Copyright © 2018 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved
“You are under the impression that hatred is more exhausting than love. Why should it be? And if it were, what difference would that make? Suppose that we choose to wear ourselves out faster. Suppose that we quicken the tempo of human life till men are senile at thirty. Still, what difference would it make? Can you not understand that the death of the individual is not death? The Party is immortal.”
— O’Brien to Winston Smith in 1984, by George Orwell
Even before the explosive — in both senses — news that broke on October 24 that a person or persons unknown had sent bombs to a number of President Donald Trump’s most prominent critics, the November 6, 2018 midterm elections had been dominated by fear. Among Democrats, the fear is that if Republicans keep control over both the House of Representatives and the Senate, President Trump will be free from the last potential shackles of accountability and able to make himself a virtual dictator, ruling either by decree or with the consent of a supine, powerless Congress the way his idol, Vladimir Putin of Russia, does.
Among Republicans, the carefully stoked fears are of anyone who’s “different” — who isn’t white, isn’t either male or a properly submissive female, isn’t heterosexual or cisgender (a word most Republicans probably wouldn’t recognize even if they tripped over it), and who isn’t U.S.-born. Trump has made himself the latest and most shameless spokesperson of a Republican campaign of fear that has been going on for at least 50 years, aimed at manipulating voters into supporting an agenda that is bad for them economically and socially by carefully throwing them scapegoat after scapegoat — immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, “uppity” women, Queers, Muslims, whoever — and organizing them to vote accordingly.
We’ve all heard the plaints of the dwindling number of commentators who attempt to be “impartial” that American politics are increasingly polarized and this is a bad thing. When the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York) said, “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts,” he was wrong. In today’s hyper-polarized political and media climate, where the rise of the Internet and social media have enabled just about any American to customize their sources of information so tightly they literally never see, hear or read anything that doesn’t already agree with their preconceptions, people feel they are entitled to their own facts.
The facts — the real, objective “facts” — about the bomb incidents are that between Monday, October 22, and Wednesday, October 24, suspicious packages containing crude but still potentially deadly pipe bombs were received at the homes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, Obama’s vice-president Joe Biden, and financier and Democratic donor George Soros. Similar packages were received at the offices of Congressmembers Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and the New York newsroom of Cable News Network (CNN).
Wasserman Schultz’ name (the latter misspelled “Shultz”) and office were the return addresses on all the packages, and one came to her office because it was addressed to former attorney general Eric Holder but was returned to sender. CNN got their package as an apparent mistake because it was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan — who works at NBC News, not CNN — and in a grim bit of irony it arrived when they were in the middle of delivering a news report about the other bombs. None of the bomb packages actually exploded, and no one was physically injured by them. All the intended recipients had security details in place — the Obamas, Clintons and Bidens still enjoy Secret Service protection as former Presidents or Vice-Presidents — that intercepted the bombs and turned them over to police intact.
The bombs themselves were made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe, explosive powder from fireworks, and either nails or ground glass to serve as shrapnel and make them more deadly. The bomb sent to CNN also contained white powder, but it turned out to be harmless. They also contained delayed-action timers made from digital alarm clocks, unusual in mail bombs because mail bombs are usually set to go off immediately once someone opens the package that contains them. Delayed-action timers are more common in bombs personally planted by the bomber, who naturally wants a chance to set off the bomb remotely so s/he isn’t injured when the bomb goes off — and at least two of the bombs in the current cycle (the ones to Soros and CNN) were personally planted because, though like the rest of the packages they had six U.S. Postal Service “Forever” stamps attached, the stamps were not cancelled the way they were in the packages that were mailed.
Catastrophe Through a Partisan Lens
Those are the basic facts about the bombing attacks as we knew them on Thursday morning, October 25. Two other major things have happened since: on Friday, October 26 the FBI announced that they had arrested a suspect in the case: Cesar Sayoc, a part-Italian, part-Filipino resident of Boca Raton, Florida who drove a white van, which he was apparently living out of, that was decorated with photos of President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence as well as pictures of Hillary Clinton with target-style crosshairs over her head. The van was also decorated with a graphic showing the CNN logo with the word “Sucks” under it.
The following day, Sayoc’s 15 minutes of fame suddenly ended when someone else allegedly perpetrated an even more ghastly crime. The suspect’s name was Robert Bowers, and he’s in police custody in a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under arrest for shooting up a synagogue and killing 11 people. Unlike Sayoc, who had Facebook and Twitter pages on which he regularly posted messages supporting Trump but whose social media presence went no farther than that, Bowers regularly participated on a Web site called Gab, to which he posted typical anti-Semitic hate propaganda. Also unlike Sayoc, Bowers declared himself farther Right than President Trump, whom he called a “globalist” and apparently mistrusted because Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is Jewish.
Everything else about the bombings — the ones we knew about on Thursday as well as bombs sent to other targets, including U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-California) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and former director of national intelligence James Clapper — is speculation, perhaps inevitable speculation, but still speculation. The inevitable speculation is fueled by the fact that, as John Cassidy pointed out on The New Yorker’s Web site October 24, “[A]ll of the targets were people whom Donald Trump has lambasted in his campaign rallies and outpourings on Twitter. They are also people who have been subjected to hateful abuse online by Trump supporters and alt-right groups. (In the case of Soros, as my colleague Eric Lach pointed out earlier, the attacks aren’t limited to the United States, and they go back years.)”
Partisan Democrats and progressives in general — including me — leaped to the assumption that the bomber or bombers were out to help Trump and the Republicans win the midterms by silencing prominent voices on our side of the political debate. Republicans and Right-wingers in general equally quickly leaped to the conclusion that the bomb attacks were a “false flag” operation conducted by Democrats. As veteran Right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh put it on October 24:
“Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing, even though every event like mass shootings, remember, every mass shooting there is, Democrats and the media try to make everybody think right off the bat that some Tea Partier did it, or some talk radio fan did it, or some Fox News viewer did it — turns out it’s never, ever the case. Not one of these bombs went off and if a Democrat operative’s purpose here is to make it look like, ‘Hey, you know there are mobs everywhere… not just Democrat mobs.’”
So the bomb attempts — or whatever they were — against prominent Democrats and their supporters probably won’t have much effect on the midterm elections at all. Both Left and Right think that their side is preserving American democracy and the other side is destroying it. That will continue. Voters will filter the actual facts of the attacks through their finely honed partisan perceptions and believe what they want to believe. Either you’ll conclude that Trump’s nasty rhetoric and heated denunciations of all the people targeted by the mystery bombers have poisoned the political discourse so much that a few Right-wing crazies decided to kill the people Trump has told them to hate, or you’ll believe that the Democrats are so unscrupulous they’ll send fake bombs to themselves just to get more Americans to hate the Republicans.
President Trump’s own reaction is indicative of the man we’ve come to know from his over 30 years in public life and over three years in politics. He went ahead with a previously scheduled campaign rally in Wisconsin to support Leah Bukmir, the Republican opponent to incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin (the first openly Queer person ever elected to the House or the Senate) and, using a rhetorical device he’s fond of called paralipsis — saying something by saying you’re not going to say it — he said sotto voce that Baldwin is a socialist who’s out to destroy Medicare. Then he said that if he weren’t trying to be nice and a voice of unity after the bomb attacks, Trump said he’d yell that Baldwin was a socialist who’s out to destroy Medicare —which he proceeded to do.
Trump did say a few of the right things after the bomb attacks. He pledged that the federal government will do its utmost to bring the people who sent the bombs to justice. He told his Wisconsin audience, “We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony. Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself.” The man who’s famously given his political opponents nasty, vicious nicknames like “Crooked Hillary,” “Pocohontas” (referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and her claim to have partial Native American ancestry), and “Lyin’ Ted” — one he just had to walk back now that he’s endorsing Ted Cruz’s re-election bid for the U.S. Senate from Texas — said people in politics must “stop treating political opponents as being morally defective.”
But then, as it does so often with Donald Trump, the real Donald Trump started coming out. Later in the Wisconsin speech he started blaming the mainstream media in general and CNN — one of the bomb targets — in particular. “The media also has [sic] a responsibly to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.” He raised the ante against the media the next morning on his favorite medium, Twitter, writing, “"A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
In other words, if the media would just stop reporting anything bad about Trump and his administration — if they’d stop prattling on about that “witch hunt” investigation into his alleged ties to Russia, if they’d stop publishing lists of alleged Trump “lies,” if they’d no longer broadcast video clips of Trump saying something months ago that now he says he never said — we’d have “unity” and we wouldn’t have political violence or the threat of it. It’s yet more evidence, in case we needed it, that Donald Trump does not and never has wanted to be a United States President, powerful but still constrained by constitutional limits and the rights of its people. He wants to be a dictator, and just as he wants a Congress which will rubber-stamp everything he wants to do, he wants a media system that will ignore or cover up his failings and give the people of America and the world an endless stream of propaganda hailing the Great Leader and proclaiming the perfect, eternal wisdom, foresight and sagacity of Donald Trump.
Tyranny of the Minority
And if the Republican Party retains control of both houses of Congress in the November 6 midterms — which is looking more and more like the most likely outcome — Trump will probably get his wish. With continued Republican control of the U.S. Senate, which is virtually certain now that in almost every state with a closely contested Senate race the momentum is on the Republican side, Trump and Mitch McConnell will continue to be able to “pack” not only the Supreme Court but the entire federal judiciary with Federalist Society clones who will enact the priorities of the Republican Party — pro-corporate, anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-people of color, anti-women, anti-Queer and pro-“religious freedom,” which in their view means the unfettered power of Right-wing Christianity to determine the values and mores the rest of us must live by — into not only case law but Constitutional law.
And if the Republicans keep the House of Representatives as well, there goes the last possible check on the Trump administration’s ability to do whatever it wants, no matter how sleazy, corrupt or technically illegal. A President Trump with a Republican Congress in 2019 will be able to act with impunity. He will have cowed the Justice Department into silence. He will be able to fire attorney general Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and replace them with faithful lapdogs who will in turn fire special counsel Robert Mueller and order an end to any and all prosecutions based on allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in 2016 or since. He will be able to launch spurious “investigations” of Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats while his faithful minions in Congress sweep the rug under the crimes of Trump and his administration.
In the 2018 midterms the Republicans are very close to turning the carefully structured republic created by the U.S. Constitution into a tyranny of the minority: a blueprint for perpetual Republican Party rule. A number of factors have helped them get close to this goal, and one of them is the structure of the Constitution itself. As James Madison made clear in Federalist #10, the United States was intended from the first to be a republic, not a democracy, because:
[A] pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
By contrast, Madison wrote, a republic based on representative government would “refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.” What that meant in practice was a system in which the highest office elected directly by the people would be their member of the House of Representatives. The President would be chosen by an Electoral College and the Senate, at least in the original constitutional design, would be chosen by state legislatures. (That wasn’t changed until 1913.) What’s more, each state, no matter its size, would have two U.S. Senators — a compromise that has become significantly more undemocratic now than it was then. When the Constitution was ratified in 1789, the largest state, Virginia, had nine times as many people as the smallest, Rhode Island. Today the largest state, California, has 250 times as many people as the smallest, Wyoming.
The authors of the Constitution did something else that has become especially relevant this year: they gave state governments virtually absolute power not only to draw U.S. Congressional districts but to determine who may vote and under what circumstances. Technically barred by the 15th Amendment from actually passing laws that said Blacks couldn’t vote, most of the Southern states in the late 19th century adopted various tactics — literacy tests, poll taxes, ID requirements, and sometimes outright extra-legal intimidation by groups like the Ku Klux Klan — to prevent African-Americans from voting. The 1965 Voting Rights Act was designed to end this, but it was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 and as a result modern-day Southern Republicans (and Republicans in other states as well) have revived the tactics of their Democratic forebears to rig elections by making it impossible for people who would vote against them to be able to vote at all.
Much of the Republican Party’s success over the last 50 years has come from their skill at exploiting the undemocratic features of the United States Constitution — the Electoral College, the Senate and the powers of state legislatures to determine who may vote — to their advantage. But the key factor that brought the Republicans to power in 1968 and has, with a few minor exceptions, kept them there to this day is the political and social ferment of the 1960’s. The cataclysmic events of the 1960’s reversed the two major parties’ historical positions on civil rights: the Democrats, once the party of slavery, secession, segregation and the Klan, became identified with the equality struggles of African-Americans and the other oppressed groups — other people of color, women, Queers — who rose up in their wake and pursued similar strategies to win equality.
In the 1960’s the Republicans seized on this and in turn flipped their historical position on civil rights and social equality. The “Party of Lincoln” cut a deal with Southern racists — it was negotiated between Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond (Democrat turned independent turned Republican Senator from South Carolina and a hard-core racist and segregationist who also fathered a Black child) and was called the “Southern Strategy.” Though initially intended as an ad hoc response to the independent Presidential candidacy of racist Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968 and the fear that Wallace might split the potential Republican vote and throw an otherwise winnable election to the Democrats, the “Southern Strategy” worked for the Republicans not only in the South but nationwide.
Stoking the fears of working-class white voters that gains for African-Americans and other people of color would mean economic losses for them, the Republicans were able to break the fabled “New Deal coalition” that had made the Democrats the majority party from 1932 to 1968. They were able to pull the white working class away from the Democrats and align it solidly with the Republicans. The process took decades, but the 2016 election essentially completed it — the “Nixon Democrats” who had been the “Reagan Democrats” finally re-registered and became Trump Republicans. They provided the deciding votes in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin — states whose economies had suffered from the globalist policies of Democratic Presidents like Clinton and Obama and the export of virtually all American manufacturing to Third World countries like Mexico and China — that made Donald Trump President in 2016 even though he lost the popular vote by three million.
Another key factor in establishing Republican supremacy in American politics was the rise of a Right-wing media propaganda machine and its growing influence and power. This began in 1987, when President Reagan’s appointees at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the 38-year-old “Fairness Doctrine” which required broadcasters to represent various political views equally. As a result, the AM radio band became almost exclusively devoted to Right-wing talk radio. Not only did nationwide broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh become superstars, the talk radio message was coordinated by weekly meetings organized by Right-wing activist and financier Grover Norquist who distributed talking points to radio hosts nationwide and made sure they all “stayed on the same page” and became part of a unified propaganda machine of devastating effectiveness.
The Right-wing media machine created on AM radio after the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987 came to TV with the launch of the Fox News Channel in 1996. Fox quickly surpassed the moderate CNN as the number one cable news channel in ratings — a status it has never lost — and between them talk radio and Fox News literally determined how many millions of Americans would think about politics, and would vote. Talk radio and Fox News achieved their power largely by mobilizing the two big issues that had been at the heart of Republican cultural appeals since 1968 — stopping (or, better yet, reversing) the gains of the civil rights movements and upholding mainstream American culture, including the religious values of Right-wing Christianity, against attack from the so-called “counter-culture.” In 1968 that mainly meant being against the hippies; today it mostly means being against Queer people and also opposing any further expansion of the rights and overall autonomy of women.
One other factor that has ensured continued Right-wing dominance of American politics is that the South remains the key “swing” region of American politics. As someone old enough to remember when the “Solid South” was solidly Democratic instead of solidly Republican, it’s been depressing to see the South become the bulwark of a Right-wing coalition instead of (as it was during Franklin Roosevelt’s time) a sort of accidental, cranky junior partner in an economically progressive one. The fact remains that as long as the Republicans can hold the South, they can keep the Presidency.
The three Democrats elected President since 1968 — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — all made substantial inroads into the South and carried some Southern states. Carter and Clinton did this by being white Southerners themselves and Obama did it by being Black, and thereby mobilizing African-American voters to turn out for him in even greater numbers than they usually did for Democrats, overcoming the overwhelming advantage Republicans have among Southern whites. George W. Bush carried all 11 of the former Confederate states — Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana and Florida — in both the 2000 and 2004 elections, and Trump carried them all except Virginia (largely because Hillary Clinton chose Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate).
And it’s not just the South. Throughout the country, the continuing propaganda assault by the Republican Party and the Right-wing media machine that supports it have created a cadre of voters who are so addicted to the Kool-Aid they will never vote for a Democrat for anything. In her book What Happened Hillary Clinton recalled that she got this message loud and clear in 2014, when she went to a town-hall meeting in Arkansas and found that, while most Arkansans still liked their then-Senator, Democrat Mark Pryor, they were ready to vote him out of office and replace him with a Republican (which they did). One person at the meeting told Clinton, “The Democrats are going to take my guns away and make me attend Gay weddings.”
Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Democrats came heartbreakingly close to winning one special election for Congress after another — but couldn’t quite seal the deal. They boasted that they were able to cut down the margin by which the Republicans carried certain House districts from 25 to 1 percent —but they still lost. And in America’s single-member district, winner-take-all political system, winning by 1 percent is just as good as winning by 25 percent.
The Democrats are in the frustrating position of a salesman who can get a potential customer to look at a product, perhaps even test it, but can’t get the customer actually to sign on the dotted line. All the carefully constructed racial and cultural prejudices millions of Americans, especially ones who don’t live on the East or West Coasts, have been conditioned to have against the Democratic Party have struck again and again, in election after election, and are coming to the fore now as virtually all the supposedly “tossup” U.S. Senate seats are going strongly Republican in the latest polls.
This unholy combination — an aggressive Republican Party that is able to mobilize people with racial and cultural appeals to vote against their economic self-interest, a media network that keeps people in line by giving them only those “facts” that fit the Republican view of the world, a constitutional structure that gives disproportionate power to small states ruled by politically and culturally Right-wing white majorities, and a U.S. tradition of internal migration by which politically and culturally liberal people tend to concentrate in the coastal states and leave their Middle American homelands — has created a tyranny of the Republican minority that appears likely to continue after 2018.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine how it will ever end, barring either an overwhelming catastrophe at the level of the 1930’s Great Depression that broke the power of the Republican Party the last time it had this level of control over American politics, or some concerted effort on the part of the Democratic Party and progressives in general to break the stranglehold the Republican political and media propaganda machines have over so many of the American people. Even the last big U.S. catastrophe — the meltdown of the financial system in late 2008 — produced only a temporary two-year respite from Republican hegemony.
What’s worse, the Republicans have a clear-cut ideology which they are pursuing with relentless determination. It includes cutting, and eventually ending, the big so-called “entitlement” programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act — and ending virtually all regulation of corporations. It means an end to protections for workers, consumers and the environment. It means a reversal of the civil-rights gains African-Americans have made over the past 60 years and the more recent ones by women, other people of color, and Queers. It contains a seeming internal contradiction — it calls for an end to government regulation of private business while also demanding an increase in government regulation of people’s personal lives, especially their sex lives — but one which the Republicans have somehow been able to finesse for at least the last 38 years, since the so-called “Christian Right” emerged as a major partner in the coalition that has elected Ronald Reagan and every Republican President since.
The Democrats, by contrast, are still riven by the ideological divide that has split them whenever they’ve been out of power since 1896. Should they be a forthrightly progressive party aimed at appealing to the economic and social have-nots, curbing corporate power, protecting workers’ rights (including the right to organize and form unions) and creating, protecting and expanding the social safety net? Or should they become Republicans Lite, appealing to corporate funders while still posing as the friends of the 99 percent? All the great clashes over the Democratic Presidential nomination of the last 120 years — between Grover Cleveland and William Jennings Bryan in 1896, William Gibbs McAdoo and Al Smith in 1924, Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Walter Mondale and Gary Hart in 1984, Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016 — have been manifestations of this great, still unsettled debate.
Mark’s Predictions for the Midterms (and Beyond)
• The Republican Party will not only hold on to their current U.S. Senate majority, they will gain seats as Democratic incumbents in small states Trump carrled — Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Jon Tester in Montana, Claire McCaskill in Missouri — fall to the Republican juggernaut. Even Nevada Senator Dean Heller, the biggest target for Democrats since he’s the only Republican Senator running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton carried over Donald Trump, will win.
• The Republicans will also hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives. They will lose 10 to 15 seats, a significant drop but not enough to cost them the chamber.
• More Americans will actually vote for Democrats than Republicans to represent them in both the House and Senate, but under the rules of the Constitution that won’t matter — just as it didn’t matter that in November 2016 three million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton to be President than for Donald Trump.
• With Republicans still in control of both houses of Congress, and with such mildly Trump-critical Senators as Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the late John McCain (R-Arizona) replaced by Trump loyalists, Trump will be emboldened to “clean house” at the Justice Department, replacing Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, firing Robert Mueller and ending all investigations into his campaign, his Russian connections and his personal and business finances.
• Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell will end the legislative filibuster so Republicans can pass bills without any Democratic input or support. He’s already ended the filibuster for judicial nominations (which is how Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh got on the Supreme Court), and he wanted to end the legislative filibuster in 2017 but was blocked by John McCain and Orrin Hatch. Now that Hatch will be out of the Senate and McCain is dead, he’ll have the votes to get rid of the filibuster once and for all.
• Once they get rid of the legislative filibuster, the Republicans in Congress will repeal all or most of the Affordable Care Act and pass the big cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid they need in order to pay for the 2017 tax cuts (so clearly skewed towards the richest Americans they aren’t supported by a majority in polls) and the “phantom” middle-class tax cut Trump promised in the later stages of the 2018 campaign.
• Though Democrats may make some gains in state governor’s and legislative races, most state governments will remain under Republican control. That means Republicans will continue and intensify the gimmicks with which they have maintained minority control, including gerrymandered Congressional and legislative districts and elaborate voter-suppression laws so people who wouldn’t vote Republican won’t be able to vote at all.
• Donald Trump will get re-elected President in 2020 the same way he got elected in 2016: he’ll lose the popular vote but will amass enough state victories he’ll win the Electoral College anyway.