Is the election rigged or not?

Just a couple of weeks ago, candidate Donald Trump claimed that the only way he could lose is if the election was “rigged.”  Of course he was immediately – and roundly – criticized for making such a ridiculous assertion:  Here, here, here, and here.

Of course, our beloved and highly esteemed Prevaricator-in-Chief didn’t miss the opportunity to mock, jeer, and generally just pile on:

And he personally assured me (and a few million others), “Of course the elections will not be rigged. . . .The federal government doesn’t run the election process.”  I had no idea that anything was outside the scope of federal control.

But wait.

Now it appears that we’re being “softened up” for some – how do you Americans say – irregularities.

U.S. News and World Reports advises:

The presidential election could be delayed or scrapped altogether if conspiracy theories become predictive and a candidate dies or drops out before Nov. 8. The perhaps equally startling alternative, if there’s enough time: Small groups of people hand-picking a replacement pursuant to obscure party rules.

The scenarios have been seriously considered by few outside of the legal community and likely are too morbid for polite discussion in politically mixed company. But prominent law professors have pondered the effects and possible ways to address a late-date vacancy.

“There’s nothing in the Constitution which requires a popular election for the electors serving in the Electoral College,” says John Nagle, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, meaning the body that officially elects presidents could convene without the general public voting.

How ridiculous can you get!  I mean, like, what are the chances of someone who is politically opposed to Hillary Rodham Clinton “suddenly” dying?  Ummm. Never mind that question.

And just when I was getting used to the idea of some vestigial utility of the Tenth Amendment (and right on the heels of the presidential promise that the feds don’t run elections), we are told that the FBI has identified at least two cyber attacks against state election processes.  and the Department of Homeland Security is suggesting that they need to take over elections because it is a “critical infrastructure”:

Even before the FBI identified new cyber attacks on two separate state election boards, the Department of Homeland Security began considering declaring the election a “critical infrastructure,” giving it the same control over security it has over Wall Street and and the electric power grid.

The latest admissions of attacks could speed up that effort possibly including the upcoming presidential election, according to officials.

“We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

I don’t think I’ve seen this much orchestrated drama since the last time I watched professional wrestling.