Trump and the GOP fail to subvert the will of the voters
The Electoral College vote affirming the election of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States made official what we’ve known since early November — that Biden won and President Donald Trump lost.
But Trump turned what should have been a smooth transition into an agonizing fight. Republicans at both the state and national levels joined him in denying the clear results and pushing lawsuits, hearings, and protest rallies to carry the message that Biden’s win was not legitimate and the U.S. election process cannot be trusted.
The GOP has led us into dark, dangerous, unprecedented political terrain. Only because the margin was so clear did the Republicans fail in their efforts to subvert the will of the voters. If Trump had lost by fewer votes in Wisconsin and elsewhere you can bet his campaign lawyers and his many GOP enablers would have tried to take their effort to steal the election all the way to the hoop.
As it is, they’ve allowed partisanship to poison Americans’ sense of fair play, showed that they are willing to throw away our shared set of rules and have undermined the bedrock principle of a peaceful transfer of power. It’s not just Trump and his buffoonish lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani who are willing to cheat, lie, and throw anything at the wall to see if it might stick. It’s also Wisconsin’s Republican officials on the Elections Commission and in the Legislature, which ran a ridiculously one-sided hearing on Friday to air baseless claims of voter fraud and wrongdoing by Wisconsin’s election clerks. Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Appleton), the chair of the committee that held those hearings, still won’t admit Trump lost. Most ominously, as my colleague Melanie Conklin reports, Republican legislators are seeking input from partisan “poll watchers” on rigging future elections.
As Justice Jill Karofsky put it during the Trump campaign’s oral arguments before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Republican attack on votes in Dane and Milwaukee counties, and their attempt to change election rules after the fact, amounted to not just “seeding, but watering and nurturing doubt about a legitimate election.”
Long after Trump is finally escorted from the White House we will continue to reap the poisonous fruits of that effort. Read more