The Republican Party has become unfit to govern. In the wake of the 2020 Presidential election, Trump and his allies have pushed unfounded conspiracy theories to “explain” President Trump’s loss. Members of the party from Congress, state governments, pundits, and average day voters have either bought them hook, line, and sinker or stood silently by as they were spread.
First, Trump and others spread unfounded conspiracy theories online. We’re all familiar with them. “Votes were changed’. “There are more votes than voters”. “There were ballot dumps in the middle of the night”. “Election watchers were forced out”. Yada yada. They’re all demonstrably false.
Second, Trump and aligned legal teams pushed insane lawsuits in state and federal court. They didn’t bother to argue that there was massive voter fraud that cost Trump the election. Instead they argued that because the states acted in changing their election laws, the election results were invalid.
Judges weren’t keen in disenfranchising millions of voters and overturning the democratic result.
When those failed, Ken Paxton– the Attorney General of Texas– (and 17 other state Attorney Generals) tried to burn American federalism to the ground. In an unprecedented case, Paxton argued Texas had the right to challenge the internal election laws of other states, and because he thought other state governments acted improperly (a similar argument to that Trump and his supporters made in Federal and State Court) all of their voters should be disenfranchised. Never mind that Texas (and many of the 17 other states) also changed their election laws in response to COVID-19 without going through their legislatures.
The Supreme Court couldn’t even be bothered to hear that frivolous argument.
Now, Republicans in Congress are trying to veto the election result. Dozens of Representatives and a dozen US Senators will be objecting to various Biden electors for various reasons. For example, Qanon Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said: “I think our secretary of state has failed Georgia. I believe our elections should be decertified.” Weirdly, she thinks her Georgia election was fine.
My Representative was similarly hypocritical:
A refusal to accept Trump losing– and trying to overturn the election by any means necessary– isn’t just at the Trumpian fringe. There’s a clear pattern among prominent and mainstream Republican officials. It’s the mainstream position of the party. Hopefully violence isn’t the next step.
I should also note that this is far from a comprehensive documentation of Republican efforts to overturn the election results. Trump and others tried to pressure Michigan officials to refuse certification– even though they had no power to do so. Trump and others are trying to pressure Mike Pence to not count Biden electors– even though he has no power to do so. There are dozens of failed lawsuits I didn’t even touch on– many of which would radically change our political process. There are GOP state legislators trying to invalidate their states’ own elections. There are also the relatively frivolous things like GOP members refusing to acknowledge Biden when he won. Or that over 100 Republican Representatives filed an amicus brief in support of the Texas lawsuit.
It’s not an overstatement to say that if Republicans got what they wanted; it would be the end of America as we know it. Our country couldn’t survive one Presidential candidate winning an election then the sitting President overturning the result. Democrats already believe the political system is biased against them. They wouldn’t take that sitting down– nor should they. It would have triggered mass protests and almost certainly secession. To be clear, this isn’t an endorsement of the Democratic Party. Democrats push to end the Senate, pack the Supreme Court, and abolish the Senate make them just as bad. Both parties have become unable to handle losing. It’s an endorsement of fixing the Republican Party before disasters in 2022 and 2024.
Exit question: What is the proper response to a coup? What should people who are standing down, but standing by do?
Update: There was violence