GOP lawyers downplay Trump’s election threats

This article contains news with liberal commentary.

“Conservative lawyers are brushing off … Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election …, saying there are safeguards in place to ensure a proper transition whether the president voluntarily leaves office or not,” The Hill reported on Friday, September 25, 2020. Ostriches.

“Several Republican constitutional and election lawyers told The Hill that Trump’s remarks calling into question a peaceful transition were reckless and undermine confidence in the democratic system.” (Read story here.) It’s nice they acknowledge that, don’t you think? But wouldn’t it be better if they and other influential people in the Republican Party, most notably Mitch McConnell, told Trump to knock it off? They won’t, of course.

“But they agreed Americans should not be worried about the president refusing to leave office after an election loss, saying the executive branch would no longer be under his control and that he’d effectively be removed for trespassing if he tried to stick around.” People misjudged Hitler and don’t want to make that mistake again. We are worried. We’re entitled to take Trump at his word and believe he means what he says.

“The Electoral College votes … are sent to Congress and they declare a winner [who] … becomes president on Jan. 20,” said Mark Braden, former chief counsel of the Republican National Committee. “And guess what? The new president is commander in chief, so everyone in the executive branch works for him. If they have to carry [Trump] out in a chair, they will, because if Congress reviews the electoral votes and decides that Biden wins, then it doesn’t matter what Trump thinks or does. The government will be run by Biden.”

Which is how it’s supposed to work. But Trump goes around saying it’s not going to work that way. What assurance do we have the GOP’s army of lawyers will fight in court for the constitutional result instead of against it? Won’t contest legitimate votes? That gerrymandered Republican legislatures won’t substitute their own electors for those chosen by the citizens of their states? And a Supreme Court packed with Trump appointees won’t overrule the people’s choice? We have little reason to trust Republican lawyers, legislatures, or judges.

Trump has “said there wouldn’t be any need for a transition of power if the election is fair” and “he’d accept a Supreme Court ruling on the winner of the election if it comes to that.” The White House propaganda shop “has tried to explain those remarks away by saying that he’ll accept the results of a ‘free and fair’ election, although there’s no indication the president will view a bad outcome for him as free or fair.” We know what Trump’s position is: The only “fair” election is one he wins. He’s told us he’ll contest any other result in the Republican-controlled Supreme Corut.

“Democrats are furious over what they view as a blatant threat by Trump to overturn the election results by taking power as a strongman.” Trump has authoritarian tendencies, admires dictators, lacks democratic values, ignores laws, attacks journalists and judges, and seemingly has no boundaries, and no one on the Republican side seems interested in reining him in, so who can blame them?

“Republicans are baffled at Trump’s remarks ….” Come on. After 20,000+ lies, flagrant disrespect for Congress, separation of powers, the entire constitutional scheme of government, they’re still confused? 
“Republicans have avoided directly criticizing the president, while acknowledging that his remarks are not helpful politically.” If they won’t even criticize him, why should we believe they’ll control him? Does anyone believe they care about anything except what’s “helpful politically”?

“Most Republican legal scholars interviewed by The Hill said Trump’s remarks are puzzling.” Baffled again. “But they describe as mostly bluster or inelegant warnings” his baseless attacks on mail voting in Democratic-run states. Yeah, don’t take him seriously, he doesn’t mean it. We think he does. Calling his “warnings” about the voting in Democratic states “inelegant” is blowing them off.

“Still, the GOP lawyers said it’s wrong for any president — and particularly one with” an irrational “base of supporters” who believe absurd conspiracy theories “— to be casting doubt on the outcome.” They call it wrong, but their entire party has done nothing to stop it.

“The system is not corrupt,” said Braden. “The system works ….” What he’s leaving out is that Trump is trying to corrupt it, and a lot of people worry it won’t work. Warm and fuzzy reassurances by Republican lawyers aren’t enough. Until they demonstrate they will protect that system, we can’t take them seriously.

“The GOP lawyers expressed concern over what they view as reckless maneuvers by Biden’s campaign lawyers and some state legislatures that have moved to expand mail ballots or change deadlines, saying their systems are unproven and that it sets a bad precedent to change rules midstream.” Forget the pandemic. Trump has.

“They said those moves guarantee expensive and lengthy court battles or protracted vote counts that will … cloak the election in suspicion.” In other words, they blaming Democrats for Republican threats to litigate the election’s outcome.

“But they said there would be no support for Trump within the military, government or his own party if he tried to stay in office after the Electoral College, Congress and the courts deemed him the loser.”

Why are courts included in this formula? Don’t these Republican lawyers understand their party’s stacking of courts with Republican judges, and Trump’s threats to overturn a Biden win in the Supreme Court, are the principal factors fueling Democratic paranoia?

I’ll say this just once. The courts have no business meddling in the election, and if Biden wins, Congress certifies his electoral votes, and Republican judges overturn the result, every Democrat in the country will deem that a coup and an exercise of tyranny, and the judges who did that will become objects of public hatred. I hope they realize that.

“No doubt the Trump base will stick with him, and will forever believe that Pelosi, Schumer, Shifty Schiff and Hunter Biden conspired with China and Russia to flood the American electoral system with phony ballots that swung the election to Biden,” said one Republican elections lawyer. He actually said, “Shifty Schiff”? Conversation over. When you insult people, they stop listening to you. But yeah, we’re anticipating Trump will stir up that mob and do all he can to make this country ungovernable by the people who’ve won the right to govern it at the ballot box.

“But everyone in official Washington will abandon him. Pence, the entire cabinet, the RNC, every GOP senator, all but maybe a handful of GOP representatives, all of his political appointees. … Most lawyers will refuse to represent him — including government lawyers who will resign before advancing his positions in court.” Government lawyers — the respectable ones — have already have resigned, The rest of those people have spent four years toadying to Trump. What does they take us for?

This is all cheap talk. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Democracy Lost #

    Downplay the strategy: Gop have the game plan.

    Biden wins popular vote.

    Trump will overturn the election results so, there is no need for a “transition of power”.

    Republicans are not “puzzled” by trump’s remarks. It’s what say in order to re-install trump.

    Power play complete.

    Democracy? Will of the people? One person? One vote? Yesterday.