Warning to Trump's peaceful putschists

Wild lawsuits, pledges to object to the Electoral College, are going to hurt you

A group of citizens is suing Vice President Mike Pence, the United States Congress, the Electoral College, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Michican Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and the speakers of the state house and the state senate majority leaders of those respective states, seeking to overthrow the results of the Electoral College and install Donald J. Trump as president for another term.

I kid you not. It’s all here. It’s a legal word salad with not a single provable injury save one: Donald J. Trump lost the election.

Defendant States voters allege that the outcome of the Electoral College vote is directly affected by the constitutional violations committed by Defendant States. Defendant States violated the Constitution in the process of appointing presidential electors by unlawfully abrogating state election laws designed to protect the integrity of the ballots and the electoral process, and those violations proximately caused the unconstitutional appointment of presidential electors.

Why anyone would sign on as a plaintiff to this garbage is beyond my reckoning. But many elected officials have done exactly that. I am particularly annoyed that my own state senator, Brandon Beach, who lives in the same city as I do, is listed as a plaintiff. Guess who won’t be getting my vote next time he’s on the ballot. I might even run on principle alone. Gov. Kemp gave Beach (a Republican) his support, and now Beach is suing him to force a putsch.

Also, a number of House members are saying they will object to the results of the Electoral College on January 6, 2021.

I like Jody Hice. He’s a preacher and a staunch pro-life advocate. He’s not my representative. Unfortunately, I live in Georgia’s 6th CD, where the nicest person in politics, Karen Handel, has habitually lost to a Democrat who doesn’t even live in Georgia, mostly as punishment from suburban women due to Trump. But if Hice was my representative, though I personally like him, he would not earn my vote in the next election.

There is no room in our federal legislative branch for putschists, peaceful or otherwise. Gen. Mike Flynn insanely suggested (to his face!) that President Trump impose “limited martial law,” and discussions have bounced around the West Wing about the Department of Homeland Security seizing voting machines.

This is not the Soviet Union of 1991, when putschists seized the national television network, tried to hold Gorbachev hostage at his dacha, and assume power. Gorby refused to be deposed, and the whole thing crumbled in a vodka-soaked embarrassment which led to the fall of the USSR. What Hice and others in Congress, Giuliani, and Flynn are suggesting, even if there’s nearly zero chance of it succeeding, is not much different from the generals who tried to depose Gorby. They are trying to subvert and overthrow the duly elected president of the United States, who will be sworn in January 20, 2021, by federal law.

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In 2016, those words: duly elected, were thrown around like candy at Halloween by Trump supporters who dared Democrats to try and stop them. Now those words have lost all meaning since Trump has decided to steer his presidency, in its last days, into the maw of insane conspiracy.

Trump’s lawsuits, and the one filed by a bevy of “voters alliances” (some with one person as the sole member in a state), have all, and will all fail. The only bullet left in Trump’s revolver is Congress, and he’s going to spin the cylinder and pull the trigger. If, by some political impossibility, a Representative and Senator agree on an objection, it can delay certification of the Electoral College results for a few hours of debate.

The New York Times did yeoman’s work laying out the impossible scenario.

Given Democrats’ control of the House and Republicans’ narrow Senate majority, almost no one expects that they would have the votes to succeed in disqualifying a state — much less five. But the debate and vote alone would put Republicans in a difficult position, forcing them to choose between an uncompromising president and their belief in the electoral process. Their choices could likely go a long way in setting the future course of the party, faith in American elections and the perceived legitimacy of a Biden presidency by the Republican base.

It’s not uncommon for one or more Representatives to object, but without a Senator to co-sign, it has no effect. The lawsuit that will certainly fail seeks to stop Vice President Pence from certifying the results when the tellers in the House present it to him, barring the challenge scenario.

Normally, this would be nothing but theater, as it was in 2016, because Hillary Clinton had publicly conceded. But Trump has not conceded, which means we can expect him to fight to the end, and really try to get the impossible scenario to work. When it doesn’t we don’t know what he’ll do, but he does have the executive power of the presidency at his command. The only option, if he decided to go full Caesar Augustus and “take control” would be for Vice President Pence and Congress to use the 25th Amendment and remove him.

I don’t think Trump is that crazy to force such a thing. But the fact that so many are scared it could happen is discouraging.

This is why any Representatives or Senators who participate in this peaceful putsch attempt need to be warned. Voters like me, who are used to kabuki theater, grandstanding, and useless gestures, which act like stage prop guns firing blanks, won’t stand for the same gestures when there’s a real bullet in the chamber.

If there were enough voters tired of Trump and his antics to cost him the election this year, then I imagine there are enough to cost Trump’s fellow putschists their seats too.

For those who think this is just politics, be warned.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash


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Keep up with David’s Christmas carol countdown: we’re at #3, “Joy to the World,” one of my personal favorites. Let Earth receive her King!


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