Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (2014) s09e28 Episode Script

Election Subversion

Welcome to "Last Week Tonight".
I'm John Oliver.
Thank you so much for joining us.
It has been a busy week,
which started in spectacular fashion
with Heidi Klum delivering this
masterpiece of a Halloween costume.
- Heidi, how are 'ya?
- I'm great. How are you?
- Hanging around or laying around?
- Laying around. Worming around.
Spectacular. Just very good.
From the level of detail to the
response "Just worming around"
to the fact that she was later filmed
dancing in the worm costume.
And it's both impressive
and very depressing
that she's a better dancer in that suit
than I am completely unencumbered.
It's honestly a pretty good lesson
for all of us:
try and be as good at anything in your
life as Heidi Klum is at Halloween.
Obviously, though, there was
a lot of other news this week,
from Lula defeating Bolsonaro
in Brazil's runoff election,
to Elon Musk making big moves
as he starts running Twitter,
potentially into the ground.
Advertisers are already stepping away
from the platform,
and half the company's work force
was reportedly eliminated,
with some painting a bleak picture
of what it's like inside the company.
The most important thing that Twitter
employees want to stress
is that the company is a nightmare
and that you cannot work there.
And the website is built on sticks,
and it might fall apart.
"It's a nightmare built on sticks
and the whole thing might fall apart."
That sounds less like the description
of a vital communication platform,
and more like two of the little pigs
talking shit about
their middle brother's house.
But we're going to dive
straight into our main story tonight,
which concerns voting.
A practice that was once sold
to youth with the slogan,
"Vote or Die!" and given
the state of politics right now,
for the first time, I'm requesting
more information on the second option.
Specifically, with the midterms now
just two days away,
we wanted to focus on a dangerous
trend among Republican candidates,
denying the legitimacy
of the last election.
The fake news, big tech,
and blue state liberals
stole the election
from President Trump.
The 2020 election
was a totally rigged election.
Quite frankly, every election
since I think George Washington,
there's been some kind
of a defect in the system.
You could say Biden won the presidency
kind of like O.J. is innocent.
Rhose people are ridiculous,
but they're having a really good time!
Just check out this guy!
I've never been as happy as he is
hearing an O.J. Simpson joke in 2021,
and I have two children.
And the thing is,
those people are not alone.
A majority of Republican nominees
for House, Senate,
or key statewide offices this year
deny or question
the 2020 election results.
And some, like this guy, deny it
while trying to add a bit of spectacle.
Mike Collins here, your pro-Trump,
America-first trucker,
running for congress
here in Georgia 10.
I understand ol' Joe Biden
was in town yesterday
to talk about our elections.
It seems that he and Kamala Harris
called anyone
who disagree with the federal hijacking
of this election a racist.
Joe, I got some news for you.
Let me tell you
what Georgians really believe.
Georgians are sick and tired
of weak-kneed, spineless politicians
who won't fight for Trump,
get to the bottom of 2020,
and fix our elections.
If they won't do it,
Mike Collins will.
Send me to Washington.
Okay, too many things
to get into there.
Your brain wants to focus on
"pro-Trump, America-first trucker"
but then wonders,
"Why is he dressed like the
world's angriest Target employee?"
before noticing, "Is that a garbage can
labeled 'voting machine?"
Then also labeled 'cast ballot',
as if they knew the first label
wasn't convincing anyone,
but thought that the second one might?
Then it takes a minute to focus on
the subtle but unmistakable edit point
before the explosion, breaking the
illusion that was shot in a single take
then finally your brain says,
"He opened with 'Joe Biden
and Kamala Harris think I'm a racist',
did he ever close that loop
or nah?"
And brain? Nah.
That man is completely ridiculous.
Given the district where he's running,
he's almost certainly
going to win on Tuesday.
But it is worth dwelling
on the promise that he,
and those other candidates,
are making,
that they are going
to "fix our elections".
Because that speaks
to a real problem here,
which is that a troubling number of
election deniers are running for jobs
that can play key roles in administering
elections in their states.
Over half the country
"has an election denier
running to oversee their elections,"
and many of them
are expected to win.
We've talked before
about voter suppression on this show,
whether that's through voter ID
laws, felony disenfranchisement,
or restrictions on mail-in voting.
But those tactics take place
before you cast your ballot.
Tonight, we're going to focus
on election subversion,
which typically happens
after the votes are in.
It's a strategy to negate
legitimate election results
"by simply refusing
to accept them".
Trump famously tried
to subvert the last election.
And some current candidates
are promising that, if elected,
they'll be able to guarantee
a certain result in the future.
Take Jim Marchant.
He leads the America
First Secretary of State Coalition.
And if they win, he's been pretty clear
about what that would mean.
When my coalition of secretary of state
candidates get elected,
we're gonna fix
the whole country
and President Trump
is gonna be president again in 2024!
Look, no wonder
Trump likes that message.
Also, it probably doesn't hurt
that it's coming from a guy
who looks like a smaller,
paler version of him.
that Trump evolves from.
So, if the plan is this overt, and with
potential consequences this dire
for this election, the next election,
and way beyond,
tonight, let's talk
about election subversion.
To understand what we're facing,
let's revisit, briefly,
some of the chaos
following the last election.
As you undoubtedly remember,
after Trump's loss,
he tried a lot of tactics to swing
things back into his favor,
including calling Brad Raffensperger,
the secretary of state of Georgia,
to ask him for just a small favor.
So, look, all I want to do is this.
11 780 votes,
which is one more than we have
because we won the state.
It's still incredible to listen to that,
and a cold chill ran down my urethra
merely hearing his voice again,
seemingly forgetting, at one point,
both how many votes he needs,
and the word "votes."
It's genuinely amazing to listen
to someone attempt a coup
with the same focused energy
of a dad struggling to remember
his family's McDonald's order.
"Yeah, um, can I get a spicy,
crispy, crunchy chicken
and, do you have something called
'son of the Baconator' here?
Are you the Whopper place
or are you the other one?
I'm in the wrong place, aren't I?
Okay got it, fuck me!"
Thankfully, Raffensperger
declined Trump's request,
which left him
to fight his battles in the courts,
where he lost over 60 lawsuits
challenging the election results.
He then famously tried,
at the last minute,
to bully Mike Pence
into refusing to certify Biden's win,
including a phone call where Trump
called him a wimp, and the "P" word.
Which I know
is supposed to be "pussy"
but to be honest,
"the P word" sounds like the phrase
Geppetto's therapist uses
to talk about Pinocchio.
And while I'm sure
that you remember all of that,
there were also smaller,
much lesser-known incidents
where people further down the chain
also tried thumbing the scale,
like in Wayne County, Michigan,
where Trump supporters
raised bullshit claims
about voting irregularities in Detroit,
and a Republican member of the county
board of canvassers there
proposed this simple solution.
I would be open to a motion
to certify
communities other
than the city of Detroit.
That move outraged the Democrats
on the board,
and speaker after speaker
on the board's public Zoom meeting.
You have extracted
a Black city out of a county
and said the only ones
that are at issue is the city of Detroit,
where 80 percent of the people
who reside here are African American.
Right. I understand
why he's upset there.
Generally, when a white person says,
"I have a compromise",
and starts doing electoral fractions
that count Black people less,
those haven't been great moments
for democracy.
Now that woman later claimed that she
merely wanted more investigation
of those Detroit votes
before she'd agree to certify them.
After pushback from Michigan's
governor and secretary of state,
she ultimately voted
to certify Biden's win,
after Trump called her and a fellow
Republican board member,
they both tried, albeit unsuccessfully,
to rescind their votes.
Meanwhile, a few days later,
at Michigan's state canvassing board,
there was a similar stalemate.
Its four members were evenly split
between Democrats and Republicans,
one of whom
refused to certify Biden's win.
Which meant it was all on this guy
to do the right thing,
which, thankfully, he did,
with this little speech.
As John Adams once said,
"We are a government of law, not men".
And this board needs to adhere
to that principle here today.
This board must do its part
to uphold the rule of law
and comply with our legal duty
to certify this election.
I will be supporting the motion.
And that was it.
A boring guy with glasses
quoting John Adams
upheld democracy.
I'm just saying, get Bradley Whitford
in there and add some stirring music,
and you've got the kind of scene
that would make Aaron Sorkin
cum until he passed out.
And the thing is, those are clearly
just two very local examples.
But in state after state,
we were very lucky
that a small group of individuals
in key positions stood firm.
Arizona's Republican Governor
Doug Ducey
was in the middle of certifying
his state's win for Biden,
when he got a phone call
from Trump,
but he put his phone aside,
and continued signing the paperwork.
And I have to say,
watching someone screen your call
is one of the most devastating things
a human being can possibly experience
and I am so glad
that it happened to Donald Trump.
So, to recap:
the guardrails that protect our
democracy were heavily tested in 2020,
and while some major weaknesses
were exposed, they thankfully held.
But, since then,
there has been a concerted effort
to attack the people and institutions
that got in Trump's way,
shifting the landscape in ways that
could make future subversion attempts
even more dangerous.
Now, the fervor around election fraud
has been stubbornly persistent,
with a recent poll
showing 61% of Republicans
believe Joe Biden
only won due to voter fraud.
Which is just ridiculous, given that,
again, there is no evidence of that!
Multiple states
had exhaustive recounts.
This has been litigated.
This isn't one of those unknowable
things that will never get resolved
like which one of the Teletubbies, when
cooked properly, would taste best?
That, we'll never know, will we?
And I know what you're thinking
because it's what I'm thinking, too.
Should we just all say it at once?
Po! Exactly. Of course, it's Po.
Every one of us is pretty sure
that on a rainy day in January
absolutely nothing would taste better
than some braised Po over rice.
With some ginger?
With some wine?!
Of course, everyone's pretty sure
that a Po that simmers
for an hour and a half after getting
properly blanched and caramelized
would melt in your mouth
on that January Sunday!
Yum, yummity, yum!
But, pretty sure isn't sure, innit?
We'll never definitively know
because you can't eat Teletubbies,
there are laws, apparently, so,
all we are left with is gut instinct.
Unlike election results,
which are actually verified.
Sleep with one eye open,
you tasty plump clown,
or I'll have your thick salted thighs
for my Christmas feast.
The thing is, if you're not a regular
consumer of conservative media,
you may not realize
the extent to which
"Biden stole the election"
has taken hold,
and on the basis
of incredibly flimsy evidence,
perhaps best exemplified
by "2 000 Mules",
a documentary from conservative
bullshit artist Dinesh D'Souza,
which is just wall-to-wall nonsense.
The 2020 elections were one
of the most corrupt in history.
See the proof for yourself.
We tracked 2,000 mules
making multiple ballot drops.
"2 000 Mules", the shocking
new movie from Dinesh D'Souza.
Philadelphia alone,
we've identified more than 1 100 mules.
What is a mule?
A person picking up ballots
and running them to the drop boxes.
This is not grandma
out walking her dog.
Bad backgrounds,
bad reputations.
So intense!
Mysterious hand-offs in dark alleys,
people with bad reputations,
it's nice that we finally
have an answer to the question:
"What if 'The Wire'
was created by virgins?"
The central idea of the movie
is the claim there were "vote mules"
who repeatedly visited ballot boxes
and deposited suspect ballots,
and that Dinesh and his friends have
identified them, using cellphone data.
It would take the rest of this show
to debunk the movie's claims,
but very quickly, there is no way
by just using cellphone data
to know whether someone
visited a drop box
or was just in the vicinity of one,
particularly since those boxes
were installed in high-traffic areas.
The only map that seems to show
someone dumping ballots is fake,
and another map supposedly
showing a drop box site
is a stock photo of Moscow,
with a third one the same Moscow map
but rotated 90 degrees.
And finally, the whole theory
rests on these "mules"
repeatedly going
to multiple drop boxes,
but while they show lots of footage
of drop boxes within the movie,
none of them show the same person
more than once.
Instead, the filmmakers
breathlessly scrutinize footage
for clues that they claim,
with zero proof, are evidence of crime,
including voters wearing gloves
during a pandemic,
or taking photos
as they deposit their ballot.
I'm going to show you
a full minute from the movie
where they work themselves up
over absolutely nothing.
- The next one.
- Let me show you dog guy.
Dog guy. Middle of the day.
This is actually at a polling place.
So, the people in line
are waiting to go in and vote early.
They're doing it the right way.
You've got some other people
gonna walk up.
This lady doesn't care.
But this guy, this next guy cared.
He's watching the whole thing.
That guy looks and talks to him.
He's got the ballots
under his arm already,
now he's got the rest
that he pulled out of the bag.
He's going
to get his camera ready
to take the pictures
as he puts them in there.
If you consider the brazenness of this,
this is the middle of the day.
There's people sitting there
watching you cheat.
People that are doing it
the right way.
But it's difficult for them
to know what to do
except observe and maybe say,
"What's going on here?
They wonder,
what does this all even mean?
If this is happening
in broad daylight
and nobody is doing anything
to stop it?
But that's not damning evidence.
That is fully not anything.
It's just someone voting.
And we need to be absolutely clear
on something here,
the guy in line
that they're talking about,
who's supposedly shocked about
the voter fraud he's witnessing?
He's looking at the dog.
As anybody would.
The only reason I can focus
on what's going on there right now
is because, thankfully,
they blurred that dog,
otherwise I, like him,
would be gawking at it and asking
"Who's a good boy"
until the polls closed.
This movie is astonishingly dumb
but it has a real following.
At least 50 candidates
have promoted or cited it.
And conspiracy theories like it
have contributed to what's being
called a "sea of pervasive distrust".
With deniers
now channeling that distrust
to burrow into every level
of the election process.
Take the very lowest one,
precincts, they're small,
neighborhood-level units
centered around polling places.
Political parties
organize in precincts,
and local governments hire
and recruit poll workers there.
Trump's allies have been working
extremely hard
to make sure they are
well-represented at that level,
particularly Steve Bannon,
pictured here drowned,
who has made his precinct strategy
a constant refrain.
What we need right now, the way
the Republican Party is structured
is that you can go to a precinct,
become a precinct committeeman
and then you've got real standing.
We're building an army
of the awakened,
we are taking over
precinct strategies,
we're taking over election boards,
canvassing boards.
We're flooding the zone
with poll workers, poll watchers,
election judges,
people in the room.
It's gonna be MAGA in the room,
counting the votes,
'cause only MAGA
can count fair.
Okay, okay. Set aside
"only MAGA can count fair,"
and just spare a moment
for his room decor,
which features
an actual sign reading,
"There are no conspiracies,
but there are no coincidences,"
a quote attributed
to Stephen K. Bannon.
While you might think that there is
nothing douchier than quoting yourself,
it turns out, you're wrong about that,
it's doing that
while also slyly trying to give
your name a fancy makeover.
'Cause "Stephen K. Bannon?"
Please, Steve. No one is buying that.
Because we looked
and the K is for Kevin.
You're just making your name
even sadder.
But Bannon's strategy
seems to have paid off.
ProPublica found last year that
in 41 key battleground counties,
there were at least 8 500
new Republican precinct officers
or equivalent officials, with no
similar surge from the Democrats.
Bannon and other Republicans
have also been encouraging people
to take on jobs in polling stations,
while issuing some troubling advice.
At one training session for
poll workers and watchers in Michigan,
run by a Republican activist group,
participants were told
to "call 9-1-1 and contact sheriffs
to involve law enforcement
in any election-related complaints."
Which isn't great, is it?
You should clearly only call 9-1-1
with an actual emergency,
a car accident or a break-in
or when someone takes off
their shoes and socks on a plane.
"Hi, yeah,
I know we're in the sky,
but I'm asking you to get a police
helicopter and shoot us down."
And if you're thinking
that election supervisors
won't stand
for shenanigans like that,
you should know,
many have been driven away.
One investigation found that in five
highly contested battleground states,
1 in 3 top election administrators
left the job after the 2020 election.
When you consider the kind of personal
messages that some received last time,
you do understand
why they may not want to do it again.
"This election is f-ing rigged.
You all know it.
And you are complicit as F."
"You lied. You're a traitor.
Perhaps cuts and bullets
will soon arrive."
Gave my address.
Hey, Rick. 234 years ago, the
founding Caucasian fathers of America
gave us the Second Amendment.
Time's running out, Richard.
We're coming
after you and every motherfucker
that stole this election
with our Second Amendment,
subpoenas be damned.
You're gonna be served lead,
Holy shit,
those messages are horrifying.
And by the way,
"founding Caucasian fathers"
is just one hell of a phrase.
Because it either comes
from the mouth of a racist,
or someone with strong opinions
on the casting decisions in "Hamilton",
because they are a racist.
Reuters actually identified
more than 900 threats
made against election administrators
since the last election.
So, it is no wonder
so many qualified people are leaving.
And their replacements
are sometimes troubling.
Take Nye County, Nevada,
where their top county election official
was replaced by this guy, Mark Kampf,
who not only said that he believes
Trump won the 2020 election,
he's also promoted "2 000 Mules"
and has amplified
some of the baseless hysteria
around Dominion voting machines.
And look, we have addressed
voting machines before on this show.
They do have some vulnerabilities.
But importantly, those vulnerabilities
can be counteracted
by having a physical paper trail
and doing risk-limiting audits
after the fact.
Also, there is no proof
that any machines
have ever been compromised
in a U.S. election.
But Kampf
defends election deniers strongly,
and he will not budge on it
when pressed.
If you don't believe the system
was legitimate in 2020
and created an error
where 30 000-plus votes
were not counted
in the state correctly,
isn't that problematic?
I don't see it
as being problematic at all
because I'm trying to increase
voter confidence in the election.
The machines that count go through
multiple layers of security.
They are not connected
to the internet.
And this is regulated
throughout the country.
That's a perspective.
There are a lot of people,
again, the voters in this county
don't believe that.
And whether it's true or not,
their perception is their reality.
"Whether it's true or not,
their perception is their reality."
I have got to say,
that is a risky stance
for a guy whose name
is almost mein kampf.
Again, it's literally not,
but I've seen his name
written down hundreds of times
while working on this piece
and every single time,
my brain autocorrects it to mein kampf
and, eventually,
my perception will become reality.
I'm just saying,
if my last name were Kampf,
I wouldn't give my baby a four-letter
name that starts with an M.
It'd be like meeting someone named
Earl Harbor or Holly Caust.
It feels like their parents
just went out of their way
to fuck with them and all of us.
Kampf has suggested that all ballots
should now be hand-counted.
But experts will tell you that, while
hand counting is an important tool
in recounts and audits as a way
of verifying the machine count,
tallying entire elections by hand
would cause chaos and make results
less accurate, not more.
And sure enough,
early voting in that county
has been a spectacular mess,
with the AP observing
two groups of five people
spending about three hours each
counting just 50 ballots,
with mismatched tallies
leading to recounts,
and occasionally more recounts,
and one volunteer lamenting,
"I can't believe it's taking two hours
to get through 25 ballots."
If only there was a fucking machine
that could help you guys with that.
And that is just one election denier
at a low-level wreaking havoc.
We could be in for a lot worse.
Look at Arizona, a state that Biden
won by an extremely narrow margin,
but thanks to their then-governor
doing one of the most brutal
call-screenings of all time,
things didn't go off the rails.
But he is on his way out now,
and the Republican nominee to replace
him is running ads like this.
Hi, Arizona, I'm Kari Lake, the
Trumpendorsed candidate for governor.
If you're watching this ad
right now,
it means you're in the middle
of watching a fake news program.
You know how to know it's fake?
Because they won't even cover
the biggest story out there,
the rigged election of 2020.
Except every bit of that is wrong.
The election was not rigged,
and the news did cover both
the recounts and the lawsuits.
Plus, if you just saw that ad
for the first time on this show,
you're clearly not watching it
on a fake news program,
you're watching it because you left
the TV on after "The White Lotus",
That is what is happening
right now.
And that ad, which includes footage
from "2 000 Mules" by the way,
is actually tame compared to some
of the other things that Lake has said.
She's called for the imprisonment
of the current secretary of state,
and said that,
if she didn't win her primary,
it'd be because
"there's some cheating going on".
And then, after winning,
insisted her supporters
had simply "outvoted the fraud".
Which is basically, "If I lose,
it's rigged. If I win, it's fine."
Meaning she's approaching elections
with the same objectivity and nuance
of a five-year-old
inventing a game in real time.
"The rules are simple,
whoever has the most tokens wins,
unless you have the most tokens,
then it's who can hold their breath
the longest,
unless you can,
then it's a jumping contest".
But it gets worse for Arizona,
because the Republican nominee
for secretary of state there
is Mark Finchem,
who, as you can see,
wakes up every day
to cosplay as a cowboy accountant.
He seems pretty unlikely to willingly
certify a Democratic win in his state,
given that he said this.
Would you ever accept
that a Democrat could win Arizona,
or do you just not think
that's possible?
I have a hard time
believing that's possible.
Everywhere I go,
the vast majority of people still
show support for President Trump.
But that might just be
because you are going to places
where there are supporters
of Donald Trump.
Is there any chance
a Democratic candidate for president
can win Arizona in 2024?
No! No! No!
I genuinely don't know
what's more annoying there,
the fact that he answered
a legitimate question with a prop,
or that he apparently
tells people "no"
so often he needed
a special fun button for it.
Although between that,
his talking Trump doll,
and his novelty desk sign,
it's slightly heartwarming to know
that a Spencer's Gifts in Arizona
is staying afloat
thanks to the compulsive purchases
of one supremely weird individual.
But the thing is, Quiet Earp over there
has openly told supporters
in a fundraising email that,
if he had been in power in 2020,
"We would have won.
Plain and simple."
And he brainstormed one scenario
of how that could've happened.
Knowing what we know today,
there are certain counties
that should have been set aside
as irredeemably compromised.
Maricopa County was one of them.
Yuma County was one of them.
We have so many votes outside
of the law it begs the question,
what do we do with an election
where we have votes
that are in the stream
but should not be counted?
If you can't find the individual
who is engaged in that behavior,
perhaps that county
has had a defective election.
Yeah, he just laid his plan out
in front of everybody.
Step one: identify two large counties
which, if removed from the count,
would hand the election to Trump.
Step two:
remove them from the count.
Now, is that a conspiracy
to steal the election?
As we now know,
there are no conspiracies,
but there are also
no coincidences,
in the famous words
of one Stephen Kevin Bannon.
And here is the thing, any one
of the people that you've seen so far
would be bad
in the wake of an election,
but in combination,
things could get really rough.
Because there are protections
against one rogue official
refusing to sign off on an election.
They could be sued, and if they refuse,
they could be held in contempt of court.
But experts warn that the ability
of a governor or secretary of state
to reject certification
are significantly enhanced
if others up and down the chain
are of a similar mind.
And to understand a potential
worst-case scenario here,
let's put some of the people
that you've seen tonight into a chain.
Let's start with partisan poll workers,
inspired by Steve Bannon,
deciding that they've seen
something fishy, and calling 9-1-1.
They then kick their claims up
to a county clerk like this guy,
who's maybe willing to amplify
a perception that's not a reality.
That raises enough of a stink
that people at the county board
of canvassers
or the state board
refuse to sign off on the results.
And then,
the secretary of state
takes their side,
refusing to certify the results,
or even arguing that the results
from certain counties
are so flawed that the county's
election has "failed,"
and therefore cannot be counted.
Now, in that scenario, experts say,
a Republican state legislature
could point to supposed irregularities
in the conduct of the election,
and choose their own slate of electors
to deliver a different result.
And at this point, the law is a little
fuzzy on what could happen next.
Because, under the Electoral Count Act
of 1887,
if the state sends two rival slates
of electors
and the House and the Senate
disagree on which one is valid,
the ones sent by the state's governor
gets counted.
Which could be this person.
Now, there would
undoubtedly be lawsuits,
and maybe the Supreme Court
would step in,
but also, you know,
seeing as one of the justices
has a wife who was part of the last
attempted coup, maybe not.
I know this all sounds dramatic,
and I do not want to be too alarmist.
I don't mean
to sound like Chicken Little here.
I don't mean
to look like him either,
but some things are just
out of our hands, aren't they?
Because the odds of Kari Lake
unilaterally picking our next president
are thankfully slim.
But, the odds of her,
and others like her,
being able to create a complete mess,
are significantly higher.
Because everything
that we've talked about tonight
has the capacity
to overwhelm our system,
making it harder
to certify elections quickly,
leading to confusion,
which sows doubt in the process,
and in turn causes
absolute chaos.
Which is very worrying,
given that we've all seen
what confused but motivated people
are capable of doing
when they think
the process is broken.
And we may not have to wait
until 2024 to see that chaos unfold,
as the midterms themselves
are turning into a clusterfuck.
Vigilantes are already turning up
as unofficial poll
watchers at voting drop boxes.
Meanwhile, some very
prominent voices on the right
have been priming people
to contest any result on Tuesday
that is not a Republican win.
Democratic Party has such contempt
for voters and for democracy itself
and so much confidence in its ownership
of the media and of big tech
that it no longer
has to try to win your votes.
They can even
run mentally defective candidates
who can barely speak
and not only expect them to "win"
but expect you to accept the outcome,
no matter how absurd it is.
I get that at this point Tucker Carlson
is basically Cocomelon for bigots,
but that is gross even for him.
From calling a stroke victim
"mentally defective"
to putting "win"
in heavy quotation marks,
and for the record,
one of the big clues
that these conspiracy theories
are bullshit
is that so many of them
are predicated on the belief
that the Democratic Party
is well-organized.
Who on Earth
is stupid enough to buy that bullshit?
So, what can we do here?
There are some obvious steps
that we could take.
On the federal level, we absolutely
have to fix the Electoral Count Act,
the law whose vagueness allows for a
lot of the fuckery that I've described.
Both the House
and the Senate actually have bills
that have bipartisan support and would,
among other things,
close the "failed election loophole"
that might allow a partisan governor
or state legislature
to send whatever electors
they choose.
Even Mitch McConnell
has supported the Senate version,
so it actually
might have a chance to pass.
That is the one piece of good news
in this entire piece,
so I strongly suggest
that you savor it.
But is clearly not enough.
Long term, we still need
comprehensive voting rights reform.
Which is something
we need to prioritize and fight for.
But the first step, and I know this
is going to be infuriating to hear,
is for you to vote.
We've talked a lot
about how part of the reason that
Biden's victory wasn't stolen from him
was thanks to the diligent work
of a few people in key positions.
But don't forget that the first part
of why that was possible
is that a lot of people fucking voted.
And I get how ludicrous
it sounds for someone to say
"fix the significant roadblocks keeping
your vote from counting, by voting",
I hear it, I promise I do.
Particularly if you're a member
of one of the many communities,
like Black voters, the disabled,
the formerly incarcerated,
and low-income communities,
who've long been sounding
the alarm about all of this shit.
And voting is not gonna be enough
on its own.
At every level of the process,
we need people to show the same level
of enthusiasm
for preserving our democracy
that others are demonstrating
for dismantling it.
And I am not saying it's gonna be
easy to match the energy
of people fueled by bullshit
documentaries, flat-out lies,
and the occasional
exploding trash can.
But it is really important to try.
And to that end, we have a message
that we'd like you to hear.
Nick Offerman here, actor,
author, woodworker,
and a man who can actually pull off
a short sleeve Polo shirt
without looking like my mommy
picked it out for me.
And this is a trash can.
I've labeled it "trash can"
because it is a trash can.
I actually labeled it twice
so there won't be any mixups.
But obviously that's unnecessary
because we're all adults
who do know the difference
between a trash can
and a goddamn voting machine.
Far-right Republican extremists
have been running their dry mouths,
claiming that any election in which they
receive less votes than the opposition
must be rigged.
I've got some news for you.
Actual patriots
are sick and tired of shameless,
opportunistic charlatans
who invent dangerous conspiracies,
peddle mendacious propaganda,
and worse, censor good, good dogs.
Because if you're afraid to show
a dog's face, by God, I'm not.
There, there you go, good boy.
You can't stop us from showing dogs
like you can't stop us from voting.
We're gonna do it,
not because it's fun,
because it's not really fun but because
it's the right thing to do, America.
We're gonna look one fuck of
a lot better than you while we do it.
One shot, no cuts.
And that's our show.
Thanks for watching,
see you next week, good night.
I got you!
You sweet boy.
You beautiful guy.
You beautiful guy.
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