Michigan Republicans Pop Open The Bubbly, Celebrate COVID-19, Perfectly Legitimate Elections At Trump Hotel
As part of his ongoing efforts to overturn the free and fair election he lost badly, Donald Trump summoned members of the Michigan state legislature’s Republican leadership to the White House Friday. Clearly, despite Susan Collins’s best hopes, Trump has not learned his lesson and never will because he’s a monster, and monster movies aren’t known for their positive emotional character arcs.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield agreed to the meeting, which on House of Cards might’ve at least taken place secretly and not directly involved the president, but Trump’s never been a subtle mob boss.
Once at the meeting, Shirkey and Chatfield apparently explained election law and basic democracy to Trump. They later released a statement declaring:
We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan's electors, just as we have said throughout this election ...
Biden slapped Trump silly in Michigan, winning the state by more than 150,000 votes. The Trump campaign and the RNC argue that because most of those votes bear the taint of Blackness, they shouldn’t count. Slimy, greasy motherfucker Rudy Giuliani said if you remove Wayne County (where they keep the Black folks) from the results, Trump actually carried the state. Hell, if you remove "anarchist jurisdictions" Portland and Seattle, Trump even won Oregon and Washington.
Reportedly, the Michigan Republicans lobbied Trump for more federal funds to fight COVID-19, which he doesn’t give a fuck about. We’re expected to believe that Trump "did not apply any overt pressure on the lawmakers to try and shift electors from Biden to himself, or to prevent the vote from being certified,” according to someone "familiar with the meeting” who’s legally savvy enough to know that the term “overt pressure” provides wiggle room from any perjury charges.
"Michigan's certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation," the lawmakers said in their statement. "Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”
In response to Shirkey and Chatfield's statement, Trump, who’s nothing but a mad dog now, claimed that his legal team of incompetents and psychopaths would show “massive and unprecedented fraud.” He’s just waiting to unveil the evidence at the most dramatic moment, like children’s letters to Santa Claus.
I guess MI House Speaker @LeeChatfield + @RepJimLillyMI were in a celebratory mood last night, drinking Dom Perigno… https://t.co/2ljI1h33a9— Lauren Windsor (@Lauren Windsor)1605969072.0
I'd feel more confident that these guys actually stood up to Trump like a common James Comey if Chatfield and Michigan state Rep. Jim Lilly didn’t spend the night partying in a Trump Hotel, drinking fancy pants champagne. Yeah, they really went to the mat for COVID-19 relief before blithely ignoring the rising coronavirus cases in Washington DC and their own state. Also, they’re acting like corporate douchebags after finalizing a business deal. You’d think they’d at least try to avoid bribe-like optics. There are non-Trump brand hotels in DC where masked wait staff can serve assholes who don’t care enough about their safety to return the favor.
They are apparently drinking Dom Pérignon, an actual champagne not a mere sparkling bribe. That runs about $500 at the DC hotel. Chatfield earns $95,985 a year as speaker. Before he was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, he was a high school teacher. That doesn’t seem like Dom Pérignon money. He also has five kids, who probably expect more than a jelly of the month club membership for Christmas this year.
Shirkey and Michigan state senators Dan Lauwers, Aric Nesbitt, and Tom Barrett all stayed overnight at the Trump International Hotel, which — I can’t believe I have to say this — was grossly inappropriate. The Trump Hotel is significantly more expensive than most accommodations nearby. Did Michigan taxpayers foot the bill or did Trump comp them rooms? This should likely come up during the investigations into this absurdly underhanded shadiness.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."