Lies, rage, and baseless lawsuits: Say goodnight, Trump | Editorial

Posted Nov 11, 2020

The only remaining method for the moribund Trump Administration to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election is to subvert democracy in any way possible, so we have reached the malignant monkey phase of these proceedings.

The strategy is to spread disease throughout the body politic with claims of Democrats “cheating” and “welcoming fraud,” as spewed Monday by a Trump mouthpiece of Himmler-esque dependability named Kayleigh McEnany, whose flagrant lies stopped Fox News host Neil Cavuto in his tracks and forced him to cut away.

“Whoa-whoa-whoa,” said Cavuto, a longtime Mendham resident. “Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”

When Fox News has exhausted its tolerance for Team Trump’s verbal dysentery, it’s a pretty good sign it has jumped the shark.

But as pathetic as this crusade has become, it cannot be dismissed with a shrug and a chortle. We walk among multitudes who are willing to believe every lie that Team Trump can conceive, because the aim behind these claims of election fraud are to discredit and delegitimize the Biden presidency and cripple confidence in the election system.

It works. A Politico poll released Monday found that 70 percent of Republicans don’t believe the election was free and fair, exactly double the percentage of GOP voters who held similar beliefs before Election Day.

In fact, 78 percent saying that mail-in voting led to widespread fraud and 72 percent believing that ballots were tampered.

If those fantasies sound familiar, they are recurring whinges on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.

This is a conspiracy theory woven in real time. It may be as unconvincing as all the other slack-jawed imbecilities Trump has floated since the Birtherism craze. But the difference is that his base still finds comfort in conservative media, which is more willing than ever to spread the fever if it still sells MyPillows and Lifelocks.

And as Trump attempts to delay his exit — still unhinged and divorced from reality, and unable to acknowledge that the game is over — he has no shortage of enablers outside the media.

Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham lead a resolute Republican chorus beckoning the president to fight on. Mitch McConnell, the most accomplished vandal of democracy, considers Trump’s lawsuits – more than a dozen, virtually all of them frivolous — within his rights, and that’s true. But he says nothing about the Trump Administration blocking the transition and impeding the transfer of power to President-Elect Biden.

None of Trump’s charges have merit, but these men — sworn to protect our democracy — have decided that politics trumps an incontestable election result. The deceit can do real damage, but no one can really be surprised: Everything that has been is venal and mendacious about the party of Trump has become crystallized in this insult to the peaceful transfer of power.

Yes, they are running out of plays.

They tried to discredit voting by mail, with some Republican Legislatures eliminating it entirely. They tried to torpedo the postal service. They tried suppression. They tried carting away drop boxes. They tried to stop the counting. They have filed lawsuits in 5 states, with multiple rejections in four of them.

Trump even dispatched Rudy Giuliani to lead his PR effort, starting with Saturday’s press conference in the parking lot of a landscaping company, overlooking a crematorium and a sex shop. The first voting fraud expert who Giuliani called to the mic was a convicted sex offender from Trenton.

And the president’s most virulent political hack, Attorney General Bill Barr, politicized the Justice Department by green-lighting officials to investigate fraud allegations, undermining the DOJ Public Integrity Division and leading to the immediate resignation of its leader.

Some Republicans and longtime Trump skeptics, such as Cavuto, recognize what is happening.

But even as we wrestle the bullhorns away from the likes of McEnany, this is no time stop paying attention. We’re dealing with more than one infection now.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-11-12 02:54:58 -0800