On Monday, President Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former college wrestler Dan Gable during a ceremony in the Oval Office.

“Dan then attended Iowa State, where he secured two NCAA wrestling championships — national wrestling championships, three Big Eight titles and became a three-time all-American,” Trump said, reading from prepared remarks. “He won 117 consecutive matches and lost only one.”

Then the president riffed for a moment.

“Well, you know, in politics, I won two, so I’m 2 and 0,” Trump said. “And that’s pretty good, too. But we’ll see how that turns out.”

So, about that.

Trump is, of course, saying that he twice won election as president of the United States. That total includes his victory in 2016, a win to which one could certainly append the asterisk of his popular-vote loss. It was a bit like Gable winning a match because his opponent, who was leading on points, was disqualified, but that’s neither here nor there. He is president, so it’s perfectly fair to count it.

But he is also counting the 2020 election, in which he lost both the popular and electoral vote. Not in every state, certainly, but in enough that the college wrestling equivalent would be that he was trailing on points and then he himself was disqualified. Hard to find the silver lining in that.

Except, of course, that Trump is pretending there was some rampant fraud that led to his loss. There’s no credible evidence of that, even after a month when his allies furiously sought such evidence. It’s just him saying, over and over, that he actually won when he didn’t. Like Gable insisting to passersby that, according to rules he himself made up, he actually won that last contest.

What’s particularly remarkable about Trump’s protestations at this point is that the ship has long since sailed. There is not only no evidence of the sort of fraud that might compel a court to overturn the election or that might prompt a good-faith legislature to review the results, but the process of formalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s win has already moved past the point of no return.

Last week, we reported that the governors of most of the states where Trump was trying to overturn the results had already filed paperwork with the National Archives indicating the slate of electors who should be considered valid for the purposes of tallying electoral votes. These ascertainment documents, as they’re known, are more than symbolic: The voting-counting rules established for Congress to follow when it finalizes the electoral vote early next month mandate that in the event of a House-Senate conflict on electoral votes, the winner is whichever slate is identified by a state’s executive.

In other words, if the people who would have been Trump’s electors in Georgia decide to send in their votes for Trump, it could prompt a Republican-led Senate to pretend that those are the votes that should be counted. But the Democratic-led House presumably wouldn’t, so the dispute would fall to the “electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State,” as the Electoral Count Act of 1887 states. And here’s the ascertainment document in which Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) identifies those electors as being the ones for Biden.

Since last week’s article, a number of other states have submitted their ascertainment documents, including California, the state with the most electoral votes at stake. Of the six states on which Trump has focused in his slapdash efforts to steal electors, all have now ascertained their results for Biden.

Additionally, the number of states that have certified their votes has increased, with only one Biden state not yet doing so, according to the New York Times. Even if that state, Hawaii, does not certify its votes, it doesn’t matter. Biden has more than 270 electoral votes from states that have.

That matters for the electoral college math for another reason. Any state that has certified its vote by Dec. 8 is granted “safe harbor” and is “considered to be conclusive,” as the Congressional Research Service explained in October.

Despite all of this, Trump insists on claiming that he can somehow win. He keeps trying different tactics — challenging things in court, pressuring legislators — that lead to a new flurry of stories about how, nope, he still lost. He’s lost Georgia multiple times by now, losing the original count, losing a hand audit and losing a recount that his campaign requested. Georgia certified its vote again Tuesday, leading to new headlines about Trump losing the state. As this article was being written, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s last-ditch effort to throw out the vote in Pennsylvania.

If we can belabor the analogy, it’s like Gable losing to a competitor on points and then getting disqualified. And then insisting that rules he invented show that he should have won. And claiming that his opponent cheated, without evidence. And constantly calling newspapers and TV stations to insist that they adjudicate his claims, spurring repeated articles and news coverage pointing out, again and again, that he in fact lost.

But Dan Gable wouldn’t do that because that’s not what serious competitors do.