Republicans Create Circular Firing Squad

Ideas and Issues
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December 11, 2020

Paul Noth/Conde Nast

New Orleans      Ok, fair enough. Maybe I spoke too soon when I suggested that some grassroots Republican officeholders at the state and local level deserved our thanks for standing in front of the Trump bully-dozers to protect some of the last vestiges of American democracy.         I wasn’t messing with Texas, but their Attorney General Ken Paxton decided to mess with everyone else, including four other states and tens of millions of voters in order to pay homage to the last gasps of Trump’s presidency, and darned if he wasn’t able to collect seventeen other scaredy-cat Republican AGs and 110 Congressmen to join him in a bizarre legal amen chorus over a last ditch attempt to get something, no matter how much it smelled, before the Supreme Court.

Nonetheless, I’ll stand by my earlier position that even as the sheep line up, there are still some barking dogs among the Republicans willing to cull some strays onto another, truer path. And, as an additional benefit to trying to save the Republic, they seem to be lining up a circular firing squad so that they can argue among themselves over the obvious, which is the fact that they lost the presidential election.

The attorneys general in the four states that Paxton and his posse are trying to disenfranchise, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin, have joined together to file an objection to the Texas suit with the Supreme Court saying, essentially that its none of their business what they do in their states, that it’s no never mind to the Supreme Court, and has no right to be heard by them. The Georgia Attorney General, a Republican mind you, is adamantly opposed as well.

Even some of the sheep are bleating even as they include themselves in the herd. The North Dakota AG is careful to point out that the suit does not allege voter fraud. He claims they are “careful on that.”  The Montana AG admits that they are too late out of the gate in filing and not timely. The Republican Idaho AG refused to join the amicus brief, wisely not wanting to open the door to allow other states to sue to curtail actions by the Idaho governor and legislature. Ohio’s Republican AG filed a contrarian brief arguing that the Constitution is clear that the states get to determine their electors, and that Texas is being inconsistent in trying to flip the Constitution in other states, while arguing its protection in theirs. Almost everyone seems to say that Texas has no standing, which means no right to sue in the first place.

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems clear that this political press release is going to be dead on arrival at the Supreme Court level, dividing the Republican ranks at least for a minute, and bringing the 2020 election chaos to a whimpering end. There was a reason the old Knights of Labor, one of America’s first unions, barred the membership of lawyers because of their lack of principles, and we’re seeing it now for ourselves, first hand on the front pages.