Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Biden wins. 'It is over' - but not for Trumpists

In her December 14, 2020 edition of Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson comments on how the nation is broken with one piece still unwilling to concede a Biden presidency. Here is some of it.

It’s over.

But, although 62% of American voters say the election is “over and settled” and it’s “time to move on,” Trump continues to insist that he won the election. In the face of the Electoral College confirmation of Biden’s win, this position increasingly seems a ploy to raise money. Even as the Electoral College was voting, the Trump campaign filed yet another lawsuit challenging the outcome of the election. It has lost 59 of 60 court cases, and the Supreme Court last week refused to hear a case in which Trump planned to argue that mail-in voting in swing states that voted for Biden—but not the states that voted for him—injured Republican voters in Texas.

Yeah! Really.

Senate Republicans, who have set the Electoral College vote as the date on which they would acknowledge Biden’s victory, are swinging behind the idea that Biden is indeed the President-Elect. But the Trump loyalists are not giving up. The state Capitols of Michigan and Wisconsin had to be closed to the public out of safety concerns before the Electoral College delegates met; the electors in Arizona had to meet in an undisclosed location. One Republican state representative in Michigan hinted at potential violence against the delegates to the Electoral College; leadership later stripped him of his committee assignments. Despite the fussing, members of Congress are expected to certify the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021.

The Republicans’ willingness to entertain Trump’s tantrums means that, unlike most Americans, 82% of Trump voters say they think Biden’s victory is illegitimate and that Trump should refuse to concede and should do all he can to stay in power.

This was finally too much for Representative Paul Mitchell of Michigan, who announced today he was switching his affiliation from Republican to Independent. Mitchell is retiring from Congress in weeks, perhaps freeing him to speak his mind. He called out Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, for suggesting that Trump’s loss was because of Black voters in Detroit. “Ronna,” he wrote, “you know Michigan politics well.” (McDaniel is the granddaughter of former Michigan Governor George W. Romney, and served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 2015 to 2017). “Trump did not lose Michigan because of Wayne County, but rather he lost because of dwindling support in areas including Kent and Oakland County, both previous Republican strongholds.”

Mitchell called out “political candidates” who “treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote.” He warned, “If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and ‘stop the steal’ rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was ‘the most secure in American history,’ our nation will be damaged.” He condemned the “raw political considerations” that led party leaders to support the “stop the steal” efforts. He noted that members of Congress take oaths to support and defend the Constitution, not “to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation.”

AG William Barr quit. Why?

… Barr’s resignation letter was full of praise for Trump, but the two men have been at odds since Barr refused to sign on to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. On December 1, Barr told the Associated Press that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 election, thus undercutting the president’s arguments.

While the timing of the resignation announcement seems pegged to try to upstage Biden’s win, the timing of the resignation itself might well reflect that Trump is planning some controversial pardons and Barr didn’t want to be associated with them.

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