Longtime readers of Political Charge have seen this quote before, but it bears repeating. In the early part of Trump’s administration, David Frum wrote, “If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.”
He was right. It just happened.
Earlier this week, the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court asking them to reject the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. He’s hoping that decision will allow the state legislators to choose different electors to vote in the Electoral College meeting, which is scheduled for Monday.
For reasons that I’ll demonstrate in just a minute, this suit is ludicrous and is doomed to fail, just like the Pennsylvania lawsuit that SCOTUS dismissed earlier this week with this single sentence: “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.”
So why in the world would Paxton file such a lawsuit? You don’t have to look far to find a lot of reporters (and even GOP Senator Ben Sasse) who are reminding the public that Paxton is under federal investigation for bribery and abuse of office. What could be on Paxton’s mind that he files a lawsuit to benefit Trump … in the waning days of Trump’s presidency … while he is openly talking about dishing out hundreds of pardons. Hmm.
So, I don’t want you to be concerned about this lawsuit. Every respected constitutional scholar has said that Paxton’s lawsuit is garbage. The four Attorneys General in the battleground states filed a response with SCOTUS yesterday and this is what they had to say:
Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro:
“Texas’s effort to get this Court to pick the next President has no basis in law or fact. The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated.”
Michigan’s AG Dana Nessel:
“The election in Michigan is over. Texas comes as a stranger to this matter and should not be heard here.”
Georgia’s AG Chris Carr:
“Texas presses a generalized grievance that does not involve the sort of direct state-against-state controversy required for original jurisdiction.”
Wisconsin’s AG Josh Kaul:
“[This is an] extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin’s and the other defendant States’ elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each State.”
Here’s one more response for good measure. North Carolina’s AG Josh Stein:
“This represents a profound and outrageous rejection of democracy with no precedent in our nation’s history. It would also violate some of our nation’s most basic constitutional principles, including federalism and respect for state law.”
Honestly, I wasn’t going to write about Paxton’s case because it is an exercise in futility. Texas has no standing — they cannot tell another state how to run their election. That is literally in the Constitution. I mean even John Cornyn, Texas’s loathsome Republican senator, said “I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it. Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?”
But I have to write about it and this is why: As of this moment, 17 Republican Attorneys General and 106 Republican Congressmen have signed onto Paxton’s lawsuit. A lawsuit that simply put, is asking the highest court in the land — whose job it is to interpret the U.S. Constitution — to disregard the clear and obvious will of the voters who voted for Joe Biden, and gift Trump a second term as president.
I’ll never get over this. A majority of the top Republican law enforcement officials in the states, and a majority of the Republican congressional caucus have signed onto a lawsuit with no merit, no evidence, and unequivocally asks to reject the will of the voters. I’ll let the constitutional lawyers argue about whether or not this is technically sedition, but it sure feels like it.
On top of all of these Republicans rejecting democracy, it is causing a huge problem among the general population. The disinformation media loop that Trump supporters are in is feeding them rainbows and unicorns when it comes to this lawsuit. Before this, they were just as excited about the Pennsylvania suit, and were absolutely sure this would finally overturn the election for Trump, until SCOTUS tossed it with a single sentence. And, if you look at it from their point of view, why in the world would that many Attorneys General and Congressmen sign onto a lawsuit if it was just hogwash? It must really be “the big one” as Trump is calling it. I have a couple acquaintances on Facebook who are Trump supporters, and when I lurk on their pages, I’m seeing this play out in real time.
A huge portion of this country is salivating at the chance that SCOTUS might toss out the will of millions of voters and just give the presidency back to Trump. As David Frum said, they didn’t abandon conservatism — they’re rejecting democracy.
A word about Georgia
There’s not a thing we can do about the lawsuit in front of SCOTUS. But if one of those Attorneys General or Congressmen is yours, you need to pick up the phone or write them an email, and give them an earful right now. You can find your Attorney General’s contact info HERE, and your Congressman’s HERE.
What we CAN do is make sure that these democracy-rejecting Republicans aren’t in power in Congress, and we do that by making sure we win those two Georgia Senate seats on January 5th. If you’re wondering where the current Republican Senators from Georgia feel about Paxton’s lawsuit, both Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue say they “fully support” it. For this, and so many other reasons, we need to boot them from office.
Here are all the ways folks can help out with this election, including two fun online fundraisers this weekend — one with the cast of Hamilton, and another with the casts of Star Trek. They’re all listed here –> How To Help Win the 2 Georgia Senate Runoff Elections
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Excellent article. Thank you!
Well said, as always. “Loathsome” John Cornyn. I love that. So appropriate!!
Tokyo, David Frum is one of the more astute journalists around. What he’s defining is a long term plan based on bad demographic projections for Republicans about whites no longer having a majority in the future. It also explains why working with Putin is not considered by a few to be a bad thing, which is incredible in and of itself.
I first heard of the plan from former political advisor to John McCain, Steve Schmidt, who saw the light and co-founded the Lincoln Project. The plan is to use aggressive marketing means to win over new GOP voters. Failing that, the plan is to reduce civil liberties and rights and assume more power through states and the federal government.
Social media has made it easier for the former strategy to take footing, but Frum is not incorrect in his assertion, in my view, as a former Republican. One of the reasons I left the party twelve plus years ago was a tendency for the party to make stuff up. Now it is the party of conspiracy theory which is sad, embarrassing and frightening. I do not use these words lightly and this conspiracy theory is not one to sneeze at, given its source.
Here is my current post which supports what you wrote called “What is they caught the bus?” Keith
Just read it — it’s a good post. Pretty much agree with everything you said.
SAVE OUR REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY
United states is not a direct democracy; it is represented government by who we elect in congress and in our state legislatures that is why our Presidents and our Governors cannot dictate law.
Our founding fathers were smart enough to assure our democracy will survive if our elected representatives honor their pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Clearly the States in controversy failed in their support of the Constitution of the United States thereby removing themselves as part of the Republic for which we stand
They cannot cast votes in the Electoral College simply because their state legislators do not support changing the rules in the middle of the game.
Kenneth B. Jones
Couldn’t agree more.