Near the end of the Harry Potter series, Harry faces off against the principal villain, Lord Voldemort, each wielding powerful magic. Harry gains the upper hand and Voldemort literally explodes into pieces.
Now imagine that Voldemort represents Trump’s legal actions against the voters of this country. What we are witnessing is the explosion of Trump’s strategy, if you want to call it that, as Trump and his sycophants run up against the superior forces of ballot math and election law. No magic there. Just cold hard numbers and the rule of law.
In this morning’s NY Times, we learn that Trump’s Legal Team Sets a Precedent for Lowering the Bar. President Trump and his lawyers are engaged in a spectacle that would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous, and if the stakes weren’t so high.
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By that definition, Trump’s post election efforts to wreck our election system, if not also Trump himself, is just plain insane. Consider: as of Saturday night, Trump’s courtroom score is two wins and 34 losses. The judges are openly contemptuous of the shenannigans of Trump’s lawyers.
Here are excerpts from the NY Times report.
On Thursday, the president had claimed on Twitter that he had “a very clear and viable path to victory” and that “pieces are very nicely falling into place” for his re-election.
Nobody who has been paying attention to the evidence believed this.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” said Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, at a news conference on Friday. He reiterated this while confirming Mr. Biden’s victory in the state after a hand recount of ballots.
It was merely the latest setback for Mr. Trump, whose helter-skelter effort to reverse Mr. Biden’s victory keeps smashing into the brick walls of ballot math and election law.
"Trump’s legal strategy seems like the product of the same mind that gave us hydroxychloroquine as a Covid cure,” said Ben Ginsberg, the Republican election lawyer who represented George W. Bush in 2000 in his Florida recount dispute with Vice President Al Gore.
… On Friday, the conservative website Power Line reported that the president’s lawyers filed documents claiming fraud in Michigan — and then cited townships in Minnesota.
"I have to say, it’s been strange,” said Mark Aronchick, a veteran Philadelphia lawyer who is representing four Pennsylvania counties against the Trump campaign’s challenge. “We have a robust legal system where we’re trained to focus on evidence and precedent. And then you go into a court of law and suddenly Rudy Giuliani is talking like he’s in the driveway of Four Seasons Total Landscaping.” (Four Seasons was the site of a Giuliani news conference on Nov. 7 in Philadelphia, between a crematory and an adult book shop, where the former mayor announced that Mr. Trump would not concede.)
One of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, went so far as to claim this week that the president had in fact won the election “not just by hundreds of thousands of votes, but by millions of votes.” However, she added, votes that were cast for Mr. Trump had been nefariously shifted to Mr. Biden by a software program “designed expressly for that purpose.”
Ms. Powell also said that the C.I.A. had previously ignored complaints about the software. She urged the president to fire Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director.
As the past four years have shown, Mr. Trump’s say-anything style has been mimicked by his minions, like Ms. Powell, and can prove brutally effective in certain political and media settings. But it has limits in more rigorous and rule-oriented places, like court.
“You’re alleging that the two individual plaintiffs were denied the right to vote,” Judge Matthew W. Brann of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said Tuesday in Williamsport, addressing Mr. Giuliani. “But at bottom, you’re asking this court to invalidate more than 6.8 million votes, thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the commonwealth. Can you tell me how this result can possibly be justified?”
Mr. Giuliani did not immediately answer. The judge appeared to be losing his patience.
(Thanks to our Editor at Large Sherry.)