So, the latest outrage: Flynn, an ex-Cabinet member, has joined the group of pundits and influencers who is pushing, via “wethepeopleconvention.org“, an end-run around the Constitution to keep Trump in office. They know it’s going to fail, but they also know that the amount of money and influence they currently possess is directly tied to Trump’s popularity and that his cultists demand they pretend he has a chance.
He doesn’t. He hasn’t. He lost and he was going to lose. And Trump lost not because of the principles that Republicans claim to have but because of his policies, his personality and his prevarications. Republicans, even those who had acted in ways directly contrary to their stated beliefs (which includes all of Washington DC and far too many on the state and local levels) were rewarded with election and re-election. Trump, on the other hand, was soundly defeated.
I wish this was more of a new development, but it’s really just the next step forward. Republicans wailed that Clinton was going to enact martial law and stay in power because of Y2K. Democrats said that Bush was going to do it because of the war in Iraq. Republicans said that Obama would because, well, he wanted to stay in power. This is the latest iteration of that message, but with a distinct and important difference: this is the first time that prominent supporters of the President have urged him to do it. All of the other times, it was recognized as cheap fearmongering by the sitting party, an effort to demonize. This time the demons are real.
Then, too, there’s the call for a new election. I wish this were a unique development, but the Democrats tread this ground back in 2000, in Florida. There was such conviction that the results were wrong that media groups arranged for hand recounts even after the election was certified. When, weeks later, initial indications were that Gore might have won with a partial recount under specialized circumstances, it was international news. When the recounts were eventually completed and it was determined that, yes, both via the full recount and by the partial recount of counties favorable to Gore that the Democrats had requested and using any of the acceptance/rejection criteria suggested, Bush won, many Democrats still refused to accept it and insisted for eight years that he was “not my President”. By that time the narrative was in place and many were convinced that the butterfly ballot and dimpled chads had stolen Gore’s rightful ascendancy.
Even the idiotic math arguments are similar. Gore’s faithful refused to accept that there would be a dramatic shift in numbers as the final counties were counted, despite those counties being in the strongly Republican panhandle. Today, the Trumpists cannot comprehend that preventing the overwhelmingly Democrat mail-in votes from being counted until after the polls had closed would lead to… a surge in Democrat votes after the polls had closed.
Al Gore was not a graceful loser, and his devotees harassed Bush and Bush’s fans during the inauguration. His actions, like the actions of many other Democratic leaders of the time, were those of a person who had learned by watching the success of Clinton, a success fostered by embracing terrible, dishonorable and criminal behavior.
What Trump is doing is worse.
For all of Gore’s faults, he did not suggest that he would not respect the peaceful transition of power. While he was not an outgoing President, he was intimately familiar with many of Clinton’s cabinet members – a number of them had worked for his election team – and none of them called for a new election under the auspices of martial law. That, despite the election in 2000 being decided on an amazingly thin margin; by contrast, Biden received a conclusive majority not only of electoral votes but of votes, period, in every state that Trump’s faithful are doubting. For comparison, the Florida decision was a matter of just under 550 votes; Arizona, the 2020 swing state with the closest vote margin, was won by Biden by more than 10,000 votes… almost twenty times that of the contentious Florida election.
It’s not even close.
Thankfully, none of this is going to amount to anything, in terms of the election. Trump has lost, there’s going to be no martial law, there’s going to be no revote. This is merely an attempt on Trump’s part to keep money rolling to replace the loss of revenue from hotels, offices and resorts whose brand has been further tarnished by his time in office, and an effort from the underlings to retain influence with the suckers.
But it’s damaging. It attacks our system itself, and it is being done by the same people who swore for years that they were the ones who truly respected the Constitution. It’s a travesty, and it must be called out instead of promoted.
There have been some Republicans who have done so – outgoing House member Denver Riggleman had been critical of Trump for years but absolutely unleashed after losing his election, and various state officials have slammed the silence and complicity from the national leaders – but for the most part there has been support, instead, which has led to death threats against Republicans who dare to uphold the Constitution and election law and insistence that even blatant sycophant Bill Barr is somehow “Deep State” because he could not manufacture evidence of voting fraud.
There will inevitably be those who refuse to accept Trump’s loss. They were going to exist, they exist after every election. But there is an attempt to maximize the number of deluded, and anyone who participates in that deception must be identified, condemned, and remembered.