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The Thursday Politics Thread Is In Search of An October Surprise

Morning Politicadoes!

Voting season in the US continues with reporting showing that 16 million Americans have already voted in the Presidential election. High turnout and highly motivated voters of a party are usually strong determinants in elections, so absent the inevitable cheating and chicanery from the President, things are looking, dare I say, cautiously optimistic?

So much so, that the Republicans launched what would have been an October Surprise: unverified e-mails received from Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon claiming that Joe Biden was in contact with Burisma officials through his son Hunter. Bannon, arrested in July for fraud, claimed that they were sourced from a laptop at a repair shop in Delaware that was never picked up.

There’s no indication the e-mails are real, there’s questions as to why it took so long for them to fall into the hands of Rudy Giuliani, and there’s also that Burisma was hacked by the same Russian GRU outfits that hacked the DNC. The idea being that the real leaked material would be leaked with forged material a la the 2017 French Presidential elections for an October Surprise.

Twitter and Facebook flagged the stories after it became clear there was a contraversy forming around the sourcing of the documents. To their credit, the social media giants acted to stanch the virality of the story, hopefully putting it to bed. Kayleigh McInenany, Covid-stricken Press Secretary, had her account locked for distributing the flagged story. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/14/us/politics/hunter-biden-ukraine-facebook-twitter.html?referringSource=articleShare

Trump has had trouble hitting Biden with anything solid from the beginning. In fact, voters opinions on his character have changed markedly little, with a Fox poll done last year and this year, showing that views on Biden remained unchanged.The idea that he’s sick, old, or senile only raises further comparisons with the President being sick, old, or senile. Corruption seems like the only gambit at this point.

But of course, Burisma itself failed to gain any traction last year and his efforts to get it going got Trump an Impeachment. Hell, the Republicans in the Senate not three weeks ago concluded in their own inquiry that there was no improper influence or wrongdoing by the former Vice President or his son, Hunter. Yet, Trump seems stuck on this, convinced that this is a winner. Reminds of me when Alien Ant Farm released the song “Movies” as a single, not once, but twice. Like maybe if they insist upon it’s existence enough, people will like it.

I think at this point people are less likely to be moved by a big story like this. With early voting a lot of ballots will already be cast before a story can start to gain traction and change people’s opinions. We already know that the most Trump voters will likely be voting in person, so really, whose opinions are being changed? We’ll see how things go of course. 18 days left and the candidates still have two separate town hall events.

And then there’s the cheating, and the voter suppression, and the wildly unqualified Supreme Court nominee. I mean, discard all of that and it’s actually looking pretty good!

Welcome to Thursday! Please be excellent to each other in the comments. The Mayor McSquirrel Rule remains in effect. As the protests continue, please be safe, dress non-descriptively, avoid wearing contacts if you wear them normally, and keep your phones on you. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, please continue to maintain social distancing measures, wear masks in public areas, and practices sanitation policies as circumstances dictate.

Worried about getting your vote suppressed by the awful, awful people running our government? Check out NPR’s guide to vote by mail!