Having lost at the ballot box, Republican legislators will now try to repeal democracy

“Days after Trump left office [has it only been days? our release from captivity already seems like ages ago — Ed.], state Republicans have introduced a series of measures that would give legislators the power to overturn the will of voters, both in the 2020 presidential contest and in future elections,” The Hill reported on Sunday, January 31, 2021. (Read story here.)

“In Pennsylvania, state Sen. Cris Dush (R) introduced a resolution declaring his state’s presidential election unlawful and void, and the results invalid. Dush’s legislation would have revoked the certification of presidential electors pledged to President Biden and replaced them with a slate elected by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.”

This is, of course, a pointless gesture because the electoral votes have been formally certified, Biden has been sworn in and taken office, and there is no process in the Constitution for rescinding electoral votes or unswearing a president. Toss this in the “sour grapes” bin. Of potentially greater practical import,

“Others would give legislatures the ability to decertify the results of futures presidential elections in their states. In Arizona, state Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R) introduced a bill last week that would allow the state legislature to de-certify the results of a presidential election if they disagree with the certification issued by the Secretary of State.”

Such legislation, if passed by states, would likely be preempted by the federal statute (Electoral Count Act of 1887) with respect to elections for federal offices; and, in any case, would have no practical effect if enacted in “red” states, where democracy isn’t exactly thriving anyway, but Arizona is an important — and potentially pivotal — swing state, which makes any such efforts there concerning; although the bluer or more purple a state is, the less likely such legislation is to pass. And if it does, even conservative judges don’t necessarily share the anti-democracy tendencies of GOP legislators and much of their voter base.

That the Republican Party has evolved into a totalitarian party is beyond dispute. The 2020 election, and aftermath, made that crystal clear, even if it was a little muddy previously.

President Trump’s unprecedented efforts to undermine the clear and conclusive results of the presidential election have provoked a startling reaction in his followers — from the angry mob that attacked the Capitol to senior state legislators across the nation.

“The rebuke of democratic values stems from a deeper and darker view of the clash that defines modern American politics, one stoked from the pulpit and the podium among the conservative evangelicals and increasingly far-right politicians who lead the GOP’s descent into populist nativism. To hear them tell it, Democrats and more traditional Republicans are not just the opposition, they are an existential threat to the future of the American experiment.

“Trump … validates the darkest corners of conspiracy-minded Republicanism. He has cast Democrats — particularly women, and most particularly Black women — as ‘dogs,’ ‘crazy,’ ‘sick’ and ‘savages,’ among a litany of other invectives. In 2017, his son Eric said: ‘To me, they’re not even people’ in an interview with Fox News,”

which is exactly what Hitler said about Jews. He isn’t alone in that sentiment, but merely reflects today’s Republican grassroots writ large:

“‘Many of today’s Republicans see Democrats the way their McCarthyite grandparents saw communists,’ said John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College and a former senior staffer at the Republican National Committee. ‘For them, Democrats are not legitimate opponents that they want to defeat, they’re mortal enemies that they have to destroy.'”

This, of course, makes it impossible for moderates — whether they identify as Democrats or independents — to vote for Republicans under any circumstances, even if the alternative candidate is too far left, or hopelessly corrupt or incompetent; because once you vote in totalitarians, you can’t vote them out.

But even voting against Republicans might not save democracy; as January 6, 2021, demonstrates a horde of Republicans are more than willing to violently overthrow our system of government if they can’t get their way at the ballot box. To prevent this, prosecuting these violent revolutionaries for the actual crimes they committed, and imposing commensurate penalties, is a necessity for the preservation of our freedoms; in the future, it may become necessary to meet them with National Guard bayonets and bullets. No one should want that, least of all them; it’s much easier to live in a democracy and try to win elections with better candidates and better ideas.

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. When you can't win an election honestly, cheat your way to power #

    White folks want to tear down democracy out of fear that they will lose their power grip, while losing their white privilege status.

    Red states and blue states. We are all Americans, though it seems more like a legislative battle over political power, voting rights and most of all democracy.

    Our fragile democracy is being torn to shreds by republicans trying to hang on to their fragile white toe hold of power, doing everything in their power to remain in power.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    I believe Republicans have grown single-minded about retaining political power in order to preserve white domination of our society. There’s a real question of whether we’re still “all Americans,” i.e., in this together, and without question democracy is fragile. We have a good thing in this country, and we could lose it if we’re not careful. No one will benefit if America becomes another Lebanon or Balkins.

  3. Mark Adams #

    We have 50 states with 50 legislatures that have the power over how each state conducts elections including the Presidential election. It is to be expected Republican and Democratic legislators would propose changes. They may even propose changes in Washington state that will die in committee. I vote here in Washington state so how things are done in the other 49 is of some curiosity, as are the folks those other states send to Congress, but I only get a say in my single House member, and our states Senators and President.
    Both parties can be very democratic supporting and anti democratic positions depending on the state. Some feel the power of Democrats right here in Washington state is anti Democratic, and the Democratic party here engages in actions meant to enhance and extend Democratic control.
    That some states demographics change and states gradually change the party in charge is the usual, but moments like the 1930 and 32 elections that quickly change the party in power in a landslide can happen. Washington state is not at all representative of most of the United States and frankly citizens here are pretty provincial just like in the other 49 states.

  4. Roger Rabbit #

    You’re making crucial omissions. First, all states have laws awarding their electoral votes to the popular vote winner (statewide in 48 states, by congressional district in 2 states). Second, legislatures lose their power to appoint electors after Election Day. Third, no legislature in U.S. history has ever superseded the electors chosen by the voters. Fourth, you’re not taking into account the federal Electoral Count Act of 1887, which more or less precludes that. Finally, Trump having tried and failed to pull it off, why would you think anyone could?