Texas AG Ken Paxton’s plea to the Supreme Court outlining systematic excursions from normal election processes and law generated a whole of anger. Even after it was rejected by the Supreme Court for lack of standing (which everyone expected), it is still a throbbing thumb having been smashed with a hammer to many lawyers/pundits/commentators.
They are not just angry because Paxton filed it, they are angry because so many Republicans supported it.
Jonah Goldberg vented his spleen on Marco Rubio.
If you take him seriously, which I don’t advise, Rubio is saying that the Supreme Court has stepped out of its lane for the left, so it should now do likewise for the right and take up a frivolous suppository of a case seeking to defenestrate the Constitutional order and trample a legitimate election, just to own the libs.
It goes on and on. Honestly, I think some of the anger has to do with the trashing of the legal profession to make cheap political stunts using the Supreme Court as a circus venue. I am not a lawyer, so I don’t have to worry about the state of the legal profession. However, to the lawyer crowd’s credit, many of them howled just as loudly when Justice Kavanaugh was trashed during his confirmation hearings, so at least they’re consistent.
As I wrote earlier in the week, I didn’t think the SCOTUS brief had a hint of a chance at being heard. However I think the issues are important. Those who are angry say that all of the blame for people not trusting the election results lies with Trump. I disagree. The Democrats and their media lap cats, who have been pushing the rigged election narrative for several years, bear a lot of responsibility.
That doesn’t mean it’s not terribly irresponsible for Trump and Republicans who have glommed on to his Quixotic quest to remain president to continue pushing a lie that Trump somehow won and it’s all a massive conspiracy. It’s Republic-smashing, Putin-is-laughing, George Washington-is-spinning-in-his-grave level bad. But such has politics become in the last eight years. It’s not all Trump’s fault that we’re here, but it’s his fault that he’s lit rocket engines under it.
Trump and his school of political remora and influence-peddlers’ move is to do what Democrats weakly tried in 2016: get the states to appoint faithless electors or refuse to certify results. Democrat activists protested and disrupted Wisconsin presidential electors voting. A group called “Unite for America” made a celebrity-packed “public service video” urging electors not to vote for Trump, and urging states to defy election results.
If this had happened, the media would not have called it a “stolen presidency” for Hillary Clinton. They would have danced a jig and proclaimed they saved America from Donald Trump.
The same pundits who are upset over Paxton’s SCOTUS plea are upset that this is going to happen. They are pretending as if it’s more than just grandstanding, without a chance of making a difference.
Justin Amash tweeted that the “election fraud hoax will go down as one of the most embarrassing and dishonorable episodes in American political history.” I suppose Amash is ignoring Watergate, Monica Lewinsky, the Russia “pee tape” hoax that turned into a two year investigation, and the Kavanaugh hearings. Or maybe he’s not sufficiently embarrassed over those things.
I think it’s a real case of “our sideism” at work here. When the Democrats do such terrible, embarrassing, political dirty tricks and lies, well, that’s just hardball politics and that’s what Democrats do. But Republicans can’t claim to be better when Trump is beating them in the race to the bottom. (Pro tip: There is no bottom.)
Trump’s next move is to lose without grace, humility, or class. It has to be this way because the man possesses none of those things. He knows how to fight, but not how to exit the stage. Hillary Clinton is the same way, except she’s not as skilled at it.
There will be no shame in the calls for states to invalidate their election results to keep Trump in power. That’s because these political operators don’t see it as shameful. They see it as politics. As Erick Erickson wrote, “a fish doesn’t know it’s wet.”
I am truly disappointed with my own side for the hucksterism, lies, and denial of reality. Too many friends have no knowledge they are wet. They cannot appreciate the real world around them and live now in a fantasy land of grievance, theft of elections, and mythology. Principles have been abandoned and all that remains is coveting power and keeping power.
The focus should have been, and could have been, Trump’s triumphs. He made significant reform of our federal tax system, returning billions to taxpayers. He was a catalyst for the greatest revival of peace in the Middle East since Jimmy Carter stood with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.
Trump rightly called out China for extending its tentacles into every corner of American institutional life, and for cheating in every possible way. He called out China as the actor that allowed coronavirus to pollute the world, and in fact likely end his own presidency. He didn’t get America into any new wars, and prodded our allies into doing more to protect the West.
But that won’t be his legacy. His legacy will be the man who tried to become a dictator (as if FDR was a saint, and Lyndon Johnson was a pacifist). I would blame Trump more for it, but that’s like blaming Forrest Gump for dropping his pants at the White House. He can’t perform with skills he doesn’t possess.
Trump is going down fighting an unwinnable battle, without shame or grace, or the benefit of the doubt from his own party, outside of those who benefit from the pyrrhic effort theater. We can be horrified by it, or we can do better next time.
Let’s do better next time.
Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.
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