Thursday, December 10, 2020

GOP Support for the Texas Lawsuit to Overturn the Election is an Endorsement for Anti-Democracy

Here's what you need to know about the Texas lawsuit against Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, which is supported by Republican officials in 17 other states, as well as by more than 100 GOP lawmakers in Congress:

It's completely bogus. But it's also revealing of something disturbing that has developed in our American society: a belief by a significant portion of the right-wing in this country that democracy deserves to die.

Beyond containing complaints about the way states changed voting laws in light of COVID-19 — and the hypocritical manner of those complaints, as states that have enjoined themselves in Texas's lawsuit, including Texas itself, ALSO made similar changes to their election laws because of the pandemic — the suit also seeks to allow Texas to tell other states (including Wisconsin) how to run their own elections. 

That's not how our government is set up to be. Wisconsin, Texas, and other states create their own standards for how elections are run. And Texas must demonstrate, under a very specific set of criteria, that they've been legally "harmed" by Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, or Pennsylvania.

As Pennsylvania's oppositional document to Texas's lawsuit states, Texas's Attorney General Ken Paxton has not done so.

The remedy Republicans are seeking here is extraordinary, and would result in one of the most blatantly political and offensive rulings the Supreme Court has ever made, with regard to election law. It would fundamentally alter the character of our nation, allowing a candidate to "win" an election (quotes necessary) simply because he complained hard enough about his loss.

Because, ultimately, that is the basis for this lawsuit. Texas asserts no real evidence of fraud, depending upon the errant and unsubstantiated claims of malfeasance that Trump has made previously, which have so far resulted in zero significant court wins for him or his allies in other appellate and state courtrooms.

If the impossible does come to fruition — if the Supreme Court decides for some reason to hear the case, and in turn decides in Trump's favor — then authoritarian rule truly will have come to America. That's not hyperbole — that's fact. Under those circumstances, the president will have "won" reelection without having actually been reelected; and he will serve another term in office without deserving to do so. 

The High Court will PROBABLY not decide to even hear this case. But that hundreds of Republican lawmakers across the country, and that Trump's ardent base of supporters, too, not only think the case should be heard, but also DECIDED in TRUMP's favor, demonstrates a marked departure from political norms the likes of which have never been seen in this country.

It is, ultimately, a ringing endorsement from them of anti-democracy.

Featured image credit: Kjetil Ree/Wikimedia (edits made)

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