What’s the Point? DJT and the Post-Election Nonsense
Just shy of four weeks after Election Day 2020, we still have lawyers throwing crap on the wall, hoping something will stick. The latest? On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, unanimously, told an R Congressman to go pound sand when he tried to void the 2020 election, claiming voting by mail violates the Pennsylvania Constitution. This decision followed, by a day, the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. That court upheld a District Court decision, in which Terrible Lawyer Rudolph Giuliani acknowledged the absence of fraud but wanted the court to toss all of the ballots, at least to the extent by which they included a vote for POTUS.
The Third Circuit’s three-judge panel included, entirely, R appointees. Judge Stephanos Bibas – a Trump appointee – wrote the opinion. Here’s his opening paragraph:
Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.
I appreciate the fact that Trump supporters, overwhelmingly, believe their man won. That they think people cheated. That they do not want Joseph Biden to serve as President of the United States. I get the fact, as well, that Donald Trump’s post-election nonsense ginned these people up. To what end, though?
In Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson observed:
We have to see this for what it is. It’s a PR strategy to erode public confidence in a very well-run election to achieve political ends. This was not any type of valid legal strategy that had any chance at ultimately succeeding.
I have no reason to doubt Ms. Benson’s observation, but it still begs the question: to what end? How does eroding public confidence in elections benefit the Republican Party? Maybe, not at all.
In Georgia on Saturday, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel urged R voters to turn out in the two January 5 Senate runoff elections, despite the fact that many believe the public officials have rigged the elections in favor of the D candidates. Mind you, Georgia has a Republican Governor and a Republican Secretary of State. Incumbent Senators running for both seats. In a state Donald Trump lost by only 12,000 votes.
Elections have consequences. So, too, behavior. Lots of lawyers filed a bunch of lawsuits to make a hopelessly challenged man feel better, in the moment. Judges called bullsh*t. Everywhere. And it will happen again, even with a Supreme Court which falls way Right these days.
Did the Rs help themselves by their antics? Seemingly, not. Lots of time and effort got them nowhere on the outcome of the election, and challenging the sanctity of the ballot has, I suspect, done nothing more than have T voters doubting the electoral process. For sure, the noise will not leave D voters sitting on their hands! (Maybe the best schadenfreude moment occurred in Wisconsin. A close second? The lawsuit to beat all lawsuits.)
No doubt, if Senator Mitch McConnell runs the Senate going forward, President Biden will find himself and all of us stymied at every turn. That fact aside, though, I think the post-election fun and games reflect the Party of Id. Feelers instead of thinkers. Actions controlled by news cycles, as if every day represents a fresh start, unsullied by yesterday’s noise. In a complicated, nuanced world, Not Ready for Prime-Time people.