(Chuck Muth) – Since my 15-year-old son, CJ, had never been to a Major League baseball game, let alone a playoff game – and since the Astros are his favorite team – I bought tickets for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series vs. the Boston Red Sox and flew us down to Houston on Friday.
What a trip. Minute Maid Park is a terrific baseball stadium. Great game. Electric atmosphere. Made even better since we got to see his Astros clinch the title. Don’t get to see something like that every day. One of those father-son memories for a lifetime.
But that’s not what this column is about.
You see, before leaving Vegas I bought a copy of Mollie Hemingway’s new book, “Rigged,” about the 2020 presidential election and started reading it on the flight down.
And don’t even get me started about the “mask Nazi” flight attendants; that’ll wait for another day. In the meantime, check out this absolutely hilarious video about the stupidity of the mask rules on planes (hat tip to Courtney Holland for flagging this).
But back to the issue at hand…
If you have ANY interest whatsoever in how the election was stolen – yes, stolen – from President Donald Trump, you gotta read this book; at the very least the prologue and first chapter.
Hemingway does a masterful job chronicling all the ways the election was rigged against the President without obsessing over the voting fraud that clearly occurred but was difficult to prove after the fact.
While reading the book, my belief that Trump’s loss in Nevada was sealed even before the first general election ballot was cast was solidified. And despite popular opinion, the person most responsible for the loss wasn’t Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.
It was the Nowhere Man, Adam Laxalt.
First, Laxalt blew his race for governor in 2018 against Democrat Steve Sisolak, setting the stage for everything that went wrong with the 2020 election. By all accounts, it was his race to lose – and somehow, he found a way to lose it.
A year later – despite his electoral failure but using his considerable “swamp” connections – Adam was put in charge of the Trump re-election campaign in Nevada. And it went downhill from there.
The first order of business was to name three rural Republicans as his co-chairs – which made absolutely no sense. Trump already had the vote in rural Nevada locked up. Where the campaign needed the most help was in Clark County, especially Las Vegas.
Laxalt, of Reno, chose not to put a prominent Clark County Republican on his leadership team. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Worse, the campaign hired two politically-connected but incompetent boobs – Jeremy Hughes and Keith Schipper, who in 2018 helped tank U.S. Sen. Dean “Never Trump” Heller’s re-election campaign – to run the Nevada operation.
And it’s not like Laxalt couldn’t have seen what would come. In fact, I wrote about the impending disaster of this “leadership” team on November 3, 2019, concluding…
“The truth is, Donald Trump should win Nevada next year. If he doesn’t, you’ll know who to blame.”
Where was Laxalt’s opposition when these bone-headed hiring decisions were made? Nowhere to be found.
But he got a second chance to fix the situation just a few months later when Josh Skaggs, a regional field rep for the Trump campaign, blew the whistle on problems he saw in the ground operations.
“I am concerned that President Trump and other Republicans on the ballot will not prevail in Nevada in November,” Skaggs wrote to campaign officials. “I believe that without your intervention, Nevada’s Trump Victory RNC campaign’s state of operations will continue to decline.”
Where was Laxalt when this dire warning siren sounded? Nowhere to be found.
That same month, when Gov. Sisolak unilaterally shut down “non-essential” businesses and jobs over COVID, Laxalt was nowhere to be found. Radio silent.
When Nevada’s 17 county election officials demanded in April 2020 that the primary election be conducted via all-mail ballots, he was nowhere to be found. Not a peep of protest.
When Clark County decided to mail ballots to INACTIVE voters for the primary – unquestionably raising the potential for voting fraud – Laxalt was nowhere to be found. Never was heard a discouraging word.
When it was discovered in July that Clark County had failed to “purge” its voter file of voters whose primary ballots were returned as undeliverable by the post office and was going to mail them general election ballots anyway, Laxalt was nowhere to be found.
That same month, rather than stand up to Sisolak’s absurd and unconstitutional ban on outdoor gatherings on private property, Laxalt backed down and cancelled his annual Basque Fry fundraising event at a Douglas County ranch.
Not exactly DeSantis-like.
When the Nevada Legislature met in a special session in August 2020 to also convert the general election to an all-mail ballot – as well as allow “ballot harvesting” – he was nowhere to be found. Never testified against the bill. No public opposition. Cat had his tongue.
In early September, the President, unlike Laxalt, defied Sisolak and held a huge outdoor rally in Douglas County. But because he could hide behind the power of the President, Laxalt was found there for that one.
Now get this…
“I will tell you this, Adam,” the President said to him from the stage, “if you could, because you’re doing a fantastic job watching, watch all these votes coming in on the ballots, the unsolicited ballots. Will you watch it, please? Okay, all right.”
Alas, Adam didn’t watch all the votes coming in on the unsolicited ballots. In fact, he was nowhere to be found until AFTER the damage was done and Trump lost Nevada. Then suddenly the most dangerous place to stand in the state was between the Nowhere Man and a TV camera.
He was all over the media – press conferences, public speeches and FOX News interviews – leveling allegations of massive voting fraud without doing any of the hard work to actually PROVE it.
Look, voting fraud is real. It happens in every election. The extent of the fraud, however, is difficult to identify. It takes hard work. Boots on the ground. Investigations. Documentation. Actual evidence, not mere suspicions.
And not mugging for TV cameras.
Bottom Line: Laxalt blew it. Bigly.
He was more interested in getting a campaign issue for his impending U.S. Senate race than dotting all his “i’s” and crossing all his “t’s” to make an air-tight case that the Democrats’ all-mail balloting scheme resulted in widespread voting fraud.
And because of the Nowhere Man’s failure, there’s a good chance of history repeating itself in the 2022 elections. Sad.
In conclusion: READ “RIGGED”!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“(T)ens of millions of citizens believe that the election was conducted from the beginning in a manner that was unfair, riddled with integrity problems, and designed to make it difficult to catch fraud. … If you believe things went terribly wrong in the 2020 election, well, you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. But most of all, YOU’RE NOT WRONG.” – Mollie Hemingway, “Rigged”