By SEAN QUINTAL
Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by 7 million votes nationwide. His Electoral College margin was the same as Trump’s in 2016, a margin Trump himself has repeatedly called a landslide. In 2020, Trump got a smaller share of the vote than Mitt Romney did in 2012. Trump lost. Badly.
Despite this, Trump has spent the month since the election lying about voter fraud. His bumbling legal team, led by day-walking vampire Rudy Guiliani, Handmaid’s Tale Barbie Jenna Ellis, and self-described “Kraken” Sydney Powell, have blustered through a comically chaotic attempt to overturn the election through the courts. Relying on unhinged conspiracy theories and unprovable claims, Trump’s legal team has failed spectacularly: 67 post election lawsuits in 35 days. Of the 52 adjudicated as of Dec. 9, they have lost 51, at the U.S. Supreme Court, and in at least in at least seven different states. They have failed at decertifying votes, they have failed at tossing out ballots, and their bizarrely ridiculous conspiracy theories have also failed ignominiously.
The reason they are losing every case is simple: there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. None. Trump’s own Attorney General has publicly declared so. Trump’s hand-picked head of cybersecurity has attested to the same. But still, a sitting president is trying in court to overturn the will of the people. Trump’s un-American assault on democracy has been condemned by judges of both political parties. Conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn, of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, observed the following in his opinion rejecting the outlandish request from Trump’s lawyers to invalidate that state’s election results:
“Something far more fundamental than the winner of Wisconsin’s electoral votes is implicated in this case. At stake, in some measure, is faith in our system of free and fair elections, a central feature to the enduring strength of our constitutional republic… Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again. This is a dangerous path we are being asked to tread.”
Yet that is precisely the path Trump and the GOP have chosen to tread. The point is not to win, but to tell the lie so often, and so loudly that some people will believe it. The point is to destroy the American people’s faith in their democracy. It strikes at the beating heart of our country’s body politic. No defeated president has ever undertaken such an audacious and undemocratic act.
The instinct to subvert elections, norms, and the law itself to serve Republican interests is not new; it has been part of the GOP electoral playbook for the better part of the last century. But it has never been so baldly and shamelessly weaponized. Trump’s vile and venal affront to our democracy has been tolerated and countenanced, through either silence or affirmation, by a majority of national GOP office holders. One month after the election, 249 Republican Representatives and Senators were asked who had won. Only 27 answered President-Elect Biden; 220 either said the results were unclear or refused to answer (two actually insisted Trump had won). It appears the instinct to subvert elections, norms, and the law itself to serve Republican interests is hardly in retreat. What the Senate and House GOP members are doing is shameful and disgraceful.
The health and propagation of American democracy depends on holding these unpatriotic partisans in check. That fact makes Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot in January all the more critical, as majority control of the chamber is at stake. Those of us in California can lend our help to the good folks in Georgia working to secure those seats. Various organizations have phone banks where anyone can participate in reaching out to Georgia voters. For more information, please visit Stacy Abrams’ www.FairFight.com, www.actblue.com, or Indivisible’s website (www.tinyurl.com/y5qq8fw).
Because what is at stake is not merely an electoral victory, but the affirmation and protection of American democracy.
— Sean Quintal writes on behalf of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.