Republicans screaming about ‘voter fraud’ know they’re lying

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

Rudolph Giuliani came to Pennsylvania this week for one reason: to lie.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano held a publicity event in Gettysburg — it wasn’t a hearing — for one reason: to lie.

President Donald Trump continues to rant and rave on social media (and now, during press conferences), gibberish about he actually won Pennsylvania. That, too, is a lie.

And let’s be clear: those three and all of the other Republicans claiming massive election fraud are lying and they know it. This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to overturn the votes of the people — your votes, my vote — and install a president who lost both in terms of popular vote and the Electoral College.

As noted in this week’s opinion from the Federal Third circuit Court of Appeals: “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas for three-judge panel – all of which were appointed by Republican presidents, including Bibas, who was appointed to the court by Trump.

Joe Biden won the election. There was no massive fraud. Recount after recount and court case after court case has shown this to be true. The 39 legal cases they have lost to date presented no evidence, none. If there were evidence, wouldn’t it be in the pleadings? Wouldn’t it have been introduced? Obviously.

There is no evidence and Republicans know it. But the lies continue.

The state GOP Senate Caucus event — despite their claims, it was not a hearing, no witnesses were sworn and it was held in the kind of Wyndham ballroom where one attends timeshare or multi-level marketing recruiting events — it was no more than an airing of fictitious grievances and ranting about a lost presidential campaign.

Now, these same clowns claim they can get the legislature to overturn the votes of Pennsylvanians with a non-binding resolution. In short, they are counting on the ignorance and stupidity of a segment of citizens who will fall for their crap. The Presidential election has been certified in Pennsylvania. The electors, including Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz, will vote for Biden when the time comes.

This pointless effort won’t work and can’t work under state and federal law.

Don’t take my word for it, take the word of state Supreme Court Justice David N. Wecht in his concurring opinion in the Act 77 case:

“Conspicuously absent from the Election Code are any mechanisms by which to circumvent these procedures so as to permit the General Assembly to substitute its preferred slate of electors for that ‘elected by the qualified electors of the Commonwealth.’ Id. § 3191. Thus, any effort to alter that ‘method of appointment,’ McPherson, 146 U.S. at 25, at this late stage would require the adoption of new law in accordance with constitutional mandates, including presentment of the legislation to the governor to sign or veto. See PA. CONST. art. III, § 9; Wolf v. Scarnati, 233 A.3d 679, 687 (Pa. 2020); cf. Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, 367-68 (1932) (holding ‘that the exercise of the authority’ to regulate federal elections conferred upon state legislatures by the federal Constitution ‘must be in accordance with the method which the state has prescribed for legislative enactments,’ including observance of ‘the veto power’); Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Indep. Redistricting Comm’n, 576 U.S. 787, 807-08 (2015).

Setting aside the fact that House GOP leadership said this process is a non-starter, these guys are so grossly incompetent, that they almost made it literally impossible for the resolution to reach the floor of the state house: A suit — dismissed with prejudice Saturday evening — had put a hold on certifying every election result in the commonwealth besides the presidential race. Had it gone forward, we’d have had no members of the State House as of Tuesday. 

The suit, led by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, sought to eliminate all mail-in votes — about 2.5 million votes. The court did not look kindly upon such a ridiculous, evidence-free argument that waited until literally the last minute, as Wecht wrote in his concurring opinion:

“Having delayed this suit until two elections were conducted under Act 77’s new, no-excuse mail-in voting system, Petitioners—several of whom participated in primary elections under this system without complaint—play a dangerous game at the expense of every Pennsylvania voter. Petitioners waived their opportunity to challenge Act 77 before the election, choosing instead to ‘lay by and gamble upon receiving a favorable decision of the electorate.’ Toney v. White, 488 F.2d 310, 314 (5th Cir. 1973) (en banc).

“Unsatisfied with the results of that wager, they would now flip over the table, scattering to the shadows the votes of millions of Pennsylvanians. It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters.12 :Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear.”

Just as a side note, if Kelly thinks he was not elected fairly, he should resign — or not be seated in the next Congress — and force a special election in the spring, so he can run and win “fairly.” That won’t happen, as these guys know it is all a lie.

And yet, the grift continues.

Trump supporters are being barraged with texts and emails begging for money to keep up a fight that is futile at best and seditious at worst. The litigation — some so poorly done that it would get failing grades for first-year law students — continues to be spammed into state and federal courts and continues to be tossed for lack of evidence and in some cases, lack of actual allegations.

Fake claims about everything from GOP observers not being allowed to witness the count — they were — to the number of mail-in ballots that were sent out, 3 million with 2.5 million returned are being spread by Trump, Mastriano and his crew of flying monkeys to keep spreading false information about what was a fair and largely clean election. 

It’s all about keeping up the con for the feeble-minded true believers, and keeping the cash flowing in for the Trump campaign.

Despite the spread of fake information on social media, the court filings tell the truth: even the Republicans aren’t claiming fraud in the filings, where blatant lying to judges would cost the attorneys involved their licenses. Forced to be honest, Trump/GOP attorneys are 1-39 in court cases attempting to allege issues with the election.

Aside from all of this being an insult to the rule of law and democratic norms, it is lousy to cast claims of fraud and abuse on our hard working election officials in Chester County and other Pennsylvania counties. They did a remarkable — and fair — job, despite adversity and the best efforts of Republicans in the state legislature to make their jobs impossible.

To be clear: there was a lot of cheating in this election, but virtually none of it was on behalf of President-Elect Joe Biden. We saw voter suppression in minority communities with false messaging on social media and the clowns in the state legislature refusing to allow pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots before election day, unless Gov. Tom Wolf agreed to vastly limit the number of drop off boxes allowed in each county.

Wolf said no — he would not limit the ability of people, especially in communities of color, to get their vote in. So, the Republicans in the legislature intentionally provoked a situation where it appeared Trump had won more votes in this state on election night (and three others, where the GOP pulled the same stunt), hoping somehow to exclude the mail-in votes, which favored Democrats (Trump foolishly torpedoed mail-in voting by Republicans in the middle of a pandemic, by claiming before the election it was somehow fraudulent).

So, Republicans cheated — a lot — and it still didn’t work, causing them to lose their crap.

Well, no kidding. We’re in the middle of a pandemic where nearly 270,000 Americans have died and the economy is cratering, with Trump acting like a toddler much of the time – spreading false information about alleged cures and when the pandemic would end. Under normal situations, that should have led to a Biden landslide. We shouldn’t be asking about whether it was possible for Biden to win without cheating, but rather how he didn’t win by a blowout.

And yet, Republicans, spurred by their wackjob media outlets, can’t seem to grasp the basic fact: Biden won, and not by a small margin.

While it is easy to put all of the blame on Trump — and once gone, Trump will be repeatedly thrown under the bus — this is the outcome of a long-term issue within the GOP since the 1990s: they literally have the view that no Democrat gaining election is legitimate.

In short, they don’t believe in democracy. They believe in one-party rule — they don’t want to make the case for their vision (and beyond cutting taxes for the rich and appointing conservative judges, there isn’t much of a vision).

They just want to rule and they’re willing to lie, cheat and steal to do so.

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