Republicans: Enabling Trump’s assault on democracy

Republicans: Enabling Trump’s assault on democracy

 A full month after his defeat at the polls, President Trump is engaged in unprecedented, “un-American efforts to overturn the election,” said Dean Obeidallah in CNN.com. Nearly 50 courts have now rejected Trump’s baseless challenges to Joe Biden’s victory—including the U.S. Supreme Court, which this week voted 9-0 to dismiss his attempt to invalidate election results in Pennsylvania. In desperation, Trump is now openly pressuring legislators in battleground states to ignore the will of voters and simply declare him the winner. 

In reality, Joe Biden beat him decisively, with a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College and by 51.4 percent to 46.9 percent of the popular vote. But Trump’s insistence the election was stolen has worked his most rabid followers into a frenzy of violent threats. If she didn’t deny that Biden won, said Kim Ward, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania Senate, “I’d get my house bombed tonight.” Indeed, only 27 of 249 congressional Republicans were willing to call Biden the “president-elect” in a Washington Post survey this week. Sadly, Republicans have become the “Cult of Trump,” said Anthony Fisher in BusinessInsider.com. 

Only 20 percent of GOP voters now believe Biden’s win was legitimate, and half are so delusional they think Trump will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. By letting Trump’s malevolent lies take root, Republican officials have “failed their country.” The “undermining of election integrity” did not start with Trump, said Becket Adams in WashingtonExaminer.com. After Trump’s victory in 2016, Democrats spent four years loudly “alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally installed a puppet in the Oval Office.” Many Democrats called Trump an “illegitimate” president. The symmetry is compelling, said Andrew McCarthy in NationalReview.com. 

Trump is trying “to delegitimize an election he lost by peddling claims of a massive fraud scheme,” just as Democrats tried to delegitimize an election they lost with “farcical” claims that Trump colluded with Russia. That’s a ludicrous comparison, said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com. First of all, there’s a mountain of evidence that Trump and his campaign welcomed Russia’s efforts to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor. But at no point did any Democrat demand the nullification of hundreds of thousands of ballots. Hillary Clinton conceded the election in a graceful speech the morning after the election. 

Nor was there any hint of the violent rhetoric that is now commonplace among Trumpists, said William Saletan in Slate.com. “We’re getting ready to start shooting,” said a speaker at a rally led by Donald Trump Jr. Newly pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn retweeted a call for Trump to impose martial law and order a “revote.” Courageous Republican election officials who’ve certified the vote in several states are being inundated with death threats. “Someone’s going to get killed,” said Georgia Republican official Gabriel Sterling. “A line has been crossed,” said Christian Vanderbrouk in TheBulwark.com, and history will remember “where people stood in this moment.” Trump’s infamy should be shared by Republicans like Sens. Rand Paul and Ron Johnson, who’ve egged on crazy conspiracy theories of fake-ballot dumps and rigged voting machines— and by those who silently assented to them. In 2020, “the enemies of democracy” advocated using “political power to overturn a clearly decided election”—a revolt that would end our nation’s 244-year-old experiment in self-rule. “We must never forget.”

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