While Joe Biden is indisputably our President-elect following Monday’s vote by the Electoral College, residents of the Eighth District should not forget that their own elected member of …
While Joe Biden is indisputably our President-elect following Monday’s vote by the Electoral College, residents of the Eighth District should not forget that their own elected member of Congress signed onto a transparent attempt to overthrow the clear will of the American people, including the clear will of the people of Minnesota.
That’s not a small thing, and the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court, including all three Trump appointees, held firm against an unconstitutional attempt to install Donald Trump for a second term, does not negate the horror of an amicus brief to which Stauber and 125 other Republican members of Congress signed their names. That list should be displayed for years to come as the ultimate roll call of craven politicians.
By signing his name to this, Rep. Stauber threw in his lot with thieves. Despite all the fulminations by many Republicans about stolen elections, it was Trump and his minions who sought to steal the 2020 election through a number of half-baked strategies cooked up long before Election Day. Had the election been closer, and Trump’s team more competent, they might well have succeeded.
Donald Trump had every reason to think he would lose his bid for re-election, yet he somehow believed the Supreme Court might ultimately set aside the election results and the U.S. Constitution to keep him in power. He acknowledged as much in ramming through the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett just ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Trump didn’t care that America’s voters made their choice clear, electing Joe Biden by a 306-232 electoral vote margin and a popular vote advantage of more than seven million. He thought he had at least five votes on the nation’s highest court and he expected that if given the opportunity, no matter how preposterous the legal claims, they would ignore their obligation to the constitution and hand the election to him. He believed this was possible because Donald Trump has never understood the concepts of honor or principle, and it is unimaginable to him that others might actually believe in such things.
The Texas lawsuit to which Rep. Stauber attached his name was a complete fraud. As the Supreme Court noted, Texas had no standing to sue other states for how they conduct their elections, and the suit advanced no intelligible claim.
Further, the lawsuit was a virtual acknowledgement that Trump and his legal team had found no evidence of voter fraud. That’s why the suit shifted its legal arguments to suggest that the four states the suit named, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, had harmed Texas by instituting changes in their election rules without legislative approval.
Yet most states, including Minnesota and, yes, even Texas, had implemented similar changes in their election rules without legislative approval in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had, on his own authority, extended the deadline for early voting. And the Texas Supreme Court gave a clear wink and a nod to looser mail-in voting requirements, finding that local election officials had no obligation to investigate whether requests for mail-in ballots, based on disability or absence, were fully substantiated. As a result, Texas, like many other states, saw record increases in both early and mail-in voting. But these changes were only a problem, apparently, in states that Biden managed to flip to his win column. In other words, voting for Biden was the real crime of these four states.
Even more appalling than the hypocrisy of the case was the astonishing logical disconnects. The Texas lawsuit wanted to invalidate the votes of millions of residents of the four states, but only their votes for president. The fact that those same ballots also elected Republican office holders in many other races was to be ignored.
Yet the Trump team’s incompetence obscures the dangerous implications of their attempt to overturn the election. Given the lack of evidence, the Trump team had little realistic hope in the courts, but that was only part of the game plan. Trump’s false claims were also meant to convince enough of his base of his lies that they would join him in pressuring governors, secretaries of state, and state legislators to use their raw political power to overturn the election results if the courts refused to do so. Though unsuccessful this time, it is an incredibly dangerous precedent, that may haunt this country for years
Fortunately for America, there were some courageous Republican officials, mostly at the state level, who refused to bow to Trump’s pressure and personal attacks. In so doing, they stood up for country over party. When given that same opportunity, Rep. Stauber sided with would-be thieves and his fellow political cowards. Voters in the Eighth District shouldn’t forget.
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