That hilarious screen shot from the same MSNBC session that gave historian Michael Beschloss a platform to claim that Republicans are planning on arresting and killing children is too rich to pas up. What a great sanctimonious, “I’ve been warning” you scowl from Rachel Maddow’s protege, Chris Hayes. I wonder if that deadline to save America is as reliable as Al Gore’s and Greta Thunberg’s deadlines to save the world? How did people this ludicrous get in a position of influence?
But I digress. The simple matter of questioning the eminently questionable Joe Biden won the 2020 election has been somehow blown into some kind of apocalyptic phobia by the Axis of Unethical Conduct, and “election denier” has become almost as ubiquitous and versatile smear as “racist.” Here’s CBS’s “criteria” for labeling someone currently running as an “election denier.”
Democrats questioned the legitimacy of Bush’s two elections and Trump’s, and in Trump’s case, many of them never conceded that Trump was elected at all (they don’t think the Electoral College is legitimate). But you can question the legitimacy of an election and still accept the fact that the candidate was elected, just as one can question the legitimacy of a baseball game decided by an umpire’s bad call (Game 3 of the 1975 World series comes to mind, for some reason), but accept the fact that the game is over and the luckier team won.
John Quincy Adams wasn’t legitimately elected, but he was elected, and won the Presidency. Samuel Tilden was cheated out of the Presidency, but I don’t deny that Rutherford B. Hayes was elected. I don’t think, I know, that the 2020 election was slanted by unethical partisan tactics and unethical journalism designed to undermine Donald Trump’s administration and chances at being re-elected. Trump says it was “stolen”; well, that’s less precise than I would like, but it’s not wrong. There were many good reasons to claim fraud in many states, but the accusations were never proved, and such allegations must be proven. But they were not decisively disproved, either. As for joining in the Texas lawsuit, so what? Lawsuits are arguments, and there is nothing unethical about having a theory that will be considered by a court. (When Democrats were trying to block certification of Bush’s election in 2005, Nancy Pelosi said, “Debate is fundamental to our democracy” and urged Republicans not to “talk about this as a conspiracy theory,” because “it is about the Constitution.”)
Considering the long and intense effort by Democrats to try everything in the metaphorical book to delay the certification of Bush’s election in 2000 and their effort to recruit rogue electors to install Hillary in 2016, I view Democrats as ethically estopped from complaining about Republicans who wanted to block the January 6. 2001 certification. If Democrats cared about democracy as much as they claim, Congress would have undertaken a thorough, non-partisan investigation of the 2020 election. Such an investigation should have been mandatory. Instead, the party decided to devote its time and resources into criminalizing and punishing those whose response to the many irregularities was excessive.
No question about it: Donald Trump should have accepted the determination that he had lost much as Al Gore did in 2000 after all available procedural avenues were blocked. He should never have addressed a rally opposing Biden’s election, and he should have participated in the inauguration. However, those who still object to how the 2020 election was handled do not inherit Trump’s accountability.
Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of Democrats behaving as if they have not done their share of “election denying” (their term, not mine) is staggering. Stacey Adams, a supposed rising star in the party, claimed that she had really won the Georgia governor’s race, and has never conceded. Karl Rove (is he still around???) reminded Fox News today that Joe Biden owes his Presidency to a prominent Democratic “election denier,” House Whip James C Clyburn promoted the theory in 2005 that voting machines in Ohio switched votes for Democrat John Kerry to President George W. Bush. 31 members voted against doing so, among them Bush won Ohio by 118,601 votes, but 31 House Democrats, led by Clyburn, opposed certifying the Ohio electors. Among them are important Democrat figures like now Senator Ed Markey; Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D., Ariz.), Natural Resources Committee chairman; Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.), Energy and Commerce Committee chairman; Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), Financial Services Committee chairman; Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.), chairman of both the Homeland Security and Jan. 6 committees; Rep. Danny K. Davis (D., Ill.), chairman of a Ways and Means subcommittee; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas), a senior member of the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Budget committees; and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), senior chief deputy whip, and the sainted civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.),
All were anti-democracy villains, by Biden’s definitions last night.
Clyburn went on to save Biden’s chances of getting nominated in 2020, Biden lost the early primaries, and it was Clyburn who endorsed Biden in South Carolina, getting Joe his first big primary win, and probably saving his candidacy.