Ethics Quote Of The Day: Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake

“Since when can we not ask questions about our elections? As a journalist for many years—I was a journalist after 2016 and I distinctly remember many people just like you, asking a lot of questions about the 2016 election results and nobody tried to shut you up….”

—-GOP candidate for Governor of Arizona Kari Lake, responding to a reporter who baited her with a “whataboutism” question referring to Donald Trump “dividing the nation” by “falsely telling people he won [the 2020] election”?

I don’t know much about Lake or the Arizona governor race, but GOP leaders, candidates and party supporters should study and memorize Lake’s full response to the Democrat-pimping reporter’s question, ““You feel like Joe Biden is dividing the country. Do you feel Donald Trump is doing the same by falsely telling people he won that election when he lost it?”

Lake’s full (perfect) reply:

“How does that divide the country? Questioning an election where there are obviously problems is dividing the country? Since when can we not ask questions about our elections? As a journalist for many years—I was a journalist after 2016 and I distinctly remember many people just like you, asking a lot of questions about the 2016 election results and nobody tried to shut you up. Nobody tried to tell Hillary Clinton to shut up. Nobody tried to tell Kamala Harris when she was questioning the legitimacy of these electronic voting machines to stop. We have freedom of speech in this country and you of all that people should appreciate that. You’re supposedly a journalist. You should appreciate that. So I don’t see how asking questions about an election where there were many problems is ‘dividing’ a country. What I do see divided a country is shutting people down, censoring people, canceling people, trying to destroy people’s lives when they do ask questions. Last I heard we still have the Constitution. It’s hanging by a thread thanks to some of the work some people in this area have done. But we’re going to save that Constitution and we’re going to bring back freedom of speech. And maybe someday you’ll thank us for that.”

As to that last sentence, I very much doubt it.

Assuming the quote is being reported accurately, that is an impressive and fair response even if Lake had expected the question and had her answer polished and ready. Gee, isn’t it nice when candidates can speak in complete sentences and make clear, organized, articulate statements on the fly?

To be fair, Lake did some deft goalpost-shifting there. There is a big difference between questioning the fairness and integrity of an election—which is what Lake is talking about— and insisting that it was stolen, which is what Trump has been saying. If Lake had delved into the latter claim, she could have referenced the many Democratic claims that the 2000 election was “stolen,” which was divisive—still is, in fact. She might have mentioned that many Democrats who issued symbolic opposition to certifying the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections without anyone accusing them of threatening democracy.

Democrats have re-purposed their climate change advocacy bullying to refer to anyone questioning the 2020 election as a “denier,” although several key states violated their own rules and laws to loosen the security of voting—you know, because of people like Vanessa Sun

…resulting in entirely predictable suspicions about the integrity of the vote totals. It is a tell, in fact, when a supposedly objective authority uses that term evoking Holocaust denial, because it is a “resistance”/Democrat/mainstream media talking point and despicable cognitive dissonance scale strategy. Right on the metaphorical heels of Lake’s slam dunk of the Biden-enabling reporter, Nate Silver’s 538 posted this…

…to which Althouse responded,  “I’m disgusted by the burgeoning “Denier” rhetoric…It’s reminiscent of the Covid maps that have beset us for the past 3 years. Now, the disease is located in human minds, and we our encouraged to view our fellow Americans as contagion. This is not a good way to do politics. It’s actively evil and far more dangerous and destructive than feeling skeptical about an election that took place 2 years ago.”

Well, It’s no secret that Nate is a left-biased pundit who poses as an objective bean-counter. Usually he’s more careful than this.

Ann’s a bit late to the party here: the election denier rhetoric is hardly just burgeoning, but we will hear a lot of it now because it has been linked to the January 6 riot, alias “insurrection,” which is essentially the entire, desperate Democratic defense against the looming “red wave.” (Donald Trump handed them that defense, lest we forget.) She is obviously unusually annoyed by the tactic, as she had another post about it up this morning (three today already!) that was a rare statement by the blogger without any linked news stories or quotes by others. Althouse wrote,

I wish President Biden would support investigating the security of the mechanisms of American elections instead of demonizing the millions of people who feel skeptical. Why all the intensity against American citizens? It’s not going to decrease skepticism. Quite the opposite! We’re supposed to be so afraid of getting called “deniers” or being lumped in with the minuscule segment of Americans who breached the Capitol that we will never dream of asking what are you hiding? Why can’t you check? Shouldn’t you be checking all the time?

I’m getting tired of checking Ann’s blog after I’ve almost finished a post only to find that she’s been writing about the same material, but I digress. Sure, I wish Biden would support investigating the security of the mechanisms of American elections. I wish our President wasn’t a lifetime, dim-bulb hyper-partisan hack who should have an account with Visiting Angels. I wish the Red Sox had a chance at the play-offs. I wish I could fly.

I know I’m free-associating here, but to hell with it: I also wish the President would have the courage to stick to a single position on whether “MAGA Republicans” are an existential threat to the nation. In his “Soul of the Nation” speech, Biden said “They promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.” The next day, he said he didn’t “consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.” Two days later, in a Labor Day campaign appearance in Pennsylvania, Biden said extemporaneously as a Trump-fan heckler was ushered out of the rally, “The MAGA Republicans – that guy out that door- are destroying democracy. Because democracy is at stake.”

13 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Day: Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake

  1. Keri lake has some interviews on internet/podcast sites and she is actually able to have a conversation not just spout talking points and talk past questions.

  2. I can take the divisiveness of the position as long as both Democrat and Republican politicians are held to the same standard for announcing that this or that election was “stolen.”

    What I can’t take is both the Democrats and media taking the position that “stolen election” rhetoric is a threat to democracy when Republicans make it and a fearless, free speech defense of democracy when the Democrats aver the same exact thing. It can’t be that way, and the fact that the Democrats are sure they can boldly take this hypocritical position without fear of challenge is far more destructive to our politics than Donald Trump’s specious claims that the election was corruptly stolen.

    What this does is feed the idea that there are two standards for justice, because there are clearly two standards for identical political speech depending on the party of the speaker. Such double-standards are easy, and likely justified, to project on things beyond simple political rhetoric.

    As President Biden would say, “C’mon, man!”

  3. Ask any Democrat who won the Georgia Gubernatorial election. Lake is right on the nose. They’ve spent 20 years not just questioning, but challenging, every election they lost. Now, all of a sudden, questions are undemocratic?

  4. It’s a minor detail, but for some reason, it’s irritating me like a thistle in my pocket: what’s up with Silver’s headline saying “more than 1 in 2”? Is there a supply-chain problem with getting the word “half” distributed around the nation now? Does the expression “50%” rely on Chinese microchips or Ukrainian wheat? I’ve been on this planet for nearly 50 years (aka a HALF century, Nate), and I’ve never once heard or seen that number expressed as “1 in 2”. That’s as bizarre as someone measuring their height in Snickers bars or their age in light-miles.

  5. I had to do a double-take when I saw the headline extolling an ethical Kari Lake. I’m not paying much attention to Arizona elections. I know Lake is the Republican nominee for Governor and that one out of two (for Jeff 50%, half) of the sane Democratic Senators is from Arizona. After all, it’s only been a few weeks since she earned the Ethics Dunce honor.
    Compared to the woman I saw on Bret Baier’s Special Report, this Quote Of The Day really stands apart. I hope she’ll be able to suppress whatever the hell she was talking about with Baier long enough to get elected.

    • Lake seems to bounce back and forth between sounding like a legitimate pro-Constitution conservative and a garden-variety Trumper. I suspect that she’s a bit more of the former, but that she enjoys “triggering the libs” a little too much for her own good and takes the Trumpian shtick too far sometimes. I’ve heard her interviewed on a couple of libertarian-leaning podcasts, and she either really understands that mindset and shares much of the same point of view, or she’s very good at tailoring her pitch to various audiences. I haven’t quite figured her out yet.

      And thank you for the “half”. I was worried we might be facing a half shortage.

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