Some consider my “tinyurls” annoying, and hardly anyone checks them. Just this once, though, before discussing Trump’s and Republicans’ claims about a fraudulent election, it’d be helpful if readers were to see this.
Also helpful is Lindsey Graham on the subject: “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again.”
Okay, thanks. Now we understand. Because it always has been, this is about minority Republicans maintaining power. And because it never has been, it’s not about what’s best for the country. Not even in this extraordinary time, when there’s so much more at stake; namely, our physical, economic, and social health; and the livability of this overheating planet. Foxians accuse Democrats of hypocrisy in urging Republicans to give Biden a chance when they didn’t for Trump. Well, there’s a difference.
From the moment he entered politics, Trump trafficked in division and untruth. He encouraged violence at his rallies, called his opponents – Democrat and Republican alike – stupid and mean-spirited names. After election, his first act was to lie about crowd size and to claim he’d lost the popular vote because of three million illegal ones. Later, he refused Constitutionally-required congressional oversight and fired inspectors general and US attorneys who were pursuing his political and personal malfeasance. His reelection campaign sank even lower, as his rallies, lacking anything positive, manifested only anger, grievance, and mendacity.
Denying climate change and mocking science, weakening alliances and strengthening enemies, making America a source of ridicule, lying about, mishandling, and finally ignoring the greatest health threat of our lifetimes, Trump blew his chance to be given a chance, even before he chanced upon the presidency.
From the outset, by contrast, President-elect Joe Biden urged an end to acrimony and a return to cooperation and valuing expertise. He pledged to care as much for those who voted against him as those who voted for him. Given the problems he’ll be facing, it’d be nice if Congressional Rs would help. And it’d be welcome if America took him at his word, unless the time comes when he’s unworthy of it.
There’s nothing new about demanding recounts or, as we’ve seen, accusations of election fraud. What’s new is the catastrophically dangerous level of disinformation being spread, without a shred of evidence. In all fifty states, every single one, Democratic and Republican election officials are unequivocally stating there’s no fraud. None. Not, at least, to any significant degree. Yet nearly every elected Republican continues to push the destructive lie. Even here.
It’s common, too, that ballots are counted for days after elections. What’s unprecedented is those doing so being harassed, even receiving death threats from conspiracy-addled Trumpists. Likewise, Texas’ Lieutenant Governor offering a million dollars for proof of fraud; unclaimed, so far. [Update: the prize has been claimed.]
Retracted falsehoods are new, too.
Caring nothing about the perilous implications for democracy, Republican leaders are attempting not just to discredit this election; it’s the very idea of voting. Lindsey G. made it clear. Pushing lies, they assume ignorance and gullibility of their supporters, while rightwing media overflow with accusations and distortions aimed at the credulous. And Rudy peddles pernicious propagandistic pronouncements from a place of perplexing praenomen, plunked between porno and cremation. Predictably, Trumpists buy it unquestioningly.
As Republicans reject the results of a remarkably smooth, pandemic-challenged election, sowing the seeds of dictatorship as they have for years, we see how thoroughly Trump has corrupted our government. Barr, Pompeo, Ratcliffe, McConnell, O’Brien, the GSA: all in. At a time when efficient transition couldn’t be more critical, no cooperation. When the number and magnitude of problems we face demand everyone’s help, when bipartisanship is needed as never before, the party of Lincoln stands by as Trump attempts the destruction of democracy, beginning with the Pentagon. In Trump’s thrall, so-called patriots look away. How happy Trump’s dictator pals must be.
Five million more Americans voted for honesty, lowered rhetoric, and competent, urgent attention to our needs than did those choosing more lies and vilification. Perhaps the latter can mute their media screamers long enough to see how President-elect Biden does; maybe even join efforts toward the common good.
To that end, with irenic dreams and comity in mind, I’ll be taking an indeterminate break (I’ll keep blogging). This is the predicted crisis after a Trump loss. It’s really happening. Let’s hope Trump is thwarted in his unspeakably dangerous attempts to burn it all down on his way out. If so, it surely won’t come from his democracy-averse Republican enablers.