Where There Isn't Smoke, There's A Liar

James O'Keefe continues to make the world a worse, less truthful or trustworthy place.

James O'Keefe is in the news again over a dueling set of claims about a USPS "whistleblower" who claimed to have witnessed fraud and then may or may not have recanted that testimony. I'm going to be honest and say that I haven't looked at it too closely, specifically because of the source. Everything his hoax/propaganda operation Project Veritas "exposes" inevitably falls apart under scrutiny, but the damage done to people, organizations, and reputations in the meantime remains and ripples onwards.

And it is a hoax operation. That what's James O'Keefe is: a hoaxer. A huckster. He's not a journalist. He doesn't expose the truth, he buries it under a cloud of deliberately engineered disinformation.

And so I don't feel like it's necessary for me to learn enough about his latest set of claims in order to dismiss them. That would be like carefully inspecting a piece of rubber dog feces you bought at a novelty shop to make sure they did not, somehow, accidentally sell you the genuine article.  

The basic problem with Project Veritas is that James pays people thousands of dollars to lie for him, but he's not offering to pay me one single, solitary red penny to believe him. 

I joke, of course, but only just barely. Most of his material only works in a preaching-to-the-choir fashion because there's no attempt to make it believable to audiences that haven't already bought into the basic premise he's ostensibly "proving".

The most textbook example of this is Project Veritas's "expose" that showed a church van driving voters around to different polling places. If you're wondering what the twist was supposed to be, that's it: they filmed a church van driving voters around to different polling places. Very normal, right? Nothing illegal or even suspicious about it.

But to people who already believe that the average Democrat commits over 10,000 voter fraud felonies a day, this was proof positive. Why would a van be shuttling voters to a bunch of different locations if not to have all those voters voting at each and every location? That's just the sort of thing those Democrats do, and look, we've got them on film doing it! If anybody suggests that it might be different people voting at each location or points out that no one is on film actually breaking the law, you can laugh it off as naïve because you know — everyone knows — that the Democrats would never settle for one legal vote when they could illegally vote multiple times.

After all, we have them on tape doing it!

…right?

That's the fundamental essence of an O'Keefe "sting": it doesn't matter what you actually show, because for his target audience, believing is seeing. Sometimes they bother to fabricate evidence. Sometimes they bother to pay someone to lie. Sometimes they record a lot of awkward, rambling conversation with their marks from which they can extract something that sounds (to a sufficiently primed and motivated believer) like a "money quote" or "smoking gun".

And sometimes they just film a church van being used as a shuttle service for voters who don't have their own transportation to get to their individual polling stations.

Leaving O'Keefe out of it, you can understand how this mindset plays out with all the "voter fraud" stories that inevitably circulate each election cycle. 

There are, inevitably, dead people left on the voter rolls, because "canceling the voter registration" is the last thing anyone thinks of when they lose someone. It's not like it comes with a monthly bill that needs to be paid, after all. There are, also, inevitably a few early or absentee votes that are cast by people who then manage to die before the vote is counted on election day. That's perhaps even more inevitable in a year when excess mortality and early voting are on a serious upswing, for the same reason.

Perhaps less inevitably but still frequently, some generally well-meaning soul will fill and mail back a ballot sent to their deceased in order to represent their final wishes. That happened at least once or twice this year on the Republican side. I don't think it's beyond the pale to imagine the individuals involved justified it by thinking, "Well, you know the Democrats are doing it." 

If you know much about how the world works, or think about it for very long, it's easy to understand how most of the "suspicious" incidents that reinforce the myth of voter fraud actually come about. If you ever enter your dog or cat's name in a raffle, or put it on a subscription, or have a gift sent to your house addressed to them, then there's a chance your pet's name will become attached to your address in a commercial mailing list somewhere. And if it's attached to a mailing list, it might be bought by a political organization, and now it's part of some political organization's outreach database. 

If your cat or dog can get junk mail, your cat or dog can get mailings from the county clerk or board of elections. And that's how we get people on web forums and Twitter and Facebook every election cycle, going, "I got sent ballot request forms for my three cats and you're telling me there's no voter fraud? You're telling me we don't need voter ID?"

It's the ultimate case of "where there's smoke, there's fire", except there isn't even smoke, just some random hazy particulate matter swirling in the air at a moment when a large number of people are looking really hard for smoke, expecting to see smoke. And believing is seeing.

Another one of these evergreen stories is, every once in a while — possibly as often as every election cycle — somebody will impulsively try to cast a vote in the name of their pets. I'm not sayin git's always a Republican, but it frequently is, and frequently the rationale is very straightforward: like a white hat hacker, or like the idealized image that James O'Keefe prefers to present to the world, they thought they were exposing something rotten. Probing the system for vulnerabilities so those vulnerabilities could be fixed and then maybe next time those lousy Democrats wouldn't get away with it.

Which, coincidentally — or maybe not entirely coincidentally — is a big part of the current Q lore for why Trump "seems to" have lost the election. It's all a sting, you see? They're going to catch the Democrats in the act of millions of counts of voter fraud in states all across the country, but in order for that to work, they have to let the Democrats pull it off and then expose it. 

I guess in Q land, attempted voter fraud isn't a crime? 

Author’s Note:

As of this writing, I am still in “Twitter Jail” and unable to tweet or post links to my profile. If you the readers could please post a link to this post to help get it circulating in the wild, I would be much obliged.

Thank you for all the support and well-wishes (and subscriptions) you have sent me in this time!