You have to be willing to do something illegal
The Republican state government and elections officials who have been standing up to Trump have been kind of shouting that from the rooftops. But it’s been missed by most of the reporting we’re seeing, which is kind of mixing all of Trump’s various pressure efforts together, and thus keeps missing a very important and dangerous distinction.
Let’s take Georgia as an example: it has a Republican Governor and Secretary of State, both of whom are (or were) staunch Trump supporters. Biden won the election there by well over 10,000 votes. A hand recount of all the votes on paper was not mandatory, but they decided to do it anyway. Biden still won. Then the Trump campaign had the right to request another recount, which it did, so they did that. Biden won again.
They even did something Trump keeps saying they didn’t: matching signatures on mail-in ballots with signatures of voters on file. Twice. Once when the voter requested the ballot, and again before the ballot was opened and counted. If they did it again at this point, it would prove nothing, because once the signatures were verified, twice, the ballot was then separated from the signature envelope. Which isn’t called fraud; it’s called honoring the right for a person’s vote to be secret. So even if they went through and found tens of thousands of signatures that didn’t match, they’d have no way of determining who those people actually voted for. Of course, Trump has a way in mind: focus only on those areas with high concentrations of minority voters, ‘cause that’s where all the fraud occurs. The fact that he doesn’t get many votes in those areas—according to him and his people—is at best coincidental, and at worst tantamount to proof of those no-good goings on he alleges. Because, as is always the case: how could he possibly lose?
So that’s Georgia. And those Republican guys there actually did a lot to confirm and re-confirm outcomes and count and re-count stuff just in case they might’ve found something to change things up. But they didn’t. And so that’s that.
But Trump wants more. Since he didn’t win by the rules and multiple replays, he demands of Georgia’s governor to call a special emergency session of the state legislature, to throw out the current results where Trump lost, and replace them with a slate of electors that would make him win. And brags if the governor does that and those other things we just talked about, he wins Georgia “quickly and easily” and then “everything else falls in place!” Calls the governor up on the phone and says so. In other words, cancel out all the votes of the people in Georgia, and just make it so he wins. If only Governor Brian Kemp “knew what the hell he was doing”, Trump adds.
Governor Kemp replies with a 4-paragraph note, that can be summed up in 2 words:
So it’s not that he didn’t go to great lengths to help out the President. Just that he balked at breaking the law.
So, since the Governor’s up for re-election in 2022, Trump’s already throwing his weight behind someone to unseat him. Someone who’s made it very clear he’s very willing to wade into extra-legal waters to help out the Prez.
That’s why we think it’s so extra-shameful so many senior Republicans are still standing back and keeping quiet. Wasn’t quite as big a deal when Trump was bloviating about recounts and taking stuff to courts. But as soon as it became about suborning illegal—and in this case, also anti-American—activity, it became incumbent on them to speak up. Yet they didn’t, and haven’t.
In fact, the opposite. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz says he’ll argue for Trump before the Supreme Court if the Court will hear a case brought by a Republican from Pennsylvania. Which we really didn’t even want to mention because it’s such BS. Never mind that since each state sets its own election rules, that Republican legislator, Mike Kelly, is trying to get the Supreme Court to overturn a law Pennsylvania Republicans decided on and approved themselves. Back in 2019. Because Republicans control the Pennsylvania state legislature, and did at the time the election law in question was passed. Which pre-dates the Coronavirus, so has nothing to do with trying to take extraordinary steps to try to accommodate anybody. But now that those rules they made up themselves didn’t win Trump the game, they all of a sudden shouldn’t count. And were actually illegal in the first place. In which case, why did they pass the thing? In fact, that very election law is featured on the “Pennsylvania Senate Republicans” home page under the header: “2019-2020 Senate Legislative Accomplishments“.
By the way, Trump’s been on the phone with them, too.
And as weasly a weasel as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be, when he blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, and then rushed President Trump’s through for opposite reasons under somewhat similar circumstances, he wasn’t breaking any laws. His actions were despicable in both cases. But the rules let him do it. But when he refuses to speak up against Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement of totally illegal ways to get a loss changed to a win in the election, that’s totally different. Because there’s no rule to which McConnell can point that hands Trump an election he lost just because the President demands it.
Maybe McConnell’s just happy enough Trump’s not right now demanding that loyalty test of him, and wants to enjoy his Christmas without his house potentially being surrounded by armed protestors.
But if you’re keeping close company with a guy who wants to do a bunch of bank robberies, let’s say, doesn’t matter if you’re just biding your time in the getaway car. In the eyes of the law, you’d still be abetting the crime just the same as if you were in the bank threatening people and holding them up.