Saturday, December 12, 2020

Texas lawsuit betrays all things conservative and blesses advocates of transfer of power by violence

[The GOP Gives Up On Democracy][shots] writes Charlie Sykes in this morning’s Bulwark. It’s “A seditious abuse of judicial due process”.

… Texas’s frivolous, clownish, anti-democratic, "seditious abuse of the judicial process” is going nowhere.

But it felt like a landmark moment in the ongoing deracination of conservative principles when 18 states and a majority of the Republican congressional caucus signed on to the attempt to nullify the votes of tens of millions of Americas. …

Charlie provides a “list of Republicans who are turning their backs on democracy.”

… what do we make of this slouch toward raw authoritarianism?

Jonah Goldberg notes that the Texas lawsuit “is a betrayal of everything defenders of federalism and the Electoral College claim to believe.”

The decision by Republicans to embrace the attempt to steal the election, he writes, is “an act of cynical, unpatriotic, undemocratic hypocrisy unrivaled in American history, a pure power play on behalf of a president whose disregard for the very Constitution these people have long claimed to adore is total. It is shameful. Infuriatingly shameful.”

This, however, is what happens when a political party transforms itself into a cult of personality — it becomes willing to jettison almost everything, including the constitution, democracy, and the country.

All the things that used to matter? Pffft.

Fiscal conservatism? Character? Free trade? The rule of law? American leadership in the world?

All that’s left is an orange smudge. But, apparently, we are not done yet.

As TrumpWorld pushes for the Supreme Court to wipe out the results of a presidential election, we can also forget about notions like “judicial restraint,” and “strict constructionism.”

And federalism. And states’ rights.

Until five minutes ago, conservatives understood that states ran their own elections and that it was unconstitutional for the federal government or the courts to override those systems except in the most extreme circumstances.

Worth noting: not all Republicans have signed on to the clown coup.

For example:

Ben Sasse also is calling out the legal charlatans.

“I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away,” Sasse told the Washington Examiner.

Sasse added that, to him, it looked like Paxton filed a “PR stunt rather than a lawsuit,” in an attempt to gain “a pardon” from President Trump. Paxton is currently the subject of an FBI investigation for illegally using the power of his office to benefit Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

Sasse noted that the lawsuit, in which Paxton said that officials in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin “tainted the integrity” of the presidential election with mail-in ballots, does not cover any new ground in election litigation.

Here is my latest column for MSNBC Daily that discusses the new lawsuit by Chris Krebs, the former cybersecurity boss who was fired by Trump.

In Arizona, Trump alleged that Gov. Doug Ducey had “betrayed the people of Arizona” because he followed the law and certified the state’s election results.

Imagine that! In following the law a public servant "betrays the people of Arizona. Continue …

In the end, Krebs may not win his case. But his lawsuit is a graphic warning about the danger of political violence and how it’s already deforming Republican politics.

Here’s the part you might want to check out. After Trump loyalist Joe diGenova called for Krebs to be “drawn and quartered,” and taken out “at dawn and shot,” right wing social media exploded with attacks and threats.

In great detail, Krebs’ lawsuit lays out the reaction of social media users on the right-wing site Parler after he was labeled a “traitor.” Some examples, from comments posted on or around Dec. 1, included a user who said he had “put himself in the line of fire! We know now that he did lie when he said there had been no cyber interference with the election. Under this evidence alone he should be tried for treason and shot as a trader.”

“Why waste a bullet, just smash his head in with rock,” another user said. “If we make an example of one of these traitors then we might get rid of all the rats that are still hiding in the darkness,” a third intoned. Around two dozen such messages were included in the filing.

Ugly. Really ugly and as un-American as you can get.

These “people” are really advocating using murder and assassination to overthrow our democracy.

Back to Charlie’s MSNBC column:

All of this took a predictable toll. The lawsuit said the “unrelenting fear” that Krebs experienced after learning of diGenova’s threats “has been staggering.” His fears were shared by his family, “including his 10-year-old, who piercingly asked: ‘Daddy’s going to get executed?’”

Krebs notes — and I agree — that it’s a question no parent should ever hear or have to answer. But it’s a haunting warning of what happens to a political party when blind loyalty replaces principle and when conformity is enforced by intimidation and even threats of violence

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