest nothingburger of a story the media have ever concocted, for multiple reasons.

Candidates Al Gore and George Bush

First, their horror over Trump casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election is hilariously disingenuous. These are the very people who make it their business every day to cast doubt on all kinds of things that go on in Washington (particulary if Republicans are doing them). To listen to the media you’d think there’s not a single honest person operating anywhere, so cynical are these slugs. But let Donald Trump suggest that anything about an election isn’t on the up and up, and the very same people who are ignoring the James O’Keefe videos proving voter fraud are aghast that anyone would dare suggest such a thing about our tender and sacred democracy.

Second, a losing candidate “accepting the results” is not even a thing. There’s nothing for him to “accept.” Whether he accepts it or not, the result is the same. He loses. The other candidate becomes president. That’s it. There’s nothing else. If the loser wants to offer congratulations and wish the winnner well, that’s very magnanimous. But it doesn’t change a damn thing if he doesn’t.

But third and most importantly, the suggestion that it somehow jeopardizes our democracy for someone to suggest a result is illegitimate is pretty rich coming from the Democrats. Earlier today, Rob posted something on Facebook that he gave me permission to use here:

Your Democrat timeline of respecting election results:

  • 2000: Bush stole the election, sue, sue, sue!
  • 2000: We lost our lawsuits because Bush cheats!
  • 2001: We demand a full recount!!
  • 2001: Recount widens Bush’s lead.
  • 2002-2004: Bush stole the election!
  • 2004-2015: Bush is evil and stole two elections!
  • 2016: Elections are the tamper-proof backbone of our Democracy!

They spent the entire Bush presidency claiming that he was illegitimate

And that’s about it. It’s not just that they sued to try to overturn the result, although they certainly did that. It’s that they spent the entire Bush presidency claiming that he was illegitimate precisely because of what happened in Florida, even after every conceivable recount showed Bush was the winner.

Oh, and can we dispense with the argument that once Gore conceded he did so graciously? What choice did he have at that point? He dragged the election dispute out six weeks, and he only conceded after the Supreme Court stopped the recount just days before the Electoral College was to meet and cast their ballots. He “conceded” not because he was willing to “accept the result” per se, but because he no longer had any legal avenues available to him. If he could have, Gore would have kept fighting right up to Inauguration Day. And if he thought there was a way after that to force Bush out of office so he could take over, he would have done that too.

So all the talk about how terrible it is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of elections is utter rubbish coming from these people.

Besides, Trump didn’t even say he wouldn’t accept the result. He just said he’d keep us in suspense, which was probably his way of treating the inquiry like the stupid question it is, and treating this entire issue like the stupid issue it is.

Wednesday’s debate covered everything from ObamaCare to national security to ISIS to energy policy and much more. But all anyone is talking about today is this nonsense that “Trump won’t accept the results!”

Aside from the fact that he didn’t even say that, who cares? The results will be whatever they are whether Trump likes it or not. My guess is that even if he doesn’t think the result was fair, he won’t spend six weeks in the courts trying to overturn it. Only Democrats like Al Gore do that.

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