The Republican war against democracy | Moran

Posted Dec 15, 2020

Before moving on to the Biden era, let’s pause to note that Rep. Jeff Van Drew just sold the last morsel of his soul, at discount, by supporting the Texas lawsuit that tried to overturn the presidential election.

If this lawsuit had succeeded, it would have erased the vote in four states Biden won, leaving the selection of presidential electors to the state legislatures, all controlled by Republicans.

No one fired any weapons, so we can’t quite call this an attempted coup.

But let’s remember that the bulk of the Republican Party just joined the effort to overturn the clear will of the American people. Let’s remember that their reasons were so flimsy even this conservative and partisan Supreme Court rejected it without so much as a hearing. This wasn’t treason, but it was “a seditious abuse of the judicial process,” as Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, put it.

The bulk of the Republican Party supported this obscene effort. Two-thirds of the members of Congress joined Van Drew in signing the letter of support, along with Republican attorneys general in 17 states, in addition to Texas.

“The weight of the Republican Party is exactly where Trump sense it is, and that’s not going to change,” says Prof. Julian Zelizer of Princeton University. “The big picture is that there are moments when American politics disintegrates into a bad place, and this is one of those moments. And it’s happening when we really need government to succeed.”

Yes, in several states, Republican election officials helped to save the day by fending off the bogus partisan challenges. Here in New Jersey, many Republicans of principle have refused to join this cult of denial. They include former Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. Christie Whitman, former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, R-Union.

But they are outnumbered. Even in New Jersey, Trump has cast his spell. Bramnick was a likely candidate for governor until his criticism of Trump provoked such anger that he changed his mind. “There are a number of very angry Republicans who would be very hostile to me,” Bramnick said. “That anger has turned on anyone who disagrees with them in the party.”

Jack Ciattarelli, the former Assemblyman who is running for governor, called Trump a “charlatan” who was unfit for office in 2016, but now poses as a hard-core MAGA man, even speaking a few weeks ago at a “Stop the Steal” rally protesting the election. Doug Steinhardt, the other announced GOP candidate, is a hard Trump supporter as well.

Politicians like Van Drew and Ciattarelli probably don’t believe their own words but are dancing for the hard-core base. It’s about their careers, not their country.

Whitman wonders how Biden will manage to govern when 77 percent of Republicans believe his election was the result of “widespread fraud” and 71 percent say they hope Trump will run again in 2024.

“They believe that if Biden takes office it will be because of fraud, and that sets up a bad situation,” she says. “It’s going to make it hard for Biden to do anything.”

In 2000, after losing the election, Al Gore offered a concession speech to George W. Bush that these guys ought to read.

“This is America,” Gore said. “Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done…While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty than the one we owe political party. This is America and we put country before party. We will stand together behind our new president.”

That, folks, is patriotism. Let’s hope it makes a comeback someday.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-12-16 02:48:07 -0800