Jonathon V.Last (“JVL”) writes in his column “The Triad” in The Bulwark If This Is a Crisis, Then Act Like It. The “good” Republicans have nothing but words.
Before I get to JVL’s column, a disclosure about the background is in order.
You might recall my Wednesday post:‘Someone’s Going To Get Killed’: Ga. Official Blasts GOP Silence On Election Threats. Gabriel Sterling, a top Georgia election official, speaks on Monday. During a Tuesday news conference, Sterling called on President Trump to condemn supporters who have threatened violence against election officials.
That was a powerful presser and it fueled my hope that there are some reasonable Republicans left to stand up to the Putin Puppet Donald Trump. However, JVL just disabused me of that fanciful view of the GOP.
But here’s the catch: Last night Sterling was interviewed by Jude Woodruff on PBS. Here’s what he said:
Judy Woodruff: You seemed to be yesterday pleading with President Trump as — in your words, to stop inspiring potential acts of violence. What is it that the president has said and done that led you to this point?
Gabriel Sterling: Your vote is being stolen. Secretary Raffensperger, a lifelong conservative Republican, is an enemy of the people, asking, essentially, the two senators from the state to call for the resignation of Secretary Raffensperger for rampant mismanagement and allowing fraud to happen.
None of its true, none of it. And, frankly, it undermines our nation, undermines democracy, undermines the republic to continue to insist that there is some path to win.
I am a Republican. I will vote for those two senators, because I think it’s important for the Republicans to control the United States Senate moving forward. But the president is in a position of responsibility. He needs to take some.
So: Gabriel Sterling thinks that Republicans—and specifically the two Republicans running for the Senate in Georgia are saying things which are untrue and conducting themselves in a way that is “un-American” and makes them “complicit” in an attack against “the backbone of our democracy.” He says that their words and actions are “going to get somebody killed.”
And he also says: “I will vote for those two senators.”
I wrote about this logic pretzel two weeks ago and, if anything, it’s getting worse.
When Woodruff pressed Sterling on this logic, his answer was that divided government is super important and Democrats will pack the court and blah-blah-blah.
I don’t want to sugar-coat this: That’s bullshirt.
(1) Republicans didn’t think divided government was a good thing in 2018. If they did, then they would have voted for Democrats.
(2) Joe Biden has said repeatedly he has no interest in packing the court. And even if he wanted to pack the court and controlled the Senate, he couldn’t do it. Just count the votes.
(3) If control of the Senate was the only goal, then Sterling could vote for Perdue and against Loeffler. Republicans only need to win one of those seats.
What this is about is party über alles.
Because if a guy like Sterling says that Republicans are being literally “un-American” and are attacking the very “backbone of our democracy” AND that he’s still voting for them? Well, he is saying that he will always vote for Republicans, no matter what.
At which point there is no reason for anyone to pay attention to anything he says. Because it’s nothing more than theatrics.
If you, like me, took a measure of hope from Sterling’s remarks then, like me, your hopes for reasonable, credible, honest Republicans are dashed. Live with it.