Trump Has One More Coup-Coup Plot For Staying In Office
First, 81 million Americans conspired to remove Donald Trump from office with their votes. Then, both Democratic and Republican election officials obeyed the law and refused to join Trump's jacklegged coup. Finally, almost every court in the country, including the Supreme Court itself, tossed out his seditious Kraken suits. Truly, all occasions have informed against Trump and spurred his dull revenge.
But Trump's “just begun to fight," as he declared this weekend on Twitter in all-caps dementia font. All delusions aside, Joe Biden will officially win the Electoral College on Monday. However, there's one more chance for Trump to take a dump on democracy. According to the New York Times, Trump's most devoted sycophants in Congress are "plotting a final-stage challenge on the floor of the House of Representatives in early January to try to reverse Mr. Biden's victory."
Representative Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama who's probably still upset Black people vote, has assembled a group of fellow “backbench conservatives" who are prepared to challenge the results in five different states that rudely voted against Trump: Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin. Conservatives no longer believe in letting states mind their own business if that business elects Democrats.
These morons share Trump's unhinged opinion that "varying degrees of fraud or illegal voting took place" in every swing state he lost. Trump's dime store legal team has yet to prove this in court, which means it's just their opinion, man. The votes for those states are certified. This is a done deal.
"We have a superior role under the Constitution than the Supreme Court does, than any federal court judge does, than any state court judge does," Mr. Brooks said in an interview. "What we say, goes. That's the final verdict."
Brooks refers to the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which early critics called "very confused, almost unintelligible." A 2004 article in the Florida Law Review claimed the act was "turgid and repetitious" and that "[its] central provisions seem contradictory." The article also warned that the law "invites misinterpretation," which we're seeing now as Brooks believes the act empowers Mr. Nobody from Nowhere to overturn a free and fair election.
Under whatever passes for the rules, Trump's thugs must submit their challenges in writing and also convince a senator to sign his name to this nonsense. No Republican senator has officially declared their willingness to start another Civil War, but reliable Trump stooges Ron Johnson and Rand Paul have “signaled they would be open to doing so."
Even if a senator did agree, constitutional scholars say the process is intended to be an arduous one. Once an objection is heard from a member of each house of Congress, senators and representatives will retreat to their chambers on opposite sides of the Capitol for a two-hour debate and then a vote on whether to disqualify a state's votes. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree to toss out a state's electoral votes — something that has not happened since the 19th century.
The 19th Century is also notable for its big, bloody Civil War.
"My No. 1 goal is to fix a badly flawed American election system that too easily permits voter fraud and election theft," Mr. Brooks said. "A possible bonus from achieving that goal is that Donald Trump would win the Electoral College officially, as I believe he in fact did if you only count lawful votes by eligible American citizens and exclude all illegal votes."
Conservatives don't believe non-Republican votes “count," and they don't care if they're unable to actually prove anything. Brooks is pursuing a course of action not supported in facts or evidence. But that's a political game anyone can play. Democrats could baselessly challenge swing states Trump won, such as Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. You apparently don't need proof when you have an autocratic instinct, so Democrats might as well suggest Martians voted illegally for Trump in those three states and Biden obviously won. It would make as much sense as the Hugo Chavez ghost stories.
Conservative conspiracy kooks have claimed it's "statistically impossible" for Biden to have improved on Hillary Clinton's 2016 performance, even though he's an entirely different person who's also a white male. However, they don't think it's suspicious that Trump dramatically outperformed his 2016 self among Latino voters. That's just conclusive proof that Trump's awesome.
Republican Senators Pat Toomey, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney have all rejected this idea. And Ben Sasse said the election was officially over when the Supreme Court told Trump to drop dead. Even if you don't trust Republicans, which is highly advisable, Democrats control the House so this is going nowhere. It's just another appeal to the GOP's Trump-addled base.
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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."