It’s every day that the President of the United States calls the Republican members of a county canvassing board just to wish them well.
Also, it’s every day that the President of the United States calls the Republican leaders of a state legislature to lobby them about appointing their own electors.
We can make all the jokes we want about the efforts of his Evil Minions™ dissolving into a, “Nearly liquid mass of loathsome — of detestable putridity,” but this is an attempted coup, and should be confronted as such:
President Trump has invited the leaders of Michigan’s Republican-controlled state legislature to meet him in Washington on Friday, according to a person familiar with those plans, as the president and his allies continue an extraordinary campaign to overturn the results of an election he lost.
Trump lost Michigan by a wide margin: At present, he trails President-Elect Joe Biden in the state by 157,000 votes. Earlier this week, the state’s Republican Senate majority leader said an effort to have legislators throw out election results was “not going to happen.”
But the president now appears to be using the full weight of his office to challenge the election results, as he and his allies reach out personally to state and local officials in an intensifying effort to halt the certification of the vote in key battleground states.
Trump’s team appear to be increasingly focused on Michigan as a place where Republican officials — on the state’s Board of Canvassers and in the legislature — might be persuaded to overturn the results.
Earlier this week, Trump called a member of Wayne County’s Board of Canvassers after a contentious meeting in which she first refused, and then agreed, to certify election results from the state’s largest county. She subsequently released an affidavit seeking to “rescind” her vote for certification — a move that the secretary of state’s office said was impossible.
Legal experts condemned the president’s actions, saying he was trying to use the power of his office to alter the vote.
“To bring the weight of the White House and the presidency onto an individual county canvassing board commissioner about what to do with certification is an incredible assault on the democratic process,” said Richard H. Pildes, a constitutional law professor at New York University. “No question about that.”
Joanna Lydgate, the national director of the Voter Protection Program, said that “there is no basis in fact or law for failing to certify the election.”
“It changes the result of the election in Michigan if you take out Wayne County,” he said. Wayne County includes Detroit, the state’s heavily Democratic, majority-Black largest city.
Also on Thursday, Trump’s efforts seemed to have gained some traction, with the news that Michigan’s GOP leaders appear willing to meet with him.
The Detroit News reported that the state GOP legislative leaders who plan to visit the White House on Friday are Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield.
In Michigan, the high-water mark for Trump’s efforts so far came Tuesday night, during an hours-long meeting of the Wayne County board of canvassers. The board’s two GOP members voted against certifying the county’s results, which overwhelmingly favored Biden. But then, after three hours of angry comments from the public, the two GOP members changed their minds and voted to certify the results.
Palmer and Hartmann said they had agreed to certify Wayne County’s results on the condition that they be audited by state authorities, to resolve small errors in the counts of voters at some Detroit precincts. The number of votes affected is believed to be in the hundreds, far less than Biden’s margin of victory in Michigan.
Supervisors in rural Mohave County, a Republican stronghold bisected by the Grand Canyon, were set to canvass their county vote at a public meeting on Monday. Instead, they decided to delay their vote and take it up again on Nov. 23 — the deadline for certification.
The supervisors agreed that they didn’t question whether the results in their own county were accurate. Instead, one GOP supervisor said, they wanted to show solidarity with the president’s challenges elsewhere.
“It has nothing to do with our results,” Supervisor Hildy Angius said in explaining her vote. “It’s more of a big picture sort of thing.”
The big picture is called “Seditious Conspiracy,” and it is a felony.
Anyone with two brains cells to rub together and the political acumen of Little Orphan Annie knew that the Republicans were willing and able to resort to coups after the 1998 impeachment and the 2000 Florida debacle.
They view the Democratic Party as completely illegitimate, and because of this they feel justified in using corrupt means to seize power.
Once again, I will quote Robert Graves putting words into Germanicus Caesar’s mouth, with the Republicans fulfilling the role of the Teutonic Tribes:
Spaniards can be impressed by the courtesy of the conqueror, French by his riches, Greeks by his respect for the arts, Jews by his moral integrity, Africans by his calm and authoritative bearing, but Germans are impressed by none of these things. They must be struck into the dust, struck down again as they rise. Struck again while they lie groaning, while their wounds still pain them; they will respect the hand that dealt them.”
—Germanicus Caesar, Roman general
(15 B.C.- 19 A.D.)